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Acer XB270H 27-in 1080p 144 Hz G-Sync Monitor Review

Author: Ryan Shrout
Subject: Displays
Manufacturer: Acer

Physical Design

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The physical characteristics of the Acer XB270H 4K G-Sync monitor are nearly identical to that of the XB280HK that we reviewed previously - the stand design is the same, the bezel design is the same, the OSD design is the same. We are looking at a smaller size (27-in rather than 28-in) and a lower resolution display with the same feature set.

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The stand on the XB270H is decent though it still has a bit of wobble to it with table shake or by touching the sides of it. The red ring along the base does not light up as you might have seen on the ASUS G-Sync panel but adds a bit of flair to the design.

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The bezel around the monitor isn't small, but it also is not obnoxiously larger either. It is piano black finish though, which means that fingerprints and dust will be a common occurrence. This isn't a touch screen display so it should be as big of a problem, but I know some readers look out for that kind of thing.

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Around the back the XB270H maintains a similar appearance to that of the XB280HK including VESA mount capability, a cable management pass through opening and under-mounted connections.

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On the left hand side of the monitor you'll find a pair of USB 3.0 ports that are part of the overall 4-port USB 3.0 hub that the XB270H includes.

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Rotating the display around into a portrait mode shows the rest of the connections including the USB 3.0 input and two more USB 3.0 ports up top, the single DisplayPort connection for input and then the standard power cable input and power switch at the bottom. Like all the other G-Sync monitors on the market today, you are limited to a single DP input connection - no HDMI or DVI options are available.

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The stand does support portrait mode (obviously) on the Acer XB270H though using it is likely not going to be ideal due to the limited TN panel viewing angles discussed on the first page.

Video News


December 30, 2014 | 01:34 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Any information on colors, black levels, contrast, etc?
Even for gaming, I find those to be more important than refresh rates and input lag.

December 30, 2014 | 03:01 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Ryan reviews are the same as listening a Blue Shirt from Best Buy reading off the sales info from the display.

December 30, 2014 | 07:23 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Its an 8 bit TN panel like the SWIFT PG278Q but 1080 @ 27 pix density is very bad not worth it even if 8bit

December 31, 2014 | 08:13 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Depends on how far away you are from the screen. I used a 32" 1080p HDTV as a monitor once (2-3 ft away) and the pixel density didn't bother me.

January 1, 2015 | 02:29 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

27 1080 is bad IDK how far you site from it.

January 3, 2015 | 05:53 AM - Posted by SaberEdge (not verified)

That's absurd. The pixel density needed is always dependent on how far you are from the display. 1920 x 1080 at 27" is just fine unless you are very close to the screen. In fact, 1080p on a 27" display doesn't bother some people even when sitting very close.

Unless you think all of the millions of 1080p HDTVs over 24" are just garbage. It's always about the distance from the display and individual user tolerances.

Owning this monitor I can say that the 1080p resolution doesn't bother me in the slightest. I don't see any pixels from where I am sitting a few feet back. A higher resolution wouldn't be a good choice for me. I have a single GTX 970 and this monitor is just about perfect. With last gen games I am able to get between about 120fps and 144fps (which is the maximum refresh rate of this monitor), whereas with more demanding recent games I sometimes only get between about 40fps and 80fps. My framerates would be too low to take advantage of the higher refresh rates if I had bought a higher resolution monitor.

December 31, 2014 | 11:35 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It's a TN so they will suck. A $599 TN monitor. G-Sync is not worth the $450 premium, Acer isn't even a good brand.

January 3, 2015 | 06:19 AM - Posted by SaberEdge (not verified)

Get real. It's not even close to a $450 premium. All the high quality 27" 144hz gaming monitors are usually around $450 or more. For example: http://www.amazon.com/BenQ-XL2720Z-27-inch-Performance-Monitor/dp/B00GWF... http://www.amazon.com/AOC-G2770PQU-Ultimate-Performance-Professional/dp/...

So it is more like an $150 premium. And it's worth every penny. Gsync has been the most dramatic and transformative technology in PC gaming that I have ever experienced. It has significantly improved the experience of playing all of my games. Games that used to have issues with stutter are now very smooth. In fact, all my games are noticeably smoother, even the ones that already ran at 60fps or 120fps. And they are much more responsive due to the decreased input lag.

Some of you want to criticize TN based LCDs, but you must not be gamers. I would never use an IPS or PLS monitor as my main gaming monitor. Having slightly more accurate colors is not nearly as important for gaming as having faster refresh rates, faster pixel response times and often lower input lag. Besides, this particular monitor has an 8 bit panel and the colors are pretty damn good. Not as good as a good IPS monitor, but good enough. Especially considering all the other good qualities of this monitor.

December 30, 2014 | 01:37 PM - Posted by Desert Nocturne (not verified)

I perked up when I saw this review go up thinking that we may finally have an affordable G-Sync option but alas this monitor is priced about $250 more than I would even consider for a 1080p TN panel.

Perhaps once more G-Sync (and hopefully Freesync) monitors start competing against each other the prices will start coming down. I would love to have three of these in surround without breaking the bank!

January 3, 2015 | 06:28 AM - Posted by SaberEdge (not verified)

Really? Most good 144Hz 27" monitors with similar specs, but without g-sync and ULMB, already cost around $450. I don't think $150 is that much extra to pay for gsync and ULMB. In fact, now that I have used gsync I would pay much more for it than that. Going back to a monitor without gsync would be like going back to the dark ages of PC gaming for me.

December 30, 2014 | 01:52 PM - Posted by Peter H. (not verified)

$ 599 is to expensive for this monitor.
I own AOC 24" G2460PG for $ 424 , it´s the cheapest G-sync monitor you can buy right now, very satisfied with this monitor :)

http://us.aoc.com/monitor_displays/g2460pg

January 1, 2015 | 02:31 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

yea that's about right price. and 24" about as high would go for 24 monitor

January 1, 2015 | 02:32 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

edit

yea that's about right price. and 24" about as high would go for 1080 monitor

January 3, 2015 | 06:32 AM - Posted by SaberEdge (not verified)

That's silly. It's completely dependent on how far you sit from your monitor. I have my PC in my bedroom and I am usually sitting on a chair several feet back or on my bed up to 8 feet away. Do I still need more than 1920 x 1080 resolution on my 27" display? Of course not. I couldn't see any pixels if I tried.

December 30, 2014 | 02:59 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

$300 overpriced...

December 30, 2014 | 03:28 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

G-Sync is incredible in person... but not $300 more incredible. $299 is the most I would pay for ANY 1080p display.

December 30, 2014 | 03:29 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Ryan,

Can you still purchase VG248QE G-Sync upgrade kits anywhere? I'd really like to get one for mine...

December 30, 2014 | 05:14 PM - Posted by Anooyingmoose (not verified)

sorry, you missed the train.

December 30, 2014 | 05:15 PM - Posted by hashim (not verified)

I wonder if this monitor could be compared to an Asus VG248QE upgraded with a g-syng kit, and would I have the same experiance? Considering that you would only pay about 500 for the asus monitor and the kit?

January 4, 2015 | 08:48 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

There'a AOC 24" g-sync model so less than 500$ so no point in buying asus and upgrade module

December 30, 2014 | 05:41 PM - Posted by Trickstick (not verified)

I own this monitor and really i would call this a overview rather then a review. Here are my 2 cents or at least a few things worth noting. For starters its a TN panel obviously and they did not mention there is some light bleeding going on. I went to blur busters and saw a few other post from other owners of this panel stating the same thing and really in the same spots as mine (bottom right and left corners). Obviously in a all black background you can notice it pretty easy, with moving images and color at least for me i don't notice it. There is also a color profile that you can download from acer and use in windows. It does work but i noticed that when i applied it 2 things happend. One this monitor for some reason would stop saving settings once it sat into standby for a bit, ie: would default brightness to 100 and any other settings outside of default would be reset. The second thing was after it would go into standby mode it would then produce its own type of screen saver flashing colors green,red,yellow,blue. Since all of this i rest my settings through the on board osd and haven't had these problems since. Im not 100 percent sure the color profile did this but i can say it did not do it before i downloaded it from the official acer site. I was able to get this monitor for 499 which i thought was ok, had it been 600 i probly would have passed. Side note this monitor is dam near the same thing as that Philips monitor. I got in contact with a guy on blur busters he had bought both monitors to compare and said they are virtually the same outside the fact the Philips comes with the paddle to set the options(like the xl benq monitors). And it also has smart response that can be changed in the overdrive feature where as the acer just have overdrive off/on extreme.

December 31, 2014 | 10:02 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

I will say that, just to double check, I turned this panel back on this morning and didn't see any indications of noticeable light bleed. This kind of thing can often times be unit-specific.

January 3, 2015 | 06:36 AM - Posted by SaberEdge (not verified)

I have very minimal light bleed on mine. No stuck or dead pixels. Colors are quite good for a TN panel. I would like better contrast levels, but that is a problem I have with every LCD panel I have ever used.

This monitor handles motion better than any LCD monitor I have ever owned. It's fantastic for watching movies. And gsync for games is simply amazing. Easily the most impressive technology for PC gaming in a long long time.

December 30, 2014 | 07:17 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Way over priced garbage with horrid pixel density

January 3, 2015 | 06:40 AM - Posted by SaberEdge (not verified)

Your comment is garbage. You obviously haven't even used this monitor. It's by far the best monitor I have ever owned or used. I've used IPS, VA and high quality TN monitors before and this monitor has a better balance of attributes than any of those. And G-Sync is incredible. It's worth every penny, in my opinion.

May 4, 2015 | 02:52 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Doesn't really matter at 27" monitor is meant to be several feet from your face. Unless you are playing with your face right up to the monitor than why owuld you want a 27 inch anyway

I play with mine on a shelf behind my desk and its perfect a few feet away

December 30, 2014 | 07:27 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I like how when gsync was announced the kit retailed for $199 and essentially monitors sporting this would have like a 100 markup even asus said VG248QE would have a Gsync variant that would be 100 more than standard version...what a load of bull it never happened.

December 30, 2014 | 08:53 PM - Posted by Edmond (not verified)

gsync is pretty much worthless if its going to be only on TN garbage...

How about some IPS 21:9 and 16:10 gsync monitors?
Ok it wont be 100+hz, but they can release then with 72hz stock. A bunch of IPSs do that @ stock.

and the price is so retarded for this TN garbage i want to swear off nvidia for ever

December 31, 2014 | 08:25 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Because 75fps is not hard to achieve even on one GPU you not going to get the tearing or stuttering like you would when trying to keep consistent 120-144 refresh.

variable refresh befits lot more when dealing with the higher refreshrate.

December 31, 2014 | 08:28 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

let me reword that

Because 75fps is not hard to achieve even on one GPU you not going to get the tearing or stuttering like you would when trying to keep consistent 120-144fps.

variable refresh befits lot more when dealing with the higher refreshrate.

January 3, 2015 | 06:43 AM - Posted by SaberEdge (not verified)

IPS has better color reproduction, but this 8-bit TN panel isn't that far off. After I calibrated it the colors are pretty good and the image quality is quite pleasing. IPS is always a disappointment to me in terms of pixel response and the lower refresh rates. A good TN panel is better for gaming than IPS or VA panels.

December 30, 2014 | 10:03 PM - Posted by Kingkookaluke (not verified)

Glad to see that you guys are back to work! I really want to win hat car!

December 31, 2014 | 10:02 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Announcements will be made soon!

December 30, 2014 | 10:37 PM - Posted by BenQ 1080p 144hz 27" - Apples to Apples. (not verified)

Compared to the BenQ? I own the BenQ and gaming at 1080p (high fps, obviously), at 144hz or 120hz, is an amazing experience. Perfectly smooth and flawless graphics. I get how Gsync may look amazing at lower fps... to produce similar smooth gameplay, but I don't think you need Gsync to get that. Granted 1080p 27" may not be the best for desktop, but with colors and contrast correct it's certainly acceptable. More important is gaming visuals, and 144hz 1080p (again with high fps) is AMAZING to see.

BBB.

ps. Thanks for all your hard work on the graphics front Ryan!

January 3, 2015 | 06:51 AM - Posted by SaberEdge (not verified)

Glad you are enjoying your BenQ. I'm really enjoying my Acer XB270H. And you are right that gaming at 144Hz is amazing. Incredibly responsive and smooth. The temporal resolution is so much clearer than at, say, 60Hz.

You do need G-sync, though, to be able to enjoy framerates between 30fps and 60fps, otherwise you will get screen-tearing and judder, or stutter and increased input lag. Even if your framerate only drops a few frames below 60fps to perhaps 58fps you will immediately notice the consistent, smooth feeling is interrupted with stutter. I hate that. G-sync is a godsend.

January 5, 2015 | 10:46 PM - Posted by BenQ 1080p 144hz 27" - Apples to Apples. (not verified)

I'll agree with that, but with a decent video card... running at only 1920x1080 a high FPS isn't a problem these days. I absolutely get why gsync is going to be amazing for 4K monitors at least until graphics cards can catch up to that res.

Is it fair to say that gsync makes lower fps games 'feel' like high fps games on a high hz monitor? But, if so, wouldn't having a higher fps still produce a smoother gaming experience no matter what?

Bad experience = high hz + low FPS
Good experience = gsync + low FPS.
Great experience = high hz + high FPS.
Best experience = gsync + high FPS.

Thoughts?

January 5, 2015 | 10:46 PM - Posted by BenQ 1080p 144hz 27" - Apples to Apples. (not verified)

I'll agree with that, but with a decent video card... running at only 1920x1080 a high FPS isn't a problem these days. I absolutely get why gsync is going to be amazing for 4K monitors at least until graphics cards can catch up to that res.

Is it fair to say that gsync makes lower fps games 'feel' like high fps games on a high hz monitor? But, if so, wouldn't having a higher fps still produce a smoother gaming experience no matter what?

Bad experience = high hz + low FPS
Good experience = gsync + low FPS.
Great experience = high hz + high FPS.
Best experience = gsync + high FPS.

Thoughts?

December 31, 2014 | 01:03 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

@$400-$500....two words screw that!

December 31, 2014 | 01:28 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Hah - more like $600

December 31, 2014 | 02:01 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I have a 144hz display and I have used my friends asus vg248qe with the gsync module and I can tell no difference between the two. I think that most of the gaming media have ignored 120hz displays and the first real experience they are having with them just happen to be paired with gsync. Seems to me that people are underestimating the fluidity of motion on 120hz displays and attribute the smooth experience to gsync when that isn't actually the case. Also, I haven't had a torn frame in over two years and I didn't need vsync or gsync to achieve that. I think this technology is more useful on high definition ips displays, it's being wasted on fast tn panels that can get by just fine without it.

December 31, 2014 | 05:02 PM - Posted by Annoyingmoose (not verified)

I owned LG 120hz monitor, followed by the ASUS VG248QE, which I later upgraded with the G-Sync DIY Kit. I've experienced major benefits from G-Sync over plain high refresh, even more so at higher fps. for example ~90fps @ 144hz always felt jittery with Vsync (including triple buffering). I often had to cap at 72fps half refresh as it felt much smoother. G-Sync eliminates all those quirks and configuration headaches. its simply superb.

you can count me in for underestimating the fluidity of motion on 120hz displays (when fps is anywhere between 60 and 120 in this case), even though its still better than just 60hz, I most definitely attribute my current smooth experience to G-Sync.

also don't underestimate the praising of the media because they referred to the gsync pendulum demo which compare 40-60fps vsync/gsync/off, and NOT taking advantage of high fps.

January 3, 2015 | 07:05 AM - Posted by SaberEdge (not verified)

Nonsense. You must have been playing games that could already achieve over 120fps otherwise you would experience screen-tearing and judder or stutter and added input lag. There is no getting around this.

If you aren't using vsync you absolutely are getting screen tearing, since frame delivery is not in sync with the refresh rate of the display.

I owned a 120Hz monitor before my 144Hz gsync monitor and the difference is like night and day. Maintaining 120Hz or 144Hz all the time is very difficult in most games, especially modern games, and with gsync I get none of the stutter, screen tearing or extra input lag that I would get on my monitor without gsync.

Fast 144Hz TN based monitors are ideal for gsync because gsync allows you to use and enjoy all the variable framerates between 30 and 144Hz free of tearing and stutter, instead of being limited to 30fps, 60fps or some other factor of the refresh rate.

December 31, 2014 | 03:58 AM - Posted by JohnGR

Freesync Iiyama 28" ProLite B2888UHSU-B1 4K monitor with free Freesync upgrade from Iiyama. Almost $200 cheaper than a equivalent 28" G-Sync monitor from Acer.

Ultra wide Freesync IPS 29" and 34" monitors from LG incoming.

UHD Freesync monitors coming in a few months from Samsung.

BenQ and Viewsonic also rumored to getting ready with their own Freesync monitors.

G-Sync is DOA. If you enjoy paying $150-$200 extra for a TN panel that supports a technology that will be irrelevant in a year from now, just do it.

December 31, 2014 | 05:14 PM - Posted by Annoyingmoose (not verified)

I certainly enjoy gaming on TN G-Sync, more than any monitor I've ever had. after knowing its worth first hand, I would not hesitate to pay that price again if I had to.

anything AMD is more likely to end up DOA, as proven many times before.

January 3, 2015 | 07:11 AM - Posted by SaberEdge (not verified)

You're just making stuff up. None of that has been announced.

Judging by your avatar pic you must be a big AMD fanboy. I have no favoritism towards AMD or Nvidia and I have owned plenty of hardware from both companies. If freesync does indeed make it out and works equally well then it's nothing but a good thing for PC gaming. G-sync is out now, though, and it is amazing.

January 3, 2015 | 07:14 AM - Posted by SaberEdge (not verified)

Oh and how will G-sync be irrelevant in a year from now? It's not like my G-Sync monitor is just going to stop working. I'm enjoying this incredible technology right now, while fanboys like you are still waiting.

December 31, 2014 | 07:07 AM - Posted by Shortwave (not verified)

Sort of funny, G-sync is the only reason I won't buy this monitor.
Been looking for a good 27' 120+ hz solution.

But seriously, I hate nvidia after directly dealing with them for 2/3 months recently. They are the EA of the hardware industry as far as I'm concerned.

If you're rich enough to buy their g-sync crap you're probably rich enough to not need technology to make low-frames feel smoother...

If this monitor was also 4K I'd fall over laughing on the ground.

A 144hz 27' 21:9 2560 X 1080 monitor running at 2K down-sampled And 2/4x AA is where I want to be. That's fucking elite, that's PC hardcore. Maybe more than 2K down at that res, but with all my testing that seemed to be the sweet spot to clear up pixels and make the textures pop, beyond that I only observe performance hits. And you don't have to suffer the visual bugs that windows/misc games suffer running at 4k. Still large enough to not ruin a lot of interfaces and doesn't destroy text so much.

So yea. My worthless opinion!
Eat it. <3

And Happy New Years PC Per!

December 31, 2014 | 02:23 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Aoc also has a 24" 144hz 1080p gsync monitor and it is also overpriced. At least it has green trim on the panel to match nvidia hardware.

January 1, 2015 | 11:14 PM - Posted by Qrash

Last page, end of the 5th paragraph: "... and with the stutter you might see with V-Sync enabled." I think "with" should be "without".

January 16, 2015 | 03:06 PM - Posted by werezwolf (not verified)

I see on amazon they have a Philips 272G5DYEB that is also 27-in @1080p 144hz + G-sync. Same price too ($599)

http://www.amazon.com/Philips-272G5DYEB-27-Inch-Ultimate-Performance/dp/...

Wonder if they are both using the same panel inside??

March 19, 2015 | 10:22 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Looking forward to trying g-sync. Just picked up a refurb XB270H from ebay for $350. My only concern is if the pixel density of 1920x1080 on a 27" will be be good enough. If it's not, I may re-sell and go 24" instead.

I'll be pairing it with a moderately priced box I just built a few days ago (Xeon 1225 v3, 12GB RAM, and a GTX 750 TI for $550) that is replacing an old shuttle gaming rig that I haven't touched in over a year (E8400, 4GB, Radeon HD 4850).

Acer is also selling a refurb XB280HK 28" with g-sync that does 2560x1440 for $500 that is a good option for folks who want to future proof or expect a 4k gaming capable rig down the road but want a gsync monitor now. I almost pulled the trigger on this one instead so I can have 2560x1440 for desktop work and run it at a lower resolution for gaming.

June 19, 2015 | 05:46 PM - Posted by Jeremy (not verified)

How do you like this monitor so far? I am thinking about getting the refurb for $350 but I'm concerned about the pixel density as well. Not sure if I should go for the 24" version which is only $30 cheaper.

October 25, 2015 | 07:57 PM - Posted by Arjun Ingar (not verified)

I am going to buy this monitor. Please let me know, if this is a good idea or not?

Acer XB240H 24inch LED Backlit LCD 144hz, 1080p, PType-TN, 3D, RTime-1ms, Monitor (Gaming) + G-sync (Only G-sync monitor at this price!)

If you guys have any other option please let me know but I only need G-sync guy and thanks

November 4, 2016 | 05:26 AM - Posted by Nikolasi (not verified)

Do you have ICC profile for Acer XB270H?

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