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Acer Predator XB281HK Review- Gaming rig of another breed


Highlights

Rs. 60,000

Pros

    • Robust & muscular design
    • Ergonomic built
    • NVidia G-Sync

Cons

    • Narrow viewing angles
    • Color reproduction is dull
    • Grainy Pictures
    • Very expensive

Acer Predator XB281HK is a 28-inch gaming monitor based on TN (twisted nematic) panel offering 4K resolution. This monitor is meant for high-end gameplay at 1ms GTG and NVIDIA’s G-SYNC (V2) technology.
  • Review

 Introduction

Games are getting better and better every day, gamers want their rig to be top-notch with ergonomic design and crispy performance. High end gaming peripherals with ultra-fast response do the much needed justice to your high-end gaming GPUs. As gamers are growing round the globe, tech companies are unveiling far better products than ever before.

Acer Predator XB281HK gaming monitorTaiwanese electronic products manufacturer Acer recently took the wraps off its Gaming series in India along with some high-end devices for gaming enthusiasts. The series consists of projectors, cabinets, laptops and monitors meant for gamers only providing lightning fast performance.

The new from Acer reviewed here is a 28-inch monitor– PredatorXB281HK, a 4K display sporting a resolution of 3840 x 2160 at 1ms response time; laden withTN (twisted nematic) film display panel. The new Acer PredatorXB281HK offers a regular refresh rate of 60Hz giving the gamers what they expect from a gaming monitor.

The PredatorXB281HK comes with NVIDIA’s G-SYNC (V2) technology that improves synchronization between monitor and the PCs high-end GPU, intensifying the gaming output.

At such expensive price tag is it really worth your investment? Let’s find out.

Design and Dimensions

Acer Predator XB281HK Design and DimensionsAcer Predator XB281HK, a 28-inch beast looks robust and muscular. It stands way out of all the other monitors,featuring high ground clearance and vertically adjustable screen.

Acer Predator XB281HK is surrounded by a thick bezel.The quality of material used is tough and helps in holding the device while adjusting. Buttons are positioned at bottom right corner and all the connection ports are placed at rear side of the monitor that keeps connecting wires easier and tangle free.

The body of Acer Predator XB281HK is Height, Tilt, Pivot and Swivel adjustable that can easily be set up according to ones preferences. It can be swiveled in both left and right directions for appropriate viewing in case you need to show something to someone sitting next to you.Stand is made of thick plastic combined with all metal blades that resemble the sword of Optimus Prime. The ergonomic design of Acer Predator XB281HK gives it a tight placement on surface and keeps it stable.

For connection, the PredatorXB281HK comes with 1xDisplay Port v1.2, 1 x HDMI port, 1 x USB 3.0 in and 4 x USB 3.0 out. Acer has not used the regular adaptor and has come up with single power cord design. The length of the wire is also quite nice.

While using Acer PredatorXB281HK I didn’t find any complications with design or connections. Ports are well distributed at a decent distance in the back. Also, wires get enough space to breathe that keeps the set-up easy and tangle free. Body is tough and sits stable. Buttons are easy to use with an easily understandable interface.

Acer Predator XB281HK Design

Performance

Predator with the speed of cheetah couldn’t bring the beauty of Africa to its best.

Acer Predator XB281HK Performance

The Predator XB281HK comes with an aspect ratio of 16:9 at a resolution of 3840×2160. It’s an LED backlit TN panel, a display meant for high-end gaming performance only. I tested it with NFS, Dirt Showdown, Assassins Creed, wwe 2k16, Far Cry 3, Battlefield 3, Batman Arkham city and Mortal Combat. All the games run smooth and crisp even at high settings.

Acer Predator XB281HK gaming presets

I further tested it for viewing angles and color reproduction.

Acer Predator XB281HK color reproduction

There are 3 gaming presets that you can set to quickly switch from one color scheme to another. Light blue, warm colors and a bright color mode. Light blue color mode was useful in playing strategy games, bright color mode was good for racing and warm color scheme can be used in all the other kinds of games.Switching the presets is easy. You can also turn the gaming mode off for doing personal stuff.

With such great response time and high refresh rate at this price tag comes great responsibility. The gameplay might enthrall but there are a few limitations that I faced. Color reproduction was dull and there was noise in gameplay that could easily be seen sitting close to the screen. Because of TN panel the color reproduction offered by Acer PredatorXB281HK is not as lively and vibrant as that of an IPS panel. White color turns to give yellowish tint if the viewing angles are changed a little. But eventually you might stop noticing it as I did because of Predator’s breathtaking gameplay experience and crunchy response.

RGB matrix comparison of the Acer PredatorXB281HK vs. an IPS panel is shown below for a better understanding of color comparison.

The IPS panel has deeper and vibrant colors as seen in its RGB matrix

Acer Predator XB281HK RGB matrix

On the other hand, RGB matrix of TN panel shows less vibrant colors

Acer Predator XB281HK vibrant colors

If you want a sharp and less noisy picture quality, you’ll have to set-up your Acer PredatorXB281HK approx. 4-5 feet away of your seat so that grains are less visible keeping the details intact.

With G-sync technology at 4k resolution Predator definitely breaches the bar in gaming performance except most games only come with an output resolution of 1080p. However, due to its color reproduction it’s a laggard compared to most of the IPS devices that cost approx. 1/3rd of its cost. Also the refresh rate is only 60Hz considering the price segment it belongs to.

Lightning fast frame rate and fast response time might leave you mesmerized but the color reproduction and narrow viewing angles do disappoint a little.

Final Verdict

Acer Predator XB281HK has a robust build, easy setting and ergonomic design. Its gameplay is precise and accurate with good response but maintaining a distance of around 4-5 feet of the monitor is cheat for a better output. Predator’s color reproduction is average compared to an IPS display. However from a gamer’s viewpoint the overall gameplay on Acer Predator XB281HK is spellbinding. As soon as I played 7-8 games, I stopped noticing the color reproduction in Predator XB281HK. The refresh rate is disappointing considering its price. You can also look at the cheaper SamsungU28E590D 4K UHD offering similar specificationsor the WQHD (2560x1440)144Hz monitor, Asus PG278Q but that’s slightly costlier at 66k.

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