Today we’ll be doing a head-to-head comparison of two gaming monitors. Here we have the Acer nitro monitor XV273X.This is the first IPS monitor with a two hundred and forty hertz refresh rate, targeted at fast paced gamers. Unfortunately, it is limited to a 1080p resolution, but we’ll talk about that later. On the other side we have the LG 27GL850, and anyone who watches monitor reviews on this blog will recognize this popular gaming monitor with a 1440p resolution and lower refresh rate but still very fast 144Hz panel.
About Acer nitro monitor
So how do they compare? Well, in this blog we’ll be comparing the design, and the results of our testing for picture quality, motion handling, and input lag. Now as always, you can use the timestamps below if you want to skip to a specific test result. So, first up the design. The Acer nitro monitor has a simple design that should fit well in most settings. The borders and the legs are thin and look good.
The LG is different but doesn’t necessarily look better or worse so let us know which one you prefer the look of below. While the LG has an external power brick, the Acer nitro monitor’s power supply is built into the monitor, so it has a regular power cord. The Acer nitro monitor has a tripod-like stand supports the monitor well and feels stable, and although it takes up quite a lot of area with the large footprint, the legs are so thin that it isn’t really a problem for desk space. The LG has a similar footprint, but with allow-profile wing shape.
There’s also enough room to place things in front of the monitor. The Acer nitro monitor also has a good range of adjustability for comfortable ergonomics. You can change the height of the stand, swivel from side to side, tilt back and forth, or adjust to portrait. This is a bit better than the LG, which doesn’t swivel. For those who prefer clamping a VESA stand to their desk, you can also remove the stand on both of these monitors to reveal a VESA100x100 mount.
Now, the inputs of the Nitro are directed down the back of the monitor. There are the usual suspects with one Display Port connector and two HDMIs, and a headphone jack. The monitor can also act as a USB hub, with two ports at the back and two more on the left-hand side of the monitor. The LG has a similar range of inputs, although they are directed out the back and it lacks the two USBs on the side.
These two monitors also have some basic cable management for those who like a clean setup. Both of these monitors have a joystick for controls, but the LGs is a bit easier to accession the front. The on screen displays both works well and is easy to use. Alright, so that’s it for the design. We’ll now move on to the picture quality. Now, one of the first things that stand out between this Acer nitro monitor is the resolution. The LG has what is generally considered the sweet spot in resolution for a 27” screen, at 1440p.
This results in legible text without scaling; quite a bit of on-screen real estate and a good amount of detail when gaming – assuming your graphics card can handle it. On the other hand, the Acer Nitro has a 1080presolution which most people feel is a bit low. This results in a bit less fine detail and reduced on-screen area. The trade-off for this though is the higher refresh rate, which we’ll talk about later.
Now for the contrast ratio, which tells us how deep the blacks are when viewed in the dark. A high contrast ratio means the monitor can produce deeper blacks which results in a better-quality image, while a low ratio means that blacks appear gray in the dark. Both monitors have IPS type panels with mediocre contrast ratios, which is expected.
The Acer nitro monitor is higher and a bit better, but this doesn’t make a big difference for a dark room as blacks appear gray on both of these. This is the case with other IPS monitors as well that lack local dimming. Now on to the black uniformity Black uniformity issues present themselves as brighter areas around dark scenes which is commonly known as backlight bleed or BLB.
The Acer nitro monitor that we bought performs better, although it still has noticeable backlight bleed at the bottom edge and clouding in the middle of the screen. Do note though that this does vary between units due to tolerances in the manufacturing process, so yours may be different. Let us know in the comments below if you buy one of these Acer nitro monitor and how your black uniformity compares.
Now, one of the big advantages of IPS panels is that the image remains accurate at an angle, resulting in wide viewing angles. Both Acer nitro monitor are good, and this is important, because when viewing the screen from up close the sides of the screen remain accurate. Now onto the brightness A high peak brightness is important for overcoming glare in a room with a lot of light.
Both of these monitors have a good brightness; however, the Nitro is a bit better at about eighty nits brighter across all measured windows. This isn’t a big difference but could help a bit if you’re distracted by glare. Both of these monitors also support HDR, but we’ll talk about their HDR brightness later. Now, also important in a room with a lot of light is the reflection handling. Again, these Acer nitro monitor are fairly similar and are both a decent choice for a room with quite bit of light.
The Acer nitro monitor does have a slightly more matte coating, which can be seen as reflections are a bit more diffused. Most people do prefer this slightly less glossy coating type of coating on the Acer nitro monitor. Now on to the color accuracy both of these monitors come factory calibrated with a calibration sheet in the box which is great. We measured them both to have good accuracy– on the LG in the sRGB picture mode, and on the Acer nitro monitor in the ‘User’ picture mode.
Either of this Acer nitro monitor is a great choice if you care about accurate colors. Now, we also perform HDR testing on each monitor. To display HDR content well, a display needs to be able to produce bright and saturated highlights to match as closely as possible to the wider color spaces and secular highlights mastered in HDR content. When sending an HDR signal the Nitro does get a bit brighter at almost five hundred nits.
This isn’t a big different between them though as they both can’t boost areas of the screen due to the lack of local dimming so can’t really make highlights stand out. Now, moving on the two-color gamut, more differences between these monitors are visible. While the LG can display a wide color gamut for HDR, the Acer Nitro is locked to about the SDR sRGB color space. As a result, the LG may be better for those who want more vivid colors.
For accurate colors in SDR, this isn’t a problem though. So now onto our motion tests This is where things get really interesting. The Acer nitro monitor sports the first 240Hz IPS panel, which results in exceptionally smooth motion and a responsive feel as we’ll talk about later. On the other hand, the LG definitely isn’t far behind with a 144Hz refresh rate.
The gains from higher refresh rates diminish as you get higher – so this definitely isn’t as big of a difference as it might seem looking at these two refresh rate numbers alone. They also both support Free Sync variable refresh rates, for tear free gaming, and are NVIDIAG-Sync Certified. While they support the more open Free Sync standard, they have been confirmed by NVIDIA to work out of the box on newer 10 or 20 series NVIDIA graphics card, and we were able to check this on our GTX 2070.
So on to the response time. The response time is the time taken for a display to change pixels from one color to the next, for example to change between frames. A fast response time reduces the amount of Acer nitro monitor blur, which is very important for fast-paced gaming. Now, the LG is well known for its very fast refresh rate without much overshoot, which results in very clear motion and is great for FPS gamers.
The Acer nitro monitor also has an exceptionally fast response time with very similar great performance as can be seen in the two pursuit motion photos. Now, both of these monitors have options to adjust the response time via an overdrive setting and you can see our full measurements of each setting on the review. These photos were taken at the fastest overdrive setting without adding too much overshoot, with settings of ‘Normal on the Acer and ‘Fast’ on the LG.
Now, another advantage of fast refresh rate monitors is that they tend to have low input lag. The LG clocks in at about four milliseconds which feels very responsive and is close to the theoretical minimum of three and a half milliseconds for a 144Hz monitor. On the other hand, due to the higher refresh rate the Nitro has a lower theoretical minimum input lag, and this does make a difference. We measured its input lag at two point seven milliseconds, which is one of the lowest we’ve ever tested.
So overall, these are both impressive monitors and either could be a great option for gamers. Between these two, it really is a trade-off between resolution and refresh rate as the overall picture quality isn’t far off. For most people the LG is probably a better choice due to the 1440p screen, but if you really care about low input lag and the smoothest game play, then the Acer Nitro XV273X may be the way to go.