Acer XB280HK; An In-Depth Review

A few years back, there are no real “gaming monitor”, as displays only offer better response time, which were only a little quicker than other displays. The average PC monitor can be fast enough for gaming, making response time advantage barely noticeable. Hardcore gamers knew this, and they generally opted for high-quality IPS panels instead. In the past couple of years, both AMD and Nvidia pushed their technology further and introduced synchronization techniques, which generally made way for “gaming monitor.” One of the newest monitors with true gaming display quality today is the Acer XB280HK, Acer’s flagship entry to the ever competitive market of gaming. Is it really the gaming quality we’ve been waiting for? Check out this in-depth review from Dual Monitors Guide.

(image from Amazon)

Who is it for?

If you’re looking for a 4K monitor to pair with your PC, and if your budget can stretch to the premium price, then you will love the Acer XB280HK. It’s solidly built, comes with ergonomically adjustable stand, with excellent post-calibration image quality and features the Nvidia G-sync technology that takes 4K graphics to a new level.

 

 

Benefits

Being the very first 4K display supported with Nvidia’s G-sync technology, the Acer XB280HK brings a lot of new things to the table. This 28-inch display packs 3840x2160 pixel resolution, with over 8MP crammed into its screen. It is a well-equipped monitor designed to provide real improvement in your gaming experience.

 

True 4K Display Showing True 4K Quality

Unlike many of the early 4K monitors in the market, the XB280HK is not tiled, or a monitor that dual displays with 1920 x 2160 resolution, causing a lot of funky troubles. Rather, this 28-inch monitor with native resolution of 3840 x 2160 is recognized by the system as one large surface with a 4K resolution.

 

Excellent Color Accuracy for Beautiful, Crip and Life-Like Picture Quality

4K displays brags about their resolution, and the amount of pixels they can pack to their screen, often times, it result to better picture quality. One of the biggest selling point of Acer XB280HK is how it pushed color accuracy to a new level. On average, delta error drops from 2.31 to 1.55, which is already a strong number, and ties with AOC G2770PQU. That unit scored 1.44. The gamma curve scores a perfect 2.2, which beats the AOC’s result of 2.0.

Calibrating the display will give you beautiful, crisp, and life-like image quality. Websites from browser windows and text in documents show more balanced, clearer and precise look, beating all of its rivals in the market today. Though a little better contrast can help for better shadow detail performance, most people won’t be able to notice.

 

4K and G-Sync Working Hand-in-Hand

Color accuracy and gamma may not be able to tell the whole story of how amazing this display is, but the 4K quality along with Nvidia G-sync technology can give you the whole picture, as displays can’t get any more advanced than this.

 

The 4K resolution easily makes games look even better on its bigger screen, even older games like Diablo 3 and League of Legends can benefit from its easily. Game texture gets amped in sharpness, making things on screen look more life-like than what is on 1080p, or even on 1440p monitors we have today, while added details help every aspect of the display.

Action packed games like Battlefield 4 with explosions will have richer and more realistic feel, and particles on Diablo 3 are much improved, allowing us to see the things we missed in playing at lower resolution.

To an extent, 4K minimizes the full capacity of G-sync technology though. The technology can support displays with high refresh rates, but this 4K display only works at 60Hz, as extreme resolutions need significant bandwidth. This means there are no improved responsiveness for games more than 60 FPS. However, G-sync still does its job. Problems in synchronization and frame stuttering are eliminated completely. This results to smooth rendering, from particle effects to character animations.

 

Dual Monitor and Multiple Monitor Setup Options

 

As a 28-inch gaming monitor, the Acer XB280HK is perfect on its own for great gaming experience. Those who are looking for more ergonomically comfortable experience can definitely make use of its VESA mounting holes through third party ergonomic products, such as wall mounts and monitor stands.

(image from Amazon)

If you want to use this alone, then you can opt for Ergotron LX Wall Mount LCD Arm. It is one of the best monitors arms you can find in the market; one-touch adjustment system allows you to position your touchscreen display anywhere you want on your desk, while cable management system lets you keep your desk neat and conducive for work. 

(image from Amazon)

If you’re looking for a more immersive experience and have two of these display side-by-side, then you can opt for LX Triple Display Lift Stand. It’s a robust stand that provides stable and solid support for your two 28-inch display.

 

 

Design and Features

(image from Amazon)

At first glance, one will surely appreciate the attractive and understated industrial design of Acer XB280HK, it is pleasing to look at from any side, and doesn’t look gaudy. Most often than not, products designed for gaming comes with outlandish designs and crazy feature just to get attention. This Acer gaming monitor however, is far from that.

 

Solid Build Quality

(image from Amazon)

The build quality of Acer XB280HK easily justifies its price. It features a svelte glossy black bezel, giving the product a nice cutting-edge look. The screen is glossy, which makes way for vibrant colors, and with the help of slim borders, reflections on its plastic bezel doesn’t seem to cause serious issue. The back of the cabinet is made up of a matte black plastic, which may give it a mundane look, but it’s very durable.

 

Buttons, Controls and Preset Modes

(image from Amazon)

Like any other Acer monitors, the XB280HK comes with a number of controls in OSD for users to fine-tune and optimize their on-screen image. These buttons are easy to use and navigate through the menu, compared to touch-sensitive buttons, give quick and easy access to the monitor’s multiple preset options, which includes User-defined mode, Movie, Eco and of course, Gaming mode. It also gives access to the typical picture adjustments, including brightness and contrast controls, and controls for the monitor’s special feature like Ultra-Low Motion Blur (ULMB).

Navigating through the monitor’s OSD is pretty easy and straightforward, thanks to mostly English prompts and bottom labels. Prompts show what buttons do. Whenever you want to tweak something on this monitor, you can easily find the necessary settings for it.

 

Fully Adjustable Ergonomic Stand for Your Gaming Comfort

(image from Amazon)

This Acer 4K gaming monitor comes equipped with a fully adjustable ergonomic stand, giving you’re the adjustability and flexibility you need for your desk. The stand can tilt, swivel adjust in height and pivot to switch between landscape and portrait mode. Encased in a good-quality plastic, the stand feels sturdy and solid, while the broad circular base minimizes screen vibrations. It features a nice gun-metal finish with a cut out for nice and easy cable management.

(image from Amazon)

The XB280HK is also VESA compatible, which means you can easily improve its ergonomics even further by using third party ergonomic solutions, such as LCD monitor stands or wall mounts and even make dual monitor or multiple monitor setups for a complete gaming system with multiple monitors.

 

Just Enough Number of Connectivity Options

The Acer XB280HK may not have the wide array of I/O ports you can expect from a monitor of its price, as it only has the DsplayPort 1.2. However, the limited connectivity option is common among displays with this size, most products out there only have three (3) to four (4) inputs. The reason behind this restriction is pointed to Ultra HD resolution and G-Sync functionality, as DisplayPort is the only input option to have enough bandwidth to drive the panel of this size. The connectors are nicely placed on the curved, protruding middle section. The connectors point downward when the screen is set at landscape mode.

(image from Amazon)

Also, this Acer monitor comes with four (4) USB 3.0 ports, with two conveniently located on the left plank, and the other two at the back side of the cabinet, making sure you have plenty of rooms to connect your gadgets and various workstation peripherals.

 

Easy Assembly

It is important to note that this product doesn’t come fully assembled. The assembly and setup however, is very easy to do. The support shaft snatches quickly to the back of the display. The base needs a little screwing to secure it to shaft, it doesn’t require any tools though. The base should be positioned properly, a single thumbscrew is needed to tighten and secure the whole thing in place.

 

Tech Specs

Bottom Line

(image from Amazon)

Most gaming monitor in the market claim to bring something extraordinary to the table, and though many of them delivers, most simply improve what has been done over and over again. The Acer XB280HK is the very first gaming monitor to truly improve gaming experience. It has the best color accuracy of its kind, and the combo of 4K resolution and G-sync technology brings the knockout punch that no other monitors in the market today can match yet. It certainly adds new life to your games and improves your gaming experience in all areas.

Most who use this monitor will find little to complain about it, aside from narrow viewing angle and G-sync causing some flickering issues. G-sync sometimes causes flickering at low frame rates, which can be annoying at times. Let’s just hope Nvidia can fix this issue with driver updates sooner rather than later.

All in all, the Acer XB280HK is a great treat for dedicated gaming fans. If you’re willing to pay the price, then you can definitely take advantage of this display and experience your games better than ever before. Obviously, you will need a serious gaming-quality rig to be able to get the full advantage of 4K resolution and G-sync technology of this gaming monitor.

For more in-depth reviews like this, check out Dual Monitors Guide now!



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