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Hands On: Acer Predator XB2 Monitor

The Acer Predator XB2 monitor is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

It doesn’t make much of a first impression visually or in the resolution department (standard 1080p), but this panel is capable of doing some pretty amazing things like G-Sync at 240Hz.

The Acer Predator XB2 retails for $549.

Gotta Go Fast

So what’s so special about the XB2?

The big deal, my friends, is the aforementioned ridiculous refresh rate. Most displays are still pushing 60Hz, and though that is changing with 144Hz refresh rates becoming more and more prevalent, 240Hz blows that out of the water.

For most people, the increased refresh rate provides a smoother viewing experience. If you’re a hardcore gamer, however, you know that refresh rates can make a huge difference, especially during high-level competitive play.

Keep in mind that this bananas refresh rate is only possible via DisplayPort. If you’re using HDMI, you’re still going to be locked at 60.

To go along with the refresh rate, the XB2 is also rocking a low response time of 1 millisecond, so if you’re playing competitive games, this monitor was built for you.

The downside of the high HZs is that you’re stuck at 1920x1080. No 2K or 4K here, but that’s the price you pay for the refresh rate, especially in this price range. If you’re looking for higher resolutions over frames per second, you’re going to want to go with a 2K or 4K panel. The good news is there are plenty of other options in the Acer Predator line if you want to go down this road, like the Z35.

The XB2 also has G-Sync enabled, so if you’ve got an Nvidia GPU, you’ll see even smoother performance.

Looks Aren’t Everything

You’d be forgiven for mistaking the XB2 for a much cheaper monitor than it actually is. Especially when compared to the other members of the Predator line, the design of the XB2 is a little underwhelming. The black plastic base pales in comparison to the bold red metal of its Predator brethren. The X shape of the base doesn’t have that aggressive aesthetic the line is known for, and though it provides sufficient stability, I’d very much prefer that it was metal.

The placement of the panel is fully adjustable – you can modify the tilt, swivel, pivot, and adjust the height to what’s comfortable for you. That’s definitely important.

The DisplayPort, HDMI, USB, and audio jacks are on the back of the display under a plastic lip, which is a bit frustrating. As someone who moves monitors a lot, I’d prefer them to be more easily accessible.

One area in which the design does stand out is the remarkably small bezel. The 24.5 inch display looks great on the two sides and the top where there is virtually no bezel at all, while on the bottom there’s a nicely placed Predator logo.

On the right side of the rear is a nub for controlling the menus, as well as four buttons for selection purposes. It has the fairly standard options you would expect from a modern gaming display, including pre-selected profiles and color and brightness adjustments. I had no complaints with the design or the functionality of the menus but, again, it wasn’t exactly thrilling.

More Than Meets The Eye

If you’re someone who values functionality over aesthetics, you are the primary demographic for the Acer Predator XB2. There’s no question it’s a highly functional gaming panel; the super high refresh rate and quick response time are clear indicators of that.

It may not be much to look at, but there’s no doubt the Predator XB2 is THE monitor to beat when it comes to refresh rate. If Acer can step up the looks a little bit, the XB2 is going to be a very serious contender in the crowded gaming display market.

Check it out here.