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Acer Nitro XV272: Top-tier gaming on a 1080p monitor

Though expensive for 1080p, the Acer Nitro XV272 delivers attractive image quality for both gamers and creators.

- BY MATT SMITH

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080p resolution isn’t cutting-edge, but it remains the most popular resolution among modern PC displays. This is often because of budget: There are dozens of cheap 1080p monitors. But what happens when a 1080p monitor makes image quality a priority?

SPECS

The Acer Nitro XV272 (Lvbmiiprx) is a 27-inch, 1080p monitor with an IPS panel and a 165Hz refresh rate. This puts it smackdab in the most crowded segment of the monitor market. Here are the XV272’S most noteworthy specs.

Display size: 27-inch

Native resolution: 1920×1080

Panel type: IPS

Refresh rate: Up to 165Hz

Adaptive sync: AMD Freesync Premium and G-sync Compatible

Ports: 2x HDMI 2.0, 1x Displaypor­t, 4x USB 3

Stand adjustment: Height, tilt, swivel, pivot

VESA mount: Yes, 100x100mm

Speakers: Yes

Price: $349 MSRP, around $279 typical A few features help the Nitro XV272 stand out. It has a 165Hz refresh and is compatible with both AMD Freesync and Nvidia G-sync. It also has three video inputs, four USB ports, and a stand with numerous ergonomic adjustment­s. The Nitro XV272, though not expensive, is a cut above entry-level 1080p monitors.

DESIGN

The “Nitro” name might sound exciting, but the XV272, like all of these kinds of monitors from Acer, looks pretty plain. Acer’s Nitro sub-brand focuses on performanc­e over design. Essentiall­y all Nitro monitors use a simple, matte-black housing paired with a skinny stand and a round base. It’s dull but inoffensiv­e.

The stand feels cheap when handled but offers plenty of ergonomic adjustment. This includes height, tilt, swivel, and even pivot. Swivel and pivot aren’t guaranteed at this price point, so it’s good to see them here. There’s also a 100x100mm VESA mount for attaching a third-party monitor arm or stand.

There is one problem with the stand: cable management. You won’t find a hole in the stand for routing cables. Instead,

Acer uses a tiny clip on the base that does a terrible job of keeping cables bundled.

FEATURES AND MENU

Connectivi­ty includes two HDMI 2.0 ports, plus one Displaypor­t, and a total of four USB-A 3.0 ports for connecting wired peripheral­s. This makes the monitor a moderately useful USB hub, though it lacks more advanced features like USB-C

with Power Delivery. Still, the Acer Nitro XV272 has more ports than most 1080p gaming monitors.

The Nitro XV272’S menu system could be better. It looks basic, with simple icons and unattracti­ve fonts, and doesn’t feel responsive while using the joystick to scroll through options. The joystick and select buttons are easy to use, but the power button is a bit too close to the select buttons. I accidental­ly turned off the monitor several times.

These issues hide a surprising­ly robust slate of image-quality options. This includes precise gamma presets, several color temperatur­e modes, and six-way adjustment of color saturation and hue. There’s also a few gaming-centric features such as a frames-persecond counter and built-in aim points. The monitor lacks a black equalizer setting for brightenin­g dark areas, however, which might disappoint fans of competitiv­e shooters.

The monitor includes a pair of two-watt speakers. They’re not great but well suited for podcasts, Youtube, or games with less impressive audio. You’ll want to put on a headset when sound quality matters.

SDR IMAGE QUALITY

The Acer Nitro XV272 is toward the high end of pricing for a 27-inch 1080p display. Gamers can snag a 1440p or 4K monitor for about the same price. Acer combats this with a vivid, accurate image.

SDR brightness comes in at about 250 nits. This is low but, as you’ll see when I discuss HDR, it’s not the monitor’s true maximum brightness. Acer appears to be limiting the

monitor’s maximum potential in SDR mode. That said, the monitor is still bright enough for use in nearly all situations. It will only appear dim if used opposite a sunlit window.

The Nitro XV272’S modest contrast ratio is typical for a modern IPS gaming monitor without MINI-LED technology. Like its peers, the XV272 suffers from “IPS glow”—a hazy and blotchy appearance noticeable in dark scenes.

That said, the monitor’s contrast ratio is good for the price. Aside from LG’S new IPS Black panel technology, which is currently available in just a couple displays from Dell ( fave.co/3y8gmnv), no IPS monitor without MINI-LED performs significan­tly better.

Color gamut is solid, covering the entire SRGB color space plus 88 percent of DCI-P3. The range of colors it can display is great for a mid-range gaming monitor and does provide an advantage over alternativ­es with a more narrow color space. The added color provides a vivid, saturated look that’s attractive in games.

As for color accuracy, the Nitro XV272 knocks it out of the park, with a default color accuracy more typical of a high-end profession­al monitor than a mid-range gaming monitor.

Acer doesn’t sell the XV272 as a profession­al display, and its meager 1080p resolution will take it out of contention for many, but creators who stick to 1080p resolution will find this monitor surprising­ly capable when they’re editing photos, video, and digital art.

The monitor had an ideal gamma curve of 2.2, which means content looks about as bright as was intended. Default color temperatur­e came in at 6200K, which is slightly warmer and more reddish than the typical temperatur­e of 6500K. As mentioned

earlier, the monitor offers multiple gamma and color temperatur­e settings, so there’s a lot of room to tweak the image if you want.

But you don’t need to—and that is the monitor’s greatest strength. The XV272’S decent contrast, accurate color, and lack of noticeable flaws make for a fantastic out-ofbox experience. The SDR image is lively and inviting.

There’s one obvious limitation: resolution. This is a 27-inch 1080p monitor, which translates to a meager pixel density of 81 pixels per inch. Fonts are poorly defined, videos lack sharpness, and games show distractin­g shimmering and pixelation. This isn’t a dealbreake­r for me, but you should know what you’re getting into. A 1440p alternativ­e will look much sharper.

HDR PERFORMANC­E

The Acer Nitro XV272 supports HDR and is VESA Displayhdr 400 certified. HDR support is becoming common among gaming displays, but it still feels special at this price point. I measured a maximum HDR brightness of 450 nits, which is solid.

Though it supports HDR, the Nitro XV272 failed to automatica­lly detect an HDR signal and turn on HDR mode. I had to select it manually. This is a minor annoyance but disappoint­ing, as nearly all monitors I test have no problem detecting HDR automatica­lly.

The Nitro XV272’S HDR performanc­e is

better than expected. It delivered performanc­e that was superior to that of more expensive monitors, such as the Gigabyte M27Q X and Asus Proart PA279CV, with better color gamut and accuracy in HDR.

Still, ultimately, this is a budget monitor that can’t do HDR justice. HDR content can deliver a bit more detail in bright areas but otherwise isn’t necessaril­y more colorful or rich than in SDR—IT just looks slightly different.

MOTION PERFORMANC­E

Acer’s Nitro XV272 has a maximum refresh rate of up to 165Hz. This delivers smooth, fluid motion in games and a quicker, more responsive feel when using the desktop. The monitor officially supports AMD Freesync Premium and Nvidia G-sync, so you don’t need to worry about whether the monitor will work with your particular video card.

Shoppers should remember this is a 1080p display, which is less demanding than 1440p or 4K resolution. Achieving a frame rate that fully uses the 165Hz refresh rate is possible in a wide range of titles. This is good news for gamers on a budget.

Motion clarity is good at the monitor’s default response-time setting. The monitor has an Overdrive mode, which can be activated when using several gaming-oriented imagequali­ty presets. This can improve clarity but also causes overshoot, an issue where a pixel moves beyond the intended color, resulting in artifacts around high-contrast objects. Most owners should just leave Overdrive at the default setting of Normal.

BOTTOM LINE

The Acer Nitro XV272 Lvbmiiprx is a good monitor for gamers who want attractive image quality at a mid-range price. Resolution will be an obstacle for some, as it’s possible to buy a 1440p monitor on the same budget, but the XV272’S accurate image and great motion clarity makes up for the lack of sharpness.

The XV272 is also a good choice for content creators who want accurate color for less than $300, making it a well-rounded, budget-friendly choice for those who work from home and want one display for both productivi­ty and gaming.

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 ?? ?? Cable management could be better—you get just a clip on the base for routing cables.
Cable management could be better—you get just a clip on the base for routing cables.
 ?? ?? A nice selection of ports is located in the depression on the Nitro XV272’S backside.
A nice selection of ports is located in the depression on the Nitro XV272’S backside.
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 ?? ?? The Nitro XV272’S HDR performanc­e was superior to more expensive monitors’.
The Nitro XV272’S HDR performanc­e was superior to more expensive monitors’.
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