Acer Predator XB271HK; An In-Depth Review
Acer is one of the biggest names in computer monitor industry today, thanks to the giant leap they made last year 2015. Their Predator series is a proof that they haven’t looked back ever since, as it garnered a lot of attention with its innovative technology dedicated for the most demanding gamers. The first flagship model from this series – Acer Predator X34 changed the gaming scene through overclocking, G-sync technology, higher refresh rate, and above all – curved screen, not to mention all the bells and whistles you can imagine for a high-end gaming monitor. This time, they have introduced the Acer Predator XB271HK, a slightly smaller screen but still retained all the stellar qualities that we loved from its bigger sibling. What this monitor special? Check out this in-depth review from Dual Monitors Guide.
Asus PA328Q (image from Amazon)
Who is it for?
As with the first product from Predator series X34, Predator XB271HK is especially designed for gamers, particularly those who are looking to invest and upgrade their computer set with the best gaming screen. It comes packed with gaming-centric features, along with new technologies that pushed the standard for its market.
This monitor is sports a big 27-inch panel and runs 4K UHD 3840 x 2160 resolution, providing a pretty comfortable space to work and play with day to day. Images are obviously sharper and crisper in UHD resolution due to high pixel density (PPI or Pixels Per Inch).
Colour accuracy was very good, giving the screen the ability to display stills and actions of games in greater details, with improved sharpness and better vividness. But like its bigger brother Acer X34, it is in performance where Acer Predator XB271HK really shines.
Impressive Gaming Performance Right Off the Bat
The 4ms Pixel Response Time of this Acer gaming monitor is enough to produce smooth gaming experience and blur-free motion handling. Graphically-demanding games like Crysis 3 run smoothly, without any signs of blurring on this screen. But as with other high-end gaming monitors in the market today such as Acer XB270HU and the AOC G2460PG, it is when the G-sync feature is turned on where you can see the difference, as enabling the G-sync makes smoother and more fluid action.
The Input Lag (the amount of time it takes for the monitor to react to the commands from the controller, measured in Leo Bodnar Video Signal Lag Tester), which is crucial for action-packed, fast-paced gaming like FPS, is at 10.2ms, which is much faster than its competition like Asus MG279Q (27.4ms). The BenQ XL2430T remained on top at 9.5ms Input Lag.
Good Colour Accuracy and Grayscale Reproduction for Better Image Quality for Your Games
4K test images look absolutely stunning on this Acer monitor, thanks to the combination of good colour accuracy and grayscale reproduction. Colors also look vibrant, with excellent highlight and shadow details in Blu-ray movies such as Marvel’s Antman, with no signs of skewed tones or tinting. Thanks to the IPS panel of this monitor, which is quite an innovation, as we usually TN panels for gaming displays.
Good Viewing Angles, As Expected from IPS Panels
As with other monitors sporting IPS panels in the market, Acer XB271HK has good viewing angles. There were some color shifting horizontally until past 45°, and a slight darkening of image in wider angles as contrast shifts slightly. Contrast shifting is slightly more noticeable in vertical angle, but all in all, it’s still very good.
Dual Monitors and Multiple Monitors Setup Options
As with other 27-inch monitors, there aren’t a lot of options out there for dual monitor setup on Acer XB271HK. But there’s a couple of good choices in the market, such as the Ergotron LX Dual side-by-side arm,
a fully adjustable dual LCD monitor arm with solid polished aluminum construction and high quality materials. It can supports two 27-inch displays and both arms can be adjusted independently, allowing users to reposition their display; up, down, forward and back, with one simple touch, and still keep the displays secured and stable in place through the help of its patented Constant Force (CF) technology.
Ergotron LX Dual side-by-side arm (image from Amazon)
The other option is the AmazonBasics dual side-by-side monitor arm, a budget-friendly dual monitor mount with articulating arm. It comes equipped with two fully-adjustable monitor arms, both can be adjusted independently, allowing users to position their display to the most ergonomic setup. It is built with quite sturdy construction, and its matte-black finish actually make it look better than in photos online. Design wise, it has a lot of similarities with Ergotron LX dual stacking arm, particularly on the mounting base.
AmazonBasics dual side-by-side monitor arm (image from Amazon)
Design and Features
Design wise, Acer Predator XB271HK is quite a sharp-looking monitor, and definitely a head-turner for gaming enthusiasts as it really does look a gaming screen at first glance. The 27-inch IPS panel is housed on a black matte-coating cabinet, which features bezel-free design, with an etched Predator logo at the bottom trim.
The screen comes with a light AG (anti-glare) screen coating. It is not a semi-glossy coating, rather, it is similar to other modern IPS type of panels, not heavily grainy as with old IPS panels. The anti-glare property is quite effective in avoiding unwanted glares and reflections caused by ambient light.
Buttons and Functions
There are a total of five button functions in this Acer gaming monitor, plus a Power Switch, all located at the lower right side of the monitor. All function buttons serves as hotkeys for toggling between input sources, choosing an overdrive mode (off, Normal and Extreme) to speed up the screen’s pixel response and help get rid of motion artifacts, and speaker volume adjustment. There’s also a hotkey for Game mode, which lets you choose three gaming profiles, all of which are customizable with unique Picture settings.
Acer calls its Picture adjustments (Presets) in this monitor as eColor Management, and the selection includes Standard, Graphics, Movie, Eco, and User modes. For its basic settings, adjustments settings include Brightness, Contrast, Low Blue Light (to help reduce eyestrain), Adaptive Contrast and Dark Boost.
For more Advanced settings, the selection includes Gamma, Color Saturation (brightness), Color Temperature, as well as 6-Axis Color, which lets you set the intensity of colors red, green, blue, magenta, cyan and yellow.
Aside from the Game mode feature, XB271HK also has another gaming-centric feature for FPS games, three Aim Point crosshair-aiming targets.
Limited Connectivity Options
As with its bigger brother X34, the Predator XB271HK only offers two video ports, namely an HDMI input and a full-size DisplayPort. Both ports are located at the back side of the cabinet, along with one upstream USB 3.0 port, two downstream USB 3.0 ports, and a headphone jack. There are also two additional USB 3.0 ports located on the left side of the cabinet, which is a welcome addition, as it’s definitely a handy feature for charging devices and transferring files.
Asus PA328Q (image from Amazon)
Because there are only two video inputs, the DisplayPort and HDMI 2.0, which means to run this screen in its native resolution of 3840×2160 at 60Hz, you have to use the DisplayPort in absence of HDMI v2.0.
With a Pair of Built-in 2W Speakers for General Use
While a pair of built-in 2W speakers are nothing to praise about, it is quite a good addition, especially for gamers with limited space on their desk, or those who don’t want to connect tons of peripherals on their gaming system. The speakers are moderately loud, but as expected, they lack the bass response and sounds tinny.
Cool V-Shaped Stand with Full Adjustability Options, with VESA-Compliant Mounting Holes
Asus PA328Q (image from Amazon)
The cool V-shaped base stand features red and black colors, while its black mounting arm allows full adjustability options, such as swivel 30°, tilt 40°, 5.9 inches height adjust and pivot 90° to switch between landscape and portrait mode, and vice versa, perfect for gamers looking for the most comfortable position for their screen.
Asus PA328Q (image from Amazon)
There’s also a quick-release button that allows you to remove the monitor from the stand and pair it with third party monitor stand with articulating arm or wall mount with better and wider range of adjustability options. Acer also offers an optional mounting kit.
Package includes the power cable, DisplayPort and USB Cables.
Acer Predator XB271HK has strong all-around performance, thanks to the IPS panel, which runs at UHD and delivers sharp, crisp images. Of course, you need to keep in mind that to run this display in its full capacity, you need the compatible graphics card with the right output that can handle the resolution, preferably 60Hz Refresh Rate or higher.
Also, the addition of the Nvidia G-sync technology means it is already powered to run games smoothly and fluid, taking pressure off your system. Obviously, this monitor is aimed for gamers, as with its sibling X34 and other future models under the Predator product line.
Pixel response time and input lag are all really good, perfect for gamers. However, it doesn’t come with ULMB blur reduction, which is often paired with G-sync, since it doesn’t run at higher refresh rate. Also, Acer could have been more generous than putting limited connectivity options.
Predator XB271HK really has good default setup, with strong all-around performance, and definitely a contender when it comes to high-end gaming monitor.
For more in-depth reviews like this, check out Dual Monitors Guide today!