Acer's Predator X27 is any gamer's dream monitor with 4K, HDR, G-Sync, and a high refresh rate, but requires deep pockets and a powerful PC

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  • The Acer Predator X27 aims to be the ultimate gaming monitor boasting 4K, HDR, G-Sync, and a 144Hz refresh rate.
  • This IPS panel with local dimming delivers outstanding color accuracy and extremely high peak brightness.
  • Acer provides an angular stand for easy adjustment and a light hood to help you get more from this panel.
  •  You can find more great options in our guides to the best 4K monitors and best gaming  monitors.

The Acer Predator X27 is an angular, chiseled monitor that’s clearly aimed at gamers. The silver Predator logo sits on a red background beneath the 27-inch screen, and there are sizable bezels all the way around. Reach around the lower right corner and you’ll find the on-screen-display (OSD) controls on the back, with four vertically aligned buttons and a red joystick at the bottom that makes for easy navigation.

There’s a DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0, and a 3.5mm audio port on the back. There’s also a circular power port with a cable that attaches to a power brick which comes with a separate smaller-than-usual power plug. There are two USB 3.0 ports on the back, and another two on the left-hand side, near the edge. The Acer Predator X27 looks much like Acer’s cheaper Nitro monitors from the back, but when you turn it on, the angled vent lights up blue, and the fan kicks in.

A heavy V-shaped aluminum stand with a prominent Predator logo enables you to adjust the monitor height, and tilt and swivel to get your ideal position. I removed the stand to attach the Predator X27 to my monitor arm, and it screws easily into a standard 100 x 100mm Vesa mount. Side-by-side with an Acer Nitro vg270ubmiipx, the 11mm bezels on the top and sides of the Predator X27 contrast sharply with the cheaper monitor’s borderless design and make it look a little dated.

The Acer Predator X27 also comes with a light-absorbing hood that has black felt on the inside to help prevent any external light from spoiling the picture. This is the type of thing that’s usually reserved for graphic designers seeking the perfect color temperature. It’s easy to fit, but I didn’t have space with my multiple monitor setup.

Setup and menu

Setup is a breeze with no assembly required. If you’re going to use the stand, simply take the X27 out of the box, plug it in, and you’re good to go. I removed the stand with a Philips head screwdriver, and attached the X27 to my monitor arm, which took five minutes.

The monitor’s vertically-aligned button controls include a power button at the top, with three buttons that you can program for different functions, and a handy joystick at the bottom. It’s quick and easy to navigate through the monitor’s OSD menu with the joystick, and you simply press it in to select.

There’s a good range of customization options in this OSD menu so you can calibrate the color and backlight, and choose different modes including Standard, Movies, and Game mode, which includes three presets for Action, Racing, or Sports, with room for you to configure your own.

Image quality

The Acer Predator X27 boasts very high image quality for whatever you’re doing. I used it for work through the day, writing, editing photos, and researching on the web. In the evening, I played games and watched a couple of movies to see how the X27 performs. It offers a consistently gorgeous picture, and I am reluctant to give it up.

The top resolution is 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, which is widely considered to be full 4K. Although it’s an IPS panel, often known for their poor contrast, Acer has worked to ensure good contrast, and black levels are impressively deep. There’s local dimming thanks to a 384-zone LED backlight array. With standard content, the brightness goes to 600 nits, but turn on HDR and it can reach 1,000 nits. Combine that with the wide color gamut at 100% for sRGB and you get a crisp, rich image that’s sure to delight.

What won’t delight is the performance of HDR in Windows. I had a job turning it on in the first place; it required a couple of restarts for some reason. With 4K resolution set and HDR turned on, Windows looks blown out, so you have to get into the habit of turning it off for work and on again when you want to game or watch a movie, which is a bit of a hassle. Sadly, the washed-out look with HDR and Windows is a known issue that you will encounter with any monitor.

Screen uniformity is close to flawless, with none of the bands or blotches you typically see on cheaper monitors. I ran various screen tests and the X27 performed admirably. Even contrasting white and black, I couldn’t see much in the way of backlight bleed or clouding. It inevitably gets worse with HDR turned off, but these are some impressively deep blacks for an IPS monitor.

Gaming

The Acer Predator X27 is built for games, and it really shines as soon as you load up a virtual world. I played a variety of different titles, cranking things up to Ultra wherever possible, to put the X27 through its paces. From the “Outer Worlds” to “Total War: Three Kingdoms,” from “Greedfall” to “Doom,” the image quality is top class with sumptuous colors. Even graphically simple games like “Rimworld” feel richer on this monitor. I was blown away by the realistic lighting of the HDR in “Doom.” Switching from an Acer Nitro VG270Ubmiipx, the gulf in class is obvious.

The standard refresh rate is 120Hz, but you can overclock to hit a maximum of 144Hz. You will obviously need a very capable PC to get the best from this monitor, and most people will have to choose between 4K at a lower frame rate, or a lower resolution at a higher frame rate. With my RTX 2070 Super, for example, running “Three Kingdoms” in 4K with Ultra settings resulted in an average of around 21 fps. I am sadly unable to really push this monitor.

Competitive gamers and first-person shooter addicts might not be impressed by the 4 millisecond response time, but there’s certainly no discernible motion blur, and it feels very responsive to me. If you’ve got a PC capable of taking advantage of the Predator X27’s capabilities, then I don’t think you’ll have any complaints about the picture quality, but I did run into some other issues.

Audio and other pitfalls

Built-in monitor speakers are never great, but the Acer Predator X27 has a pair of 4W speakers that are better than most. Having said that, you will still want a good set of headphones — there’s also the monitor’s fan to consider. I like a quiet build with minimal fan noise, particularly for working during the day, so the fact that the Acer Predator X27 has a fan on the back was a big turn off for me.

While browsing the web, writing, and editing the odd image, the Acer Predator X27 fan never got too loud, though it’s still clearly audible above my PC which is whisper quiet. As soon as I started a game or movie the fan would get noisier. It all depends on your environment and tastes, but for me, working in a quiet home office, this fan noise is a deal-breaker.  

The Predator X27 also generates a lot of heat, especially if you crank up the resolution and turn HDR on. It was possibly exacerbated by the fact I attached it to a monitor arm, as the mount appears to partially cover the fan, but the X27 turned itself off on me a couple of times after it had been running for hours. I presume it overheated.

Should you buy it?

Yes, but only if you specifically want 4K at a high frame rate with HDR, G-Sync, and you have a PC capable of keeping up.

What are your alternatives?

With a very similar spec sheet that includes 4K, Nvidia G-Sync, a 144Hz maximum refresh rate, and 1,000-nit peak brightness, the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ isa very strong alternative. It has also fallen in price since release, so you can pick one up for $1,199, which is a lot cheaper than the X27.

For gamers who can live without an IPS panel, the Acer Predator CG437K is a 43-inch vertical alignment (VA) panel that matches the X27 on performance but comes in a lot cheaper. There’s also the ultrawide Acer Predator X35 to consider, which boasts a faster response time, but it’s another VA panel. Colors aren’t generally as vibrant or uniform on VA panels and viewing angles aren’t as wide, though they do offer better contrast. If you want to stick with Acer and don’t mind a lower resolution and less accurate colors, then Acer’s Nitro line also includes some far more affordable IPS monitors.

The bottom line

The Acer Predator X27 features truly excellent picture quality with rich, deep, colors, crisp detail, and impressive brightness. It’s an absolute joy to play games on, particularly titles that support HDR and 4K resolutions. The problem is that the price is very high, and you really need a powerful, and expensive, gaming PC to get the best from this monitor.

Pros: 4K with HDR, 144Hz refresh rate, excellent color accuracy, G-sync support, PC games look gorgeous, optional light hood

Cons: Extremely expensive, fan noise, fiddly to adjust, requires powerful hardware

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