Acer Predator XB253Q Monitor Review

We take a closer look at one of Acer's smaller esports-tailored panels to see how it stacks up in performance, build quality, and value for money!

Predator XB253Q

Whilst gaming monitors – and monitors in general – have been getting bigger over time, there is still a large demand for smaller, 24″ displays – especially within the esports gaming community. The Acer Predator XB253Q GP falls nicely into the ‘smaller monitor’ category, equipped with a compact design alongside some pretty impressive performance specs to boot.

At the heart of this gaming monitor lies a very capable IPS (in-plane switching) panel that boasts great response and excellent immersive values – making it a fantastic choice for competitive gamers. The monitor comes to shelves with a 144Hz refresh rate, impressive 0.9ms (min) GTG response time, and VESA DisplayHDR 400 certification. Furthermore, with adaptive sync support for both AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-sync, the XB253Q becomes one of the first panels within the Predator series to drop the dedicated G-Sync module – a feature it was once renowned for.

In the following article, we’ll be putting the Acer Predator XB253Q to the test to see how it performs in a number of different scenarios; spanning gaming, color accuracy, picture quality, and overall value for money.

So, with plenty to get through, let’s waste no further time and dive straight into it!

Acer Predator XB253Q
Acer Logo

Acer Predator XB253Q GP

Refresh Rate

144Hz

Response time

2ms (0.9ms min. GTG)

Screen size

24.5″

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Predator XB253Q

Specifications

Tech Specs

Refresh Rate

144Hz

Response time

2ms (0.9ms min. GTG)

Screen size

24.5″

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Aspect ratio

16:9

Panel type

IPS

Brightness

400d/m2

Contrast ratio

1000:1

Color Depth

8 bits

Viewing angle

178°/178°

Color Gamut

99% sRGB

Backlight technology

W-LED

Panel Coating

Anti-Glare/Matte

Curvature

Flat

VESA

100 x 100mm

Dimensions (WxHxD)

558.8 x 513.08 x 236.22 mm with stand

Inputs

1 x Predator XB253Q GP Widescreen LCD Monitor 1 x DisplayPort Cable 1 x HDMI Cable 1 x Power Cord (US) 1 x USB 3.0 Cable

Pros

Good value for money

144Hz refresh rate

Min. 0.9 (GTG response time)

Versatile stand

99% sRGB coverage

Low input lag

Cons

HDR performance is questionable

On the small side

What's In The Box

The Acer Predator XB253Q comes in a fairly small box that showcases some marketing material on the exterior – including some topline specifications. The monitor sits inside the box completely unassembled – requiring the stand and the base to be constructed before use.

Putting the monitor together is incredibly easy, requiring no tools and only a few simple steps to do so. Inside the box, users will also find the following items:

  • Acer Predator XB253Q Monitor
  • Kettle Plug
  • HDMI 2.0
  • DisplayPort 1.4
  • Quick Start Guide
Acer Predator XB253Q
Acer Logo

Acer Predator XB253Q GP

Refresh Rate

144Hz

Response time

2ms (0.9ms min. GTG)

Screen size

24.5″

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Design And Features

With specifications out the way, let’s take a closer look at the build quality, design, and mechanical features this monitor comes equipped with.

Design

The XB253Q comes with all the design traits you would expect from a Predator monitor. It offers a strict gaming aesthetic that is characterized by sharp lines and striking features. The panel itself offers thin bezels on all sides, with the bottom bezel housing the Predator logo in proud fashion. The monitor sits on a silver tripod-style stand that has been finished in a powder coating.

Predator XB253Q 21

The silver base is potentially the most striking feature of this monitor, contrasting loudly with the rest of the monitor’s dark color theme.

Predator XB253Q 20

Moving to the rear of the monitor, there really aren’t many design features to discuss. The back of the panel is also exclusively matte black, with the only noticeable design feature being Acer’s logo in the top right corner. The rear of the stand offers more sharp edges, alongside some cable management holes and a headphone stand. Some flashes of red can be found at the base of the stand but, if I’m being honest, they don’t really add a great deal to this monitor’s design.

Predator XB253Q 16

Build Quality

The Predator series is Acer’s gaming lineup, with many of the displays within it offering excellent build quality. That said, this is one of the budget Predator models – it’ll be interesting to see how it stacks up in this particular department.

My initial feelings towards build quality for the XB253Q are incredibly positive. Putting the monitor together, you get a real taste for how well built this thing is. Each fittings slots into its housing firmly, giving the monitor a real sense of robustness.

Predator XB253Q 2

Whilst the stand is a mix of metal and plastic, it still felt pretty rock solid. The plastic used for the shell of the stand is largely aesthetic – but it still feels of high quality. One area that did feel a little rushed was the headphone stand. It pops down from the rear of the monitor but can be extremely stiff.

Predator XB253Q 13

The panel itself feels very sturdy as well, scoring highly in our robustness tests. No creaking could be heard when applying some light pressure to the rear and the sides – always a good sign. The bezels all fit nicely alongside the panel, offering a flush fit that is sometimes rare in budget offerings. The stand itself also provides a very sturdy base for the XB253Q display. I experienced almost no wobble during gaming sessions, even when things got a little heated in CS:GO.

Panel Coating

Like most modern panels, the XB253Q comes equipped with an anti-glare coating that is finished in matte with a 3H hardness. This particular material is not only great for mitigating both natural and manmade light sources, but it also adds another layer of protection to the more delicate interior components.

Predator XB253Q 22

One downside to this coating is, it does pick up a tonne of fingerprint marks quite quickly. You might want to keep some monitor cleaner on hand as the fingerprints do show during usage.

Bezels

Predator XB253Q 7

As you can see from the image above, the bezels on this monitor are extremely thin. The top and side bezels are dual-stage and offer what Acer is calling their ‘Zero Frame’ design – a thin bezel that is excellent for immersion. The panel itself has a thin internal bezel, so calling this panel borderless is purely marketing scripture.

Predator XB253Q 4

The bottom bezel offers an extremely thin grid styling and measures in at 19mm – pretty thin when considering the competition. The side bezels are 7mm in width, providing a great visual experience for almost any gaming situation.

Stand

As mentioned earlier, the stand feels pretty rock solid on this monitor, giving you a bunch of adjustment options for those that need to find the perfect – yet potentially obscure – viewing position.

The XB253Q offers up height, tilt, swivel, and pivot functionality. The mechanism inside the stand for motion feels very robust, requiring a fair amount of force to get it moving.

Below are the exact specifications of the stand:

  • Forward Tilt – 5 degrees
  • Backward Tilt – 25 degrees
  • Left Swivel – 20 degrees
  • Right Swivel – 20 degrees
  • Pivot – 90 degrees
  • Height – 120mm
Acer Predator XB253Q
Acer Logo

Acer Predator XB253Q GP

Refresh Rate

144Hz

Response time

2ms (0.9ms min. GTG)

Screen size

24.5″

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Inputs

Unlike other budget monitors, the XB253Q offers a good amount of inputs – allowing users to hook multiple devices up to this panel at any given time.

Predator XB253Q 11

Most of the monitor’s inputs can be found at the rear of the panel and need to be inserted in a verticle fashion. That said, there are two USB slots on the left-hand side of the monitor (one of which is capable of high-speed charging) that can be used for peripherals or a charging port.

OSD

The OSD (on-screen display) for the XB253Q is basic yet comprehensive. It doesn’t overcomplicate things with numerous buttons and too many menus – it keeps things intuitive. Navigating the menus can be done via the 5-directional joystick found at the rear, alongside four other buttons that control the quick menu and power.

Predator XB253Q 9

Inside the OSD, users will be able to customize all the usual suspects, including color, picture, and game settings. Standard features aside, the XB253Q has some cool additional extras that include Overdrive, VRB, and ultra-low latency modes. Finding the perfect balance between picture quality and responsiveness is something we’ll discuss further down the article – but ultimately it comes to trial and error. The OSD also offers up a number of different User modes which you can save to the monitor’s onboard memory – handy for those that like to play different game genres.

Color Accuracy & Picture Quality

Great colors and excellent picture quality are two of the main factors that help create immersion during your gaming. Whilst this is the case, gaming monitors don’t always calibrate the color to what is deemed accurate within certain color spectrums – sRGB/Rec.709 for example.

For that reason, we like to test each of the monitors we review for color reproduction to see how they would perform in color-accurate 0scenarios.

Here are the results.

PresetWhite PointBlack DepthContrast RatioAverage ΔE*00Gamma
IDEAL6500K0.00cd/m²Infinite0.002.2
Out The Box 6382K0.2099 cd/m²1247:11.422.21
sRGB6390K0.13 cd/m²1215.6:10.732.19
Normal Temp7209K0.2413 cd/m²1103:11.62.2
User Color Preset6480K0.2415 cd/m²1234.2:11.452.19

Like always, we ran an initial ‘out the box’ color test to see how accurate the colors were right off the shelf. As you can see from the table above, the results were surprisingly good. The XB253Q recorded a solid white point alongside an equally impressive black depth (0.20). We also saw an improved 1247:1 contrast ratio, more than the advertised 1000:1. Average deltaE measured in at 1.42, not the best we’ve ever seen but by far the worst.  Gamma was solid at 2.21.

We ran the built-in sRGB preset next and results were, once again, surprising – for a gaming monitor. We saw a white point of 6390K and black depth of 0.13. Contrast ratio was still above 1000:1 (1215:1) and gamma was 2.19. Most impressive, however, was the 0.73 average deltaE. Whilst we could probably get better results from a calibrated profile, this is more than good enough for some light photo editing.

We ended by testing the User color preset which, as far as I can see, was a duplicate of the ‘out the box’ preset with open RGB fields. White point was perfect and black depth and contrast ratio was slighty better than expected. Average deltaE came in at 1.45 – providing acceptable levels of accuracy within the sRGB spectrum.

PresetWhite PointBlack DepthContrast RatioAverage ΔE*00Maximum ΔE*00Gamma
IDEAL6500K0.00cd/m²Infinite0.000.002.2
Calibrated6490K0.1022 cd/m²1129.9:10.170.862.2

We quickly calibrated the monitor (using User color temperature) to see how accurate the Acer Predator XB253Q could become. For best results, we changed the RGB values to 50/49/49 and ran the calibration.

After calibration, the Acer XB253Q was greatly improved, showcasing highs in both white point (6490K) and black depth (0.10). Contrast ratio was still above the 1000:1 advertised spec and gamma was 2.2. After calibration, the XB253Q offered up excellent accuracy across a large test of the sRGB spectrum. We saw a 0.17 average deltaE, with a maximum value of 0.86 – making this panel very accurate for editing video or photo.

Panel Uniformity

Panel uniformity is a test we run to check how uniform the luminance and color is across the entirety of the screen. During this test, the center square is used as the reference space. Every other square is then tested to see how far it differentiates from the reference.

In an ideal world, we want every square to be green, meaning it hasn’t broken the differential threshold – something we can set at the start of the test.

Note: results will differ from panel to panel.

panel uniformity grid 1

Looking at panel uniformity, the XB253Q was a little hit and miss for the most part. As you can see, the left-hand side of the panel offered much better uniformity than the right – with the bottom right corner coming back with a red score –  showcasing a large deviation from the reference quadrant in the centre.

With most modern LED panels, color and luminance uniformity can be a little off around the edges. That was certainly the case with this monitor, getting an average score on this test.

Viewing Angles

Like most IPS panels, this one returned a good score for viewing angles. Colors did start to shift slightly at very obscure angles – but for the most part, the brightness and colors were accurate. That goes for both horizontal and verticle viewing positions.

Acer Predator XB253Q
Acer Logo

Acer Predator XB253Q GP

Refresh Rate

144Hz

Response time

2ms (0.9ms min. GTG)

Screen size

24.5″

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Color Gamut

As part of the calibration process, the DisplayCal will give an accurate measurement of the color gamut the monitor can provide. Below are the results of the color gamut test:

Color Gamut Measurements

As you can see from the data above, the XB253Q returned a decent color gamut. Granted, this monitor doesn’t offer the widest color gamut, but it certainly does the job for gaming scenarios. We recorded a 99.2% sRGB coverage (114% volume) alongside a 73.7% Adobe RGB coverage and 80% DCI-P3.

Color gamut Graph 1

The color gamut triangle graph clearly shows the full scale of the XB253Q’s color gamut. It far exceeds that of the sRGB color spectrum (displayed by the dotted line) in the green/yellow/orange area. Whilst this isn’t the most accurate monitor I’ve ever tested, it still offered a decent color gamut considering the price and user demographic.

Maximum And Minimum Brightness

We ended the color accuracy and picture quality testing by checking the maximum brightness, minimum brightness, and 120 candelas points on this panel. The results are below:

BrightnessCandelas
100% Brightness394.44cd/m2
0% Brightness70.87cd/m2
17 Brightness120 cd/m²

Calibrated Profile

For those who want to use our calibrated color profile, you will find a link below where you can download the zip file.

Acer Predator XB253Q: Gaming Performance

With color accuracy out of the way, it’s time to put the Predator XB253Q through a number of different gaming scenarios to see how it stacks up in pixel response, input lag, and HDR content. Seeing as though this is Acer’s high-end gaming lineup, I expect only the best gaming experience from it. Here are the results.

Before we started, we enabled the maximum fresh rate (144Hz) in the GPU control panel. We also enabled adaptive sync (G-sync) with Overdrive set to normal and ultra-low latency set to ‘on’.

Predator XB253Q 26

I started off by playing CS:GO – a fast-paced first-person shooter that would push the XB253Q to its limits from a response standpoint. I started by playing deathmatch – a game mode where over 20 players are all alive at the same time. It’s a great way to gauge how responsive the panel is and how much perceived motion blur you experience. Fortunately, the rig I was using was able to feed 144 frames per second easily, keeping up with the monitor’s refresh rate and providing a fluid experience for the entirety of my gaming session. CS:GO felt incredibly smooth, mainly thanks to a combination of high refresh rate, low response time, and excellent input lag. Thanks to this combination of specs, the game’s motion blur was highly reduced, allowing you to focus on the game world more clearly during intense battle moments.

We made sure to pay particular attention to ghosting and trailing, but the response time did an excellent job of reducing these artifacts to a minimum. That said, there was some light smearing when bright elements came into contact with particularly dark areas – but nothing overly substantial. Tampering with the overdrive settings did have an impact on visual overshoot, with medium offering the best experience overall. To improve the visual experience further, users do have the option of enabling VRB in the OSD – a backlight strobe feature that pulses the backlight to increase pixel response times. Whilst this had a positive effect on perceived blur, it would reduce brightness quite substantially.

Predator XB253Q 28

We decided to leave competitive titles aside and move onto something a little more immersion-based. We loaded Shadow of the Tomb Raider, testing out the immersive qualities of the monitor alongside the HDR 400 certification it offers. This entry-level standard of HDR is the lowest certification VESA allows, with results being considered subpar when compared to higher alternatives (HDR600/1000). That being said, enabling HDR in games and movies did have a small effect, increasing depth of detail in extremely bright and dark regions. However, with no FALD functionality, it’s hard to say that the experience is anything more than a very slight improvement.

Overall, gaming on this panel was a great experience. However, if you prioritize visual performance over response, this might not be the panel for you.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it, our comprehensive review of the Acer Predator XB253Q – one of Acer’s latest budget-oriented 24.5″ gaming monitors. The only thing left to answer is, do we feel the XB253Q is good value for money. Well, that comes down to a number of different factors, but for me personally, you’d have to say absolutely.

As the market evolves, taking monitor technology with it, we see monitor manufacturers leaning more towards IPS technology over the less color-capable TN alternative. IPS are now a very viable option for gamers who require great colors and great response, simultaneously. The Acer Predator XB253Q is a fantastic example of both features, providing a fast 144hz refresh rate alongside an equally impressive 0.9 minimum GTG response time. With low input lag and a wide color gamut, the XB253Q seems like a steal at its current price tag – currently retailing for around $280.

The only real downside to this monitor is the size. It really does bottleneck the performance of this monitor to competitive gaming only. Granted, users can play more immersive titles on this monitor – and even do some photo editing too – but they’ll soon grow old of the lack of screen real-estate it provides. Whilst the 1080p screen resolution is great for obtaining high FPS, it isn’t ideal for picture clarity of screen real-estate.

So, ultimately, what we have here is a very capable (competitive) gaming monitor that comes to shelves at a very affordable price tag. However, whilst this monitor does tick a lot of the right boxes, it ultimately falls into the ‘one-trick pony’ category.

Acer Predator XB253Q
Acer Logo

Acer Predator XB253Q GP

Refresh Rate

144Hz

Response time

2ms (0.9ms min. GTG)

Screen size

24.5"

Resolution

1920 x 1080

0 /5
Editor's Rating
4/5

As the market evolves, taking monitor technology with it, we see monitor manufacturers leaning more towards IPS over less color-capable TN alternatives. IPS are now a very viable option for gamers who require great colors and great response, simultaneously. The Acer Predator XB253Q is a fantastic example of both features, providing a fast 144hz refresh rate alongside an equally impressive 0.9 minimum GTG response time. With low input lag and a wide color gamut, the XB253Q seems like a steal at its current price tag