The Acer XB273UNV is by many measures a middle-of-the-road 27in 2,560 x 1,440, IPS gaming display with a price to match. However, it has a few features that put it ahead of the pack. The most obvious is its 170Hz refresh rate (5Hz higher than typical 165Hz competitors!), but such a small increase is imperceptible in real-world gaming.
Next up on is a high colour gamut, covering 94 per cent of the DCI-P3 colour space (according to our tests), which is equivalent to 90 per cent of the Adobe RGB and 131 per cent of the sRGB colour spaces – that’s useful for professional image and video editing and HDR.
We generally find that wide-gamut displays lack the high contrast that HDR also demands. However, we found the Acer’s HDR reproduction quite compelling. The step up in colour saturation and variation provided by the dynamic backlight control (where brightness is changed from frame to frame to create the perception of better overall contrast), made for a more dazzling experience than with the display’s SDR modes.
However, this is largely because the display tops out at a maximum brightness of just 219cd/m² in our tests in SDR mode. It’s only in HDR mode that it went up to 364cd/m² in our tests. The former result is only adequate for relatively dimly lit rooms (we calibrate our displays for use at 150 cd/m²) and is on the low side for use in a bright office. In both HDR and SDR the contrast ratio tops out at between 916:1 and 1,033:1 depending on the exact mode.
The Acer is also surprisingly thick for a modern gaming monitor, with a wide edge and a protruding middle section round the back. Round the edges of this central section is a strip of RGB lighting, which can be set to many colours and patterns but can’t be set to match the onscreen image, as with Philips Ambilight systems. Housed in this middle section are the connections, power supply and 2W speakers. The latter sound weedy, but provide a touch more volume and clarity than the worst we’ve heard.
Meanwhile, the onscreen display (OSD) is controlled by three buttons and a mini D-pad on the display’s back right edge. They provide many options that make setting up this display a breeze. A three-pronged stand provides height, rotation, tilt and two-way pivot adjustment, and the latter makes it particularly easy to access the rear connections, regardless of which side of your desk your monitor sits.
Overall image quality is excellent, with crisp text, great viewing angles, dazzling colours and superb out-of-the-box calibration. In both the default mode and the reduced gamut sRGB mode it was less than one per cent off the ideal colour temperature of 6,500K, while gamma ranged between 2.14 and 2.24 depending on the mode, which is again very good.
When it comes to gaming, the 170Hz refresh rate, support for FreeSync and G-Sync and even a backlight-strobing mode add up to excellent all-round performance. An average grey-to-grey response time of between 6.5ms and 3.1ms, depending on the overdrive setting, is good for an IPS panel too, so fast-paced gaming is well-handled.
Acer Predator XB273UNV pros and cons
- Excellent image quality
- Solid gaming performance
- Decent value
- Low maximum brightness
- Middling price
Acer Predator XB273UNV specs
The Acer Predator XB323U spec list is:
|Screen size||27 inch|
|Resolution||2,560 x 1,440|
|Maximum refresh rate||170Hz|
|Stated response time||0.5ms|
|Max brightness||400cd/m² SDR|
|Stated contrast ratio||1,000:1|
|Adaptive sync||FreeSync Premium, G-Sync compatible|
|Display inputs||1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 2 x HDMI 2|
|Audio||2 x 2W speakers, Headphone out|
|Stand adjustment||Height, pivot, rotation, tilt|
|Extras||100 x 100mm VESA mount, four-port USB 3 hub, rear RGB lighting|
Acer Predator XB273UNV price
The Acer Predator XB273UNV offers decent value as while its price is quite high for a 27-inch IPS gaming monitor, it includes a few extra features, premium build quality, and fast response time.
Price: Expect to pay $450 / £405
This monitor is no longer available to buy but this one is.
Acer Predator XB273UNV review conclusion
While the Acer Predator XB273UNV doesn’t do much to stand out from the crowd, aside from its slightly low maximum brightness, it delivers the goods on every front and does so for a reasonable, if not truly bargain price.
The Acer XB273UNV isn’t our favorite gaming monitor, then, but check out our best gaming monitor list for those that are. Let us know your thoughts on the Custom PC Facebook or Twitter pages, or join the discussion on our 350,000+ member Custom PC and Gaming Setup Facebook group.
Acer Predator XB273UNV rating
Decent all-round performance, a smart design and reasonable price make this a solid gaming monitor.