Acer Nitro XF252Q Monitor Review

Reviewed Sep 06, 2019 at 08:57 am
Acer Nitro XF252Q Picture
Usage Ratings - Version 1.0
7.4
Mixed Usage
7.0
Office
8.4
Gaming
7.2
Multimedia
7.3
Media Creation
6.5
HDR Gaming
Size 25"
Resolution 1920x1080
Refresh Rate 240 Hz
LCD Type
TN
Variable Refresh Rate
FreeSync

The Acer Nitro XF252Q is a TN monitor that's great for gaming, with exceptional motion handling, excellent low input lag, and FreeSync variable refresh rate support. It has great peak brightness and good reflection handling, so glare shouldn't be an issue in most rooms. Unfortunately, like most TN monitors, it delivers only mediocre picture quality, with poor viewing angles, a low contrast ratio, and terrible black uniformity. Although this monitor supports HDR, there is little benefit to it, as it can't display a wide color gamut and can't get very bright.

Our Verdict

7.4 Mixed Usage

The Acer Nitro XF252Q is a decent monitor for most uses. It's a great gaming monitor, with outstanding motion handling and low input lag. The relatively low resolution, smaller screen isn't great for multitasking, though, and the poor viewing angles aren't great for sharing the screen with other people.

See our Mixed Usage recommendations
7.0 Office

Decent monitor for office use. It has excellent ergonomics, so it's easy to place in an ideal viewing position, and it has good reflection handling. Unfortunately, it has poor viewing angles, and it's a bit too small to multitask comfortably.

See our Office recommendations
8.4 Gaming

The Acer Nitro XF252Q is a great monitor for gaming. It has outstanding motion handling, resulting in extremely clear motion with almost no noticeable blur behind fast-moving objects. It also has excellent low input lag. Unfortunately, it isn't as well-suited for gaming in a dark room, as it has terrible black uniformity.

See our Gaming recommendations
7.2 Multimedia

Decent monitor for multimedia. It has excellent low input lag for gaming, and good reflection handling for a bright room. Unfortunately, it has poor viewing angles, so it isn't great for watching videos with friends, and it has terrible black uniformity, so it doesn't look as good in a dark room.

See our Multimedia recommendations
7.3 Media Creation

Decent monitor for media creation. It has excellent ergonomics and low input lag, but poor viewing angles. It has a great SDR color gamut, and decent coverage of the wider Adobe RGB color space. The 25", 1080p screen might be too small for some people, though.

See our Media Creation recommendations
6.5 HDR Gaming

This is a decent monitor for HDR gaming, mainly for the great gaming performance. It has low input lag and exceptional motion handling. Unfortunately, HDR doesn't add much, as it can't get very bright in HDR, has a low contrast ratio, and can't display a wide color gamut.

See our HDR Gaming recommendations
  • 7.4 Mixed Usage
  • 7.0 Office
  • 8.4 Gaming
  • 7.2 Multimedia
  • 7.3 Media Creation
  • 6.5 HDR Gaming
Pros
  • Outstanding motion handling.
  • Excellent low input lag.
Cons
  • HDR adds very little.
  • Mediocre picture quality and poor viewing angles.

Check Price

25" Nitro XF252Q
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

Test Results

Design
Design
Style
Curved No
Curve radius N/A
Weight (without stand)
8.2 lbs (3.7 kg)
Weight (with stand)
10.1 lbs (4.6 kg)

The Acer Nitro XF252Q has a good design. It has a similar design to the Acer Nitro VG271, but with a much better stand, much better ergonomics, and a better overall feel. The stand has a small footprint and supports the monitor well, but there's still some wobble to it. Although the monitor's shell is entirely made of plastic, there are no obvious gaps or weak points.

Design
Stand
Width
9.1" (23.1 cm)
Depth
9.1" (23.1 cm)

The round stand is great for placing small objects in front of the monitor. It supports the display well, but doesn't completely prevent it from wobbling.

8.8
Design
Ergonomics
Height Adjustment
5.4" (13.7 cm)
Switch portrait/landscape Yes
Swivel Range -180° to 180°
Tilt Range -20° to 5°

The Acer Nitro XF252QX has outstanding ergonomics, with a great height adjustment and tilt range. The stand can also swivel, but it isn't a traditional swivel, as the entire base turns on a fixed ring underneath. During testing, we found the swivel to be difficult to use, as more often than not the entire stand would turn, including the fixed portion that isn't supposed to move. Depending on your work surface, it might not be possible to swivel the monitor without turning the entire screen.

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 100x100

On the back of the monitor, there is a quick release button for the stand, and it can be VESA mounted. There are no advanced design features on the back, like RGB bias-lighting. There is no cable management.

Design
Borders
Borders
0.5" (1.3 cm)

The borders are thin on three sides, and don't stand out very much, making this a good choice for a dual or triple-monitor setup.

Design
Thickness
Thickness (with stand)
5.8" (14.7 cm)
Thickness (without stand)
2.6" (6.6 cm)

The stand leans back a bit, so when the monitor is on its stand, it's a bit thicker than most monitors. At the highest point, the monitor is 5.8" thick, but at the lowest point, it's slightly thinner, at 5.5". When VESA mounted, it's quite a bit thinner, and doesn't stand out much.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

The Acer XF252Q has decent build quality. It doesn't wobble as much as the Acer VG271, and although the external panels are made of plastic, there are no gaps or noticeable weak points.

Picture Quality
5.7
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
858 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
N/A

Like other TN monitors we've tested, the Acer Nitro XF252Q has a disappointing contrast ratio. This results in grayish blacks, especially in a dark room.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Edge

This monitor doesn't have a local dimming feature. The above video is provided for reference only.

8.0
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene
358 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
362 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
362 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
364 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
364 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
364 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
361 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
362 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
363 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
364 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
363 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.000

This monitor has great peak brightness in SDR. There is no variation in brightness with different content, which is great. It's not quite as bright as the HP OMEN X 25f, but it shouldn't have any issues overcoming glare in a bright room.

6.8
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene
398 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
423 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
425 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
426 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
426 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
426 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
423 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
424 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
425 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
426 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
425 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.000

Decent peak brightness in HDR, but only slightly brighter than SDR. Unfortunately, this isn't bright enough to really show off small specular highlights in some scenes, so HDR content doesn't stand out the way it should.

5.3
Picture Quality
Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Shift from Left
29 °
Color Shift from Right
30 °
Brightness from Left
49 °
Brightness from Right
50 °
Black Level from Left
23 °
Black Level from Right
23 °
Curve Radius N/A

Like all TN monitors, the horizontal viewing angle of the Acer Nitro XF252Q is disappointing. Even slightly off-center, black levels increase drastically and brightness decreases, causing the image to appear washed-out. Colors lose accuracy at a small angle.

If viewing angles are an important factor for you, a monitor with an IPS panel, like the LG 27GL850, might be a better choice.

5.0
Picture Quality
Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Shift from Below
10 °
Color Shift from Above
55 °
Brightness from Below
15 °
Brightness from Above
67 °
Black Level from Below
13 °
Black Level from Above
12 °

The vertical viewing angle of the Nitro XF252Q is poor. The image appears washed-out if it's placed even slightly above or below eye-level. If it's placed well above eye-level, the image inverts, and it displays a negative image.

7.2
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
6.528 %
50% DSE
0.123 %
5% Std. Dev.
3.451 %
5% DSE
0.101 %

Decent gray uniformity, but there is some noticeable dirty screen effect, and the sides of the screen are noticeably darker. The top of the screen appears darker due to the poor vertical viewing angles. In near-dark scenes, the uniformity is much better.

1.8
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
4.802 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

The Acer Nitro XF252Q has terrible black uniformity. Due to the low native contrast ratio, the entire screen appears blueish-gray, and there is significant bleed along the bottom edge, causing the screen to appear green.

7.7
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
Picture Mode
Sports
Luminance
194 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
9
Contrast Setting
50
RGB controls
50-50-50
Color Temperature
6719 K
White Balance dE
2.65
Color dE
2.96
Gamma
2.12

Out of the box, the Acer Nitro XF252Q has good accuracy overall. Gamma is close to the sRGB target curve, but some bright scenes are significantly over-brightened. There are a few noticeable inaccuracies in shades of gray and some colors, but these shouldn't be very noticeable to most people. The color temperature is a bit cool, giving everything a slightly blueish tint.

9.4
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
Picture Mode
User
Luminance
98 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
5
Contrast Setting
38
RGB Controls
49-51-49
Color Temperature
6443 K
White Balance dE
0.51
Color dE
1.02
Gamma
2.18

After calibration, this monitor has much better accuracy. Gamma follows the sRGB target curve almost perfectly, so most scenes are displayed at the correct brightness in SDR. The few color and grayscale inaccuracies are almost entirely corrected, but some enthusiasts might still be able to spot some issues.

You can download our ICC profile calibration here. This is provided for reference only and should not be used, as the calibration values vary per individual unit, even for the same model, due to manufacturing tolerances.

8.3
Picture Quality
SDR Color Gamut
sRGB xy
93.1 %
Adobe RGB xy
73.5 %

sRGB Picture Mode: User (calibrated)
Adobe RGB Picture Mode: User

Great SDR color gamut. It has nearly complete coverage of the sRGB color gamut, but only decent coverage of the wider Adobe RGB color space, which isn't great for professional photo editing.

8.4
Picture Quality
SDR Color Volume
sRGB in ICtCp
91.1 %
Adobe RGB in ICtCp
76.5 %

sRGB Picture Mode: User
Adobe RGB Picture Mode: User

Great SDR color volume. It's limited mainly by the low contrast ratio, which prevents the monitor from displaying dark, saturated colors very well. Like most LCD displays, it can't display very bright blues.

6.5
Picture Quality
HDR Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
No
DCI P3 xy
74.2 %
Rec. 2020 xy
55.9 %

DCI P3 Picture Mode: HDR Mode
Rec. 2020: HDR Mode

The Acer Nitro XF252Q can't display a wide color gamut, and it has only decent coverage of the DCI P3 color space used by most current HDR content.

6.1
Picture Quality
HDR Color Volume
DCI-P3 in ICtCp
70.5 %
Rec. 2020 in ICtCp
51.4 %

DCI P3 Picture Mode: HDR Mode
Rec. 2020: HDR Mode

Mediocre HDR color volume. It's limited by the lack of wide color gamut, and it can't display dark, saturated colors, due to the low contrast ratio.

10
Picture Quality
Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 2 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 4 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 6 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 8 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 10 min recovery
0.00 %

There are no signs of temporary image retention on the Acer Nitro XF252Q, even immediately after displaying our high-contrast, static test image for 10 minutes.

8.5
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
8 Bit

The Acer Nitro XF252QX has excellent gradient handling. There is noticeable 8-bit banding, as it can't display 10-bit color. This shouldn't be very noticeable with regular content, but there is more noticeable banding with HDR content.

9.8
Picture Quality
Color Bleed
Pixel row error
0.000 %
Pixel column error
0.040 %

There is some extremely minor color bleed, but this isn't at all noticeable with regular content.

7.5
Picture Quality
Reflections

Overall, the Acer Nitro XF252Q has good reflection handling, very similar to the BenQ Zowie XL2540, but slightly worse than the HP OMEN X 25f.

Motion
10
Motion
Motion Blur
80% Response Time
1.8 ms
100% Response Time
4.5 ms
Best Overdrive Setting
Normal

Mode Response Time Chart Motion Blur Photo
Off Chart Photo
Normal Chart Photo
Extreme Chart Photo

The Acer Nitro XF252Q has an outstanding response time, similar to other 240Hz monitors we've tested, like the HP OMEN X 25f and the BenQ Zowie XL2540. This results in extremely clear motion, with only a very short blur trail behind fast-moving objects, great for gaming. There is a bit more noticeable overshoot and undershoot than the OMEN X 25f, which can cause some noticeable artifacts, including halos around dark objects, but this shouldn't be very noticeable with most content.

The overdrive can be changed between three different settings; we recommend the 'Normal' mode. 'Extreme' offers a slightly faster response time, but there is significant haloing, as you can see behind the RTINGS logo in the motion blur photo in the table above.

9.1
Motion
Image Flicker
Flicker-free Yes
PWM Dimming Frequency
0 Hz
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Yes
BFI Maximum Frequency
240 Hz
BFI Minimum Frequency
120 Hz

The Acer XF252Q has a completely flicker-free backlight, which is great. There is an optional black frame insertion (BFI) feature, which can help to improve the appearance of motion.

The BFI feature is a bit strange on this monitor. When it's enabled, it's no longer possible to adjust the backlight. The backlight instead changes to a fixed level, which varies depending on the refresh rate. With Overdrive set to 'Extreme' and the refresh rate set to 240Hz, the backlight pulses twice, which can cause noticeable duplications in motion. BFI isn't available when FreeSync is enabled.

9.6
Motion
Refresh Rate
Native
240 Hz
Factory Overclock
N/A
Variable Refresh Rate
FreeSync
G-SYNC Compatible
Yes
VRR Maximum
240 Hz
VRR Minimum
< 20 Hz
VRR Maximum With OC
N/A
VRR Supported Connectors DisplayPort, HDMI

The Acer Nitro XF252 has an outstanding 240Hz refresh rate, and it supports AMD's FreeSync variable refresh rate technology, ensuring a nearly tear-free gaming experience even the frame rate drops. At frame rates below 48 fps, the XF252 supports low framerate compensation, and frames are multiplied automatically to bring the frame rate back within the monitor's range.

Although this monitor isn't officially NVIDIA G-SYNC compatible, it does work with NVIDIA's adaptive sync mode over Display Port only, but this has to be manually enabled from the NVIDIA Control Center.

Inputs
9.6
Inputs
Input Lag
Native Resolution
3.0 ms
Non-Native Res @ Native Refresh
N/A
Native Resolution @ 60 Hz
12.9 ms
Variable Refresh Rate
3.1 ms
10 bit HDR
13.4 ms
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
4.8 ms

The Acer Nitro XF252Q has outstanding low input lag at its native refresh rate of 240Hz. The 60Hz refresh rate is quite a bit higher, which may be disappointing to console gamers. Unlike the vast majority of monitors, this display has a low latency mode which must be enabled to get the lowest input lag. This mode is known as Ultra Low Latency, and it can be enabled from the monitor's on-screen display, under the 'Gaming' tab.

If input lag is important to you and you want the best gaming experience possible, check out our recommendations for the best gaming mice.

7.2
Inputs
Resolution and Size
Native Resolution 1920 x 1080
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Megapixels 2.1 MP
Pixel Density 91 PPI
Screen Diagonal 24.6 inches
Screen Area 256 sq inches

The 25", 1080p display might be a bit small for some people. It's great for some games, as you can easily see the entire UI, but a larger, higher resolution screen might be better for most people.

Inputs
Inputs
Inputs
Total Inputs
DisplayPort 1 (DP 1.2)
Mini DisplayPort No
HDMI 2 (HDMI 2.0)
DVI No
VGA No
DisplayPort Out No
USB 4 (USB 3.0)
USB C No
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm 1
Microphone In 3.5mm No
Digital Optical Audio Out No
Analog Audio Out RCA No
Power Supply Internal

This monitor has a good selection of inputs, so you shouldn't have any issues connecting recent devices, but there are no analog inputs, which are becoming increasingly rare on monitors. There's a built-in USB hub, with 4 USB 3.0 ports you can use to connect a keyboard or mouse. There's also a headphone jack with adjustable analog volume.

Features
Features
Additional Features
Speakers
Yes
HDR10 Yes
Multiple input display
No

This monitor has very few additional features. It has built-in speakers, and it supports HDR10, although this doesn't add much. The XF252Q doesn't support picture-in-picture or picture-by-picture. Like most recent gaming monitors, it can add a crosshair to any game, but there aren't any additional overlays.

Features
On-Screen Display (OSD)
Features
Controls

The controls are easy to use. There is a joystick that is used to navigate the menus, and three shortcut keys that can be assigned to different settings.

Features
In The Box

  • User Guide
  • Power Cable
  • USB-B Cable
  • HDMI Cable

Differences Between Sizes and Variants

We tested the 25" Acer Nitro XF252Q, version Xbmiiprzx, which is the only size available. There are other monitors in the Nitro lineup, though, some of which are listed below. There are also a few G-SYNC variants available, which have a slightly different model number.

If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Nitro XF252Q doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review. Note that some tests such as gray uniformity may vary between individual units.

Model Version Part Number Size Resolution Refresh Rate Notes
XF252Q Xbmiiprzx UM.KX2AA.X01 25" 1080p 240Hz FreeSync, HDR
XB252Q Bmiprz UM.KX2AA.001 25" 1080p 240Hz G-SYNC
XN253Q Xbmiprzx UM.KX3AA.X01 25" 1080p 240Hz G-SYNC
XN253Q Pbmiprzx UM.KX3AA.P01 25" 1080p 144Hz G-SYNC

The Acer Nitro XF252Q we reviewed was manufactured in May 2019.

Compared to other monitors

Comparison picture

Left: BenQ Zowie XL2540. Middle: Acer Nitro XF252Q. Right: HP OMEN X 25f.
Unlike our other photographs, this picture wasn't taken under a controlled environment, so do not draw conclusions from it.

The Acer Nitro XF252Q is a great gaming monitor at a competitive price. See our recommendations for the best monitors, the best 27 inch gaming monitors, and the best budget monitors.

BenQ Zowie XL2540
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The BenQ Zowie XL2540 and the Acer Nitro XF252Q are extremely similar overall. The BenQ we tested has better black uniformity, so it's a slightly better choice for dark room viewing. The XF252Q supports HDR, but this adds very little.

LG 27GL850-B
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

Although they use different panel technologies, the LG 27GL850-B is much better than the Acer Nitro XF252Q for most uses. The 27GL850-B has better gray uniformity, much better viewing angles, and a larger, higher resolution screen. The Nitro XF252Q, on the other hand, has an optional black frame insertion feature and better ergonomics.

HP OMEN X 27
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The HP OMEN X 27 is slightly better than the Acer Nitro XF252Q for most uses, but the Acer is slightly better for gaming. The HP has a larger, higher-resolution screen, making it a better choice for multitasking. The XF252Q has much better ergonomics and an optional black frame insertion feature.

HP OMEN X 25f
Unavailable
Amazon.com

The Acer Nitro XF252Q is a bit better than the HP OMEN X 25f. The XF252Q has better ergonomics, and an optional black frame insertion feature to help improve the clarity of motion. The XF252Q supports HDR, but this doesn't add much. The OMEN X 25f we tested has significantly better black uniformity, so it's a better choice for dark room viewing.

ViewSonic XG2402
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Acer Nitro XF252Q and the ViewSonic XG2402 are very similar overall. The XF252Q is slightly better for gaming, as it has an optional black frame insertion feature and a higher refresh rate. The XG2402 we tested has better black uniformity, but it doesn't support HDR. Although the XF252Q supports HDR, there is little benefit to it.

Dell S2719DGF
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Acer Nitro XF252Q is slightly better than the Dell S2719DGF. The XF252Q supports HDR, although this doesn't add much, and it has an optional black frame insertion feature to help improve the appearance of motion. The Dell S2719DGF has a higher native resolution, which is easier for multitasking and makes it easier to see more fine details in games.

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