I’m starting to cover more HDMI 2.1 monitors, and one trait that’s common among them is the premium MSRP that makes them a harder sell. Fortunately, there are plenty of choices with little compromise today, like the very appealing Acer Nitro XV282K. It might have a slightly smaller screen real estate of 28 inches but still sports an impressive 4K IPS panel, VESA DisplayHDR400, AMD FreeSync Premium with 144Hz refresh rate—and of course, two HDMI 2.1 ports for an all-in-one package.
It’s a gaming monitor so a distinctly ostentatious look is expected, however, the Acer Nitro XV282K is relatively tame—even tasteful compared to Acer’s more premium ‘Predator’ sub-brand. With a 8mm bezel and a plastic rear panel that’s supposed to mimic brushed aluminum, the main body is clean and complimented by a large circular base and stand column made of sturdy metal that allows -5°/25° tilt, 120mm height and 360° swivel. Another adjustment that some will appreciate is full landscape (horizontal) and portrait (vertical) orientation.
On the rear underside you get those two HDMI 2.1 ports, a USB-C port, two 3.0 USB-A, USB-B, one DisplayPort 1.2 and 3.5mm audio jack. To further compliment the package, you’ll find a DisplayPort cable, an HDMI 2.1 Cable, a Power Cord, a USB Type-C cable, a USB 3 cable, and one large power brick.
Acer has calibrated the XV282K right out of the box and even provided with a whitepaper showing off its optimal image results. For the most part—ignoring the adjustable picture mode presets, the XV282K looks vibrant upon first use. The colors are strong in SDR and HDR modes are relatively dialed, black uniformity and contrast notwithstanding. Of course, we’ve come to generally expect this from IPS panels so the HDP400 certification is impressive for what you get here.
However, if you do want to fiddle around with the settings, there is enough to adjust with the on-screen display or DDC/CI (short for Display Data Channel/Command Interface) in PC mode. The menu provides the necessary tweaks such as Black Boost to compensate for poor contrast, gamma luminance, and color space (sRGB, Rec.709, HDR, EBU, DCI, SMPTE-C and General) to name a few. Couple these with available AMD FreeSync Premium and the XV282K is exactly what desktop gamers are looking for in an fluid upper-tier monitor.
Console gaming on the other hand leaves something more to be desired if you’re expecting the same level of user adjustability. As promised, Acer does give the XV282K most of the benefits of HDMI 2.1 that the Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 can handle, just without the configurable image modes and strictly locked in HDR. This means there is essentially nothing to tweak but you’ll have to live with a constantly bright view. Basically, if you’re playing at night and have highly sensitive eyes. It’s a characteristic that can’t be completely defeated even by changing A/V settings on the console itself.
HDMI 2.1 Plug-and-Play
The Nitro XV282K is Acer’s answer to the burgeoning choices of HDMI 2.1-capable PC displays currently available; and it also helps that it’s been around longer, making it a relative bargain for 2022. Despite its age and slightly smaller screen size, you’re technically getting everything you could want from 4K resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, and variable refresh rate for current-gen fidelity. What isn’t so amazing is that console gamers won’t have a choice in whether HDR can be turned on or off. As a whole package though, the XV282K still makes a good impression if HDMI 2.1 is an must-have feature before anything else.