Acer XF252Q Review: 240Hz Gaming Monitor With 0.3ms Response Time

Acer Xf252q Review 2019

Introduction

The Acer XF252Q features a newer-generation 240Hz TN panel which boasts a faster response time speed of 0.3ms as opposed to the 1ms standard.

But that’s not all. The Acer XF252Q also packs a bunch of useful gaming features such as FreeSync and Motion Blur Reduction and offers premium design and connectivity options while being very appealingly priced.

Note that the Acer Nitro XF252Q is also referred to as Acer XF252QX (or XF252Q X) as it’s full model name is Acer XF252Q Xbmiiprzx.

Image Quality

The monitor is based on a newer version of the 24.5″ 240Hz TN panel by AU Optronics which increases the pixel response time speed from the standard 1ms GtG (gray to gray) to 0.5ms GtG.

Acer claims to have further tweaked the response time to 0.3ms, but these measurements are always exaggerated and should be taken with reservation. More on that later.

Apart from the faster response time, the upgraded panel has all the same specifications as the previous variants found in popular 240Hz models such as the Acer XF250Q, the Dell AW2518HF, and the BenQ XL2540.

You get the same 160°/170° narrow viewing angles, 1,000:1 contrast, 400-nit peak brightness, 1080p resolution, and 8-bit color depth with 16.7 million colors and ~100% sRGB color gamut.

The Acer XF252Q 240Hz gaming monitor does also bring HDR10 support to the table, but since it lacks proper color gamut and contrast ratio, HDR is just software-emulated meaning that you can pretty much ignore it.

Thanks to 1080p resolution, you’ll easily be able to reach high frame rates in competitive eSports titles even with a solid mid-range PC build which will allow you to take full advantage of the monitor’s 240Hz refresh rate.

Furthermore, since the monitor only has a 24.5″ viewable screen, you get a decent pixel density of ~90 pixels per inch, so you’ll get a good amount of screen space and detail clarity.

If you care about image quality, you can get a good 1440p or ultrawide display at this price range for a more immersive gaming experience. The Acer XF252Q is all about the speed.

Performance

Acer Xf252qx Review

Now, as we’ve already mentioned, monitor manufacturers always exaggerate the response time speed of their displays. The Acer XF252Q might have actually hit the 0.3ms pixel transition mark, but only under very specific testing conditions and with strong overdrive applied which you wouldn’t actually want to use in reality.

In fact, using the Extreme overdrive mode introduces a lot of noticeable pixel overshoot (inverse ghosting).

The Normal overdrive preset, however, has no pixel overshoot whatsoever and it’s sufficient to eliminate any prominent ghosting at 240Hz.

Will you notice any big difference between the Acer XF252Q and the older 240Hz models when it comes to response time speed? Not really. So, if you already own a 240Hz display, there’s no reason to get the XF252Q.

In case you don’t have a 240Hz monitor, but want one, you might as well get the Acer XF252Q since it does have a very fast response time speed and an outstanding overdrive implementation with basically zero overshoot.

Plus, it has low input lag of only ~3ms and it features Motion Blur Reduction (MBR) technology called VRB (Visual Response Boost) which via backlight strobing further reduces the perceived blur.

VRB can operate at either 120Hz, 144Hz, or 240Hz (fixed refresh rate) in two different modes: Normal and Extreme. When using this technology, the maximum brightness is reduced, but motion clarity is increased.

The MBR technology implementation of the Acer XF252Q is impressively good as you can use backlight strobing at 240Hz and still get a decent luminance of around 250-nits using the Normal mode. What’s more, many 240Hz models can only strobe up to 144Hz.

If you’re a fan of CRT-like motion clarity, you’re going to love this gaming monitor.

Features

Acer Xf252q X Review

Moving on, the Acer XF252Q monitor also supports AMD FreeSync which provides a variable refresh rate (VRR) within the 48-240Hz range for compatible AMD and NVIDIA cards.

Although the display is not certified by NVIDIA as G-SYNC compatible, FreeSync works without issues on this monitor when using compatible NVIDIA GPUs.

Once enabled, FreeSync synchronizes monitor’s refresh rate with GPU’s frame rate which in turn prevents screen tearing and stuttering with basically no input lag penalty (~1ms). However, you cannot use FreeSync and MBR at the same time. So, you have to choose between the two depending on your preference, video game, PC build, etc.

Other useful gaming features include Aim Point (custom crosshairs), Black Boost (improved visibility in dark games), customizable picture profiles, and Ultra-Low Latency (make sure this feature is set to ‘On’ for minimal input lag). You’ll also find advanced 6-axis and gamma/grayscale picture adjustments and a low-blue light filter.

The OSD (On-Screen Display) menu is user-friendly and easy to navigate with thanks to the joystick placed at the back of the monitor. There’s also a power button and three additional hotkeys which can be used as shortcuts for certain functions.

Note that you cannot use FreeSync or VRB at the same time as HDR.

Design & Connectivity

Acer Nitro Xf252q Review

The design of the Acer Nitro XF252Q gaming monitor offers up to 120mm of height adjustment, -5°/20° tilt, 360° swivel, +/- 90° pivot, and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.2, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a quad-USB 3.0 hub (two ports at the side), a headphones jack, and two 2W built-in speakers.

Price & Similar Monitors

The Acer XF252Q costs around $350 which is an excellent price considering that the older-generation 240Hz models cost just as much. Plus, the XF252Q offers a fully ergonomic design, rich connectivity options, and plenty of useful features including backlight strobing up to 240Hz.

This monitor is also available as the Acer Predator XN253Q X which is priced around $500 due to the G-SYNC module yet its backlight strobing technology maxes out at 144Hz. The XF252Q will also be available as a 27″ variant which is dubbed as the Acer Nitro XF272 X.

Overall, if you want a 240Hz gaming monitor, we highly recommend the Acer XF252Q. If you want something cheaper, check out the Acer XF250Q with AMD FreeSync up to 240Hz, but no MBR.

Conclusion

While it may not have an actual response time speed of 0.3ms, the Acer XF252Q does have an impeccable pixel response time performance thanks to its excellent overdrive implementation which successfully eliminates both trailing and overshoot.

Furthermore, it offers a first-class backlight strobing technology with a very low brightness penalty and decent customization as well as additional useful gaming features, a versatile design, extensive connectivity, and overall great value for the price. 

Acer XF252Q Specifications

Screen Size24.5-inch
Resolution1920×1080 (Full HD)
Panel TypeTN
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate240Hz
Response Time0.3ms (GtG)
Adaptive SyncFreeSync (48Hz-240Hz)
Speakers2x2W
PortsDisplayPort 1.2, 2x HDMI 2.0
Other Ports4x USB 3.0, Headphone Jack
Brightness400 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors16.7 million (6-bit + FRC)
VESAYes (100x100mm)
HDRSoftware-emulated HDR10

The Pros

  • Low input lag and quick response time
  • Plenty of gaming features including FreeSync
  • Backlight strobing up to 240Hz
  • Ergonomic design and rich connectivity options
  • Excellent value for the price

The Cons

  • Inferior image quality to IPS and VA panels
  • Narrow viewing angles
Acer XF252Q Review
  • 9.9/10
    Design - 9.9/10
  • 7.9/10
    Display - 7.9/10
  • 10/10
    Performance - 10/10
  • 10/10
    Price/Value - 10/10
9.5/10

Summary

Although its response time speed is not as fast as promised (this is the case with basically all monitors), the Acer XF252Q does deliver the smoothest fast-paced gaming experience thanks to its 240Hz refresh rate, low input lag, VRR, and excellent overdrive and MBR implementations. Plus, it’s affordable and has a great design and rich connectivity options!

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