As someone who has been using an OLED TV for console gaming for several years now, there are certain advantages for OLEDs over LCDs. You get perfect blacks (leading to high contrast), low latency, and great viewing angles. That's probably why there are now more OLED gaming monitors in the market, like the Acer Predator X27U, a 27-inch 1,440p gaming monitor touting a 240Hz refresh rate and 0.01ms response time.
- 27-inch OLED panel, 2,560 x 1,440 pixels
- 240Hz refresh rate, 0.01ms response
- AMD FreeSync Premium
- DisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0, Type-C (90W PD), 2x USB 3.2, audio out, built-in KVM switch
If you're not a fan of the garish LEDs often found on gaming monitors, the X27U would be perfect. It has a clean, all-black design without any bling. To me, it looks like Acer mounted a module with the I/O ports to the back of an ultra-slim OLED panel. The X27U offers height adjustment (150mm), a good degree of swivel (25 degrees) and tilt (-5 to 25 degrees). You can also pivot it by 90 degrees into portrait orientation. There are two built-in speakers that will do in a pinch, but they predictably lack bass. So I would recommend a good pair of gaming headphones instead. What's more useful here is the built-in KVM switch that works with the USB-A and USB-C (with 90W PD) ports.
The X27U uses a WOLED from LG. The W here stands for the panel's extra white subpixel (besides the usual red, green, and blue). It helps to bring up the brightness (and hence lower the risks of burn-in), which is great. But at the same time, the extra subpixel means that text looks slightly blurred. I got used to it, but it was annoying initially. On the other hand, the OLED screen is great for videos with its deep blacks. It's not quite as bright as OLED TVs for HDR, though. The matte anti-glare finish is excellent, reflections are minimal, and the screen offers a nice uniform white canvas when editing photos and videos. Acer pre-calibrated the monitor for sRGB, and includes a report with the colour accuracy and delta E numbers. But you don't need a report to tell you that the X27U's colours look more than fine.
The 1,440p resolution is spot-on for a 27-inch gaming monitor — 4K wouldn't do much at this size. It has a whopping 240Hz refresh rate, which is overkill for anyone not playing Valorant or CS:GO. Coupled with OLED's inherent low latency and HDR performance, the X27U is great for gaming. But unlike a TV, I had to manually toggle HDR in the OSD settings, which is a hassle. You use the joystick at the front bottom of the monitor to access the monitor settings. There's also a Game Assistant in the settings that adds gaming-related extras like a timer and a crosshair, as well as several preset gaming modes (Sports, Racing, and Action). An Image Retention Refresh feature pops up every few hours. You're supposed to run it to prevent burn-in. While Acer offers a three-year warranty, there's no mention of OLED burn-in coverage.
From the KVM switch to the pivot, tilt, swivel, and height adjustments to the lack of LEDs, I would say Acer is trying for an all-rounder here — despite the Acer Predator gaming branding. I found the X27U's rendering of text to be uglier than a LCD, but content creation should be fine. For gamers, it's all good with no downside. Except perhaps the price. At around S$1,300, the Acer Predator X27U isn't cheap, albeit reasonable for an OLED. If you can't be bothered about perfect blacks, Acer sells a 280Hz, 1080p IPS monitor for less than S$400, while its Mini-LED 1,440p monitor is under S$600. But if HDR gaming and picture quality are what you crave, the X27U is better than using an OLED TV as a monitor. Get it from Acer, Lazada, Shopee, or Amazon SG.
Note: Review unit provided by Acer.
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