Post updated March 8th, 2016 at 01:37 pm
Acer’s Predator lineup of gaming products marked the company’s return to the high-end gaming market. The Predator 17 is a beast of a gaming laptop, and this product here, the Predator XB281HK, is quite a monitor as well. That being said, just how good is this 4K G-Sync gaming monitor?
What Is It?
The Predator XB281HK is a 28-inch 3840 x 2160 4K gaming monitor under Acer’s Predator XB1 product lineup. What makes this gaming monitor stand out from its competition is the fact that it features Nvidia’s G-Sync technology, which is ideal for eliminating screen tearing.
G-Sync is especially useful for those who game at less than 60fps, where screen tearing is particularly problematic in comparison to those who game at higher frame rates. Considering the fact that the XB281HK is also a 4K gaming monitor, G-Sync is a godsend for gaming at that high of a resolution.
Connectivity-wise, the Predator XB281HK has a HDMI 1.4 port, a DisplayPort 1.2, four USB 3.0 ports, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Interestingly, this gaming monitor also has two 2W built-in speakers.
Is It Any Good?
The XB281HK is a joy to game with. If you have a PC that is able to game at 4K resolution, it really is an experience 1080p monitors simply can’t offer. Everything looks crystal clear, and even a video game that isn’t very graphically-intensive like Grid 2 looks very, very gorgeous. The matte display is also a good way to avoid any issue with glare.
Despite the fact that the XB281HK has a TN panel instead of an IPS one, this is by far one of the best looking TN panels I’ve ever used. Sure, its viewing angles are no way better than an IPS panel, but when viewed head-on, this really is quite an impressive display with good colour reproduction.
For its intended purpose (that is, as a 4K gaming monitor with G-Sync support), the Predator XB281HK is a compelling display for gaming. The fact that the height-adjustable display can also be swiveled and pivoted add to the list of good features this monitor has. On top of that, it also has a 1ms grey to grey response time, which is perfect for gaming.
The Bad Stuff, Tell Me.
While G-Sync is an excellent feature, the 60Hz refresh rate of the Predator XB281HK is perhaps one of its most prominent downsides. While those who game at less than 60fps at 4K resolution – which is where G-Sync comes in to mask any screen tearing – will not mind this, those who prefer to game at a lower resolution will be limited by the XB281HK’s 60Hz refresh rate.
Other than that, it’s also worth noting – again – that the XB281HK has a TN panel. While this TN panel is definitely better than other panels of the same kind I’ve used in the past, the viewing angles, contrast and colour reproduction of this display are still nowhere as good as an IPS panel.
That being said, there are not many 4K gaming monitors with G-Sync support in the market. This fact alone – and it’s a very important one – make the XB281HK a compelling gaming monitor. This is even more true when we consider the monitor’s price tag of RM2,599.
Should I Buy It?
If you need a 4K gaming monitor, the Acer Predator XB281HK is well worth a consideration or two. It is well-built, supports Nvidia’s G-Sync, and most of all, priced rather well at RM2,599.
The only real concerns lie in the fact that the XB281HK uses a TN panel and has a 60Hz refresh rate. If these do not bother you, this is a very compelling gaming monitor that offers quite a lot of value for money.