Review Index:
Feedback

Acer XB270HU 27-in 1440P 144Hz IPS G-Sync Monitor Review

Subject: Displays
Manufacturer: Acer

Introduction and Specifications

Displays have been a hot item as of late here at PC Perspective. Today we are looking at the new Acer XB270HU. In short, this is an IPS version of the ASUS ROG Swift. For the long version, it is a 1440P, 144Hz, G-Sync enabled 27 inch display. This is the first G-Sync display released with an IPS panel, which is what makes this release such a big deal. Acer has been pushing hard on the display front, with recent releases of the following variable refresh capable displays:

  • XB270H 27in 1080P 144Hz G-Sync
  • XB280HK 28in 4K 60Hz G-SYnc
  • XG270HU 27in 1440P 40-144Hz FreeSync
  • XB270HU 27in 1440P 144Hz G-Sync < you are here

The last entry in that list is the subject of todays review, and it should look familiar to those who have been tracking Acer's previous G-Sync display releases:

View Full Size

Here's our video overview of this new display. I encourage you to flip through the review as there are more comparison pictures and information to go along.

Continue reading our review of the Acer XB270HU 1440P 144Hz IPS G-Sync Monitor!!

Specifications

Technical Information
Screen Size 27"
Screen Mode WQHD
Response Time 4 ms
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Backlight Technology LED
Panel Technology In-Plane Switching (IPS) Technology
Tilt Angle -5° to 35°
Video
Maximum Resolution 2560 x 1440
Maximum Refresh Rate 144 Hz
Color Supported 16.7 Million Colors
Contrast Ratio 1,000:1
Brightness 350 Nit
Physical Characteristics
Color Black
Height 15"
Width 25.2"
Depth 2.4"
Height with Stand 21.97"
Width with Stand 25.20"
Depth with Stand 9.72"
Miscellaneous
Package Contents
  • XB270HU Widescreen LCD Monitor
  • 1 x DisplayPort Cable
  • Power Cord
Green Compliance Certificate/Authority EPEAT Gold
TCO Certified Displays 6.0

One aberration we noted in the specs was a lack of included USB 3.0 cable. Many competing displays (even Acer's previous G-Sync panels) incldued this cable, so beware of that point when purchasing.

G-Sync

Ryan did a deep dive on G-Sync in his original ASUS PG278Q Review. Those unaware of what G-Sync is or would like to be educated further should read that linked review. Here's an excerpt:

The idea of G-Sync is pretty easy to understand, though the implementation method can get a bit more hairy. G-Sync introduces a variable refresh rate to a monitor, allowing the display to refresh at wide range of rates rather than at fixed intervals. More importantly, rather than the monitor dictating what rate this refresh occurs at to the PC, the graphics now tells the monitor when to refresh in a properly configured G-Sync setup. This allows a monitor to match the refresh rate of the screen to the draw rate of the game being played (frames per second) and that simple change drastically improves the gaming experience for several reasons.

View Full Size

If you would like some more reading on G-Sync technology, here are a few prior articles on the matter (in chronological order):

Acer rates the panel at a 350 nit maximum brightness, a 4ms GTG response time and a 1000:1 contrast ratio that lines up with our testing. We will not be going as in-depth as the excellent TFTCentral review of this same display, but we will be pointing out some issues not covered in their review. This monitor stand and shell is physically identical to the XB270H 27-in 1080P 144Hz G-Sync panel, and also appears very similar to the XB280HK 28-in 4K G-Sync panel (minus an inch off of its diagonal).

Video News


May 15, 2015 | 11:21 AM - Posted by aaguilar

I got mine this week, and it has been amazing, luckily it doesn't comes with dead pixels. It does come with a little bit of light bleed on the right bottom corner, but it's not noticeable while playing. It also has IPS glow in the left side.

The monitor is amazing, if you get one without problems you are going to love it.

May 15, 2015 | 12:21 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

There seems to be a lot of quality control issues reported in the Amazon reviews, such as bad pixels, or backlight bleed. That is the only thing holding me back on this monitor, other than the price.

May 15, 2015 | 01:06 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

From what I've gathered, the first shipment had some QC issues / shipping damage. Acer was exchanging them but ran out of stock. I'd imagine things are sorted out by now, but I would suggest ordering direct from Acer (same price as Amazon currently) so you can be assured you are getting fresh stock.

December 3, 2015 | 08:46 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I know this is months later but absolutely don't do that. Acer has a reputation recently for impossible customer service while Amazon has the best in the business.

May 15, 2015 | 12:25 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

So 144Hz IPS GSync IS possible.. .hey ASUS...care too comment..?

May 15, 2015 | 01:03 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Agreed. Had an IPS version of the Swift launched first, I would have been all over it. Acer beat them to it.

May 15, 2015 | 12:41 PM - Posted by Mandrake

Hah. This article is all the proof we needed. Paid Nvidia shills!!1

May 15, 2015 | 02:48 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

No doubt.

G-Sync panel issues = Blame TCon and Panel

FreeSync panel issues = Blame AMD at all cost

Still don't get how they call this a review when its all EYEBALLING. No real testing.

May 15, 2015 | 03:08 PM - Posted by arbiter

Freesync issues are FREESYNC ISSUES. Don't blame Nvidia for spending the time to do the Job RIGHT where as AMD half assed the job to get a panel out to compete with no real effort to make it work as well. G-sync using same panel as freesync have less issues cause like I said Nvidia put THE TIME AND EFFORT in to making it work right. When you push crap via standards with almost no documentation to for making it all work properly, On top of it all you got AMD on your ass pushing you to get damn things out ASAP Welcome to end result. The Scaler chips that were needed, YES NEW HARDWARE that AMD claimed wouldn't been needed were only out 2 months before the monitors were out so they had really No time to properly test them.

Tip for the day, Don't buy first gen freesync monitors, wait for 2nd and 3rd gen's.

May 15, 2015 | 03:42 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Another contradicting Nvidiot.

How can it be a freesync issue if your saying the scalers weren't properly tested. Now we are to believe AMD has the pull to rush a company like Asus who produce these monitors that they are willing to bypass quality control.

You related to Chizow ?

May 15, 2015 | 06:39 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Freesync is poorly engineered garbage, once put to the test, it fails miserably as pointed out by many websites.

Stop trying to troll on websites that report the bitter truth.

May 19, 2015 | 06:33 AM - Posted by Eric Lin (not verified)

Did you REALLY just call somebody an "Nvidiot"?
People take hardware WAY too seriously. Focus that blind rage on sex traffickers or something.

May 16, 2015 | 02:52 AM - Posted by Mandrake

Wrong. PCPer are absolutely proven paid AMD shills! :D

May 16, 2015 | 02:57 AM - Posted by Mandrake

You are a paid Nvidia shill. Everyone knows that G-sync NEVER EXISTED! FREESYNC IS FREE AND ETERNAL!

May 16, 2015 | 02:59 AM - Posted by Mandrake

.

May 16, 2015 | 12:46 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

EYEBALLING - you mean the way people actually use a display - with their eyeballs? Perhaps you're right, next time we'll just have Josh judge how well hot dogs bounce off of it :).

The TCON issues I pointed out were common to both G-Sync *and* FreeSync panels. The other issues we've pointed out in the past (overdrive not functioning in VRR, behavior at low refresh rates, etc) were specific to FreeSync *only*. Calling it like we see it hurts AMD at present because their tech (as implemented currently) is currently (and obviously) falling behind. We, as enthusiasts, naturally want to see them catch up just as much as the AMD fans, but for now it is what it is.

May 16, 2015 | 03:39 PM - Posted by JIHADJOE (not verified)

lol that reminds me of those old JeffK reviews.

May 16, 2015 | 06:07 PM - Posted by Someguy (not verified)

People do "use" monitors with their eyes but that doesn't mean it's a reliable way to test them. I might listen to audio with my ears but I'd trust the testing of a DAC to scientific equipment that is orders of magnitude more sensitive than my ears and not subject to the same cognitive biases I am.

Not to say there is no place for subjective analysis but I'd prefer more.

May 15, 2015 | 12:47 PM - Posted by Mountainlifter

Came here after reading your post on overclock.net directing me here, Allyn. Fantastic work in highlighting that alternate banding lines clearly. I sold the swift to someone who didn't mind the issues. As for me, I had a terrible time playing bf4 on the swift as all the orange spot triangles would shimmer and phase in and out with the banding making it tough to target bad guys. I called it quits after that.

May 15, 2015 | 01:11 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

I never noticed it during gameplay as I was not playing games that highlighted the effect, but I did notice it on the desktop as I usually use a black background and the white mouse cursor was going 'plaid' when moving across the screen. Either way, glad to report the issue is not present in the XB270HU.

May 15, 2015 | 10:52 PM - Posted by Mountainlifter

It was noticeable in brightly colored games like Assassin's creed IV and Far Cry 3. And in games with lots of bright hud elements. Thanks for confirmation. I'll be getting the Acer XB270HU soon. However, the dream scenario would be ASUS taking up the same panel and refreshing the swift. The ID of the asus is definitely far superior from what I see in your review.

May 15, 2015 | 02:23 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Looks like Acer (or Amazon) is being aggressive - the price has already dropped to $770 with free shipping.

May 15, 2015 | 02:38 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Last night it was $738.

May 15, 2015 | 04:02 PM - Posted by Matte sucks (not verified)

free shipping is if you join prime

May 15, 2015 | 02:42 PM - Posted by Edmond (not verified)

I share your obsession of monitors, Allyn.

And i`m patiently waiting for the 21:9 version of this. Then its pure Nirvana.

May 16, 2015 | 12:40 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

21:9 of this may not happen, at least not at 1440P and 144Hz. Here's why: Cinema 4K60 (4096x2160) is the same *exact* maximum bitrate as 2560x1440 @ 144Hz. I believe that's why they settled at 144Hz for this resolution. This also means that anything wider would have to compromise either in vertical resolution or refresh rate. The alternative is higher bitrates, but I think we'll be stuck at this one for at least a little while.

May 15, 2015 | 03:08 PM - Posted by DaKrawnik

This IPS Acer and the Swift have terrible newegg reviews, so i'm going to stick with my original option and go with the 1080p 24" BenQ which got absolutely stellar reviews on newegg. I'm only running a single GTX 970 so 1080 is probably better for me anyhow.

Still a great review Allyn. You and Ryan are my favs.

May 15, 2015 | 04:00 PM - Posted by Matte sucks (not verified)

would be 100% better if it was glossy

May 15, 2015 | 04:34 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Its a AHVA panel not IPS

http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/acer_xb270hu.htm

Panel Technology
AU Optronics AHVA

May 15, 2015 | 04:47 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It should be in between TN and IPS\PLS much like AMVA

Has better RT then IPS & PLS, better angles then TN but not as good color as a IPS or PLS screens.

They don't want to market it as a AHVA screen because that sounds inferior to IPS or PLS and the regular folk and reviewers wouldnt know the differance as we have come to learn from here.

May 16, 2015 | 11:26 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

AHVA is IPS.

May 16, 2015 | 12:50 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

The word IPS appears in the TFTCentral review 84 times. I'd say it is safe to refer to it as IPS, even if it is really just IPS-type.

May 19, 2015 | 07:48 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

IPS has become a genericised brand, referring to all panels that use in-plane switching (e.g. PLS, AHVA).

May 15, 2015 | 05:22 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I have one and its nice, except there is color uniformity issues with this display. I am on my second one and both had the issue. Whites, grays and light colors are uneven across the display with dark areas and light areas.

I think the best way to describe this display is to say, "It has potential".

May 15, 2015 | 06:15 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

1000:1 contrast ratio is unacceptable in such an expensive display. Even my 15 year old CRT puts that to shame. VRR is interesting but it will remain irrelevant as long as the underlying panel technology is rubbish.

May 15, 2015 | 06:59 PM - Posted by Dr_Orgo

It seems like Acer really nailed it with this display. I'm looking forward to this quality of display coming down in price as more manufacturers reach feature parity with it. I'm not holding my breath on prices dropping significantly in the next year though.

I have a 1080p 144 Hz TN G-Sync panel from AOC for my desktop and my laptop has a 1080p 14" AHVA panel. The TN panel doesn't look bad. The AHVA panel in the laptop does have that extra "pop" to the colors and contrast. Being able to get both in the same display sounds excellent.

Factory color calibration would be an excellent addition to these high end variable refresh rate gaming monitors. I use a Spyder Express colorimeter with my AOC monitor. The calibrated colors look much much better. Once you've used a calibrated display, going back is kinda painful. The problem is G-Sync requires full screen and full screen removes the calibrated color profile. I think the games that really showcase G-Sync are slower paced single player games like Dragon Age: Inquisition because you have more time to pan around enjoying the environments. Screen tearing is really obvious in slow pans. Having properly calibrated colors would be awesome with the beautiful environments of DA:I. Do you think there's any chance we'll see factory color calibration as an option on any of these high end displays in the future?

May 16, 2015 | 12:57 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

The TFTCentral recommended settings and profile worked great for this panel. We have color calibration hardware at the office but that seemed to get it at least really close.

May 16, 2015 | 05:58 PM - Posted by Dr_Orgo

That's a good idea. I guess I've been skeptical of using the manually settings to adjust monitors since the panel to panel variance can be an issue (theoretically). Copying TFTCentral's recommended settings and profile probably is the obvious choice though. Then even if you use a colorimeter the difference between in game and out wont be as large.

May 16, 2015 | 11:25 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It wouldn't make a difference for games. You can calibrate the monitor all you want once you launch a game it will ignore it.

The game engine and graphics driver would have to recognize your windows profile in order for it to work and that's not happening.

May 15, 2015 | 10:32 PM - Posted by Bakath

Does it have the splash screen when you turn it on? I can't stand that :)

May 16, 2015 | 12:53 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

It does, for 5 seconds, but only after you had it turned off by pressing the power button. If it comes out of standby it goes straight to the desktop. I had to specifically turn this one off just to see if there was a splash screen, because I had not noticed it before.

May 21, 2015 | 08:47 PM - Posted by Bakath

Thanks Allyn

May 15, 2015 | 10:38 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I might be blind but I didn't notice any info about minimum refresh rate.

May 16, 2015 | 02:54 AM - Posted by Mandrake

G-Sync doesn't have a minimum refresh rate for VRR.

May 16, 2015 | 06:30 AM - Posted by remon (not verified)

Of course it does. Every LCD monitor has a minimum refresh rate.

May 16, 2015 | 12:56 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

There is effectively no minimum with G-Sync tech. Required reading.

May 16, 2015 | 02:41 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

awesome review. thanks

May 16, 2015 | 08:38 AM - Posted by Michael McAllister

Are your thoughts on the image quality based upon the default settings, or did you calibrate it first/choose a different preset?

May 16, 2015 | 12:55 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

I found TFTCentral's recommended settings and ICC profile to be reasonably accurate - to the point where I felt it did not need further calibration.

May 16, 2015 | 11:28 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Games doesn't recognize ICC profiles and will ignore it once you run a game.

May 16, 2015 | 11:25 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

dfdfffdfg

May 17, 2015 | 03:27 PM - Posted by Malichite

Just a heads up, but recent batches still have quality control issues. I recently was sent one from Amazon that was shipped 3-days ago and immediately on power-on you can see a group of 50-60 pixels (about size of eraser head) that are stuck partially on in a white to light-green color near the middle of the screen. It is very apparent on black background, but still visible as off-shade/incorrect colored area when displaying normal images. Combine this with another 5-10 actually dead pixels scattered around the reset of the monitor. I am going to get a replacement (eta 3-5 weeks), but don't think I will bother again if I see such poor QC on the next one.

I actually left a 1-star review on Amazon with an image of defective area, but Amazon rejected my review for some reason.

My Amazon Review: Very poor Quality Control from Acer. Four distinct areas of 2+ dead pixel groupings, plus a large group of ~40-60 pixel in the center that are partially stuck on at all times (visible from power-on). [IMG]http://i59.tinypic.com/rjgq46.jpg[/IMG]

It is hard to claim this is a rare event if you just look at the reviews on Newegg.com or Amazon.com. Even some of the 4-star review note dead pixels or back light issues. Guess some people are less picky on their $800 investments, but I put this through the same paces I did with any of my other sub $700 24-27" IPS displays.

May 19, 2015 | 06:35 AM - Posted by Eric Lin (not verified)

How does the color compare to that of say, a glossy Korean 27 inch 1440p display?

May 22, 2015 | 01:59 PM - Posted by Zoeff (not verified)

"One aberration we noted in the specs was a lack of included USB 3.0 cable."

Not sure if Acer changed their mind or whatever, but mine had one included. Was a pleasant surprise after reading this review. :-)

May 27, 2015 | 03:51 PM - Posted by Martin (not verified)

The lower right corner bleed is massive and really annoying. It is also considered as "work as design" by Acer. This screen was the last piece of hardware I will buy from that company.

July 8, 2015 | 02:56 PM - Posted by Bob (not verified)

My monitor has no dead pixels but there is one annoying thing. Sometimes the right half of the screen will have vertical lines and nothing will stop it. Someone please help and tell me the problem with my monitor. My friend says its the Graphics Cards problem and I need to fix it. email me at BobLu323@gmail.com and tell me the problem please thank you

August 16, 2015 | 01:16 PM - Posted by Sohei (not verified)

Are you aware of any competing displays coming out from other brands with the same features and the same or similar panel? I like the feature set but I lack confidence in Acer to provide a unit with good build quality and without any defects.

October 23, 2015 | 09:37 PM - Posted by Astrix (not verified)

I haven't seen this on my Benq XL2730Z, though my old PG278Q Swift did have this issue and finally broke from it I believe.
Asus couldn't fix and and had no replacements so they refunded me, I t lasted 7 months.

November 19, 2015 | 05:07 AM - Posted by Florin (not verified)

It most definitely also occurs on the XL2730z, I've just returned a display bought on Nov 4th.

They all use the same 1440p pane, so it is expected they all exhibit the same problems.

December 27, 2015 | 12:39 AM - Posted by Obes (not verified)

I love this monitor. I have October model, So been playing games with 165gz refresh rate. This is awesome monitor. Sure it had bit bleeding light on 3 of 4 corners, this has not affected my gaming and is only noticeable when very dark screen. It expected to have little bleeding. Yet to see IPS monitor that dint have it. Key factor is 0 dead Pixels and amazing colours. Best monitor on market by long shot :)

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <blockquote><p><br>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.