Physical Design

Let's quickly dive into the physical characteristics of the Acer XB280HK and how it compares to other 4K and G-Sync monitors we have tested.

The look is sharp, though not as aggressive as the ASUS ROG Swift we reviewed last month. The red ring on the base gives a hint of the enthusiast nature of the display but doesn't go the full distance of angles and LED lights. The bezel on the XB280HK is also noticeably wider than the ROG Swift so setting multiple of these displays side by side is going to be a lot less appealing as well.

Speaking of that bezel – it's shiny, and kind of annoyingly so. The overhead lights in our office were often catching some portion of the glossy edges and creating white spots near the screen. We had to move and adjust the screen to find that right spot, or you could do as we have done in the past: put gaffer tape over the edges to dull them.

This monitor does suffer from a similar problem as the Samsung U28D590D 4K in that the stand isn't very stable and will wobble when touched or even if the desk it's resting on gets bumped. In contrast, both the ASUS 4K PB287Q and the ASUS PG278Q (ROG Swift) have better stand designs that provide more stability.

Acer made the back of the panel very functional though, again, without the "edge" provided by ASUS's PG278Q. The stand is removable and the monitor is VESA compatible (100 mm x 100 mm) for other mounting options.

The row of OSD buttons is located on the lower right side of the screen with a blue power LED. The buttons are easy to use but are also unlabeled keeping me guessing exactly which function I would enter at any given time. The buttons do a great job of blending in with the bezel though and don't stand out during gaming or productivity.

The round base is pretty small and also very glossy. Dust and fingerprints will stand out here.

Height adjustment is easy to change with a balanced slider. The image above shows peak height.

The lowest point basically touches the base with the bottom bezel.

The Acer XB280HK has quite a bit of angular adjustment capability as well, as demonstrated above. Also take note of two things in this image: two of the four available USB 3.0 ports thanks to the on-board hub and the thickness of the panel (not including the stand). 

As I mentioned on the previous page, this screen can be rotated into a portrait mode with the included stand though you will likely have more issues with the TN viewing angles with this setup. That very noticeable bottom-inversion result would now essentially be in your left-to-right view.

As with all upcoming G-Sync monitors (for the current roadmap), the Acer XB280HK only has a single display input – DisplayPort 1.2. Because the G-Sync module can only accept DP input and now acts as the only scaler on the monitor, there isn't an ability to support HDMI or DVI without some significant hardware changes.

The power brick is internal with the Acer XB280HK which helps explain the wider design of the chassis. 

Finally, on the far right hand side, you'll find the USB 3.0 input as well as the other two (of four total) USB 3.0 ports.

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