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Acer Predator XB3 (XB253QGX) review: An astonishing 240Hz gaming monitor

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Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
369
inc VAT

If you absolutely must have the best refresh rates, the XB253QGX is the monitor for you

Pros 
Stunningly accurate panel
Versatile stand
Sky-high refresh rate
Cons 
Expensive
HDR implementation is basic
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The Acer Predator XB253QGX is proof that gaming in Full HD isn’t purely for those with strict budgets. This relatively compact monitor forgoes high resolution in favour of a staggering 240Hz refresh rate and all the bells and whistles you could ever ask for.

Full HD might be synonymous with cheap in the gaming monitor industry, but in the case of the XB253QGX it’s a considered choice rather than a cost-cutting measure. This is a monitor for PC gamers obsessed with the highest frame rates and lowest possible input lag – anything that can give you a competitive edge in online gaming, in other words.

Acer Predator XB253QGX review: What do you get for the money?

The Acer Predator XB253QGX is a 24.5in IPS monitor with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, a maximum refresh rate of 240Hz, a quoted grey-to-grey response time of 1ms, HDR 400 and Nvidia G-Sync support. The Predator XB253QGX has four USB 3.0 ports (plus one USB-B port to connect them to your PC), two HDMI 2.0 ports and one DisplayPort 1.4 input. Sadly, you won’t find a USB-C port here.

The £369 XB253QGX is one of the cheaper options in Acer’s Predator XB3 range. It’s not what you’d call a budget monitor, but you’ll struggle to find any others with the same spec for much less. The Asus TUF Gaming VG259QM (RRP £340), for example, is one of the few monitors that matches the XB253QGX on paper, but it lacks a USB hub; the Alienware 25 AW2521HF (RRP £350) also uses the same combination of 1080p and 240Hz, but it has no HDR support and proved less accurate in testing.

The VESA-compatible IPS panel is mounted on a versatile stand with 25 degrees of tilt, 20 degrees of swivel left/right, 115mm of height adjustment and it can be rotated by up to 90 degrees in either direction for those who like to use their monitor vertically. In the box, you’ll find a power cable, HDMI cable and DisplayPort cable alongside the monitor and quick start/safety guides.

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Acer Predator XB253QGX review: What features do you get?

If it wasn’t clear from the exhaustive feature list above, this is one seriously well-equipped monitor. It takes its design cues from Acer’s usual inspirations. With not a single soft edge in sight, the Predator XB253QGX is menacing, or at least it would be if it weren’t so dinky. At just 24.5in, this is a fairly small monitor, and at 24cm deep the spindly-legged stand doesn’t hog space on your desk. It’s also easy to carry around.

Navigating the onscreen display is simple enough, although since the buttons are situated behind the panel, I often found it quite a fumble – they don’t quite line up with the OSD’s icons.

Within the OSD are controls for overdrive, adaptive sync, HDR and VRB (virtual response boost), the latter of which artificially improves response times. It’s worth noting that both VRB and overdrive will produce a small amount of ghosting when enabled, although if you’re the kind of competitive gamer that’s likely to use these features, you’ll be expecting this.

You can also adjust the usual array of picture settings: the XB253QGX has dedicated game and graphics modes, plus modes for various colour spaces such as sRGB, DCI-P3 and Rec.709.

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Acer Predator XB253QGX review: What’s the image quality like?

This brings us neatly to the panel’s performance. Straight out of the box and at maximum brightness, this monitor did well in our colour reproduction tests, covering 96.9% of the sRGB colour gamut. Our colour accuracy tests confirmed that the XB253QGX has a tendency to oversaturate certain colours in default mode, however, with an average Delta E of 1.9 stopping shy of an acceptable figure (1.5 or below).

If it’s accuracy you’re after, the XB253QGX’s dedicated sRGB mode produces 92.3% of the sRGB colour gamut. In this mode, colour accuracy is very good, with an average Delta E colour difference of 0.79. These figures are more than good enough for a spot of video or photo editing, although you might simply want to switch to sRGB mode to negate those mildly oversaturated colours.

Regardless of which mode you prefer, the colour temperature is on the warm side, and as such you might notice your image adopts a bluish hue. Contrast is as good as Acer claims at 1,060:1 in sRGB mode, rising to around 1,200:1 when you return to default mode.

What this all means is that the XB253QGX will make your games look great whether you’re a competitive esports player or not. Speaking anecdotally, this monitor is really enjoyable to game on, which I suppose is the point. The small panel, high refresh rate and (to a lesser extent) basic resolution are features chosen to appeal to gamers who rely on their gaming peripherals as a professional footballer might their boots.

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Acer Predator XB253QGX review: What could be better?

Let’s be honest: £369 is a lot to pay for a 1080p monitor, although obviously this is far from a budget offering specs-wise. I was also left unimpressed by the HDR capabilities of the XB253QGX. While the display does reach the required 400 nits peak luminance for HDR 400 certification, that’s just not bright enough to do HDR content justice.

There’s also no local dimming to speak of, which means the monitor can’t dim or brighten individual sections of the backlight. This limits how nuanced the monitor can be in terms of brightness and contrast when displaying HDR content.

To be clear, the effects of HDR 400 are visible: Battlefield V’s training zone looked immediately more vibrant, and I was pleased to observe that shadows took on a darker hue with HDR enabled (perhaps aided by the strong contrast ratio). But for true connoisseurs, HDR 400 is only really HDR in name, and it’s certainly the case that a monitor of this ilk will always be outclassed by a panel with local dimming such as Samsung’s Odyssey G7.

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Acer Predator XB253QGX review: Should you buy it?

While most PC gamers would tell you that 1440p at 144Hz is the sweet spot for most people, the very best gamers will stop at nothing to gain a competitive advantage. It’s this group who’ll best appreciate the Predator XB253QGX’s talents.

Indeed, if you’re confident that your GPU can push frame rates up to a solid 240fps at Full HD, and you’ve got the skills to match, then the Acer could just give you the edge you were looking for. For everyone else, it’s probably overkill, and while we don’t hold that against it, you’re better off sticking to the formula by nabbing a 1440p monitor such as the MSI Optix MAG272CQR (RRP £400) for a small amount more.

Acer Predator XB253QGX – Specifications
Panel size24.5in
Panel resolution1,920 x 1,080
Panel refresh rate240Hz
Panel response time1ms G2G (0.5ms MPRT)
Panel typeIPS
Adaptive sync supportNvidia G-Sync
HDR supportDisplayHDR 400
Ports2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DP 1.4, 4 x USB-A 3.0, 1 x USB-B 3.0, 1 x 3.5mm
Other features2 x 2W speakers
Stand ergonomics20° swivel, 25° tilt, 90° pivot, 115mm height adjustment
Dimensions (with stand)398 x 588 x 236mm (HWD)
Weight (with stand)5.3kg