Acer Nitro XV273K – Introduction
Acer has taken an aggressive stance on the 4K 144Hz game screen market this year with the Nitro XV3. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for this feature-rich display is $899.99, which is lower than competing products that are generally listed more than $1,000. This is one of three models 27 inches 4K 144Hz 27 inches offered by Acer. And it’s by far the cheapest, at less than $1,000. Admittedly, it is still quite expensive to be out of reach for many players.
But if you consider that the Acer Predator X27 is almost double the money, the ASUS ROG SWIFT PG27UQ is double the money, and the Acer Predator XB3 will cost you several hundred dollars extra in dollars or pounds. A bit of a bargain. Of course, with a lower price, you lose some features and features. So, let’s find out below.
Acer Nitro XV273K – Design
Acer gave this monitor a well-defined player aesthetic without abusing it. The holder uses silver-plated claws, and the base is lightly lit with red. Otherwise, we get a standard black plastic construction. This monitor is not particularly thin, it may be a little smaller than the X27 because there is no FALD backlight, but you will see it mainly from the front, where the glasses are moderate, but a little bigger than usual.
As for the other elements, we have some RGB LED action on the bottom edge, but this can be disabled. The foot is adjustable in height, tilt, and swivel, but there is no pivoting movement. You can not use it in portrait orientation. Overall, the stand is excellent, which is great to see. There is no active cooling fan, which means that the monitor is quiet, unlike the two previous G-Sync Ultimate monitors. In the terms of connectivity, there are two HDMI ports and two display ports, as well as some standard USB hub actions.
The monitor also requires an external power supply. The on-screen menu uses a directional toggle – it’s a tick in my book – as well as a few shortcut buttons. Unfortunately, navigation in the OSD is slow, which surprised us, and we do not find it often at this price.
Acer Nitro XV273K – Display
In addition to offering 4K at 144Hz, the 27-inch panel discussed here is an IPS-type technology, using an AU Optronics AHVA panel for excellent performance and all the benefits of IPS technology that are well established on the market. It is designed as a game screen, but it is not limited to other areas, like many TN Film game screens.
It offers support for a refresh rate up to 144Hz for extremely smooth gaming, high frame rate support, and better motion clarity. To do this, it uses the latest DisplayPort 1.4 interface, capable of supporting the necessary bandwidth beyond what the old DP 1.2 interfaces could handle. The first wave of 4K screens at 144Hz, such as the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ and the Acer Predator X27, included the latest NVIDIA G-sync HDR chip that supports the variable refresh rate we know and love. This will be extremely important, given the high system requirements and graphics cards for this combination of resolution and refresh rate. This new chip also offers high-performance LCD High Dynamic Range (HDR) capabilities with FALD (Full Array Local Dimming) backlighting.
This can offer a superior HDR experience compared to more limited local attenuation by edge illumination and allows for high-end specifications such as a peak brightness of 1000 cd/m2. Vast color space for HDR is supported by an added Quantum Dot film coating, providing coverage for the DCI-P3 color space with 10-bit color depth. With all these high-end HDR features, the X27 and PG27UQ displays are VESA DisplayHDR 1000 and Ultra HD Premium certified in terms of HDR performance. These first screens may seem like dream specifications for many users, but they have also preoccupied many people: the retail price.
At around $2000, they are not cheap, which has placed them in a reasonably small niche for those who are willing to spend as much money for a display, or who want advanced technology, to the cutting edge of technology and willing to pay for the privilege. To combat this, Acer is now the first to offer an alternative to the 4K @144Hz game, but at a significantly lower price. Their new Nitro XV273K and Predator XB273K will provide the same 27 “IPS 144Hz panel, 4K format, but will reduce some of the expensive and complicated HDR FALD features of previous Asus PG27UQ and Acer X27 models, and Nitro XV273K (reviewed here) is a model with AMD FreeSync support, which offers a more affordable monitor for those who do not necessarily want or need HDR support, but want a high-resolution display. Be the first model to provide 4K @144Hz with FreeSync.
Acer Nitro XV273K – Ports
The XV273K offers a good range of new connectivity options. This includes two latest generation DisplayPort 1.4 connections that provide support for the very high bandwidth needed to power the display at 3840 x 2160 @ 144Hz and HDR format. Connection via a single DP 1.4 port can support the screen at 3840 x 2160 at 120 Hz, but you must use them simultaneously on compatible graphics cards to achieve the maximum refresh rate of 144 Hz. So much later. There are also two HDMI 2.0 jacks for connecting external devices such as game consoles (60 Hz maximum).
All ports support HDCP 2.2 and can handle HDR content. So you can use HDR from your PC, as well as compatible game consoles and Ultra HD Blu-ray players. Two DisplayPort cables are provided in the box, but no HDMI cable. Some regions may come with an included HDMI cable, but check if you need it. There is an additional 4-port USB 3.0 hub, with two of the ports on the back of the screen and two on the left for easy access. There is also a headphone jack, and the filter includes two 4W stereo speakers. The display has an external power supply and comes with the power cable and brick you need.
Acer Nitro XV273K – Performance
In the performance section, it is worth mentioning some peculiarities of the refresh rate that make the Acer Nitro XV273K a 4K 120Hz monitor. Although this panel can reach a refresh rate of 144 Hz, it is hidden in the on-screen menu. To use this mode, you must use two DisplayPort cables, which has its own set of compatibility issues. But even worse, activating the 144 Hz refresh rate disables FreeSync; This is not an ideal situation for players who greatly benefit from adaptive synchronization with such high resolution. Buyers have discovered some workarounds, but they are quite complicated, and to be honest, the difference between 120 Hz and 144 Hz is not big enough to warrant the effort.
It is a bit unfortunate that a commercial product supporting the 144 Hz frequency is compromised at this refresh rate, or requires a lot of effort to function correctly, but at least it is quite easy to operate the 120 Hz frequency with a single cable. When we take into account all of this refresh rate and this conversation on the cable, we recommend merely running at 120 Hz in SDR mode on a single DisplayPort cable. It’s enjoyable and straightforward, you’ll keep the adaptive sync – the difference between 120 Hz and 144 Hz is low – and the HDR mode of this monitor is not enough to get you bored using it and filtering it with a sub – chromatic sampling. The other reason to stick to 120 Hz is the response time.
The monitor comes with two overdrive modes: normal and extreme. However, the strict mode introduces an overshoot with many transitions. We recommend using the usual way, with a gray-to-gray average response time of 7.52 ms, the display anyway has a bottleneck at about 120 Hz. In other words, there’s not much to gain by jumping up to 144Hz.
Acer Nitro XV273K – Conclusion
The Acer Nitro XV273K is one of those monitors that are in a unique position because there are not many on the market. You have the costly G-Sync HDR panels that cost $2,000, but if you do not care about HDR and you want a high-refresh 4K monitor, that’s the XV273K you wish to buy, or nothing all.
There is also the XB273K, which is a variant of G-Sync with virtually the same display. If you want a significant update in 4K, the XV273K is the monitor to use. We do not think the good HDR is worth spending $750 more; Considering that this screen is relatively affordable at $ 900 and offers almost all the other features of the Predator X27.