Top positive review
The most affordable 2k 144hz IPS monitor in the market !
3 May 2019
Before i start with the in depth review, let me state that this is actually the best 2k 144hz IPS monitor you can buy for 32k in India, And i would give it a 9/10.
Those who wanna know more can continue reading.
We will divide the review in a few sections :
1) Introduction and some background :
Acer's Nitro series is not their flagship series and as such they tend to omit some features and keep the advertisement and branding to a minimal for this range.
Nitro series is targeted towards more budget oriented gamers and till now they have done a good job at providing good peripherals for cheap.
Now i am not trying to say that Nitro series can go toe to toe with their Predator series lineup, but fortunately for us gamers this time it seems like this particular monitor is actually a better product overall than the Predator XB271HU which costs around 50k.
2) Picture Quality/Panel Quality :
This monitor uses an IPS panel made by INNOLUX(OEM) which is also found in the much costlier Aorus AD27QD.
The panel boasts of very high brightness in excess of 400 nits. It also boasts of a wide color gamut exceeding 95% DCI P3 coverage. Both of these things combined certify this monitor to carry the HDR400 moniker.
The monitor has a nominal response time of about 6-7 ms which is actually not the best for an IPS but gets the job done considering you need each frame delivered every 6-7 ms for a monitor to be able to display 144 frames per second. Along with being 144hz capable the monitor also comes equipped with Freesync and i am happy to report that GSYNC does work with this monitor. Freesync Range is limited to 48hz to 144hz so it also support LFC(Low Framerate Compensation), google it if you want to know more, it's quite an interesting feature to have :)
Specs aside, i think the monitor's color calibration out of the box is not that great but the OSD offers a lot of options to tweak color, gamma, brightness, contrast as well as hue and saturation of 6 basic colors, meaning you can calibrate it to your liking if need be without much hassle. Although it needs to be noted that the seeded SRGB emulation mode is quite restrictive and offers very little in the way of tweaking. So i advice against using that.
I really enjoyed this display, the colors after a bit of tinkering are very well saturated and true to life, in fact the colors are much better here than on the Predator XB271HU which has a limited color gamut. The Contrast ratio too is above 1100:1 which is great for an IPS panel.
The monitor also supports Overdrive and backlight strobing and inserts a solid color frame in between pixel transitions to increase the pixel responsiveness substantially and the difference between using it without backlight strobing and with is quite apparent that if your eyes can take it, since the backlight strobing is a little hard on eyes. But having this feature is anyday better than not having it.
It's also crazy how good this panel is in terms of backlight bleed, i have attached a few pics showcasing that, and yes i know backlight bleed can vary from panel to panel, but researching a little bit over the internet and taking feedback from other owners, i can firmly conclude that this INNOLUX panel is much less prone to backlight bleed than the AU Optronics panel which is currently the most widely used 2k 144hz panel(Acer Predator, Asus ROG)
Pretty sure you guys can fathom by now that this monitor checks a lot of boxes :
Freesync/G SYNC compatible - Check
Barely any Backlight Bleed - Check
Wide Color Gamut - Check
High Contrast and Brightness - Check
IPS panel - Check
144hz - Check
Backlight Strobing - Check
Can accept HDR input - Check
Don't have to sell a kidney to buy it - Check
3) Build and Accessories:
It's surprisingly well built, and looks pretty similar to the Predator XB271HU with its slim to non existent bezels(Except at the bottom).
To control the OSD we have an intuitive joystick at the back which is a welcome change and makes navigating the OSD a breeze. Well talking about OSD reminds me of how many options it has for tweaking everything from brightness to freesync to colors, unfortunately describing each setting here is an exercise in futility, since all these details are available in their official documentation. So unless there is something out of the ordinary, i will not be bringing it up.
The stand accompanied with this monitor is probably the biggest sore point, it only offers minimal tilt and it's not a very pleasant experience, but considering the price i guess that's a necessary sacrifice, on the plus side though, you can go out and buy a quality VESA arm for 3-5k(Yes this monitor has VESA compatible mount at the back)
Lest i forget, it needs to be mentioned that G SYNC is only supported when using a Display Port cable and this monitor only comes with an HDMI cable, so folks with an NVIDIA GPU make sure you order a Display Port 1.4 cable along with it.
4) Conclusion :
Well this is tricky, i have already proclaimed that this is the best monitor you can buy under 60k, while it only costs 32k, which means i am saying indirectly that this is better than any monitor under 60k, which should be taken with a pinch of salt. Let me explain :
Monitors like Predator and ROG cost a lot more not just because they are the flagship offerings and they don't want to dilute their respective brands but also because they carry G SYNC modules and are certified by Nvidia, meaning they have best in class pixel response times and best in class input lag. While this VG271U has non existent input lag, it does have an average pixel response time and doesn't have the G SYNC module.
For some us these would be crucial but i think from a more critical perspective these are things which should not matter as much unless you are a Pro Gamer but even then i have to ask, how many pro gamers actually use a 2k monitor, because 2k is not an easy resolution to run, it requires beefy GPU to push those frames at 2k. And it is because of this i don't think the aforementioned drawbacks are a deal breaker for 90% of us and it's an acceptable sacrifice to get such a great monitor at 32k.
Hope i made myself clear, if not you are welcome to pose a question in the comments section.
4) Misc. Stuff :
In this section i want to talk about 2 controversial topics, HDR400 and Flickering.
Let's start with flickering, as some users have reported flickering is a real issue with some of the panels, if you google you can see you are not alone and other users have had this issues as well, but there are 2 types of people reporting this flickering problem here and a clear distinction needs to be made :
A. People having flickering out of the box while using Freesync : This is clearly a panel defect and you can ask Amazon or Acer to get a replacement, most users have this problem resolved after getting the replacement.
B. People having flickering while using the freesync with nvidia cards(G SYNC) : This could be a defect and could also be due to the fact that this monitor is not officially in the Nvidia's G SYNC compatible list, So you would be lucky if the manufacturer provided you a replacement which works, but it is not something you can contest. Luckily for me my panel works very well with G SYNC and there is no flickering, your mileage may vary.
If your panel is within the amazon's replacement period, i suggest you go for it.
Now let's talk about HDR400, most of you must be aware that without any form of local dimming, you cannot really boost the contrast ratio which is critical for a good HDR experience and that's also the reason why good HDR TV's and monitors are so costly, as they have to implement multi-zone backlight systems which are quite expensive. While this monitor does come with HDR400 certification , the certification itself is somewhat pointless since the HDR400 standard is pretty weak. It is not to say that HDR400 doesn't improve image quality for HDR enabled content, but all i am trying to say is keep your expectations in check, the best this monitor will do is crank the brightness to 400+ nits and provide better colors while using HDR mode, the main advantage here is getting better colors but not a better HDR experience which heavily relies on super high Contrast Ratio.
That's it folks, not sure if i missed anything, but for now this concludes my review.