For the past three weeks, I have been using the ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q monitor, which is, in my opinion, the best gaming monitor on the market. It provides a mix of 2560x1440 with 144Hz, but NVIDIA's G-SYNC technology is what simply tips it over the edge. Without G-SYNC, it's still the best gaming monitor, but G-SYNC is just the icing on top of an already delicious cake (and this is coming from someone who doesn't really like cake).
I have been a big fan of high refresh rates ever since pushing my CRTs to their limits back in the day of 3DFX and the start of SLI, but being able to game at 1440p at 144Hz... it is amazing. The problem is, trying to drive your setup - no matter how good it is - to 144 frames per second, while rendering 2560x1440, is a very hard job, even with GeForce GTX 980 video cards in SLI.
Enter the Acer XB280HK
NVIDIA is now enjoying the release of a second high-res G-SYNC capable monitor, thanks to Acer's new XB280HK. The Acer XB280HK is a 28-inch monitor too, but cranks the resolution up to 3840x2160, or 4K, or Ultra HD. Instead of 144Hz, we have 4K at 60Hz, which is a considerable drop in the refresh rate, but a big jump in pixels.
Acer's XB280HK is a well-specced monitor, so let's talk about what we have here today. The XB280HK is the world's first 4K2K display with NVIDIA's G-SYNC technology, which is really saying something, but we have some other things to talk about, too.
We have DisplayPort 1.2 driving the XB280HK, which seems to be the minimum requirement for G-SYNC. Acer has also provided four USB 3.0 ports for convenience, flicker-less technology, low dimming technology and something Acer calls 'ComfyView' technology, with the company explaining "the non-glare panel reduces reflection from light source".
Driving the 28-inch LED display is a TN-based panel with the 4K resolution of 3840x2160, with a 1ms response time. We have a contrast ratio of 1000:1, and 300nit brightness. It comes in black, with a height-adjustable stand, with the ability to tilt, too.
In the box, you receive the XB280HK monitor itself (duh), one DisplayPort cable, the power cable, and one USB 3.0 cable. Let's get into the performance of this monitor, and how it feels in games.
Box Contents & The Acer XB280HK Revealed
The box that the Acer XB280HK comes in is actually quite nice, as I expected a plain box from Acer. The box itself shows off the monitor, and the fact that it is a "Gaming Monitor", as well as the NVIDIA G-SYNC technology powering it, and of course, the Ultra HD resolution.
Here we have the front and back of the box.
There's not much happening on the side, but it does have a nice handle to hold it, and transport it with.
Opening the box, Acer shows you how to get the packaging out, the monitor out of the packaging itself, and how to get the screen snapped onto its base.
Here's the base, with the stand sitting on top and getting screwed into it - no screwdriver required, which is a very nice touch. It makes for an incredibly easy, and pain-free installation.
The base with the stand installed.
And again, where you can see the stylish black-and-red styling that Acer is going for with the XB280HK.
Voila! The Acer XB280HK monitor on its stand, looking directly at the front of it.
And again, but with the promotional/retail stickers taken off.
Here we have the XB280HK on its stand, taking a look at the rear of the monitor.
The Acer XB280HK can be used in portrait mode too, which is great for productivity, especially at the massive 4K resolution.
To the left of the rear of the XB280HK, we have the power socket and power switch.
The single DisplayPort port, and two USB 3.0 ports on the right side of the XB280HK.
Here are the other two USB 3.0 ports, found on the left side of the XB280HK.
This is where you'll be putting the stand, directly into the back of this, with the plastic button down the bottom capable of being pressed, which unlocks the screen from the stand for disassembly.
There's some cable management goodness on the back, so you can route through your power and DisplayPort cables - I've even routed through my keyboard cable, so it all goes through a single hole.
The buttons on the front of the XB280HK are easy to press, but I definitely prefer the super-awesome buttons on ASUS' ROG Swift display.
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