Acer Predator XB252Q 240Hz Monitor Review

Conclusion

Gaming performance has pretty much come down to the relationship between the video card and the display. While CPUs, motherboards, RAM, and storage all play a part, it’s the graphics chip and the monitor that most directly affect the interaction between player and screen. Thanks to adaptive refresh technologies like G-Sync and FreeSync, coupled with high refresh rates, it is now possible to achieve maximum performance in all areas with a relatively modest investment. A GTX 1080 Ti coupled with a monitor like the Predator XB252Q is pretty hard to beat, for those who dislike compromise.

At its core, the Predator is a TN panel running at a native 240Hz. It achieves this without overclock, which means all buyers are assured of the highest possible refresh rate. It keeps input lag and response times at their lowest by using FHD resolution and a 6-bit+FRC configuration to further optimize bandwidth.

While these things may seem old-school, the resulting package is one of stunning image quality and seriously immersive gaming. We’ve reviewed plenty of higher-res screens that provide hours of entertainment, but the XB252Q offers just a little more. With G-Sync from 24-240Hz, you’ll never see a frame tear no matter what video card you use or what game you play. A truly usable ULMB feature gives users another option for enhancing motion quality. And a super bright panel means you won’t give up brightness when using the backlight strobe.

While this display is ideal for competitive gamers, and has no real equal in speed, there are still things we hope to see in the near future. More resolution is always welcome. To have the Predator’s feature list at the QHD level would be amazing. And even though we have no real issue with TN panels, VA and its much-higher contrast is what we really crave.

The XB252Q is clearly a “last one-percent” product that incorporates the latest in gaming technology. It’s priced at the premium level, but we suspect most devoted gamers will appreciate its performance regardless of cost. It’s much like the difference between a Corvette and a Porsche 911. Both will go fast, turn, and stop on a dime. But no one regrets paying extra for the Porsche.

If you’ve already spent a lot on a high-end gaming system, the XB252Q won’t destroy your budget. It offers incredible performance and a gaming experience that few other displays can match. It’s a little lacking in contrast and color accuracy, but those things take a back seat to its speed and responsiveness. For those reasons, we’re giving it our Tom’s Hardware Editor Recommended award.

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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.