The Acer XV273K puts on paper what all gamers crave: a gaming monitor that delivers a high-resolution 4K image, true-color, bright and super-fast 144 Hz with a 1 ms response time. Such an IPS panel is an absolute novelty on the market. The whole thing doesn’t cost 2000 €, but is available with FreeSync for a comparatively cheap 770 € (currently: € 602.32 *). So where is the catch? Or in other words: Isn’t this too good to be true?
|screen size||27″ (68.6 cm)|
|resolution||3840 x 2160 (4K)|
|reaction time||7.5 ms GTG (1 ms VRB)|
|Synchronization||AMD FreeSync with 120 Hz
without max. 144 Hz
|contrast||1,000 : 1|
|brightness||350 cd/m² (400 in HDR)|
|angle of vision||178° / 178°|
|weight||6.6 kg (with stand)|
height: 10 cm
|color depth||10 bits|
|Energy efficiency||Class C|
|Loudspeaker||2 x 4 W|
|price||€ 602.32 *|
… the monitor’s pretty fast. It can be taken out of the box and put on the table immediately. It comes in one piece, except for the “shading cover” (as Acer calls it). Put the display port cable in, remove the plastic and you’re ready to go.
An amazingly light 27 incher is enthroned on the table, which still looks relatively narrow for its panel size with its 15 mm edges. Pushed from all sides, it shows that the frame is well made and stable. But on the table, the protruding feet also take up a corresponding amount of space.
The design is kept in dark black and rounded off in a modern way. The discreet RGB lighting underneath the monitor also contributes to the Acer XV273K making a very good visual impression. The monitor doesn’t immediately catch your eye. Acer wants to serve different segments with the design and features. You don’t go into big experiments, which I personally like quite well.
In terms of tiltability, the essential functions are covered. With the stand, you can adjust the monitor by 10 cm in height, tilt it by 30° and swivel it by 40°. But the display cannot be tilted. You could expect that from a monitor in this price range.
There are no surprises when it comes to the connection options: 2 x HDMI, 2 x DisplayPort, 5 x USB 3.0. DVI and VGA connections have been outdated for quite some time. The additional USB ports are “nice to have” with 3.0 transfer performance and are easily accessible from the edge. The remaining ports disappear behind a cover, whose snap-in mechanism looks a bit cheap, but visually completes the nice back and serves its purpose.
The IPS panel’s high image level can be seen quickly – top at first glance! There is hardly anything to complain about here. The above-average 350 nits brightness is sufficient for an even and saturated brightness. The colors of the IPS-panel are strong, the black contrasts convincingly and naturally with the colors. The viewing angle stability is correspondingly good for the panel type. You also get your money’s worth from the side as a viewer or Netflix partner.
The image is true color and the relatively low contrast is better than initially expected. The user has various setting options available in the menu to adjust it according to individual preferences. Beside the usual monitor settings, one can also adjust the blue filtering and the color space. But you don’t need to fiddle around with it. Acer calibrates the monitors at the factory and the other parameters are also correct.
There is a little blur or clouding at the edges. The backlight is negatively noticeable here in a black image. Moreover, by having a close look, one sees a slight image graininess. As always, there is still some air to the top. But within the price segment we are already on a high level. Apart from these small details, there’s only really something to complain about in gaming.
4K has not yet established itself everywhere in the gaming sector. The test object tries to make the resolution palatable to gamers with the advertised speed. For this segment, however, it is still true that UHD resolution and 144 Hz must also be “fired” with the computer. This Acer Nitro Monitor is therefore only worthwhile for you if your computer is equipped with the current top graphics cards. Because the game titles, which are also worth a nice 4K picture, need a corresponding amount of computing power. In some current games, 60 FPS with top graphics cards is already the upper limit for UHD.
A resolution of 3840 x 2160 looks cool, but generally has the disadvantage that it is not yet provided by all applications (in Windows). It is true, downscaled content (e.g. because you want to have more FPS) is not nice. A lot has changed in the last few years, but even on the desktop you get torn out of the 4K feeling by one or the other application.
A must for gaming: FreeSync – check. The G-Sync support also works right away.
The keyboard can’t be placed under the monitor at an angle because of the stand. You shouldn’t sit so close to the monitor anyway, but the suitability for FPS-games is reduced a bit by this.
Gaming – refresh rate
The first astonishment is the test when the monitor does not output 144 Hz. It turns out that two display port cables must be connected for this. This also applies to the 10 bit color depth. This is often found as a criticism on the internet, but Acer has found a good solution to deal with the DisplayPort limitation. I would only have been pleased about a corresponding note in the Quickstart Guide. However, the refresh rate can then be increased to 144 Hz via the overclock mode. But now FreeSync and HDR can no longer be used. You may feel a bit tricked out here, but more about that later…
Our recommendation is to run the monitor at 120 Hz with only one cable. The small difference is hardly noticeable in reality and the other functions are more important. I would prefer the FreeSync synchronisation to the small difference in frame rate. The input lag is about 3 ms, which is a good value.
Gaming – HDR
The VESA-standard High Dynamic Range (HDR) promises a natural image by mapping a more realistic brightness range. The XV273K is represented by the currently weakest HDR standard. For an optimal experience, the illumination of this panel would have to increase technically. Other models that can drive up with local dimming are even more convincing, but this is also noticeable in the price. For the PC, there is unfortunately also a lack of games that support the colour standard.
All in all, the Nitro XV3 monitor’s superb picture quality proves to be the most powerful feature in gaming. With good graphics performance, the monitor is a lot of fun. Currently, there could be more titles optimized for 4K, but these are definitely worth seeing with the XV273K. The color fidelity and power of the IPS panel are convincing. You can easily distinguish objects and get lost in the details.
… is with the Acer XV273K that it can’t deliver what it promises for gaming.
In my opinion, the biggest point of criticism is not the device itself. Rather, I am disturbed by the fact that the data sheet deliberately guides consumers, who are not so familiar with the device, behind the light. After all, the first access to a monitor is always via the data and facts. A reaction time of 1 ms, a 4K resolution at 144 Hz with FreeSync, too good to be true? To come back to the question of the article: Yes, unfortunately, it is. For example, Acer gives the reaction time with a self-invented value: “VRB”. Behind this term is the “Visual Response Boost” technology, which quickly turns the backlight off and on again. If this method is activated, FreeSync will not work anymore and the display will become noticeably darker, especially on “extreme”. With such a dark picture, you wouldn’t want to play voluntarily, especially if you loved the otherwise beautiful picture of the nitro monitor. In the tests, 1 ms VRB corresponds to an actual grey-to-grey reaction time of about 7.5 ms.
Of course, other manufacturers have long since been tricking with the specifications for reaction times, such as VA-Panel with “MPRT”, and in addition, panel development is currently constantly reaching its limits. It’s welcome that Acer is working on technologies that give monitors even more performance. I would just be happy to receive honest information from sales. The Acer XV273K is a good product in its own right and definitely deserves its place in the market. There’s really nothing to hide here.
Oh yes, and not offering FreeSync 2 in 2019 for a monitor in this price range also proves to be a major drawback, as described above.
The menu hides a large feature set. But the navigation is bumpy, as one is unfortunately used to on monitors for too long. You navigate through the Acer XV273K’s menu with a red, hard clicking mini cursor, which is attached to the right rear. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always click the way I want. Additionally, there are two buttons next to the off switch that can be felt relatively well.
The menu items are well structured and two buttons can be freely configured as quick keys. Gaming profiles are available to the user as presets.
There are still a few possibilities for improvement in the menu navigation here and there. The cursor looks very cheap and user unfriendly. It would also be useful to briefly explain some terms when hovering. It can be assumed that not every user knows what is behind every technical abbreviation. The manual explains them quite clearly, however, you can do something with the information here despite translation errors.
A remedy for the bad factory menu should be the Acer Display Widget.
A monitor has to score points especially in its core business. We also found the following other noteworthy features in the Acer XV273K.
First, there are the 2 x 4 watt boxes, which are unexpectedly good for a monitor. Here, one has made an effort and is clearly better than the poisoned sound mush that many a monitor spits out.
There are also plus points for the headset holder on the back of the monitor. The energy consumption is “okay” according to the performance and doesn’t bring it to a plus point with its 80 kWh (class C).
The LED lighting should also not be forgotten. This enhances the monitor, but it can only be used as ambient light. There are hardly any adjustment options for the lighting. You can choose between 5 colours in the monitor menu or switch off the lighting. Compared to much more sophisticated software on other devices, this still seems a bit mauve. Despite the individualization gaps, the monitor illumination is nice and discreet and worth a plus point.
The scope of delivery also includes a privacy screen and a plate for wall mounting, which make a valuable impression and add value to the product. You rarely see a “shading hood” in gaming monitors, but here it makes sense with the higher image quality.
A quick word about the paperwork: Overall, the Quickstart is too useless for me in contrast to the documentation, no essential contents are described. For inexperienced users it is difficult to box one’s way through the menu of the monitor or the windows adjustments. The support from Acer on the other hand has already built up a good reputation in Germany.
In our test the monitor turns out to be an all-rounder. Proud techspecs are left even with fibs in the data sheet, which Acer prices relatively fairly with a view to the market. Although the monitor is well positioned in many areas, there are a few cutbacks here and there in the individual application areas. A fast gaming monitor or a 4K display for video editing and co. could be a better choice in isolation for their respective areas. But it’s certainly “the mix” that does the trick in the Acer Nitro XV3. In the end, as always, it depends on what you want to do with the monitor, which games you play how much and which components you put more emphasis on.
The Acer XV273K can do a bit of everything, but you have to make compromises, especially when it comes to gaming. If the gaming-office ratio is very much in favour of gaming, we advise against buying it. Even at Acer, better alternatives can be found among the sister models. However, it may be worth a look for those who consider image quality to be more important and only occasionally gamble or corresponding titles on which the weak points have no effect.
Acer Nitro XV3 (Nitro XV273KPbmiipphzx) 69 cm (27 Zoll) IPS ZeroFrame Monitor Matt (HDMI, DP, USB Hub 3.0, 1ms (VRB), UHD 3.840x2.160 Pixel, 144hz (OC), NVIDIA G-Sync Kompatibel) price comparison
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