The Predator XB281HK Ultra-HD monitor manages to offer a lot at a relatively low price tag. It is one of the very few 4K monitors to feature a built in G-Sync mechanism that syncs with NVidia graphics cards to eliminate screen tearing and frames lags. The monitor was released in the first quarter of 2016 and back then, it was miles ahead of any competitor, but now things have changed. There are a lot more choices for someone looking to buy a 4K monitor now. So, how does the this monitor stack up against the competition? Let us find out in our Acer Predator XB281HK review.
On paper, the Predator looks pretty impressive – 4K UHD resolution (3840 x 2160), G-sync, USB 3.0, HDMI and DP ports. However, unfortunately, not all 4k panels are created equal and the one used here proves this point. The TN panel is sharp and reproduces decent colors but the viewing angles are not that great. You can bet better viewing angle on any IPS panel than this. Another downside is the screen refresh rate; the max refresh rate is 60Hz, which is disappointing. Hardcore gamers usually do not settle for anything bellow 144Hz.
The G-sync module does a pretty good job of keeping the display smooth but again you need a NVidia graphics card on the CPU to take advantage of this feature. The way G-sync works is it continuously updates the monitor and GPU refresh rates to make sure that they are running at same speeds. You won’t think of this as a game changer but it makes quite a difference in actual experience that cannot easily be quantified in FPS or benchmarked using software.
The build quality is pretty good. The body feels premium and aggressive with the black and red color combination. The base resembles a robotic foot. There are plenty of adjustment options available in the stand – height, angle, and tilt.
It’s pretty clear that this monitor is targeted to solo gamers and for them the viewing angles issue should not be a big turn down. The low refresh rate is a problem that all 4K monitors have in this category.
This is a solid choice for a gaming monitor as well as for watching Blu-ray movies, if you do not mind the rather narrow viewing angles. If you can live without 4K then Acer Predator XB241H is a good option with better refresh rate and viewing angles. If 4K gaming is your main priority then the Predator XB281HK is a good option and the only one optimized for NVidia cards in this price range.
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