Good grayscale and viewing-angle performance. Advanced color settings. Lots of video ports.
Skewed greens. Tinny speakers.
- Bottom Line
The Acer BE270U is a well-equipped 27-inch monitor that offers solid grayscale performance, advanced color settings, and support for multi-display setups.
Designed for photographers, web designers, and other graphics professionals, the Acer BE270U ($499.99) is a 27-inch In-Plane Switching (IPS) monitor that supports daisy-chaining, and uses a bezel-free cabinet to provide an almost-seamless viewing experience when used in a multi-display configuration. It is equipped with plenty of video ports, as well as a USB 3.0 hub, and it offers a highly adjustable ergonomic stand, but you'll get better out-of-the-box color accuracy from the BenQ SW2700PT, our Editors' Choice for midrange, big-screen monitors.
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Design and Features
The BE270U's bezel-free black cabinet offers a near-seamless viewing environment when used in a side-by-side, multi-monitor configuration. The 27-inch IPS panel covers 100 percent of the sRGB color gamut and has a maximum resolution of 2,560 by 1,440. It has a non-reflective coating, a 350 cd/m2 peak brightness, a 75Hz refresh rate, a 16:9 aspect ratio, a 1,000:1 contrast ratio, and a 6-millisecond (gray-to-gray) pixel response. The cabinet is supported by a stand that offers ergonomic adjustments, including height, tilt, swivel, and pivot, and the rectangular base has a tray for storing your keyboard.
Video ports are plentiful and include two HDMI/MHL inputs, a full-size DisplayPort input, a mini DisplayPort input, and a full-size DisplayPort output that allows you to daisy-chain up to three additional monitors. Alongside the video ports are three USB 3.0 ports, one upstream and two downstream, and a headphone jack. Two additional USB 3.0 downstream ports can be found on the left side of the cabinet. The two embedded 2-watt speakers are moderately loud, but they lack bass and sound tinny when cranked up.
There are five function buttons and a Power button on the bottom edge of the cabinet. The function buttons are used to access and navigate the settings menus, where you can adjust Brightness, Contrast, Color Temperature, Gamma, and Sharpness levels. There are five picture presets (Standard, ECO, Movie, Graphics, and User), a Blue Light setting to help ease eyestrain, an sRGB mode, and 6-Axis-Hue and -Saturation adjustments that allow for precise color tuning. There are also several Picture-In-Picture (PiP) and Picture-By-Picture (PbP) settings and a Daisy Chain setting that lets you extend your desktop across multiple displays or clone the master monitor.
Acer covers the BE270U with a three-year warranty on parts, labor, and backlight. Included in the box are DisplayPort and HDMI cables, an upstream USB cable, and a Quick Start guide.
The BE270U delivered sharp image detail and very good grayscale reproduction in our tests. It correctly displayed every shade of gray from the DisplayMate 64-Step Grayscale test and provided solid highlight and shadow detail in my test images. Scenes from Marvel's Antman on Blu-ray showed very good image detail and well-saturated colors.
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That said, out-of-the-box color accuracy was not ideal. On the chromaticity chart below, color measurements are represented by the colored dots, and the ideal CIE color coordinates are represented by the boxes. As illustrated, red and blue colors straddle the border of their zones, and green is completely outside of its zone. Fortunately, the skewing is minor, and all of the colors can be brought into alignment using the 6-Axis-Hue and 6-Axis-Saturation adjustments. As with most IPS monitors, the BE270U offers wide viewing angles, with no color shifting when viewed from an extreme top, bottom, or side angle.
While not designed for gaming, there's no reason why you can't enjoy a little after-hours fun with the BE270U. Its 6-millisecond (gray-to-gray) pixel response kept ghosting at a minimum in our Crysis 3 (PC) and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (Sony PlayStation 4) gaming tests, and its 10.6-millisecond input lag, as measured with a Leo Bodnar Video Signal Lag Tester, means you won't get blown away while waiting for the monitor to react to a controller command. Our fastest monitors, the BenQ XL2430T and the BenQ SW2700PT, both scored 9.5 milliseconds.
The BE270U is an energy-efficient 27-inch monitor. It consumed 26 watts of power in testing while operating in Standard picture mode and used 21 watts when operating in ECO mode. In comparison, the BenQ SW2700PT used 43 watts in Standard mode (it does not offer an ECO mode), and the ViewSonic XG2703 used 40 watts in Standard mode and 27 watts in Conserve mode.
With the Acer BE270U, you get a generous selection of digital video ports, including a DisplayPort output that can be used to connect up to three additional monitors to extend your work area or clone your original desktop image. Moreover, the cabinet's bezel-free design provides a near-seamless view when multiple panels are placed side by side. The BE270U's 27-inch IPS panel provided very good grayscale performance and wide viewing angles in testing, but color accuracy was a bit off. Fortunately, you can use the 6-Axis color settings to attain ideal color accuracy. For very accurate colors right out of the box, consider our Editors' Choice for midrange, big-screen monitors, the BenQ SW2700PT. It costs $150 more than the BE270U, but it offers better color performance, supports hardware calibration, and is equipped with an SD card slot and a shading hood.
By John R. Delaney Contributing Editor
As a Contributing Editor for PCMag, John Delaney has been testing and reviewing monitors, TVs, PCs, networking and smart home gear, and other assorted hardware and peripherals for almost 20 years. A 13-year veteran of PC Magazine's Labs (most recently as Director of Operations), John was responsible for the recruitment, training and management of the Labs technical staff, as well as evaluating and maintaining the integrity of the Labs testing machines and procedures. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, John spent six years in retail operations for… More »
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