Acer Predator XB272 review: Ultra high refresh rate for smooth gameplay

Gaming / Gaming Hardware / Hardware Reviews / Reviews / Tech
Acer-Predator-XB272-review

While the high refresh rate makes for smooth gaming, the 1080p resolution on a 27″ monitor leaves something to be desired.

TA-ratings-72Anyone who games on a PC knows that a higher refresh rate is better for gaming. Our Acer Predator XB272 review takes a look at an NVIDIA G-SYNC compatible 27-inch monitor which can achieve a maximum refresh rate of 240Hz.

Specifications

The Acer Predator XB272 has the following features and specifications:

  • Screen Size: 27″
  • Screen Mode: Full HD (1920 x 1080)
  • Standard Refresh Rate: 240 Hz
  • Colour Support: 16.7 Million Colours
  • Contrast Ratio: 1,000:1
  • Brightness: 400 cd/m²
  • Tearing Prevention Technology: NVIDIA G-SYNC™
  • Response Time: 1 ms
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Backlight Technology: LED
  • Panel Technology: Twisted Nematic Film (TN Film)
  • Ports: HDMI, DisplayPort, 3.5mm headphone jack, USB upstream, 4x USB 3.0
  • Tilt Angle: -5° to 20°
  • Swivel Angle: 45°
  • Speakers: 2
  • Maximum Adjustable Height: 4.53″
  • VESA mount compatible
  • Dimensions: 14.45 x 24.17 x 2.04″ (without stand), 20.63 x 24.17 x 10.55″ (with stand)
  • Weight: 12.41 lbs (without stand), 16.56 lbs (with stand)

What’s in the box

  • Acer Predator XB272 monitor
  • HDMI cable
  • DisplayPort cable
  • Power cable
  • Quick Start Guide

Design

We’ve reviewed a few Acer monitors now here at Techaeris, and I’m a fan of their design. While it’s simple, their newer monitors come with very thin frames resulting in narrow bezels for more screen real estate while minimizing the amount of space taken up on your desk. In the case of the Acer Predator XB272 monitor, the top and side on-screen bezels are just over a ¼” thick while the bottom is about an inch thick. Centered on the bottom of the monitor is the Predator logo with a small LED power indicator on the far right.

Acer-Predator-XB272-review-01

The Acer Predator XB272 is a nearly bezel-less display.

The stand has the same familiar angled foot design as other Acer gaming monitors — two longer front feet and two shorter back feet in this case, but it comes assembled as one piece unlike some of the other units we’ve reviewed. Gone are the red accents and instead the stand is black with subtle gray accents. The stand allows some motion and extends up to just over 4 ½” in height and tilts down 5°, up 20°, and swivels 45° left and right for optimal viewing. The screen also rotates 90° for use in portrait mode as well should you desire. The stand also has a nice cutout area for easy cable management.

Acer-Predator-XB272-review-03

The stand is solid and has a cutout for easy cable management.

The control panel has been moved to the back of the monitor and is nicely located and easy to use once you get used to it. When facing the monitor, the power button is on the far right side with the round function key next to it followed by three more function keys going towards the center of the monitor. The power button is self-explanatory and the LED light turns blue when the monitor is on and is amber when it is in standby/power saving mode. The round function key lets you enter and navigate the main menu page. The second function key allows you to toggle between HDMI and DisplayPort, the third lets you select a preset Game Mode, while the fourth lets you view and adjust basic and color settings to suit your tastes.

Acer-Predator-XB272-review-10

The menu control buttons are on the back of the monitor.

The ports are also located on the back of the monitor with your main power switch and power port on the left side (when looking at the back of the monitor), and your DisplayPort, HDMI, headphone jack, USB upstream, and two USB 3.0 connections on the right side of the back. On the right side of the monitor, behind the right edge, are the remaining two USB 3.0 ports.

Acer-Predator-XB272-review-09

The main ports on the back of the monitor.

Display

The TN display on the Acer XB272 is a bit of a mixed bag. Having the real estate of a 27″ monitor is nice for sure, however, it is only a 1920×1080 FHD display. Personally, I think anything over 24″ should sport a QHD resolution at a minimum simply due to the screen size. I understand there are most likely limitations to how high you can push the refresh rate in relation to the resolution you are using, but I’d rather take a slightly reduced refresh rate and higher resolution or higher refresh rate and smaller screen size.

Depending on your setup and distance you sit from your monitor, you might be o.k. but on a standard desk and set on a sit-stand desk riser you can definitely see the lack of resolution when browsing the internet, typing, or doing other office-like tasks. While gaming, the 1080p resolution is less noticeable, but at the end of the day I found it hard to use the monitor for any length of time to do word processing or web browsing due to the resolution/screen size ratio.

That being said, the monitor does offer plenty of tweaks and customization to get your colours — including blacks — just how you want them for specific games and even has presets for specific gaming genres. The presets can be saved over as well should you want to tweak them further. It was pretty easy to get the colours, brightness, and black levels adjusted perfectly to my preference for both regular tasks and gaming.

Acer-Predator-XB272-review-06

The monitor tilts and swivels to easily adapt to your setup.

Unlike office use, while gaming the screen size definitely lends itself to a more immersive experience while playing as well.

Performance

If you’re buying this monitor, you’re pretty much going to be buying it because you have an NVIDIA card with a DisplayPort connection to take advantage of the 240Hz refresh rate while gaming. On that end of things, the Acer Predator XB272 performs very well and when playing games like Forza Horizon 3Forza Motorsport 6: Apex, or Tomb Raider you really notice how smooth the game runs. Even games like Heroes of the Storm and Diablo III benefit a bit from a higher refresh rate, especially if you have a system that can pump out over 100fps on those.

Speakers/Sound

I’ve said it before, and I’m having to say it again, but Acer just needs to stop putting speakers on their monitors. Anyone with a decent gaming system most likely already has external speakers, and even though laptops don’t offer the greatest sound, they’re still better than anything I’ve seen offered on a monitor. The Acer XB272 has a pair of 2W speakers on the back of the monitor, and they are by far the worst speakers I’ve ever heard. Even at maximum volume, over both HDMI and DisplayPort connections, you could barely hear the sound. What you could hear was very tinny and lacked any kind of range as well — definitely not conducive to try and use while gaming to enjoy your game or listen for enemies creeping up on you from behind.

Acer-Predator-XB272-review-04

Back view of the Acer Predator XB272 gaming monitor.

If you take the sound out of the review score equation, you’re definitely looking at a better score (around 8.5/10) but as Acer includes speakers, they get included in our review score.

Price/Value

The Acer Predator XB272 is available for $679.99USD on Amazon (it’s not currently available through Acer’s U.S. website). While that price seems decent for a 27″ monitor, the fact that it is only 1080p brings the value down significantly in my opinion. In this case, I think you’re better off getting a 27″ Acer with a higher resolution and lower refresh rate or a 24″ 1080p monitor with a higher refresh rate to get the most out of your money. Then again, if you’re only going to be playing games on it and are sitting a bit further away from it than normal setups, you’ll probably be o.k.

Wrap-up

There’s no question that a high 240Hz refresh rate makes for buttery smooth gaming when used with an NVIDIA card over a DisplayPort connection, but the 1080p resolution on a 27″ display just doesn’t cut it for anything besides gaming. As mentioned in the Sound section, our review score takes an average of each component score, and as such the sound really dragged it down. Without that, the monitor would score between an 8 and 8.5/10 which would be a more accurate overall score for the Acer Predator XB272.

*We were sent a review unit of the Acer Predator XB272 for the purposes of this review.

Acer Predator XB272

$679.99 USD
Acer Predator XB272
7.2

Design

10/10

    Display

    8/10

      Performance

      10/10

        Speakers/Sound

        2/10

          Price/Value

          7/10

            Nailed it

            • Fairly bezel-less design
            • High 240Hz refresh rate for smooth gaming
            • Great for gaming

            Needs work

            • 1080p resolution on a 27 inch monitor
            • Almost inaudible sound from speakers
            • Not so great for office type tasks
            • Price could be lower
            Comments
            To Top