If you are thinking of buying a new monitor, you might be overwhelmed by all the options that are currently available. The last five years have seen an immense improvement on the average monitors feature list, better menus, higher resolutions, more inputs, and above all, faster refresh rates or panels.
Being a gamer, you require a number of features if you want to get the most out of your gaming experience, but if you are not? Are all those features really important? The answer, we would say, depends on your requirements and standards.
So, before we get to our in-depth Acer XFA240 Review, let’s go through a few things…
- 1 Do You Need 75Hz, 120Hz, or 144Hz?
- 2 Do Higher Numbers Equal Better Monitors?
- 3 Gaming Can Be Done On Any Budget
- 4 Affordable
- 5 Design
- 6 Assembly
- 7 Screen
- 8 Gaming Performance
- 9 The Interface
- 10 Speakers
- 11 Pros And Cons Of Acer XFA240
- 12 Looking For More Superb Gaming Monitor Options?
- 13 Acer XFA240 Review Conclusion
Do You Need 75Hz, 120Hz, or 144Hz?
Two of the biggest selling points for a monitor are, of course, a high resolution such as 1440p or 4K, and a high refresh rate. You will often see displays marketed as having 75Hz, 120Hz, or 144Hz panels. This can be very confusing for consumers since the name doesn’t provide much of an explanation. The fact is that refresh rates, unlike many other improvements, don’t improve color accuracy or resolution.
Do Higher Numbers Equal Better Monitors?
When it comes to monitors, and especially gaming monitors, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Every gamer or user requires something different, from the gear they use to the games they play. To get rid of motion blur and delays on the screen, your monitor should have a low response time and very low input lag. Most high-end monitors have this, and it ensures that every keypress matches what is happening on the screen.
Gaming Can Be Done On Any Budget
New gaming technologies have emerged over the years and changed the way we game today. However, there are so many monitors to choose from, which makes it even harder. One of the best things about gaming, though, is that you don’t need to be a millionaire to make it work.
The Acer XFA240 is excellent proof that it is possible on a budget. You can build a very decent gaming system for a few hundred dollars and complement it with the XFA240, which is a straightforward, affordable monitor.
Being one of many 24” 1080p, 144HZ, 1ms gaming monitors available today, the XFA240 was, however, the first to be certified by Nvidia as G-sync compatible.
It is very affordable, costing only a couple of hundred bucks, and delivers a colorful screen, easy setup, and a handful of extras that are very useful. You might even want to consider the XFA240 if you have a higher-end gaming system; it is one of the best 1080p gaming monitors you can buy, especially if you are on a tight budget.
It turned out that this is one of our favorite monitors that we have ever tested, considering the price that is. In fact, we have actually tested a lot more expensive monitors that performed worse than the XFA240.
It may not be the prettiest of monitors, with large bezels and a simple black panel. But there is something charming and old-school about it. Don’t get us wrong, there is absolutely nothing special about it, just a simple black rectangle with a 24-inch screen. Nothing you would compare to the ultra-thin monitors of today. But it gets the job done.
Six buttons on the front as well as a DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI-port, and two 3.5 mm jacks on the back give it reasonable connectivity. Again, nothing more than is required. One of the first things we noticed was the broad circular stand. A small arm lets you adjust the height of the monitor. And, should you need a second vertical monitor, you can rotate it a full 90 degrees.
The XFA240 is everything you need in a gaming monitor, plus it has a few helpful features that even some of the more expensive monitors we tested don’t even have.
Putting everything together was simple because there are only three pieces, screen, stand, and base. The only piece that needs a screwdriver is the base. The whole assembly was easy and fast. It didn’t take much more than a minute or so.
The screen is really great, for the price that is. It delivers 352 nits of brightness, 106.3% of the RGB spectrum, and a color accuracy of 0.26. If you don’t have a clue what that means, don’t worry. It is good. Take our word for it. The XFA240 actually has a much better screen than the price indicates.
If you look at the quality of the monitor. Both color and brightness are really good too. Even if you were only to get 50% of the brightness, it would still be enough for everyday use and to get work done. The colors looked sharp, no matter if we were gaming, watching YouTube, or writing a review. The black colors won’t impress you a lot, but it does display vibrant blues, reds, and browns without any issues.
We tested the XFA240 with a variety of games. One thing we found disappointing was the lack of presets in the menu; it would have been nice to have a few more options than only the game mode. All it really does is brighten up the screen and make things a little sharper. In many cases, though, the game mode actually made things worse. It made the objects in some games look pale and lifeless.
When we turned off the game mode, the result was an easy on the eye color balance that looked quite amazing. Characters and projectiles looked great in Overwatch, and forests and deserts came to life in World of Warcraft.
Most games we tested ran in 60 fps, thanks to the screens refresh rate of 144Hz. For the less demanding games, 120 fps was a lot more common. Depending on your hardware, results can vary, but one thing is certain, the XFA240 will provide you with smooth frame rates that will enhance your gaming experience.
One area that didn’t impress us much was the menu system. Having five buttons and not a single control hub did make things a little confusing. But on the bright side, the buttons are located on the front of the screen, instead of hidden away in the back.
Pressing any of the buttons brings up the shortcut for the game mode, performance options, full menu, volume controls, and an input selector. This is where you will do most of your tweaking, even though having so many buttons makes navigation a bit of a pain.
You can change brightness, contrast, tweak the color saturation, and select the input. If you want to connect multiple machines, keep in mind that there is only one HDMI port. So, it is not the best monitor for consoles.
The built-in speakers are unbalanced and metallic sounding. Honestly, it is not much of an improvement to having no speakers at all. However, you still have a few options that you can choose from. A few vague presets let you choose between Standard, Eco, Cinema, and so on.
Pros And Cons Of Acer XFA240
- Low input lag, quick response time.
- Full ergonomic support.
- Out-of-box color accuracy.
- Smooth tear-free gameplay.
- FreeSync and G-Sync Compatible.
- Good build quality.
- Image quality not as good as IPS and VA panels.
- Narrow viewing angles.
- Low pixel density.
- Gamma slightly off the mark.
Looking For More Superb Gaming Monitor Options?
Or, if you’ve got a little more to spend, check out our reviews of the Best Gaming Monitor under 300 Dollars, our Best Ultrawide Monitor reviews, or the Best Cheap Gaming Monitors under 300 Dollars currently on the market.
Acer XFA240 Review Conclusion
With so many choices available in gaming monitors, it’s inevitable that a few manufactures will emerge as market leaders. Acer has certainly upped the competition with the XFA240. For a very reasonable price, it offers a great gaming experience and amazing color accuracy.
However, we would have hoped for a higher pixel density, but that becomes secondary when games stay pegged at 144 fps. If you own a less expensive graphic card, you can still expect 80-100 fps while running around in your favorite FPS.
The XFA240 uses a TN panel, but this should not discourage any potential buyers. If we were given a choice, we would pick a VA panel for the higher contrast, but the TN still delivers the lowest input lag, fastest response, and highest frame rates. When you are playing a virtual battle, and it hits maximum intensity, instant response, like on the XFA240, makes the difference between winning and losing.
There are, of course, gaming monitors with better image quality and greater speed than the XFA240, but once you calculate the price/performance ratio, it is a monitor that is hard to beat. Not too long ago, the 144Hz was king of the hill when it came to gaming monitors and would set you back several hundred dollars or more for a 24-incher. At a very affordable price, the XFA240 is our new favorite choice for value.