If you’ve lamented the dearth of inexpensive gaming monitors that actually perform well, your troubles may very well be over. The Acer XF251Q offers excellent performance and solid build-quality for around $200 at this writing. While it runs a bit slower than more expensive screens and offers a little less resolution, its overall performance is quite good. We were impressed with its nicely saturated image and build quality. This is a solid package that complements modest gaming rigs perfectly.
During our benchmark tests, we did find flaws in its gamma tracking. A slightly dark trace means that some mid-tone details may be harder to see. Color in that same brightness range is a little more saturated. It may be off-spec, but we found the added image depth and vividness to be a good thing. That, coupled with excellent contrast, made for a surprisingly good picture that easily had us forgetting about the XF251Q’s FHD resolution.
1920x1080 pixels can look good when the screen size is relatively small. At 24.5 inches, this monitor offers a respectable 90ppi. That’s enough for sharp detail and, more importantly, helps the panel perform well with less expensive video cards. Our Radeon R9-285 easily kept the frame rates between 60 and 70 fps in both Tomb Raider and Battlefield 4, and that was with detail set to Maximum. Thanks to a well-implemented overdrive, 75Hz and FreeSync, we saw no instances of motion blur, ghosting, or frame tears.
It’s easy to get a great monitor when you have $600 or more to spend. When your budget is a third of that, good screens are harder to find. Acer has answered the call for value with the XF251Q. If you have a modest gaming rig or a system built on a budget, it’s an ideal display that should be on your short list.
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