Acer Predator XB271HU review

By John Adebimitan

The Acer Predator XB271HU bmiprz is a top-of-the-line gaming monitor, skillfully blending a 144Hz refresh rate (which can be overclocked to 165Hz) and a 1440p IPS panel with NVIDIA G-SYNC technology, delivering the ultimate gaming experience.

Furthermore, this exceptional monitor boasts a wide array of connectivity, ergonomic choices, and abundant gaming features, such as NVIDIA’s ULMB motion blur reduction technology. This Acer Predator XB271HU review has everything you need to know to make an informed purchase decision.

Acer Predator XB271HU review

Acer tends to make things a bit perplexing by giving such similar model numbers to their IPS panels. When my monitor arrived, it came in a well-packed box and was in pristine condition.

I didn’t find any dead pixels or light bleed issues.

Acer Predator XB271HU review

Since I’ve never used an IPS monitor before, I’m unsure how different they typically appear.

I upgraded from a 7-year-old Acer V223W 22″ monitor with a resolution of 1680×1050, and the difference is striking. To my eyes, the colors look pretty great.

Design and Features

Upon first glance, the Acer Predator XB271HU is virtually identical to its sibling, the Acer XB271HK. Both models boast a sleek, bezel-free design with a matte black finish, complemented by a striking black and red V-shaped stand.

This stand offers great flexibility, allowing for 5.9 inches of height adjustment, 40 degrees of tilt, and 30 degrees of swivel.

Acer Predator XB271HU review

Additionally, the monitor can be pivoted 90 degrees for portrait-mode viewing and easily removed from the stand with the quick-release button for wall mounting using the four VESA mounting holes and an optional kit.

Read also: Best Monitors with Adjustable Height

The key distinction between the two models lies in the resolution of their 27-inch In-Plane Switching (IPS) panels. The XB271HU features a WQHD (2,560-by-1,440) resolution, while the Acer XB271HK offers a 4K Ultra High-Definition (3,840-by-2,160) resolution.

Both panels provide a 4-millisecond pixel response and a matte, anti-glare coating, as well as incorporating Nvidia’s G-Sync technology to eliminate screen tearing and ensure incredibly smooth gameplay.

Regarding connectivity, like other Predator monitors, the XB271HU’s video input options are somewhat limited, offering only one DisplayPort and one HDMI port. These are located at the back of the monitor, along with an upstream USB 3.0 port, two downstream USB 3.0 ports, and a headphone jack.

Acer Predator XB271HU review

For added convenience, two more USB 3.0 ports are situated on the left side of the cabinet, making it a breeze to connect thumb drives and other devices.

As for audio, the 2-watt speakers included in the XB271HU are the same as those found in the Acer XB271HK. While they can produce a moderately loud sound, it tends to be somewhat tinny in quality.

Performance:

The gamma performance of the monitor was slightly off the ideal target of 2.2, measuring between 2.0 and 2.1. However, this did not result in any noticeable washout in images while playing games, browsing photos, or navigating through Windows.

Black and white levels were commendable, although not flawless; after minor adjustments to brightness and contrast, all but two boxes were discernible on both the black and white saturation tests. The monitor excelled in the gradient test, displaying no banding whatsoever.

Acer Predator XB271HU review

Regarding the response time test, the display performed exceptionally well, achieving a perfect score of 0 on all rows except the first two, where a barely perceptible flicker resulted in a score of -10.

What can we infer from these Lagom test outcomes? The monitor’s black-and-white levels are robust, but there might be some loss of detail in extremely dark scenes and bright areas.

However, banding—where color and brightness variations exhibit lines and bands instead of smooth transitions—won’t be an issue. Most importantly, the monitor ensures minimal to no motion blur for gamers who thrive on quick reflexes.

When I tested the viewing-angle performance of this monitor, it lived up to the expectations of a solid IPS panel; I didn’t notice any color shifting or loss of brightness, even when I checked it out from extreme angles.

What’s impressive is the energy efficiency of the XB271HU. In my tests, it only used 31 watts of power while running in Standard mode and managed to consume just 24 watts in ECO mode. That’s pretty neat!

Gaming Experience:

True to its promise, the gaming experience on this monitor was incredibly smooth, thanks to its native resolution of 2560×1440 and default refresh rate of 144Hz.

Fast-paced scenes in games like Battlefield and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive appeared seamless and stutter-free, even during intense, rapid camera movements to target opponents.

NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology effectively worked its magic, preventing any screen tearing.

YouTube video

Featuring an IPS panel, the display has a 4ms response time, which is somewhat slower than the 1ms offered by TN panels. While a slower response time may increase the chances of ghosting, none was observed in this case.

One of the key advantages of an IPS panel is its wider viewing angles, which are especially crucial for larger displays like this one, where the screen edges may be viewed slightly off-center. The entire display, from edge to edge, looked absolutely stunning when seated in front of it, whether it was during gameplay or while watching full-screen videos.

Acer Predator XB271HU Calibration

I want to clarify that I’m not a professional in calibrating monitors, but I thought I’d share my current preferred settings since I couldn’t find much guidance online. I calibrated my monitor using the ColorMunki Smile and DisplayCAL software.

(Edited) OSD Settings: Picture – Brightness: 65, Contrast: 50, Blue Light: Off, Dark Boost: Off. Color – Gamma: 2.2, Color Temp: User (R 96, G 90, B 100), sRGB Mode: Off, Saturation: 100, 6-axis color: default.

(Edited) ICM Profile: You can find the ICM profile I used at this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Osz7XoPkwtnEP0nQVnhD54FfOpxw-PmK/view?usp=sharing

My personal verdict

Gaming at 165Hz is truly amazing. I’ve got G-Sync enabled, V-Sync disabled, and the framerate capped at 165 using MSI Afterburner. Playing DOOM with a steady 150-165 fps is a breeze, and the monitor doesn’t skip a beat.

I’m quite pleased with the stand’s stability, and the red accents suit my black/red-themed computer setup. The Predator logo doesn’t bother me, contrary to some other reviews. The monitor easily adjusts up and down, rotates, and tilts, making the oversized base a non-issue since I don’t need a riser.

Navigating the menu takes a bit of getting used to, similar to my previous Acer monitor. While it offers a plethora of fine-tuning options, it can be a bit confusing until you’ve spent some time familiarizing yourself with the arrow keys.

The 1440p resolution looks stunning, though I worried it would make everything appear smaller. As it turns out, I was right—I had to adjust Windows display properties to 150% scaling for comfortable viewing.

But it works well without distortion, and games are still running at the monitor’s native resolution. I considered a 32″ monitor, but they lack the features found in 27″ models. Perhaps in a year or two, we’ll see a 32″ version of this monitor. While the 34″ widescreen curved monitors are intriguing, their price tag and unusual aspect ratio—being so short and wide—make them a bit less appealing.

I encountered a significant issue initially when setting up the monitor. After connecting the display port cable and power cord, I only got a “no signal” message. I reached out to Acer’s supposed premium tech support, as advertised on the fancy card in the box, but they were unhelpful and claimed my monitor was defective.

It turned out the default input was set to HDMI, and all I had to do was switch to the display port in the menu, and it worked. Given the monitor’s price range, it should automatically detect the connection and adjust accordingly. Acer tech support definitely earns zero stars in my book!

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