Acer Predator XB241H Design and Build
Setting the Acer Predator XB241H up is fairly simple. It arrives in three parts: the base or foot, leg or stand, and main chassis. The stand simply clips into the chassis, similar to the system employed by Dell monitors like the UltraSharp 24 InfinityEdge U2417H. The rock-solid, mostly metal base attaches to the stand with a single thumb-screw. Overall build quality and materials feel fairly robust, with only a little creak here and there when making adjustments.
Extras are minimal. As mentioned, the emitter and 3D glasses are a separate purchase, and all you’ll find in the box are the manual and warranty guide, a single DisplayPort cable, and of course the kettle-type power lead.
As soon as many tech brands add the word ‘gamer’ to their product, it often becomes edgier, more aggressive; with sharper angles and some primary colour thrown in (usually red). While taste is of course very much a subjective thing, we do feel that the results can sometimes be a little garish.
However, while Acer has gone the same route for most of its Predator range – including the XB241H – we feel that they have done so in a way that’s just about on the right side of stylish.
While the monitor’s chassis is pretty plain, which we’re not complaining about, the stand is where those Predator design touches shine through. Looking around the back you’ll be able to see its attractive curves and angles, along with a red ring pattern to either side of the tilt hinge that evokes a radial hubcap.
Of course you won’t see any of this from the front, but what will draw attention are the monitor’s metal legs. Angling out to either side from the wide base, these look like the fins of one of the racers from Wipeout, and are finished in a striking bronzed red that’s far more fetching than the cheaper-looking reds used on many gaming products.
These snazzy legs are also quite practical, in that you can store stuff in and around them. Just keep in mind that the Acer Predator XB241H’s stand does take up a little more room than most of its size, with a depth of around 31cm. On the plus side, it’s very stable, and offers a full range of ergonomic adjustments.
Generous swivel and tilt both offer very smooth action and can be performed with one hand. If anything, flexible tilt is more of a requirement on a TN display, since it’s crucial that you can adjust it to the perfect angle to minimise contrast and colour shift.
Height is also well implemented with solid action, though there is no 90 degree click. At its minimum this raises the lower bezel 6.5cm from your desk, while the highest position takes that up to 21.5cm. This flexibility should ensure you can always have the XB241H at the ideal position for your usage and seating arrangement. It also gives you plenty of space for pivot adjustments without requiring tilt to ensure you don’t scrape the edges of the display.
The screen itself sports a no-frills matt black bezel that won’t distract from those all-important kill shots but is a little on the thick side, measuring 1.5cm at the sides and top, and 2cm for the bottom. It’s adorned by the Acer logo top left, its model number top right, and an embossed red Predator logo in the bottom centre, which is just subtle enough to not be an eyesore.
In the right bottom corner you’ll also see an array of buttons split by a power LED that glows yellow if the Acer Predator XB241H is getting no signal and blue when it’s active. Unfortunately, we could find no way of disabling this light and it can be quite noticeable, especially when playing in the dark.
Acer Predator XB241H Connectivity
Thanks to its pivotability (yes that is a word, a glorious word), the Predator XB241H’s downward-facing connections are easy to reach. And as it has an internal power supply, you can just plug the provided kettle lead straight in without fussing with external power solutions or proprietary cables. We also really appreciate the physical power switch Acer has added.
Unfortunately, the implementation of the G-Sync (Gen 2) module means video connectivity will automatically be limited to one DisplayPort (DP) 1.2 and one HDMI 1.4 port – although that’s already an improvement over the original G-Sync module, which only allowed for a single DP. It’s also worth noting that the actual G-Sync tech will only work over the DP connector, so anything you hook up over HDMI will not be able to benefit. And on the video card side of things, you’ll need a GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST or better to take advantage.
For those bemoaning the lack of HDMI 2.0 here, due to the XB241H’s Full HD resolution and lack of HDR, there really is little benefit. The only thing you’re missing out on is the panel’s higher refresh rate, as Nvidia’s implementation of HDMI limits it to 60Hz; but then most AV sources – including consoles – don’t support higher anyway.
Last and least in this happy company is a lone 3.5mm headphone jack. We only wish Acer had placed this in a more accessible location, as it’s not convenient to pivot the display every time you’re plugging headphones in or out.