With 4K resolution increasingly becoming a standard for PC gaming (at least for those who can find a newer GPU without paying an arm and a leg), I’ve always wanted to see the point. What is big. My RTX 2080 works great on my 1440p ultra-wide monitor, but I’ve always wanted to test its mettle against real 4K. Now if you’re going to pay for better resolution, you might as well get bells and whistles, right? I’m talking about HDR support, high refresh rate, and G-SYNC. Welcome to the new Acer Predator X28 monitor, with all the fixes you could ask for.
- Price: $999.99 MSRP (Cherry), $849
- Screen Size: 28”
- Maximum resolution: (4K UHD) 3820 x 2160
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Response time: 1ms
- Overclocked refresh rate: 152 Hz
- Supported colors: 1.07 billion
- Brightness: 400 cd/m²
- Viewing Angle: Horizontal 178°, Vertical 178°
- Panel type: IPS (In-Plane Switching)
- Ports and connections: x2 HDMI® (2.0), DisplayPort (1.4), Headphones, 3x USB 3.0, 1x USB 3.0 Upstream, 4x USB 3.0 Downstream
- Color: Black
- VESA Compatible: Yes, 100 x 100mm
- Package Contents: 1 x Predator X28 Gaming LCD Monitor, 1 x Displayport Cable, 1 x HDMI Cable, 1 x Power Cord (US), 1 x USB 3.0 Cable
Acer Predator X28: Overview and features
Acer has been around for a while and seriously catered to the PC gaming market over a decade ago. The Predator series has always been one of the top mentioned brands among serious users, so it’s no surprise that the Predator X28 has a ton of features that keep it competitive. With an MSRP of $999.99, this is also a premium price. So are you getting top features for your highest dollar? Let’s find out together.
Unboxing the Predator X28 is a no-brainer, I’m fine. It comes in a simple cardboard box with minimal marketing and everything is secured inside with foam. The cables, legs, and stand are on the outside of the foam box, while the display itself is tightly packed inside. Setup is as easy as 1, 2, 3: screw the stand onto the stand, attach the monitor, and plug in the power cable. Quickly! The display’s housing is a clean, matte black plastic with a classy ‘Acer’ logo on the back and silver ‘Predator’ lettering on the front corner. The stand is also plastic, with the Predator logo displayed above and below, while the metal legs are metallic gray. The design is unobtrusive and without any obvious “Gamer” glare, such as LED lights, and would work just as well in a business office as it would in a Twitch streamer’s cave.
The 4K resolution is already a winner, but the Predator X28 takes things even further with its 144 Hz display. You can even overclock it to 152Hz via the monitor’s OSD in the gaming options. As everyone knows, ‘Frames Win Games’ to additional 8Hz refresh rate will do you much better than someone with only 144Hz screen. But seriously, having a 144Hz display on a 4K monitor is overkill, no exaggeration; I would be very pleased with the 120Hz refresh rate. For most gamers, it’s a matter of choosing one monitor over another – high refresh rate or high resolution – but with the X28 (and the right graphics card) you can have both. First, the X28 includes Nvidia G-sync support
The X in the Predator X28 might actually stand for ‘Xtra’, but 28 definitely refers to the screen size. The 28-inch monitor hits that great mark in terms of size and viewing angles, allowing you to feel like a big monitor without being obscene or obnoxious (like my 34” ultra-wide monitor). After all, you’re not trying to fit a TV on your desk; there are other options for that. It’s 25 inches wide, so if you do With desk real estate, you could totally fit two of these beauties side by side. Let’s talk about overkill, though.
Any bigger and you want that screen also curved. Thankfully, the IPS (In-Plane Switching) panel type offers excellent viewing angles of just under 180 degrees. Much better than VA or TN panels. In addition, the Predator X28 also has a 1ms GtG response time, on par with most TN panels, and a color accuracy of 90% DCI-P3 with support for 1.07 billion colors. By default, the maximum brightness is maxed out at 114 nits, but by changing the presets (or rotating it yourself in the OSD) you can turn the maximum brightness up to 450 nits. The X28 is a DisplayHDR 400 certified monitor, so you can enable HDR in any supported game for more accurate color and contrast (though that’s still less than the 1000 nits we expect). I consider necessary for “true HDR”).
Additional features include two USB 3.0 ports on the left side of the display for easy access and two more on the rear. The Display Port and both HDMI ports are also on the rear. There are two built-in 2 Watt stereo speakers in the X28, but they may not even be included as much as I’m used to (I wasn’t). The stand can be adjusted up and down and rotated left and right +/- 20 degrees. More importantly, the screen can rotate +/- 90 degrees in either direction, so you can use it as a portrait 4K monitor in picture mode if that’s your fault. Even if you’re not using it that way, it’s nice to be able to rotate the display sideways to easily plug DP/HDMI and USB cables into the back during setup. And, of course, there’s the option to mount it as well with a standard 100 x 100 mm VESA mount.
Performance and Test
To get the most out of the Acer Predator X28 out of the box, you need a bit of setup. By default, when I unbox it, the Predator looks pretty blurry and washed out. As it turns out, this was because the Eco mode was selected by default – this mode reduced the maximum brightness and enabled energy-saving options that reduced colors. The ‘Graphics’ mode has been set up to make the most of the screen without any extra financing. However, I felt the need to tweak a few more aspects, such as enabling Overclock to get that extra 8 Hz refresh rate and max out the maximum brightness.
Accessing the OSD to change these options is similar to that of other Acer monitors. There’s the classic analog stick control with included buttons just behind the right side of the screen. Clicking on this bar accesses the OSD, and the controls are labeled right there to see which buttons do what. Other nifty options in the OSD include adding an on-screen refresh rate number so you can see how many frames you’re getting, and a cross-targeting icon to bring the target onto the screen for players. FPS wants ‘360 without scope’ or whatever crazy kids do these days.There’s a full set of other Picture options including Blue Light Filter, Dark Enhancer, SDR/HDR Changeable Backlight option, Backlight Response, and a LightSense option that automatically adjusts brightness light to suit your environment. A nifty feature is the ProxiSense option that allows Predator to detect its prey you and will go to sleep, where it dims or turns off the screen until you come back. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to detect me and will go to sleep in a few minutes. It’s also not clear how it recognizes me, because I just waved my hand in front of it to no avail. However, tapping on the OSD options wakes it up.
In the ghosting tests, there was a clear difference between the different refresh rates, though less so between the 144 Hz and 152 Hz options. The most obvious difference is in the selection of different Overdrive modes. In the OSD there are options to set Overdrive to Off, Normal or Extreme. This Overdrive improves native GtG response times, but ghosting is so bad when set to Extreme that colors invert because it leaves a distinct image. For this reason, I would never recommend using Overdrive in Extreme – keep it on Normal or Completely Off.
One small fear I had after testing the UFO specter was a burn mark appearing on the screen. Small white pixels separate the temporarily burned UFO into the screen. Fortunately, this went away after about thirty minutes or so when switching to a video game with vibrant colors, which helped the pixels oscillate between colors and correct themselves.
The only major problem I have with the Acer Predator X28 is that the HDMI ports on the monitor are not HDMI 2.1, they are just the smaller 2.0b. What does that mean? Essentially, the maximum refresh rate at 4K over an HDMI 2.0b cable is locked to 60 Hz. Even the problem, right? This also means that the sparkling new PlayStation 5 and your shiny Xbox Series X console are also locked to 60 Hz, and games that support 120 Hz mode won’t get that benefit. Lucky for anyone looking for a monitor to do both PCs and play console games.
The Acer Predator X28 is a monster of a monitor with both 4K resolution and a refresh rate of up to 152Hz. However, the price of a small penny means you are paying for that performance. Anyone with a PC powerful enough to run games at 4K 152Hz can afford it. Even so, this monitor is still more expensive than certain competitors offering a better HDR experience for the money. The Gigabyte FV43UThe monitor’s 43-inch panel is more like a TV than a gaming monitor, but for $899 ($799 including discounts), it offers a better experience than the X28 can currently offer. grant.
But then it’s the 28-inch screen that makes this all the more appealing as an actual monitor than a small TV. At 28″, this Predator will sit comfortably at any table without being unduly overwhelming. Why choose between a monitor with a higher refresh rate or a monitor with a higher resolution, when you can just have both? If you’re looking to upgrade to 4K and don’t want to settle, the Acer Predator X28 is a solid contender, assuming you don’t mind paying a bit more.
The product described in this article has been lent from the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.
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