Not long ago, a 240Hz IPS gaming monitor would’ve seemed like a pipe dream, but not any more. The Acer XV273 X was the first 240Hz IPS screen to hit the market back when it launched a few months ago, and it’s pretty much everything you’d hope for from a screen that can boast the best LCD panel type for image quality and that blisteringly fast 240Hz refresh rate.
Acer XV273 X specs
Screen size: 27inch
Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Panel type: IPS
Maximum refresh rate: 240Hz
Response time: 1ms
Inputs: DisplayPort 1.4, 2 x HDMI 2.0
Stand adjustability: Height, Pivot, Rotation, Tilt
There is one big downside, which is that you only get a 1920 x 1080 resolution, which is fairly low for a 27inch display. That’s the same resolution as most other 240Hz screens, but they tend to be smaller panels so the pixels aren’t so obvious. Ultimately, though, that’s just a compromise you’ll have to make, and certainly it’s a compromise I’d be willing to make for a screen that otherwise delivers so much.
The design of the screen is fairly typical for a modern panel, with slim, low profile bezels around the top and sides and a tip toe base with solid metal legs. As ever, this style of base is a bit style over substance, as it isn’t as secure as a flat square base, but it does look good, even if the little plastic section that covers the rotation mechanism looks a bit weird.
Speaking of rotation, you get all the standard ergonomic adjustments, so height, rotation, pivot and tilt are all on offer, making it easy to reposition the display and reach connections round the back. The stand can also be removed and a monitor arm used instead.
When it comes to extra features, you don’t get much here. There’s no RGB, no headphone stand or anything of that sort. However, you do get a USB 3 hub with two ports on the side and two round the back and video connectivity is standard, with one DisplayPort 1.2 and two HDMI 2.0. The power supply is also internal so there’s no annoying power brick and you even get some basic speakers.
The onscreen display is more than up to the job. It’s controlled by a mini joystick and four small but surprisingly easy to use buttons on the back of the right side of the panel. The top button is power then a tap of any of the other controls brings up an initial menu. The three buttons then jump straight into quick menu options for switching picture modes, adjusting brightness and changing input, while tapping the joystick will bring up the main menu. Here you’ve got comprehensive picture quality controls, clearly labelled gaming features such as overdrive, adaptive sync, VRB blur reduction mode and the obligatory crosshair overlays. It’s all really intuitively laid out, it responds quickly and the controls are easy to use.
Getting to that all-important picture quality and this IPS panel delivers the goods. Viewing angles are of course excellent and you get surprisingly good contrast for this type of panel. In its default Warm colour mode, the colour temperature is a bit too warm at maximum brightness but gets closer to ideal once brightness is dropped to a sensible 150nits, or 15/100 on the brightness scale.
You do inevitably get a bit of IPS glow, particularly in the bottom left corner. It’s not a problem most day to day use, but it’s a little distracting when watching 21:9 aspect movies or playing particularly dark games. The surface of the screen is also a touch more reflective than some. Again, it’s not something I found distracting in use but technically, the difference is there.
When it comes to gaming, this screen delivers everything you’d hope for. The impact of moving from 144Hz IPS screens like the AOC 27G2U to 240Hz is immediately obvious and you really get very close to the same snappy feel of 240Hz TN screens. Plus of course you get the better image quality of IPS.
Although rated for a 1ms response time, this isn’t a realistic figure for average real world response time and, in fact as TFTcentral discovered, technically there are some situations where the response time of this screen can’t keep up with its refresh rate. However, it’s clear from blurbusters pursuit camera test that the XV273 X is still much quicker to respond in real world usage than 144Hz models.
With both Freesync and GSync supported as well, the result is a superbly smooth and responsive gaming experience that’s easily up to truly competitive gaming standards.
If you want to crank things up another notch, you can also enable backlight strobing blur reduction. As with most displays, this requires you to disable adaptive sync, which can result in a less smooth feel when gaming. However, you do get an even crisper, sharper looking image in fast motion. I tended to just leave adaptive sync on for most gaming sessions, but it’s nice to have the blur reduction for when you want that final speed advantage in the most competitive situations.
All told, then, this a fantastic do it all display. It delivers great image quality, resolution aside, and top tier gaming performance. Unfortunately, while at the time of its launch, it was a standout product that was competitively priced, right now it’s difficult to get hold of and its roughly £450 or $490 price is looking a bit expensive with several new competitors now available. If you can pick one up for the right price, though, it’s a great screen.