Acer Nitro XF252Q Monitor Review

Tested using Methodology v1.1
Updated Apr 28, 2020 at 09:56 am
Acer Nitro XF252Q Picture
7.4
Mixed Usage
7.1
Office
8.2
Gaming
7.1
Multimedia
7.3
Media Creation
6.5
HDR Gaming
Size 25"
Resolution 1920x1080
Max Refresh Rate
240 Hz
Pixel Type
TN
Variable Refresh Rate
FreeSync

The Acer Nitro XF252Q is a decent TN monitor that's great for gaming, with outstanding motion handling, excellent low input lag, and FreeSync variable refresh rate (VRR) support to help reduce screen tearing. 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 disappointing viewing angles, a low contrast ratio, and terrible black uniformity. Although this monitor supports HDR, there's 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. This 25 inch screen has a 1080p resolution, which might be too low for multitasking, and the poor viewing angles aren't great for sharing the screen with other people. Luckily, it can get bright enough to combat glare in most rooms.

Pros
  • Outstanding motion handling.
  • Excellent low input lag.
  • FreeSync VRR support.
Cons
  • Can't display a wide color gamut for HDR.
  • Poor viewing angles.
  • Terrible black uniformity.
7.1 Office

The Acer Nitro XF252Q is an okay monitor for office use. It has excellent ergonomics, so it's easy to place it in an ideal viewing position, and it has good reflection handling. Unfortunately, it has poor viewing angles, and some people might find it too small to multitask comfortably.

8.2 Gaming

The Acer Nitro XF252Q is a great monitor for gaming. Thanks to its high 240Hz refresh rate, 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. However, it supports FreeSync VRR to reduce screen tearing.

7.1 Multimedia

Alright monitor for multimedia. The Acer Nitro XF252Q 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.

7.3 Media Creation

The Acer Nitro XF252Q is decent for media creation. It has excellent ergonomics and a low input lag, responding to your actions quickly, but poor viewing angles. Also, it has a great SDR color gamut and decent coverage of the wider Adobe RGB color space. However, the 25 inch, 1080p screen might be too small for some people.

6.5 HDR Gaming

This is a decent monitor for HDR gaming, mainly due to its great gaming performance. The Acer Nitro XF252Q has a low input lag and outstanding 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.

  • 7.4 Mixed Usage
  • 7.1 Office
  • 8.2 Gaming
  • 7.1 Multimedia
  • 7.3 Media Creation
  • 6.5 HDR Gaming
  1. Update 2/17/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.1.

Test Results

Design
Design
Style
Curved No
Curve Radius Not Curved
Weight (without stand)
8.2 lbs (3.7 kg)
Weight (with stand)
10.1 lbs (4.6 kg)

The XF252Q has a very simple design. The back of the monitor looks like most Acer monitors, while the round base stand is different other Acer stands, such as the VG271.

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.

9.1
Design
Ergonomics
Height Adjustment
5.4" (13.7 cm)
Switch Portrait/Landscape Yes, Both Ways
Swivel Range -180° to 180°
Tilt Range -20° to 5°

The XF252QX has fantastic ergonomics. The stand allows for any type of adjustment, including switching it into portrait mode. It has a very wide swivel range, but it's not a traditional swivel. The base turns on a fixed ring underneath, and depending on the surface, it might be difficult to swivel it. You might need to turn the entire monitor if it's too difficult to swivel.

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 100x100

There's a quick-release button for the stand, and it can be VESA-mounted. There 's no cable management.

Design
Borders
Borders
0.5" (1.3 cm)

The borders are thin on three sides, making this a good choice for a multi-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 it's a bit thicker than most monitors. When VESA-mounted, it's thinner and doesn't stand out much.

Note: Thickness with the stand was measured with the monitor at the highest point. At the lowest point, the thickness is 5.5" (14cm).

7.0
Design
Build Quality

The XF252Q has decent build quality. It doesn't wobble as much as the 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 Nitro XF252Q has a disappointing contrast ratio. This results in grayish blacks, especially in a dark room. If you prefer a monitor with a VA panel for better contrast ratio, then check out the ASUS TUF VG27VQ.

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 SDR peak brightness. There's no variation in brightness with different content, and 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 bring out specular highlights in some scenes, so HDR content doesn't stand out the way it should.

6.1
Picture Quality
Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Left
31 °
Color Washout From Right
32 °
Color Shift From Left
32 °
Color Shift From Right
31 °
Brightness Loss From Left
46 °
Brightness Loss From Right
48 °
Black Level Raise From Left
22 °
Black Level Raise From Right
21 °
Gamma Shift From Left
23 °
Gamma Shift From Right
21 °

Mediocre horizontal viewing angles. You quickly lose image accuracy when viewing from the side. This isn't ideal if you need to share your screen with others. If you want a similar monitor with better viewing angles, check out the Dell Alienware AW2521HF.

5.0
Picture Quality
Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Below
12 °
Color Washout From Above
57 °
Color Shift From Below
15 °
Color Shift From Above
69 °
Brightness Loss From Below
26 °
Brightness Loss From Above
46 °
Black Level Raise From Below
16 °
Black Level Raise From Above
12 °
Gamma Shift From Below
3 °
Gamma Shift From Above
3 °

Poor vertical viewing angles. As is the case with TN panels, the colors invert if you place the monitor above eye level. Even if you place it below eye level, you still lose image accuracy.

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's 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 Nitro XF252Q has terrible black uniformity. Due to the low native contrast ratio, the entire screen appears blueish-gray, and there's 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
Gamma Setting
2.2 (Default)
Color Temperature
6719 K
White Balance dE
2.65
Color dE
2.96
Gamma
2.12

Good out-of-box color accuracy. Most colors are inaccurate, although not by much and most people won't notice anything. The color temperature's slightly colder than the 6500K target, so colors are closer to blue. The gamma follows the target well for dark and moderate scenes, but bright scenes are significantly brighter than they should be.

9.5
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
Picture Mode
User
Luminance
98 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
5
Contrast Setting
38
RGB Controls
49-51-49
Gamma Setting
2.2 (Default)
Color Temperature
6443 K
White Balance dE
0.51
Color dE
1.02
Gamma
2.18

The XF252QX has excellent color accuracy post-calibration. Any remaining color inaccuracies aren't noticeable to the naked eye for most people. The gamma follows the target much better than pre-calibration, but bright scenes are still over-brightened.

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
73.6 %
sRGB Picture Mode
User
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
User

Great SDR color gamut. It has excellent coverage of the sRGB color gamut used in most content, but only decent coverage of the Adobe RGB color space, which isn't good 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 LCDs, 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 Picture Mode
HDR Mode

The 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 Picture Mode
HDR Mode

Mediocre HDR color volume. It's limited by the lack of a 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 XF252QX, even immediately after displaying our high-contrast, static test image for 10 minutes.

8.5
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
8 Bit

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

9.8
Picture Quality
Color Bleed
Pixel Row Error
0.000 %
Pixel Column Error
0.040 %

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

7.8
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Matte
Total Reflections
5.2 %
Indirect Reflections
3.9 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
1.3 %

Overall, the Nitro XF252Q has good reflection handling, better than the VG271UP.

7.0
Picture Quality
Text Clarity
Sub-Pixel Layout
RGB

Update 02/27/2020: After comparing the XF252Q with similar monitors, we've decided to reduce the text clarity score to better align with other 1080p monitors.

The text clarity is decent. It can be improved using ClearType (top photo), which makes the diagonal lines on the letters R and N clearer.

Motion
9.5
Motion
Response Time @ Max Refresh Rate
Best Overdrive Setting
Normal
Rise / Fall Time
2.1 ms
Total Response Time
6.2 ms
Overshoot Error
6.4 %
Dark Rise / Fall Time
1.2 ms
Dark Total Response Time
5.5 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
12.3 %

Overdrive Setting Response Time Chart Response Time Tables Motion Blur Photo
Off Chart Table Photo
Normal Chart Table Photo
Extreme Chart Table Photo

Outstanding response time, which is expected from a 240Hz monitor. Motions looks amazing on the Nitro XF252Q and the best Overdrive setting is 'Normal'. There's still a bit of overshoot in darker transitions, but if that bothers you, 'Off' has a slower response time with no overshoot, but motion is slightly more blurry.

7.2
Motion
Response Time @ 60Hz
Best Overdrive Setting
Normal
Rise / Fall Time
2.1 ms
Total Response Time
22.3 ms
Overshoot Error
11.7 %
Dark Rise / Fall Time
1.1 ms
Dark Total Response Time
18.1 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
13.8 %

Overdrive Setting Response Time Chart Response Time Tables Motion Blur Photo
Off Chart Table Photo
Normal Chart Table Photo
Extreme Chart Table Photo

Okay response time at 60Hz, which might disappoint some console gamers. Like at its max refresh rate, the best Overdrive setting is 'Normal', although there's significant ghosting. The 'Off' setting has visible motion blur and the 'Extreme' setting has a lot of overshoot in all transitions.

10
Motion
Image Flicker
Flicker-Free Yes
PWM Dimming Frequency
0 Hz

The XF252QX has a flicker-free backlight, which helps reduce eye strain.

6.3
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Yes
BFI Maximum Frequency
240 Hz
BFI Minimum Frequency
120 Hz

There's an optional black frame insertion (BFI) feature, which can help to improve the appearance of motion.

The BFI is a bit strange.You can't adjust the backlight when the BFI is enabled. 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 duplication in motion.

9.6
Motion
Refresh Rate
Native
240 Hz
Max Refresh Rate
240 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes
FreeSync
Yes
G-SYNC
Compatible (Tested)
VRR Maximum
240 Hz
VRR Minimum
< 20 Hz
VRR Supported Connectors DisplayPort, HDMI

The Nitro XF252 has an outstanding 240Hz refresh rate, and it supports AMD's FreeSync VRR technology to help reduce screen tearing. At frame rates below 48 fps, it 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 DisplayPort only, but this has to be manually enabled from the NVIDIA Control Center.

Inputs
9.5
Inputs
Input Lag
Native Resolution
3.0 ms
Native Resolution @ 60Hz
12.9 ms
Variable Refresh Rate
3.1 ms
Variable Refresh Rate @ 60Hz
14.3 ms
10 Bit HDR
13.4 ms
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
4.8 ms

The XF252QX 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.

7.1
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 inch, 1080p display might be a bit small for some people. It's great for some games, as you can easily see the entire interface, but larger monitors deliver a more immersive gaming experience.

Inputs
Inputs