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Acer Predator XB280HK 4K display with Nvidia G-Sync

The Acer XB280HK Predator is undoubtedly a good monitor. The picture quality is good for gaming and it’s currently the only display on the market to offer both 4K and G-Sync.

However, it excels in neither area. For G-Sync, rival displays like the Asus PG278Q are better. That display (along with others) goes up to 144Hz, while the Predator is limited to 60Hz. It definitely makes a difference, with smoother animation, albeit you have to be a keen gamer to notice it.

But when G-Sync is active, it works as well as it should on the XB280HK, with no screen tearing or micro stutter.

One of the long-running issues with G-Sync is the lack of support for any more than a single DisplayPort input. Granted, some users aren’t likely to care, as the only device they will ever use with their display is their PC, but for a £500 monitor, it’s nice to be given the option of HDMI, and perhaps a second PC input to switch over to, particularly since this is offered on every entry-level display.
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It’s not Acer’s fault, but a second revision of G-Sync that gets round this issue is just around the corner, with a new wave of adaptive-sync displays.

And it’s not our first choice for a 4K display either. With a 28-inch screen size, it’s just a bit too small to use at its native resolution without bumping up the DPI. This is unfortunately, not a perfect solution. Even in Windows 10, increasing the DPI can cause a few issues, with the text in older software displaying all over the place.

28 inches at 4K yields a dot pitch of 0.161mm, while for reference, a 27-inch 1440p display (which looks absolutely perfect to us) is 0.234mm. Even a 32-inch display such as the BenQ BL3201PT (review HERE) has a far smaller dot pitch and only at 40 inches, as with the Philips BDM4065UC (review HERE) does 4K have a dot pitch that matches a 1440p screen at 27 inches.

The picture quality is really good though. Although the Spyder testing showed the maximum brightness was quite low, the contrast ratios are excellent, and even though it’s a TN panel, the viewing angles didn’t cause any problem.

The menu systems work well, although for the money, it’s worth wondering whether Acer could have built in a better control method than the traditional buttons, such as a joystick or remote control.

Similarly the build quality doesn’t feel like it matches the high-end features of the XB280HK. It’s as if Acer has taken some great technology and squeezed it into a budget display chassis, at least compared with some similarly priced monitors.
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Pros:

  • Good picture quality, although not for colour-accurate work.
  • Only display to offer 4K and G-Sync.
  • Excellent stand, with tilt, swivel and pivot.

Cons:

  • Small screen size for a 4K monitor
  • G-Sync only to 60Hz
  • Questionable materials for a premium display

Kitguru says: The Acer XB280HK shows 4K and G-Sync is a good combination, but this display has a few limitations.

WORTH BUYING

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Rating: 8.0.

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