Acer’s gaming monitor lineup has some of the best monitors on the market, like the Predator Z1 lineup, and a lot of different panel types and technologies. The more we want to combine said elements, the higher the price, but we can also find models that are both balanced and well-equipped, as it is the case of the model that we will review today. This is a monitor that has and relies on great features that gamers seek, combining them with a high image quality.
In many occasions and to play games, we look for monitors with unusual resolutions and modern screen formats: ultrawide, curved or even both at the same time. In my opinion, we will always get it right with the classic resolutions like the one that this model has, given that game developers use them as reference and hardware manufacturers always prefer to satisfy most users with their more “profitable” models.
This is one of the many models that can be found in Acer’s Predator lineup, sporting a basic resolution but being less demanding in terms of hardware. This allows less powerful monitors to take advantage of the G-Sync technology and its 144 Hz vertical refresh rate, which is something that makes these monitors very attractive for those wanting high refresh rates, a good quality image and good prices in terms of GPUs.
The built-in G-Sync technology is last-gen. Although we can only take advantage of it with NIVIDA graphics cards, at least in this generation we use it in new ways, such as being able to use G-Sync through the HDMI 2.0 connector.
This monitor has a 27-inch display with a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution and a VA panel covering 100% of the sRGB color gamut. It has a 4-milisecond GTG response time and a remarkable brightness of up to 300 cd/m². The panel, as you can already imagine, provides perfect angles in every direction. It also has a slight curve that, given its size, does not really produce any significant visual improvement.
This monitor’s connectivity is indeed good but not outstanding. It has one DisplayPort 1.2 and one HDMI 2.0 port, both being too much in terms of the monitor’s frequency and resolution capabilities, but they allow us to use technologies like G-Sync with both of them.
The monitor also features a convenient USB 3.0 Hub with three available ports, which is also the way that you can connect the Tobii system to your PC. To make it work, we will need the monitor’s USB 3.0 connector plugged into our PC or laptop. If you don’t have a laptop, you can buy one, very cheap.
We are all mesmerized by curved designs. As time goes by, I realize that it is because of the entire display’s striking looks. A curved monitor’s design is much more stunning, but when it comes to daily usage, the stunning looks fade without really having an impact on ergonomics or image quality.
The Acer Predator Z271 is a really pretty monitor with a strong gaming design in red and dark grey. The thick and sturdy stand is made of metal and painted in two colors. The stand supports an arm that goes into the VESA mount in the center of the monitor’s structure. Its design is similar to that of any other monitor that can be pivoted, however we cannot do that with this model.
There are a lot of possible movements, as we can tilt and swivel the monitor; the stand’s height is great. The VESA mount allows us to use any 100 mm interface available on the market.
Acer pays attention to details, putting a lid over the monitor’s main connectors and leaving only the USB connectors outside the cabinet, as they should be the only ones really being used. The wiring is also placed well and some will appreciate the monitor’s external power supply, as it is much cheaper and easier to repair in case of an out-of-warranty failure. The charger is not bulky because the monitor is power efficient, and since we can manage it well to prevent it from being a “logistical” problem, it is not really bothersome.
Three out of the four bezels of the Acer Z271 are very thin: about 7 mm thick.
The USB connectors are located on the monitor’s left side, whereas the power plug and the video connectors are found in the typical area, which is hidden under the lid. The monitor’s speakers use the digital inputs to avoid extra wiring; it also has a headphone jack and the stand’s arm has a hanger to leave the headphones comfortably waiting until our next game session.
The power and control buttons are on the right side. There are three buttons and an OSD control that we can use to quickly go over the monitor’s OSD menus. Then we will see the settings, but almost all of those that we would like to find on a gaming monitor are there.
The monitor has a 1,800R curvature, but it is not really noticeable when using it daily due to the 27-inch screen. The curve is undoubtedly an interesting element of the design, but it will not change the way we play games on the monitor’s 27-inch display, which will usually be 1-1.5 m away.
G-Sync, HDMI, etc.
This monitor offers great features for gamers despite its low resolution. We will certainly not have an outstanding resolution, but among its great features we get a 144 Hz refresh rate, which is certainly easier to achieve with this monitor than with high-resolution ones. Besides, it means not spending much in terms of CPU and GPU.
This frequency and the G-Sync technology will give us a higher gaming quality and a really good image and video quality. The display’s brightness is also very uniform, and we have not seen any issues other than the usual ones for VA monitors. This type of panel is really popular because it manages to nicely combine the response time, color quality, refresh rate, resolution and price. In fact, this monitor uses the same panel seen on the Samsung C27FG70. Despite Acer changing the backlight system, Samsung’s panel is still better.
We also get the last-gen G-Sync technology, which can be combined with NVIDIA’s ULMB technology. Negative effects such as “input-lag” or “tearing” on screen can be reduced thanks to both the way that brightness is managed and the GPU and monitor synchronization. For this type of panel, my only recommendation is not to go below 40 FPS. Achieving this on any modern game should be easy with the monitor’s resolution and a mid-end graphics card.
The monitor has a full OSD setup menu including being able to reduce blue-light emissions that, as you know, can produce chronic retina diseases. Additionally, the monitor has an adaptive contrast system and a black enhancer, which I recommend if we use the screen as a multimedia monitor.
The Acer Z271 OSD gaming controls
Among the gaming settings, we will find a three-level overdrive and three different types of crosshair to choose. The monitor also has other more usual but interesting settings, like the six-axis color adjustments, configuration profiles that we can save and load quickly, a USB charge mode to be able to change devices, like phones and tablets, directly from one of the monitor’s USB ports.
Tobii is a technology that we have already tested in other occasions. It offers an additional mode to manage our PC: a striking and innovative eye tracking feature that works as the PC’s control interface mode or as a cursor. It works with Windows, but it also works as an extra control in very few games.
Tobii uses projectors and sensors to map our eyes and our heads’ position
It gives us more controls in games with a third-person POV. The list is short, and the most prominent games on it are the new Assassin’s Creed and The Division. In the latter, which we played, Tobii quickly helped us making changes and shooting.
This monitor’s panel offers excellent results with its factory calibration, as it gets close to covering the entire RGB color gamut while also offering brightness levels higher than expected. It has great blacks with a brightness of only 0.21 cd/m² and a pretty good dynamic contrast ratio of 1800:1.
The color gamut is great, and the “input lag” and “tearing” are totally under control thanks to G-Sync and the ULMB technology. The truth is that this curved monitor’s color quality surprised us, which was certainly possible because it uses one of Samsung’s current highest-quality panels.
We noticed that the color temperature levels for the white color were a bit low, but this is something that can be easily calibrated without impacting the display’s great color output thanks to the great brightness levels.
If we do not mind having a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution on a 27-inch monitor, then I think there are few better options on the market, maybe except for some of Samsung’s latest Quantum Dot monitors, which use the same panel.
The monitor combines the G-Sync technology with a panel that provides excellent colors, great brightness and an excellent refresh rate. These features will force us to spend around €600, which is a fairly competitive price if we take into account the alternatives on the market. This monitor has extra features, like the Tobii technology, and speakers that amazed us due to their power and quality.
It is a big gaming monitor, with a stricking desing and with all the features we look for in a modern monitor. One of the best market options in its segment.