Acer Predator XB252Q 240Hz Monitor Review

Brightness & Contrast

To read about our monitor tests in depth, please check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test Monitors and TVs.Brightness and Contrast testing is covered on page two.

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Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level

There are plenty of high-speed monitors available today but only the Asus PG258Q truly performs on the XB252Q’s level when it comes to gaming. To round out the group, we have AOC’s AG271QG, Acer’s Z301C, ViewSonic’s XG2703-GS, and the sole screen without G-Sync, Monoprice’s MP27 Zero-G. All are capable of at least 144Hz.

The latest G-Sync monitors have truly improved their ULMB implementation by offering high light output. You’ll need that headroom to compensate for the unavoidable brightness reduction caused by a backlight strobe. The XB252Q pumps out 441.7892cd/m2, which is well-above its 400cd/m2 spec. That contributes to a higher black level, but resulting contrast is reasonable at just over 900:1. If dynamic range is your top priority, you’ll need to choose an AMVA panel like the Z301C, which has almost triple the contrast of the next best display.

Uncalibrated – Minimum Backlight Level

106.7008cd/m2 is a bit bright for gaming in the dark, but you could turn on a dim overhead light or use the Blue Light feature to prevent fatigue during long play sessions. That high minimum output contributes to a last place finish in the black level test, but contrast remains consistent at 894.2:1. It seems the IPS panels in the group have a slight advantage in image depth, but AMVA still ranks far above all.

After Calibration to 200cd/m2

ULMB at maximum pulse width only costs about 20% output, which is a good thing. Since the brightness slider is independently adjustable, you can run it up to its maximum for around 320cd/m2, which exceeds many other monitors in their normal modes. The cool part is black levels are lower, which takes contrast to just under 900:1, a 4% advantage. We haven’t seen that before, and it signals a trend of improvement in the technology. ULMB is no longer simply something to add to the feature list. It has become a usable way to reduce motion blur now that it doesn’t require so much compromise in brightness and contrast performance.

ANSI Contrast Ratio

The XB252Q’s ANSI contrast is only a tad lower than its sequential number, which indicates good panel quality. The grid polarizer is fitted precisely, preventing unwanted backlight bleed and hotspotting. Our uniformity tests on page five show that our sample is a solid performer. While this monitor doesn’t have fantastic contrast, it is consistent and reliable.

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  • Lucky_SLS
    These 240Hz r for the Hardcore Henry of e-sports gamers,
    Bring out the HDR and FreeSync 2 beauties !!!
  • dstarr3
    The last time I had a TN panel was 15 years ago. I should give them another shot, they probably look a lot better today than they did the last time I had one.
  • BulkZerker
    Where's the freesync version?
  • AgentLozen
    I'm happy to see that engineers keep pushing the limits of panel technologies. It's a shame that this monitor couldn't have ran at a higher resolution or used a better display technology. Subjectively, can you see the difference between 144Hz and 240Hz?

    DSTARR3 said:
    The last time I had a TN panel was 15 years ago. I should give them another shot, they probably look a lot better today than they did the last time I had one.


    I'm using a Dell TN at home. After a little calibration, I think it looks great. Sometimes I notice the shoddy viewing angles and I sometimes wonder if it would look a little nicer with 8-bit color, but I'm satisfied otherwise. If you're in the market for a gaming monitor and you don't have bionic eyes that are sensitive to minor color inaccuracy, I'm sure this monitor would be great for you.
  • joz
    Maybe I'm showing my age...

    But when did Acer become a premium product supplier? They used to sit right above "EMachines" when it came to jokes (and spec sheets) about their products performance and quality.


    That being said, I've been perfectly happy with my XB27.
  • dstarr3
    496490 said:
    I'm happy to see that engineers keep pushing the limits of panel technologies. It's a shame that this monitor couldn't have ran at a higher resolution or used a better display technology. Subjectively, can you see the difference between 144Hz and 240Hz?
    DSTARR3 said:
    The last time I had a TN panel was 15 years ago. I should give them another shot, they probably look a lot better today than they did the last time I had one.
    I'm using a Dell TN at home. After a little calibration, I think it looks great. Sometimes I notice the shoddy viewing angles and I sometimes wonder if it would look a little nicer with 8-bit color, but I'm satisfied otherwise. If you're in the market for a gaming monitor and you don't have bionic eyes that are sensitive to minor color inaccuracy, I'm sure this monitor would be great for you.


    I actually do have "bionic eyes," lol. I do a lot of photo editing that relies on color-accurate, calibrated displays, and I can pretty reliably detect inaccuracies, which is why I ditched TN panels 15 years ago. But that being said, I don't really need critical accuracy when playing games. I think I'd be alright with a super-high refresh rate at the expense of super-accurate color in games. So long as it looks, like, not obviously way off, I'm sure I'd be fine with it. The viewing angles might be problematic, though.
  • ubercake
    How can Acer use the same panel as Asus and provide a monitor with the same specs, but in reality so much lower contrast? $70 difference.
  • AgentLozen
    DSTARR3 said:
    I think I'd be alright with a super-high refresh rate at the expense of super-accurate color in games.


    That's what I'm trying to describe. There's never been a time when I was like, "Does Mercy have brown hair or blonde hair?" The picture is pretty good especially after a little calibration. I'm speaking from the experience of my Dell TN.
  • dstarr3
    299576 said:
    How can Acer use the same panel as Asus and provide a monitor with the same specs, but in reality so much lower contrast? $70 difference.


    If I had to guess, binning. The panels roll off the line, some are better than others, Asus pays the premium for the best ones, Acer takes the rest.
  • Lucky_SLS
    ^ wait, that's there even in monitor panels? I thought binning is only for cpu.
  • egyptiankang
    299576 said:
    How can Acer use the same panel as Asus and provide a monitor with the same specs, but in reality so much lower contrast? $70 difference.


    You can pick up the XB252Q for $430 if you are near a Micro Center guess it's just the Asus Rog tax.
  • dstarr3
    2381310 said:
    ^ wait, that's there even in monitor panels? I thought binning is only for cpu.


    I don't know for sure if there is such a thing as binning with monitor panels, but binning is absolutely a manufacturing procedure that extends beyond CPUs. Wristwatches, for example. A wide variety of watches use mechanisms that were built on the same assembly line, but the ones that roll off the line and keep better time go in more expensive watches.
  • Lucky_SLS
    ^ yeah, I know abt binning, but just wasn't sure abt screen panels though. Mostly cuz I don't know how they are manufactured. [mechanical engineer here ^_^]
  • extremepcs1
    I'll stick with my 16:10 IPS.
  • Rekta1981
    1440p sure but not 1080p
  • AgentLozen
    extremepcs1 said:
    I'll stick with my 16:10 IPS.


    God pulled a week of all-nighters on a 16:10 IPS when he designed the world. The art assets are all made in MSPaint and He wove it all together in assembly.
  • sztepa82
    The article starts with "In the battle for gaming monitor supremacy, there’s Acer and Asus, and then there’s everyone else." WAT.......

    I didn't bother to read any further
  • Lucky_SLS
    ^ but that's pretty much true imo. LG, all though a good panel maker, doesn't have many high end monitors and no g sync to be particular. View sonic has just entered the market and BenQ is just now slowly including g sync ones in its portfolio.
    So yes, Asus and acer are the front runners.
    Samsung monitors till now have ghosting issues.
  • AgentLozen
    I'll trade you 10 units for a copy of Noma's Virus.
  • SilentMarket
    299576 said:
    How can Acer use the same panel as Asus and provide a monitor with the same specs, but in reality so much lower contrast? $70 difference.


    Because Acer doesn't get the TÜV Low Blue Light certification, it doesn't pay for a better filtering technology, which means a bad blue light filter and intense eyes drain.
    This monitor hurts my eyes so bad in dim light that I had to returned it.
    While Asus PG258Q is fine in the dim light.