Acer KG241YS Review: 1080p 165Hz FreeSync Gaming Monitor

The Acer KG241YS is a 24" 1080p 165Hz budget gaming monitor with AMD FreeSync support, MBR and a VA panel.

Bottom Line

The Acer KG241YS is an overall decent budget gaming monitor, but there are better options available in this price range.

Design:
(3.5)
Display:
(4.0)
Performance:
(3.5)
Price/Value:
(4.0)
3.8

The Acer Nitro KG241Y Sbiip is one of the cheapest high refresh rate gaming monitors available. Should you buy it or invest in something a bit more expensive?

Image Quality

Based on a flat-screen VA panel, the Acer KG241YS offers a high 3,000:1 static contrast ratio for notably deeper blacks in comparison to IPS displays, which usually have a contrast ratio of around 1,000:1.

On top of that, there’s no IPS glow, so the overall viewing experience is more immersive, especially when viewing content in a dark room.

However, VA technology also has its downsides.

While the KG241YS has 178° viewing angles specified, they’re not as good as the 178° viewing angles of IPS panels as there’s some gamma and saturation shift when looking at the screen at certain angles.

Now, this isn’t that noticeable in games and videos, but if you want to do color-critical work, you should definitely get an IPS display instead.

Further, the Acer KG241YS has a 72% NTSC color gamut coverage, which is equivalent to around 100% sRGB gamut size. This doesn’t mean that the monitor covers the entire sRGB color space.

In some places, it extends beyond sRGB, but there’s also some undercoverage. Depending on the unit, you’ll get around 95% coverage of the actual sRGB color space, which is decent, though there are displays with wider color gamuts available around this price range.

sRGB vs NTSC

Moving on, the Acer KG241YS monitor has a peak brightness of 250-nits, which is minimal as far as modern LED-backlit displays go, but most users will still find it more than bright enough under normal lighting conditions.

The 1920×1080 Full HD resolution results in a pixel density of 92.56 PPI (pixels per inch), providing you with fairly sharp details and a decent amount of screen real estate. More importantly, 1080p is not very demanding on the GPU, allowing you to maintain high frame rates with a decent graphics cards.

The monitor can also accept and display the HDR10 signal, but since it lacks proper HDR hardware, we recommend disabling it.

Performance

amd freesync logo

There are three response time overdrive modes: Off, Normal and Extreme.

The extreme mode adds too much overshoot, so we recommend using the Normal mode for optimal performance.

As expected from a cheap VA gaming monitor, there’s noticeable trailing behind fast-moving objects, especially in dark scenes, which results in VA smearing.

Some users aren’t sensitive to this, while others are repulsed by it, so it comes down to your personal tolerance. However, if you play a lot of competitive fast-paced games, we highly recommend getting an IPS monitor with faster response times.

Input lag, on the other hand, is excellent with only ~4ms of delay, which is imperceptible.

The Acer KG241YS supports a variable refresh rate (VRR) for tear-free gameplay up to 165FPS. However, there’s some VRR brightness flickering around the LFC threshold (~48FPS), in in-game menus or loading screens, and in games with fluctuating frame rates. Sadly, this is common for high refresh rate VA monitors.

Alternatively, you can use the VRB (Visual Response Boost) technology, which uses backlight strobing to reduce perceived motion blur at the cost of image brightness.

It cannot be active at the same time as VRR and it introduces screen flickering that’s invisible to the human eye, but can cause headaches to sensitive users after prolonged use.

The backlight is flicker-free (unless VRB is enabled) and there’s an integrated low-blue light filter mode.

Features

Acer Nitro KG241Y Sbiip OSD Menu

At the rear of the monitor, there’s a directional joystick for quick and easy navigation through the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu. Next to it, there’s a power button and three additional hotkeys for shortcuts.

You can also use Acer’s Display Widget desktop application to make most display changes via your keyboard/mouse.

Useful gaming features include Black Boost (improves visibility in dark scenes by manipulating the gamma curvature), various picture presets, crosshair overlays and a refresh rate tracker.

Besides the standard image adjustment tools (brightness, contrast, color temperature, etc.), the Acer KG241Y S also has sharpness, 6-axis hue/saturation, Auto Source, gamma and grayscale settings.

Design & Connectivity

Acer Nitro KG241Y Sbiip Monitor Design

The stand of the monitor is fairly sturdy, but it’s tilt-only by -5°/15°. The screen is VESA mount compatible via the 100x100mm pattern and has a light matte anti-glare coating against reflections.

Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports and a DisplayPort 1.2 input. All inputs support 1920×1080 up to 165Hz. AMD FreeSync works over both HDMI and DP, while G-SYNC Compatible is only supported over DP.

Price & Similar Monitors

The Acer KG241YS can be found for as low as $110, which makes it one of the most affordable high refresh rate gaming monitors.

However, if you want a monitor with a VA panel, we recommend investing ~$30 more for the AOC C24G1A instead. It has a bit faster response time, a fully ergonomic stand and a wide color gamut.

If you play a lot of competitive fast-paced games, you should get a model with a fast IPS panel, such as the BenQ EX240, which can be found for ~$160. It also has a wide color gamut, an ergonomic stand and integrated speakers.

Conclusion

Overall, the Acer KG241YS is a decent gaming monitor for the money, but there are better alternatives in this price range.

Specifications

Screen Size23.8-inch
Resolution1920×1080 (Full HD)
Panel TypeVA
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate165Hz
Response Time (GtG)Not specified
Motion Blur Reduction1ms VRB (Visual Response Boost)
Adaptive-SyncFreeSync (48-165Hz)
PortsDisplayPort 1.2, 2x HDMI 2.0
Brightness250 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio3000:1 (static)
Colors16.7 million (8-bit)
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • High contrast ratio for deep blacks
  • Plenty of features, including VRR and MBR up to 165Hz
  • Inexpensive

The Cons:

  • Moderate ghosting in fast-paced games, particularly where dark pixels are involved
  • Prone to VRR brightness flickering
  • Tilt-only stand

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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.