Acer Predator X27 hands on

Key Features

  • 3840 x 2160 resolution
  • 144Hz refresh rate
  • DisplayHDR 1000 compatible
  • Full array local dimming HDR
  • Height, tilt, rotation adjustable
  • G-Sync
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What is the Acer Predator X27?

The Acer Predaor X27 has been hugely anticipated ever since it was announced over a year ago, thanks to its combination of a 4K resolution, 144Hz refresh rate and true HDR. We got hands on with it at the Acer@Next global press conference, to see if it lives up to the hype – a tall order given its $1,999 expected asking price.

Acer Predator – Design and Features

The first things that hits you about this display is its inclusion of an anti-glare hood. Normally reserved for professional photography monitors, this is a clear indicator of just how seriously Acer wants you to take the image quality of this display.

Otherwise the 27-inch display sports a fairly typical gamer-oriented design with a striking angular metal base, red and silver Predator logo on the front and inverse V shape on the back. Crucially, though, it doesn’t cross over into being garish.

Build quality is also noticeably high. Along with the solid metal base, the rest of the display has a chunky solidity to it, as you’d hope given both its price and the level of tech incorporated into it.

As you’d expect of such a premium display the stand offers a comprehensive range of adjustments, so you can move the panel up and down, left to right and forward and back, though it can’t be pivoted into a portrait orientation.

Coming back to those anti-glare panels, they screw onto the sides and clip onto the top and provide a flock-lined anti-reflective surface to effectively reduce annoying reflections and glare from any light sources to the side of the display.

Remove them and you can more clearly see that this display doesn’t offer the sort of low-profile bezel seen on some high-end monitors, which is a perhaps inevitable compromise on a display that uses a full array backlighting system made up of hundreds of individual LEDs.

This display includes Nvidia’s G-Sync technology and, as we’ve come to expect, this results in a limited number of video inputs. You get just one DisplayPort and one HDMI, though you do also get a four port USB 3.0 hub, with two ports at the back and two on the left side.

Acer Predator X27 – The display

While the externals of this monitor play a part, what it’s really all about is the display itself. It boasts two key new innovations that are the key to it living up to its potential.

The first is that its IPS panel has a 4K resolution and can refresh at up to 144Hz, which is something that wasn’t possible without the arrival of DisplayPort 2.0.

Considering most single graphics cards struggle to reach 60fps at 4K resolutions, you’ll almost certainly have to run two or more GTX 1080 Ti’s in SLI to get anywhere close to 144fps at this panel’s native resolution, but at least the option’s there.

Meanwhile the piece de resistance is the full array local dimming backlight that uses 384 individual lighting zones to dynamically control the level of backlight. This allows for a huge contrast with true blacks able to sit right next to incredibly bright colours.

The super-bright glowing column sits next an inky black gloom beyond

The result is truly striking with stars shining brightly from the true blackness of space or the bright glare of the sun contrasting with the dark depths of a cave.

Trying a couple of different games, there’s still some work to be done to get the effect to appear natural but the raw capability of the panel is plain to see.

Image has been altered to highlight the halo effect around the text – the brightness to the top left and bottom are reflections

Also plain to see, however, is the main artefact of this technology, which is a halo of light around small, bright objects. The most obvious example is stars in a night sky or text on a black background, where you’ll get a dim glow from any lighting zones that have been activated by the text and a noticeable drop in brightness to the pure black in adjacent zones.

Just how common and distracting this will be in day to day use is something we’ll just have to wait and see.

Acer Predator X27 – release date and price

The Acer Predator X27 release date is just weeks away now, with it set to be available in June 2018. Pricing hasn’t been officially announced yet but pre-orders have appeared with the monitor listed for $1,999.

Early Verdict

Can a 27-inch gaming monitor possibly justify a price of nearly $2,000? Without spending more time with the Acer Predator X27 that’s something we simply can’t say yet. However, what is clear is just how much potential there is in this technology.

The X27 is set to launch in June so check back then for a full review.

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