Pros: I’ve been watching this AU Optronics panel for two years and finally decided to purchase one. The brands available are; ACER, ASUS and VOC that I'm aware of and all use the same panel.
Complaints are legion on ALL the models using this panel, which suggest that the process capabilities aren’t near a 1.0 Cpk (99.98% adherence to specs for each critical attribute). When you can’t meet statistical process center Cpk of at least one, you now need to sort production one at a time for defects, or, send then out anyway and let your customer base be the QA department! The more non-compliance’s there are to each specification the more likely you will get a monitor with an “issue”.
My selection was the ACER as it had a more stable looking stand and the USB ports are on the left screen edge, making them fit my desktop better. The AU Optronics panel and its QA shortcomings are still along for the ride. Since ACER and Unipac Optoelectronic merged together, I figured they might get a better “sort” on panels. Maybe after two years the process is better sorted out. Maybe.
My 27” Predator XB271HU Bmiprz looks pretty good. The screen uniformity isn’t spot-on, the left and right sides of the screen aren’t the exact same shade, but acceptably just “OK”. I have no dead or stuck pixels, and the back light bleed in the corners isn’t awful and yes, the lower right is the worst. But, it is hard to all but invisible in actual use. I use the ACER ICC monitor color profile and they seem pretty darn good. Before I loaded that ICC profile, I set the OSD to the best picture possible so games that ignore the W10 ICC profile still look very good.
The stand is sturdy and by far the best monitor stand that I’ve used. You can get the monitor where you like it. The OSD button controls are NOT and issue at all. Let me repeat that, the OSD buttons are NOT an issue! I went from a Samsung with the joystick (the best one out there) and going back to a five-button OSD system wasn’t a problem at all. The intuitive nature takes merely a minute or so to sort out and you are on your way. Hit ANY of the five buttons to get the main menus screen and the proper buttons are under each icon and yes, even in the dark it is easy to use the right button. I’m perplexed by the complaints on the OSD.
I use a GTX970 so I have to disable all the AAA features and a few shadow and light ray features to push FPS to 70-80. I set refresh to 144 Hz. The G-sync seems to do its thing, as I don’t notice any screen tearing or visual instability. Going from a 27” curved screen 1080P Samsung S27D590CS at “max” setting in the same game isn’t a comparison. The 2560x1440 resolution, even with items turned down run away with image quality. No, the move from curved to flat wasn’t even a noticeable detriment with a 27” screen size.
When the newer GPU’s are out, and 1440P can be run flat out at 144 Hz, you won’t need G-sync or free-sync so any GPU is then an option with this panel. For now, I do indeed use the G-sync while I wait for the newer GPU’s (and proper prices). The NVIDIA GTX1080 can’t run 144 Hz solid. Locking the upper FPS with V-sync can’t help me as I’m too slow to ever exceed the 144 Hz in a game.
The use of ULMB blur reduction needs a SOLID 85, 100 or 120 Hz refresh rate to stop screen tearing but if you can reach those targets, and the dimmer screen can be mitigated with brightness…it is far and away better than G-sync to my eye. You have to see near zero motion blur to appreciate it. To not go ABOVE the target Hz for ULMB, you need to turn on V-sync so the frame rate and monitor are always LOCKED to ONE frequency.
The screen has a nice thin bezel around the panel and build quality AROUND the AU Optronics panel is good. It is still plastic but has a decent feel to it. The USB options are good, too, on the left edge.
Cons: I have no complaints on how this panel works so far. I think that the color needs to be spot-on out of the box for what you pay. The edge bleed seems to be an artifact of higher refresh rates but so far it isn’t an issue. The Samsung 27D590 had it across the entire screen so it hides in plain sight. The UNIFORMITY made it seem “normal”. The XB271HU is so much better across 85% of the screen area that those corners are now “not normal” to your eye with an all black screen in the dark. So it’s improvement is sort of obvious. In desktop use, the clarity and richness and depth of the colors are just plain beautiful. I see color shades on stuff I never even knew were there with the Samsung. That may be simply 1440P verses 1080P but this screen has color gradients well in excess of what I used before, and the Samsung was a consistently nice screen. I will mention that as the panel is on awhile, the uniformity shifts across the screen on mine. Not a lot, but it is there. The left is a touch truer to white than the right, which captures a tint of blue coolness. This isn't a graphics panel so I'll let you decide what that means to you. It beats a TN panel on colors, but is an OK IPS panel. You buy this panel for gaming seamlessness and typical desk top work, not color perfect photo work.
For $500-$700 it shouldn't be there to have meaning. $450.00 maybe it does. Stuff is getting out of hand on price (too high) and quality (too low) of late. You can't seem to get things that 100% works and that make the higher price seem like an after thought once you have the product. High price should mean it flat works on EVERY unit and for every feature.
Over all I have to say three eggs as the CONSISTENCY of the experience isn't obvious to a buyer and the price isn't matching the consistency. Get a good panel and it is a knock out (good to the extent of the corner bleed being "normal"). I just decided what the hell and ordered one. I got an OK panel with slight color uniformity across the screen issues (well known) and slight corner bleed that is invisible in normal operation (typical), and one I'd say I wish I had for years, too. I had to wait two years to get one to say that. THAT is the problem! This was an expensive purchase with too much anxiety and possible mediating the hassles getting another panel. But it gets far worse when New Egg customer service kicks in (see below).
Overall Review: I can’t say that this panel is a good value as it seems to be too inconsistent, and customers seem to be the QA department. Good companies don’t do that to you. That’s not a value to me. I have an OK display but took the gamble that the panel had typical corner bleed issues that aren’t too bad and hopefully with no stuck or dead pixels. Color calibration on this panel seem good with the ACER supplied ICC profile. Use them AFTER you set the OSD so game that ignore W10 profiles still look good. Set the OSD colors as close as you can to get a nice even WHITE…not bluish white or yellowish white. Once that's done the other colors seem to fall into place. Set the desktop to an all white background in "right click, personalize, picture, solid color". For a fast gaming display colors are really nice but they should be out of the box nice.
The price dropped from $700.00 to $550.00 a week later on most web sites. It seems to be a better value @ $550.00 but be careful with New Eggs price match, it won't cover manufacturer's web sites, even though they seem to be a valid retailer. I submitted a price match to one of their listed retailers at the ~ $550.00 but no activity so far. I didn't get a price match email validation guarantee on submittal, odd, so I did a screen prints of everything, and Email time stamps. This process, although seldom used, should be much more seamless.
Pros: [6/23/18] I am knocking off another egg and I'll go into details why at the bottom of the "other thoughts" section. I will leave the rest of my original review as is.
144hz has to be experienced to truly appreciate it. I don't think I can ever go back to a 60hz monitor again for gaming. Animations are so smooth and textures are sharp. Really sharp.
1440p/2k - The sweet spot for graphics and performance. The thought of jumping to a 4k monitor crossed my mind, but I'll take a constant 144fps @ 2k versus "maybe" 60 @ 4k.
Color Reproduction - I was previously using a Dell Ultrasharp 3007wfp-hc. This was king of hill 10 years ago and to this day is still one of the best out of the box screens out there for Photoshop because of the color reproduction. I have to admit, the predator, after about 5 minutes of tweaking, is just as good. (And you will spend a few minutes adjusting colors/brightness as the out of the box experience is obscenely bright and lacking contrast.)
Responsiveness - This is partly due to the 144hz, but the response time of this monitor is so low it reminds me of the days of gaming on CRT's. I've even tried out a few older games and I'm amazed at how fluid and smooth movement is now.
G-Sync - Does it make gaming on this monitor better? Absolutely! Is it worth the price tag of what you get? No. G-Sync does deliver some incredibly smooth tear free, stutter free gaming but if you're sporting a GPU that can already punch 144fps in most games then you're really not gaining anything here. But, for those few cases it comes in, it's nice.
The bezel - I'm amazed at how thin the bezel is on this thing. The 3007wfp I mentioned is a 30" monitor. This is 27". However, when you look at them side by side you'd think there's a 6 or 7" difference because of how much smaller the bezel is on the Predator. In my eyes though, I can appreciate the room it saved on my wall.
Cons: Ok... So far the Predator sounds amazing, right? What's the catch?
Well I'll start with my minor first. The OSD is so frustrating to use you will end up dropping a few "adult" words. Navigating the menus is a game within itself. I don't understand how someone thought this layout was good on a monitor in this price range. Usable? Sure. User friendly? Pffft.
The second issue is a quality control one and one that is documented. Occasionally when changing resolutions or alt-tabbing to desktop or even turning the monitor on I'm greeted by a vertical line down the left or right side of the screen. Very noticeable and annoying to see. And it happens almost once every day or two. I'll save you the time I did with my research and tell you there's 2 ways to fix it:
1. Turn the monitor off and back on again. Simple, but annoying; it won't damage the monitor at all so it's not the end of the world.
2. And this is taken from Acer's support forums in response to users posting about this problem. You need to send in your monitor to Acer so they can run a firmware update that fixes the issue. So you have to package it back up, ship it out, wait for it to be updated, and then shipped back to you. (And pray that it's not damaged at all during both trips and during the firmware update.)
I don't know why but that rubs me the wrong way for a monitor competing in this price range.
Overall Review: I'll wrap this review up by saying, if you're patient enough to deal with the OSD controls and don't mind occasionally powering off and on your monitor then you are going to absolutely love what you're going to get. It's that same wow factor one would get when they finally go from a 2 or 3 generation old video card to a current one. Or moving from platter drive to SSD. 60hz to 144hz is that noticeable of a difference.
But with all that said, this monitor doesn't deserve 5 eggs. I could have probably lived with it if there was only the OSD issue or only the vertical line issue. But together it deserves knocking off an egg.
So I'm left with answering 2 questions:
Do I recommend this display? Honestly, I'm still happy with the purchase despite those two issues. So if you're on the fence with this particular model, I'd still say go for it.
Do I recommend going to a 144hz display? If you don't have one in your cart by the end of the day, even if it's not the Predator, I'd seriously say you're doing yourself a disservice!
So... After a year of owning this monitor I'm knocking this down to a 3. There is another occasional bug which, after digging around the web, seems to plague a number of people. With G-Sync enabled your display will sometimes lose signal. This happens normally right in the middle of a game. It's beyond frustrating and once it starts the screen will lose connection for a second or two, come back on for a few seconds, and rinse and repeat until you disable g-sync. I've tried 2 different DP cables and two different PC's with 2 different GPU's. It's the monitor. Disabling g-sync is the ONLY way to get it to stop after it starts. And re-enabling it just makes it immediately start happening. A full reboot is required to "reset" the behavior. Even then, not 100% that it won't come back during the same gaming session.
What is equally frustrating is that Acer's response to customers for low ratings is a copy/paste of "...this is not the experience we want our customers..." If this is the case, WHY WERE SO MANY SHIPPED OUT WITH THE BUGGY FIRMWARE?! No one wants to pay to ship back a monitor in this price range to fix something that shouldn't have been there in the first place. The correct solution would be to provide a way for us (or those of us comfortable enough to do it) to update our own monitors.
Don't get me wrong, when it's working right this monitor is AMAZING. But... Once you experience one of the bugs you literally want to send your fist through it. More so in the middle of playing a close FPS game and your screen just goes black with "no signal".
At this point I can honestly say I would look elsewhere for a high refresh g-sync monitor.
Pros: This was the first monitor I've purchased over 60hz. The difference is huge. I didn't realize how extensive the difference until I was looking at this side by side with my Asus 24" 2ms 60hz. It's staggering how much less strain I put on my eyes with this monitor. The real difference is in first person shooters.
This monitor didn't make me any better at PUBG, but I can no longer use the excuse of not being able to see every little detail.
I paired this with the purchase of a MSI 1080 DUKE and the Gysnc thing seems pretty good, though to be honest the jump to 165hz more than overwhelmed whatever effect Gsync might have. It's the prettiest gaming experience I've ever had.
Cons: My first one arrived with a bright green dead pixel in the middle of the monitor. As you would expect, Newegg was wonderful about shipping a replacement, but it was frustrating to wait two weeks. The second monitor is perfect and there's no going back to sub 144/165hz.
It's expensive. You really have to budget around the cost of a gysnc monitor right now. Never before has the cost of a monitor been such a factor when putting a new system together.
Overall Review: So here's the deal. Like many of you I've been building my PCs for gaming off Newegg since the early 2000s. You log in, read a bunch of reviews and piece together a new gaming rig that hopefully lasts 2-5 years before you update it, or do a new build. Total cost is likely around $1200 for something nice that will last.
Monitors that are this expense, but this pretty are kind of a game changer to how you think about the overall cost to a new system build. Am I happy with it? Yes! Would I recommend it to someone who's on a budget, or even trying to be careful of costs? Probably not.
The combo of an Nvidia Gysnc monitor/graphics card could very well be a 50% increase to what you're having to budget for your rig. This feels to me like a new way to have to think about building gaming machines.
If spending $550-$800 on a monitor won't really hurt you, then buy it! If it means making financial choices elsewhere in your life - I'd say pass and get a much less expensive 144hz non-gysnc monitor.
Pros: 165hz overclock on an IPS panel - Epic
G-Sync - Matches refresh rate with your GPU and monitor making for a tear and flicker free experience. Note that this requires a nvidia GPU
USB 3.0 ports - Very handy
Cons: The speakers... not sure why gaming monitor manufacturers continue to include garbage tinny sounding speakers. We aren't using them. Anybody dropping around 700 bucks for a gaming monitor is going to be using headphones or high quality dedicated speakers. I'd rather the cost of the monitor be reduced versus including terrible sounding speakers.
G-Sync adds 200 bucks to the cost which seems rather excessive considering AMD's FreeSync monitors are much cheaper. I suspect the price difference right now is due to the fact that none of AMD's cards are good enough to handle higher resolution monitors.
#Update - You may need to make some minor adjustments to fix issues with g-sync with some games. In my case it was Overwatch. Someone posted a solution of capping the framerate to be just shy of what the monitor is set to. In my case it was setting FPS cap to 142hz while my monitor is set to 144hz.
Overall Review: I have always used cheaper TN panel monitors with a max 60hz refresh rate. I had trusted, for too long, the old saying that you can't tell the difference beyond 60hz. This is NOT TRUE. Trust me and many other regular gamers that it makes a huge difference going from a max refresh of 60hz to 144hz+ (this one can go up to 165hz). If you are a gamer. Do yourself a favor and splurge for a good monitor sporting a high refresh rate. You will be glad you did and wonder why you waited so long.
#Update - 165hz overclock doesn't seem stable with some games. In my particular case R6 Siege, while absolutely fine in game, will exit to a black screen when quitting the game. In order to get my desktop back I had to power cycle the monitor. This only occurs when the overclock is enabled and only seems to happen with R6 Siege. Not a big deal, but something to consider if you MUST have 165hz. Might be a problem with my monitor but 144hz is fine so not worth returning it over.
IMPORTANT! - There was a serious issue (flickering, line down the middle) with this monitor that was corrected with a firmware update. This update requires the customer to send to an authorized repair facility to have the new firmware flashed to the monitor. Models manufactured before Dec 2016 had this issue. After checking out a bunch of reviews, it appears that earlier models also had QC issues with backlight bleed, dead pixels and wobbly stand. Fortunately, none of those problems exist with the one I received and it was manufactured Dec 2016. I'm not sure if Newegg can verify all of their stock is 'newer' or not, but I would definitely ask prior to ordering. I came across these threads while searching for g-sync solutions as I mention in the Cons section.
Pros: -The panel looks great, on par with the other higher priced IPS panels I've seen. The panel is as expected.
Cons: -Don't let the bezel less advertising fool you. The stock product display images are not reality. I know that true bezel less IPS panels don't exist and I didn't buy this monitor because of that trait. Knowing this wouldn't have swayed me not to buy this since I am only planning on using one, but it would have saved me a few hours of messing with settings in the monitor and video cards. I do however have to knock off an egg due to the fact that the manufacturer should be upfront with this. I could see someone wanting to use this in a multi monitor setup and being disappointed. It is documented on acer's community forums. An example is below.
Pros: -IPS panel is noticeably different from the TN panels that I've been using for the last 10 years. Colors pop.
-I came from a Dell S2719DG which I was happy with at the time, but this monitor is an upgrade even from that excellenent TN panel.
-Monitor stand is decent, although I don't use it since I have a ergotron VESA mount I use.
Cons: -Back light bleed is minor but it's noticeable if you are looking for it.
-Color uniformity isn't perfect. Some parts of the monitor are more red then others which is really noticeable if you are looking on a screen that has an all white background.
Overall Review: -It's embarrassing to admit, but I've gone through 7 of these panels through various retailers. 4 of them were the Asus PG279Q which uses the same panel but has a better design in my opinion, but the Asus monitors were pooh quality to be honest. All 4 of them had awful yellowing on half of the screen even though they were all a January build date. Color uniformity is bad on all these panels for the most part, but the Asus monitors were way worse then the Acer monitors I tried out (and of which I ultimately kept one).
-Would definitely recommend the Acer over Asus if you are in the market for a monitor with these specs.
Pros: Absolutely beautiful picture. Everything is so smooth @ 165hz it's unreal. From browsing the internet, to movies and games to scrolling through menus; everything is buttery smooth. The stand is very heavy duty, the pictures don't do it justice; the red legs are an anodized metal and it weighs a ton. The monitors menus are extremely easy to navigate and work well enough; while playing games like BF4 I can get into the menu, turn on an aiming reticle and be back in the action in a mastery of seconds.
And, again, the picture. What a beautiful ips panel this thing has. Very minimal BLB, no hue differences from left/right or top/bottom, crisp detail I everything... This monitor is gorgeous
Cons: The speakers are fairly weak; let's be honest, we're not buying this monitor for the speakers. The Displayport cable is finicky, might be worth picking up an extra (I'm still using the original and it's fine so far)
Overall Review: I wouldn't let the negative reviews sway you out of purchasing. If you're in the market for one of the best gaming monitors out there, this is it. Vivid colors, wonderful picture, gorgeous display; quality control seems spot on with the current models
Pros: Good quality display, thin border
Cons: -Dumb "gamer" aesthetic
-didn't come with a displayport cable, and the HDMI cable it came with was only 3ft. If you're going to include a cable with your thousand dollar screen, at least make it a minimum 6ft
-After about a year it developed this frustrating, recurring issue where the screen starts to randomly and repeatedly show a no signal message for no apparent reason.