Acer ED270RM Review: 1080p 165Hz FreeSync Curved Gaming Monitor

The Acer ED270RM (ED270R Mbmiiphx) is an affordable 27" 1080p 165Hz gaming monitor with a 1500R curved VA panel and FreeSync support.

Bottom Line

The Acer ED270RM is an excellent budget gaming monitor if you want a 27″ high refresh rate display with a curved VA panel. However, if you’re sensitive to smearing and screen tearing, we recommend getting an IPS monitor instead.

Design:
(5.0)
Display:
(4.0)
Performance:
(4.0)
Price/Value:
(4.5)
4.4

Want a cheap 27″ high refresh rate gaming monitor with a curved panel and an ergonomic stand? The Acer Nitro ED270RM might be for you!

Note that there are different versions of the Acer ED270R:

We’re reviewing the ED270R Mbmiiphx model (ED270RM) which, unlike the other models, has integrated speakers, an ergonomic stand and HDMI 2.0.

Image Quality

The Acer ED270RM is based on a VA (Vertical Alignment) panel that boasts a static contrast ratio of 3,000:1, resulting in noticeably deeper blacks than that of IPS and TN panel displays, which usually have a contrast ratio of around 1,000:1.

Additionally, you won’t have to deal with IPS glow or the narrow viewing angles of TN technology. When it comes to color consistency, IPS monitors are still better as you can notice minor gamma/saturation shifts on the ED270RM at certain angles.

So, for professional color-critical work, you should consider an IPS panel display instead. For basic content creation though, a VA panel will do fine.

Moving on, the monitor has a peak brightness of 250-nits, which is more than enough under normal lighting conditions, but if you plan on using the screen in a particularly bright room with studio lighting or facing a big window, you’ll need to dim the lights or shut the curtains in order to mitigate glare.

Next, it covers the basic sRGB color space for vivid colors without over-saturation. While there are monitors in this price range that have a wider color gamut for a bit of extra vibrancy, they are only available as 24″ variants – the 27″ high refresh rate models are more expensive – we’ll mention them later in the article.

Now, the 1920×1080 Full HD resolution of the monitor is not ideal for its 27″ sized screen because you get a pixel density of 81.59 PPI (pixels per inch). So, text and fine details won’t be quite as crisp as that of monitors with a higher pixel density.

For instance, a 24″ 1080p monitor has 92.56 PPI, while a 27″ 2560×1440 display has 108.79 PPI.

However, if you want to use the monitor mainly for gaming and content consumption, this won’t be an issue as the individual pixels aren’t that noticeable unless you’re working with text a lot.

Performance

amd freesync logo

A 165Hz refresh rate greatly improves the gaming responsiveness in comparison to the standard 60Hz/75Hz displays. You get lower input lag (~4ms) and notably smoother motion clarity.

To take full advantage of the refresh rate, you’ll also need to output high frame rates – ideally 165FPS, but even at around 80 – 90FPS, you can notice a big improvement over 60Hz.

The main downside of most high refresh rate VA panel gaming monitors is the subpar pixel response time performance.

There’s noticeable trailing behind fast-moving objects that turns into smearing in darker scenes. Some gamers don’t mind this, but some are completely repulsed by it, so it comes down to your personal sensitivity to these visual artifacts.

There are three response time overdrive modes: Off, Normal and Extreme, which we recommend leaving at the default ‘Normal’ mode.

Additionally, the Acer ED270RM supports variable refresh rate (VRR) via AMD FreeSync Premium. It’s not officially certified as ‘G-SYNC Compatible’ by NVIDIA, but you can also use VRR with supported GeForce GPUs over DisplayPort.

VRR synchronizes the monitor’s refresh rate (Hz) to your frame rate (FPS) in order to prevent screen tearing without introducing perceptible input latency as V-Sync does.

Sadly, it’s common for high refresh rate VA monitors to exhibit brightness flickering when using VRR. It won’t be present in every game, but you can usually notice it if your frame rate is around the LFC threshold (48FPS), in in-game menus and loading screens and in games with fluctuating frame rates.

So, in games where brightness flickering is too obvious, we recommend disabling VRR as screen tearing is not nearly as noticeable at 165Hz as it is at lower refresh rates.

Alternatively, you can use the VRB (Visual Response Boost) technology, which uses backlight strobing to reduce perceived motion blur. However, it reduces the monitor’s brightness while active and it cannot be enabled at the same time as VRR.

VRB also introduces screen flickering, which is invisible to the human eye, but those sensitive to flicker might experience headaches after prolonged use.

Features

Acer ED270R M OSD Menu

Beneath the bottom bezel of the screen, there’s a power button and four hotkeys for navigation through the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu.

Useful gaming features include Black Boost (improves visibility in dark scenes), Aim Point overlays, various picture presets and a refresh rate tracker.

In addition to the basic image adjustment tools (brightness, contrast, color temperature, etc.), the Acer ED270RM also offers gamma presets, Auto Source (input detection), 6-axis hue/saturation and aspect ratio control.

There’s also a low-blue light mode, while the backlight is flicker-free (unless VRB is enabled).

Design & Connectivity

Acer ED270RM Design

The stand of the monitor is fairly sturdy and offers a good range of ergonomics, including up to 120mm height adjustment, +/- 180° swivel, -5°/25° tilt and 75x75mm VESA mount compatibility.

The screen has a light matte anti-glare coating that prevents reflections without making the image too grainy. It also has a moderate 1500R curvature for added immersion.

Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.4, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a headphone jack and dual 2.5W integrated speakers.

All three inputs support 1920×1080 up to 165Hz. The 1080p 120Hz console mode is also supported, along with FreeSync over HDMI for the Xbox.

Price & Similar Monitors

The Acer ED270RM goes for around $150, which makes it one of the cheapest 27″ high refresh rate gaming monitors.

There’s also the Acer Aopen 27HC5RV model with the same specifications for $10 – $20 less, but it doesn’t have an ergonomic design.

As we’ve mentioned earlier, there are 27″ 1080p high refresh rate curved gaming models with wider color gamuts, such as the AOC C27G2 and the Gigabyte G27FC-A, but they usually go for ~$250. In that price range, you can actually get a 27″ 1440p high refresh rate model – the Acer XV271U M3 or the Koorui 27E6QC.

If you’d rather have a smaller 24″ 1080p high refresh rate curved gaming monitor, the AOC C24G1A with a wide color gamut can be found on sale for $150.

Now – if you don’t want to deal with slow response times and VRR brightness flickering of VA technology, you should consider an IPS variant instead, such as the BenQ EX240. It goes for around the same price, but doesn’t have as high contrast ratio.

Conclusion

All in all, if you want a 27″ curved gaming monitor with a high refresh rate and ergonomic support, the Acer ED270RM is the best budget model available.

Specifications

Screen Size27-inch
Screen Curvature1500R
Resolution1920×1080 (Full HD)
Panel TypeVA
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate165Hz
Response Time (GtG)Not specified
Response Time (MPRT)1ms (Visual Response Boost)
Adaptive-SyncFreeSync (48-165Hz)
PortsDisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0
Other PortsHeadphone Jack
Brightness250 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio3000:1 (static)
Colors16.7 million (8-bit)
VESAYes (75x75mm)

The Pros:

  • High contrast ratio for deep blacks
  • Plenty of features, including VRR and MBR up to 165Hz
  • Ergonomic design, built-in speakers
  • Inexpensive

The Cons:

  • Moderate ghosting in fast-paced games, particularly where dark pixels are involved
  • Low pixel density
  • Prone to VRR brightness flickering

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Rob Shafer

Rob is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time managing DisplayNinja while coding his own projects on the side.