An affordable 4K monitor with an elegant design and glare reduction
£550 Manufacturer Acer, acer.co.uk Display 27-inch, anti-glare IPS panel Resolution 3840x2160
Connectivity 1x HDMI 2.0, 2x DisplayPort 1.2, 1x DVI, 1x 3.5mm audio
It’s not the cheapest 4K monitor out there, but Acer’s new S277HK provides excellent image quality and an attractive, slimline design.
The 27-inch display has a very Mac-like design with a smart aluminium frame and brushed-metal finish. The screen panel measures just 20mm thick and is noticeably more compact than the 27-inch screen of the iMac or Apple’s Thunderbolt Display. Apple’s displays still have a chunky 25mm border around the edge of the screen, but the design of the S277HK shrinks that down to a barely noticeable 6mm, so the Mac desktop almost fills the entire screen area.
The design isn’t flawless, though. The monitor sits quite low on the desk, and it’s annoying that you can’t adjust the height of the screen – although that’s a mistake that Apple also makes (hence the telephone directory stuck under many an iMac).
The buttons for the on-screen controls are tucked completely out of sight under the right-hand edge of the screen, which sometimes left us fumbling to navigate through the on-screen menus. It’s worth exploring the controls, though, as they include useful options such as preset modes for viewing graphics and video, and a blue-light filter designed to ease eye-strain if you stare at the monitor for long periods.
We can’t fault the image quality, either, as the S277HK uses an IPS (in-plane switching) panel that provides excellent all-round viewing angles, along with bold colours and strong contrast that really make the most of the 3840x2160 resolution. Many people, including designers and video editors, may also prefer the screen’s glare-reducing matte finish, rather than the glossy, reflective coating Apple uses.
The S277HK supports HDMI 2.0, which allows it to display a 4K image with a 60Hz refresh rate – although it’s worth remembering Macs can currently only display 4K video at 30Hz over HDMI. Fortunately, the monitor also includes two DisplayPort 1.2 interfaces – one each for full-size DisplayPort and Apple’s Mini DisplayPort/Thunderbolt connection – which will allow the latest Mac Pro and MacBook Pro models to display 4K video at 60Hz (older models don’t support DisplayPort 1.2). The built-in speakers
The panel is just 20mm thick and is noticeably more compact than the 27-inch iMac or Thunderbolt Display
work quite well too, producing respectable sound quality and volume, although they can’t quite match the fuller bass sound that Apple manages to coax from the iMac’s compact speakers.
There’s a DVI port, but it’s a shame there isn’t a second HDMI so you could plug in a games console or a set-top box as well. We were also disappointed to discover the S277HK doesn’t sport any USB ports, as many of its 4K rivals include them.
The limited connectivity and the lack of height adjustment are minor flaws in an otherwise attractive 4K display. However, the S277HK gets it right where it counts most, providing excellent 4K image quality and attractive design at a competitive price. Cliff Joseph
The slender design of the S277HK stretches your Mac desktop right across the entire front of the monitor.
The S277HK’s HDMI 2.0 support lets it display 4K video at a 60Hz refresh rate.