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Reviewed on Nov 09, 2018

Acer XF251Q
MONITOR REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.0
7.1
Mixed Usage
6.9
Office
8.0
Gaming
6.8
Multimedia
6.9
Media Creation
5.5
HDR Gaming
Size : 25 "
Resolution : 1920x1080
Refresh Rate : 75 Hz
LCD Type
:
TN
Variable Refresh Rate
:
FreeSync

The Acer XF251Q is a decent 1080p TN monitor with some great gaming features. It has a fast response time, low input lag, and it supports AMD's FreeSync VRR technology. It has a good design, with a great stand that can be easily adjusted to an ideal viewing position. Unfortunately, it has poor viewing angles, so the image degrades when viewed at an angle, and it isn't very accurate out of the box.

Test Results
Design 7.5
Picture Quality 6.1
Motion 8.4
Inputs 8.4
Pros
  • Low input lag
  • Stand has great ergonomics
Cons
  • Image degrades when viewed at an angle
  • Poor accuracy out of the box
Update 1/15/2019: We tested the monitor's compatibility with NVIDIA's new FreeSync driver. See our full investigation into NVIDIA's FreeSync Drivers here.

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7.5

Design

Curved : No
Curve radius : N/A
Weight (without stand)
:
8.2 lbs (3.7 kg)
Weight (with stand)
:
12.3 lbs (5.6 kg)

The Acer XF251Q has a good design. The stand has a large footprint but supports the monitor well. It has great ergonomics, and can easily be adjusted to an optimal viewing position. There is an included headphone bracket that attaches to the stand, which is great. It is mostly made of plastic, but it has a good build quality and there shouldn't be any issues.

Stand
Width
:
15.3" (38.9 cm)
Depth
:
10.6" (26.9 cm)

The stand has a large footprint, and it supports the monitor very well. The is very little wobble when knocked or when adjusting settings.

8.0 Ergonomics
Height Adjustment
:
4.5" (11.4 cm)
Switch portrait/landscape : Yes
Swivel Range : -45° to 45°
Tilt Range : -20° to 5°

Great ergonomics. The Acer XF251Q can easily be adjusted to an optimal viewing position. It can rotate to a portrait/landscape orientation, and unlike some monitors with this feature, it can rotate in either direction.

Back
Wall Mount : VESA 100x100

The back is plain with a simple design. There is a small hole in the stand that works well for cable management. There is also a headphone bracket that can be clipped on to the top of the stand.

Borders
Borders
:
0.3" (0.8 cm)

The borders are thin, with very little gap between the edge of the bezel and the display. This is a great display for a multi-monitor setup.

Thickness
Thickness (with stand)
:
8.5" (21.6 cm)
Thickness (without stand)
:
2.2" (5.6 cm)

The stand leans slightly back, so the monitor appears thicker when viewed from the side. It is significantly thicker when on the stand than when VESA mounted.

7.5 Build Quality

The monitor has a good build quality. It is mostly made from plastic, but it is solid and seems well built, similar to the ASUS VG245H.

6.1

Picture Quality

The Acer XF251Q has mediocre picture quality. It has a mediocre native contrast ratio, but decent black uniformity. It has decent peak brightness and very good reflection handling, so it looks great in a bright room. It has a great color gamut and excellent color volume, but the Adobe RGB coverage is too limited for professional photo or video editing. Unfortunately, the image degrades when viewed at an angle, and it has poor accuracy out of the box.

6.2 Contrast
Native Contrast
:
1161 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
:
N/A

Mediocre contrast ratio, but one of the best TN monitors we've tested so far; only slightly worse than the ASUS VG245H.

0 Local Dimming
Local Dimming
:
No
Backlight
:
Edge

There is no local dimming feature on this monitor. The video is for reference only.

7.3 SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene
:
273 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
:
299 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
:
300 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
:
300 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
:
300 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
:
300 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
:
299 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
:
300 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
:
300 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
:
300 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
:
300 cd/m²
SDR ABL
:
0.000

The Acer XF251Q has decent peak brightness, with no variation in brightness with different content, which is great. The peak brightness is very similar to the ASUS VG245H.

0 HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene
:
N/A
HDR Peak 2% Window
:
N/A
HDR Peak 10% Window
:
N/A
HDR Peak 25% Window
:
N/A
HDR Peak 50% Window
:
N/A
HDR Peak 100% Window
:
N/A
HDR Sustained 2% Window
:
N/A
HDR Sustained 10% Window
:
N/A
HDR Sustained 25% Window
:
N/A
HDR Sustained 50% Window
:
N/A
HDR Sustained 100% Window
:
N/A
HDR ABL
:
N/A

HDR is not supported on this monitor.

5.2 Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Shift from Left
:
30 °
Color Shift from Right
:
28 °
Brightness from Left
:
47 °
Brightness from Right
:
45 °
Black Level from Left
:
31 °
Black Level from Right
:
27 °
Curve Radius : N/A

Disappointing horizontal viewing angles typical of TN monitors. The brightness drops by half at about 45°, which is mediocre, but the black levels increase sharply after about 30°, and the colors shift significantly at about the same angle.

5.1 Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Shift from Below
:
9 °
Color Shift from Above
:
33 °
Brightness from Below
:
14 °
Brightness from Above
:
38 °
Black Level from Below
:
19 °
Black Level from Above
:
25 °

Disappointing vertical viewing angles; slightly better than the ASUS VG245H but worse than the ViewSonic XG2402. The XF251Q is definitely best viewed at eye level.

7.5 Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
:
6.636 %
50% DSE
:
0.117 %
5% Std. Dev.
:
2.246 %
5% DSE
:
0.078 %

The Acer XF251Q bmiirx has good gray uniformity. The edges of the screen are quite a bit darker due to the poor vertical viewing angles. The center of the screen is more uniform, and there is very little dirty screen effect (DSE). In near-dark scenes, the uniformity is better, and there is almost no DSE.

6.5 Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
:
1.690 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
:
N/A

Decent black uniformity, one of the best we've ever tested on a monitor. There is some clouding visible across the entire screen, but there is very little flashlighting, which is great.

5.1 Pre Calibration
Picture Mode
:
Graphics
Luminance
:
307 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
:
80
Contrast Setting
:
50
RGB controls
:
50-50-50
Color Temperature
:
6058 K
White Balance dE
:
5.07
Color dE
:
4.70
Gamma
:
2.14

Out of the box, the Acer XF251Q bmiirx has poor accuracy. The white balance dE and color dE are very high, to the point where we expect most people will notice the errors. The gamma does not follow the target curve at all, but despite the strange look of the curve we don't expect this to be noticeable for most people.

9.4 Post Calibration
Picture Mode
:
User
Luminance
:
101 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
:
14
Contrast Setting
:
50
RGB Controls
:
43-49-50
Color Temperature
:
6499 K
White Balance dE
:
0.58
Color dE
:
1.15
Gamma
:
2.17

After calibration, nearly all of the white balance and color errors were corrected. Gamma follows the target curve nearly perfectly, but some scenes will be too bright. The color temperature is nearly spot-on the 6500 K target. Some colors are still inaccurate, but this shouldn't be noticeable by most people.

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 SDR Color Gamut
sRGB xy
:
92.5 %
Adobe RGB xy
:
73.7 %

s.RGB Picture Mode: User (calibrated)
Adobe RGB Picture Mode: User

Great SDR color gamut. Excellent s.RGB coverage, but it doesn't quite cover the entire gamut. Coverage of the wider Adobe RGB color space isn't as good, and is not ideal for professional photo or video editing.

8.6 SDR Color Volume
sRGB in ICtCp
:
93.5 %
Adobe RGB in ICtCp
:
77.7 %

s.RGB Picture Mode: User
Adobe RGB Picture Mode: User

Great SDR color volume. It is mainly limited by the native contrast, as it can't produce deep, dark colors very well. Like many monitors, it can't produce very bright blues, but overall it fills out its gamut well in most luminance levels.

0 HDR Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
:
No
DCI P3 xy
:
N/A
Rec. 2020 xy
:
N/A

HDR is not supported on this monitor.

0 HDR Color Volume
DCI-P3 in ICtCp
:
N/A
Rec. 2020 in ICtCp
:
N/A

HDR is not supported on this monitor.

10 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, even immediately after displaying our high-contrast static test image for 10 minutes.

7.9 Gradient
Color Depth
:
8 Bit

The Acer XF251Q bmiirx has very good gradient reproduction. There is some noticeable banding in darker colors, but this shouldn't be very noticeable under most viewing conditions.

10 Color Bleed
Pixel row error
:
0.000 %
Pixel column error
:
0.000 %

Perfect color control, as there is no measurable color bleed.

7.5 Reflections

Very good reflection handling. There should be no issues using this monitor in a bright room.

8.4

Motion

The Acer XF251Q has great motion handling. It has an extremely fast response time, so fast moving objects have very little blur trail behind them, but some transitions have significant overshoot that may be distracting to some people. The backlight is flicker-free, but it lacks a BFI feature that could reduce persistence blur. The 75 Hz refresh rate is good, but some gamers may be disappointed. It supports AMD FreeSync, which is great.

9.4 Motion Blur
80% Response Time
:
2.9 ms
100% Response Time
:
12.2 ms
Best Overdrive Setting
:
Normal

Over Drive Off
Over Drive Off Motion Photo
Over Drive Normal
Over Drive Normal Motion Photo
Over Drive Extreme
Over Drive Extreme Motion Photo

The XF251Q has an excellent fast response time, but there is significant overshoot with any Over Drive setting. This causes some noticeable haloing around moving objects, as seen in the above motion photos.

When connected to a FreeSync compatible device, like a PC with an AMD graphics card or an Xbox One S/X, the Over Drive option is locked to 'Normal'. On our test PC it was impossible to change the setting even with FreeSync disabled. On the Xbox On S/X however, disabling FreeSync allowed us to change the Over Drive setting.

7.5 Image Flicker
Flicker-free : Yes
PWM Dimming Frequency
:
0 Hz
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
:
N/A
BFI Maximum Frequency
:
N/A
BFI Minimum Frequency
:
N/A

The Acer XF251Q bmiirx is completely flicker-free, as it directly dims the backlight without using PWM. Unfortunately, it does not have an optional black frame insertion feature to reduce persistence blur.

8.2 Refresh Rate
Native
:
75 Hz
Factory Overclock
:
N/A
Variable Refresh Rate
:
FreeSync
G-SYNC Compatible
:
No
VRR Maximum
:
75 Hz
VRR Minimum
:
40 Hz
VRR Maximum With OC
:
N/A
VRR Supported Connectors : HDMI

The Acer XF251Q has a 75 Hz native refresh rate, which while better than a 60 Hz monitor, might not be fast enough for more serious gamers. It supports FreeSync VRR, but has a limited range, and no LFC as the VRR minimum is too close to the native refresh rate. This means that in more intense scenes, there may be tearing if the frame rate drops below 40 fps

Update 01/15/2019: Unfortunately, the XF251Q is not compatible with NVIDIA's new FreeSync drivers, as it does not have a DisplayPort connection.

8.4

Inputs

The Acer XF251Q has excellent low input lag, great for gaming. It has a 24.5" screen, but it is limited to a 1080p resolution that isn't great for multitasking. It has two HDMI inputs and a VGA input, but it doesn't support DVI or DisplayPort without using adapters.

9.2 Input Lag
Native Resolution
:
7.1 ms
Non-Native Res @ Native Refresh
:
N/A
Native Resolution @ 60 Hz
:
8.8 ms
Variable Refresh Rate
:
7.4 ms
10 bit HDR
:
N/A
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
:
N/A

Excellent low input lag, even with the refresh rate set to 60 Hz. Non-native resolutions are not properly supported, as they are always upscaled to 1080p without you knowing, and there is no option to disable upscaling.

7.2 Resolution and Size
Native Resolution : 1920 x 1080
Aspect Ratio : 16:9
Megapixels : 2.1 MP
Pixel Density : 90 PPI
Screen Diagonal : 24.5 inches
Screen Area : 257 sq inches

The Acer XF251Q has a 24.5" screen and a 1080p resolution, good for casual use, but many users may find this too small for more serious work.

Inputs
Total Inputs
DisplayPort : No
Mini DisplayPort : No
HDMI : 2 (HDMI 1.4)
DVI : No
VGA : 1
DisplayPort Out : No
USB : No
USB C : No
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm : 1
Microphone In 3.5mm : 1
Digital Optical Audio Out : No
Analog Audio Out RCA : No

There are two HDMI inputs and a VGA port, but no DisplayPort or DVI. There is a 3.5mm analog audio out port, it is a headphone port with adjustable volume on the monitor's on screen display.

Features

The Acer XF251Q has a few additional features. It has built-in speakers, but it does not support HDR. There are a few additional features for gamers, but it lacks more advanced image processing features found on more expensive gaming monitors.

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

There are a few additional additional features on the XF251Q. It has built-in speakers, but does not support HDR.

  • Game Modes: There are three preset configurations for Action, Racing, and Sports, and a fourth setting that can be customized to your liking.
  • Aim Point: There are three selectable cross-hairs that can be added, good for FPS games that don't have one.

On-Screen Display (OSD)
Controls
In The Box

  • User Guide
  • Audio cable
  • VGA Cable
  • Power Cable
  • HDMI Cable
  • Headphone Bracket

Differences between Sizes and Variants

We tested the 24.5" Acer XF251Q, model number bmiirx. There are other models in the XF series, but beyond FreeSync support they have different specifications.

If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Acer XF251Q doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review. Note that some tests such as the gray uniformity may vary between individual units.

Model Size Resolution Refresh Rate Notes
XF251Q 24.5" 1080p 75 Hz FreeSync
XFA240 24" 1080p 144 Hz FreeSync, DVI
XF270H B 27" 1080p 144 Hz FreeSync
XF250Q A 24.5" 1080p 240 Hz FreeSync, DVI
XF250Q B 24.5" 1080p 144 Hz FreeSync
XF250Q C 24.5" 1080p 240 Hz FreeSync

The XF251Q we reviewed was manufactured in July 2017

Compared to other Monitors

Left: ViewSonic XG2402. Middle: Acer XF251Q. Right: LG 24MP59G-P.
Unlike our other photographs, this picture wasn't taken under a controlled environment, so do not draw conclusions from it.

The Acer XF251Q is a decent entry-level monitor with great gaming performance. See our recommendations for the best monitors under $200, the best 1080p gaming monitors, the best budget gaming monitors and the best 24-25 inch monitors.

ASUS VG245H

The Acer XF251Q is slightly better than the ASUS VG245H. Both models are 75Hz TN monitors, with FreeSync support. Both offer very similar performance, but the XF251Q we reviewed had better black uniformity and much better color volume. The ASUS VG245H is much more accurate out of the box, but a few setting changes on the XF251Q can correct this.

ViewSonic XG2402

The ViewSonic XG2402 is better than the Acer XF251Q. The XG2402 has much better motion performance, thanks to the faster 144 Hz refresh rate. The XG2402 is also a bit brighter, and has a better color gamut and better color volume.

Acer GN246HL

The Acer XF251Q is much better than the Acer GN246HL. The GN246HL has a faster 144Hz refresh rate, but it doesn't support any variable refresh rate technologies like FreeSync or G-SYNC. The XF251Q has a 75 Hz refresh rate, but it supports FreeSync. The Acer GN246HL uses PWM to dim the backlight, and this causes flicker that may bother some people, whereas the XF251Q is flicker-free. Finally, the XF251Q has much less input lag, especially when gaming at 60Hz.

Samsung CF398

The Acer XF251Q is a 25" TN monitor, whereas the Samsung CF398 is a VA monitor. The XF251Q has better motion handling, thanks to a faster response time. The XF251Q is a bit brighter, but the CF398 has much better native contrast, so it looks better in a dark room.

Dell S2417DG

The Dell S2417DG is better than the Acer XF251Q. The S2417DG has much better motion handling, thanks to a much faster refresh rate, faster response time, and optional black frame insertion feature. The Dell also has slightly less input lag. While the Acer XF251Q supports AMD's FreeSync VRR, the Dell S2417DG supports NVIDIA's G-SYNC instead, so the compatibility with your graphics card should be taken into account when choosing between these two.

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Conclusion
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7.1 Mixed Usage
The Acer XF251Q is a decent monitor for most uses. It has great motion handling and low input lag for gaming, and it supports FreeSync VRR. The stand has great ergonomics, so it can easily be placed in an ideal viewing position. Unfortunately, the image degrades when viewed at an angle, and the 1080p resolution and 25" screen may be too small for some users, and it isn't ideal for multitasking.
6.9 Office
The XF251Q is a decent monitor for office use. It has great ergonomics, so it is easy to place it in the ideal viewing position. It has decent peak brightness and great reflection handling, so it looks good in bright offices. Unfortunately, the 25", 1080p screen isn't ideal for multitasking, and the image loses accuracy when viewed at an angle.
8.0 Gaming
Great monitor for gaming. It has an excellent fast response time, but some transitions have a lot of overshoot that can bother some people. It has excellent low input lag, and it supports AMD FreeSync VRR technology for a tear-free gaming experience. Unfortunately, the 25" 1080p screen isn't very immersive.
6.8 Multimedia
Decent monitor for multimedia. It has a fast response time, so fast motion scenes look clear, with little motion blur trail. It also has excellent low input lag and great reflection handling. Unfortunately, it is limited to a 1080p resolution that may be insufficient for some people, and the image loses accuracy when viewed at an angle.
6.9 Media Creation
Decent monitor for media creation. It has excellent low input lag and a fast response time, and it has excellent coverage of the sRGB color space. Unfortunately, the Adobe RGB coverage isn't ideal for professional photo or video editing, and the 1080p resolution limits how much of your project you can see, and makes it harder to multitask.
5.5 HDR Gaming
The Acer XF251Q does not support HDR. For a good HDR monitor, check out the Samsung CHG70.

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