At a Glance: Acer Nitro XV3 XV273K Review
Acer has taken an aggressive stance in the 4K 144Hz gaming display market this year with the Nitro XV3. This feature-rich display has an $899.99 MSRP, which undercuts competing products that predominantly list for over $1,000. Although the price and features of this display make it an exceedingly tempting solution for gamers, Acer had to cut a few corners to keep the price down and it may not be the best option for those who want a high-end display with all of the latest bells and whistles.
Design & Feature Overview
Acer designed this gaming display with an edgy, almost entirely black aesthetic. The display’s appearance is further accented by removable glare blockers. These help to improve picture quality by blocking out external light sources. If you plan to use the Nitro XV3 in a multi-monitor configuration, however, you’ll want to remove the glare blockers as they would partially obscure a second display sitting close beside it.
The high-end 27-inch IPS panel inside the dark enclosure supports a resolution of 3840×2160 and a fast 144Hz refresh rate. It also features G-Sync and FreeSync technology to prevent image tearing and ghosting.
The Nitro XV3 comes with support for HDR and it is rated to cover 90 percent of the DCI-P3 color spectrum. As tested by our sister site PCMag, the display is able to hit this mark right on the head, covering 90.8 percent of the DCI-P3 spectrum. It’s also able to replicate 85.7 percent of the AdobeRGB color gamut. For a gaming display, these results are excellent, and although the Nitro XV3’s color support isn’t quite good enough for professional-level image editing, it would still work well for that task on a consumer level.
Problems and Trade-Offs
Despite its $899.99 price tag, Acer’s Nitro XV3 is technically a budget-oriented product offering, as it’s one of the least expensive 4K 144Hz displays. This becomes more evident when you look at the less-important features. For example, this display features two 4W speakers, but they are mounted behind the display and fire away from the user, which essentially guarantees a terrible audio experience. This is a common design element of budget-oriented Acer displays that deeply bothers me, as they literally couldn’t pick a worse place to mount speakers and it makes me question why they bothered to include speakers in the first place.
After testing the display, PCMag reported a few other issues: the built-in settings and menu options were slow to respond and the panel has a notable issue with light bleeding.
An arguably more serious problem is you won’t be able to use all of the Nitro XV3’s best features together. The display is incapable of running HDR and G-Sync/FreeSync while operating at 4K with a 144Hz refresh rate. If you want to use HDR and G-Sync/FreeSync, you will need to limit the display’s refresh rate to 120Hz or lower. Alternatively, you could reduce the resolution below 3840×2160, but this would be the worse of the two options as image quality would also decline. When questioned by PCMag, Acer reported that the display simply doesn’t have sufficient horsepower to operate all of these features simultaneously.
If you are a gamer with an unlimited budget that just has to have all of the bells and whistles, and have them all going off at the same time, then we’d suggest stronger alternative solutions such as Asus’s ROG Swift PG27UQ, Acer’s Predator X27 and HP’s Omen X Emperium 65. All three feature a 4K resolution and a 144Hz refresh rate along with HDR and G-Sync and are able to use all these features simultaneously without compromise. They will also cost you anywhere from $1,649 up to a whopping $5,000, though.
Taking the above into account, many people would probably be more than happy to save hundreds (or thousands) of dollars with the Nitro XV3 and deal with its slightly slower 120Hz refresh rate. It may not be the best 4K 144Hz gaming monitor, but at $899.99 it’s still an incredible, feature-rich, 4K 120Hz display.
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