Acer KG251QF Gaming Monitor Review. The Acer KG251QF is one of the cheapest 144Hz gaming monitors. I’ve seen so far, so let’s check it out and find out how well it holds up see if it’s worth buying.
The monitor has a 24.5 inch screen with a 16 by 9 aspect ratio and runs with a 1080p resolution, so 1920 by 1080, nothing special about that. Here’s where it gets interesting, the panel runs with a 144Hz refresh rate, has a 1ms grey-to-grey response time and features AMD’s FreeSync, making it an excellent choice for gamers, especially when you consider that it can be picked up for just 299$ AUD, but it should be around $200 USD once available in the US.
That’s pretty cheap, and the lowest cost 144Hz gaming monitor like this that I’ve found, so let’s take a closer look and find out what else is on offer, as well as any missing features, which should be expected at this price point. As it’s got FreeSync you’ll need an AMD graphics card to take advantage of this, unfortunately I’ve only got Nvidia cards here, so I wasn’t able to test that out myself. It’s also a TN panel, meaning that it’s going to look best directly front on. Acer list the viewing angles as 170 degrees horizontally and 160 degrees vertically.
Looking side to side I didn’t notice too much of a change, vertically was easier to notice though especially when looking from underneath you can see the colours shift. In terms of colour accuracy, I couldn’t actually find any information about this, so went into my own testing expecting the worst. Using the Spyder 5 Pro I was able to test the current colour gamut of the display, and this resulted in 95% of sRGB, 70% of NTSC, and 73% of AdobeRGB, so it’s actually not too bad, much better than I was expecting.
The screen gets quite bright too, with a peak brightness of 400 nits. I’ve also performed my usual backlight bleed test, which involves having the screen completely black in a dark room to help emphasize any bleeding. I then take a long exposure photo to display any bleed, so this is a worst case scenario test.
As you can see here it was basically fine in this regard, although this will of course vary between monitors. With the UFO test I wasn’t able to see very much ghosting, although it’s difficult to show here as my camera is only shooting at 30 FPS so I can’t really represent what I actually see. It’s not all about the panel though, granted that is definitely the selling point of this monitor.
Taking a look at the rest of the monitor it’s got a plastic black and red V shape stand. It felt a little flimsy, but it does the job. Despite the stand being covered in plastic, it seems to be metal inside, and it does a pretty good job of supporting the panel. Even if I bump my desk it only wobbles a little. The bezels are fairly thin, at around 7mm or so based on my own measurements.
The stand can also be removed if you plan on instead using the 100mm VESA mount. As the mount is above the stand connector you can still use it while connected to the stand, for example if you wanted to mount a NUC or something.
The on screen display was pretty easy to use and navigate through, all of the buttons are found on the front panel on the right hand side, making them very easy to access and see what you’re pressing. The back like much of the rest of the monitor is a matte black plastic.
The two speakers are found towards the top, and there’s an Acer logo on the top right. The speakers didn’t sound that great, probably as they’re rear facing, and they didn’t get too loud either. The IO is on the back toward the bottom and faces down.
On the left side of the stand there’s the power input, 3.5mm audio input and headphone jack, while on the right there’s a DVI port, HDMI port, and DisplayPort 1.2.
The HDMI port supports up to 120Hz, so you’ll need to use DisplayPort for the full 144Hz refresh rate. There’s also a Kensington lock nearby. As for the included cables you get a HDMI cable, DVI cable, DisplayPort cable, 3.5mm audio cable and of course power cable and external power brick. Both the stand and display together weigh in at around 4.2kg, or just 3.7kg for the panel alone. As for the overall dimensions, the panel itself is around 55.8cm in width, 42.9cm in height and 5cm in depth.
Unfortunately the monitor isn’t very adjustable, it’s got your typical -5 to 15 degrees of tilt and that’s about it. There’s no height adjustment, swivel or pivot available here, if you really do need more options though you could always attach it to a monitor arm using the 100mm VESA mount. So far the monitor doesn’t look too bad, but how was it to actually use day to day? As you’d expect while playing games everything looked super smooth due to the 144Hz refresh rate and quick response time, and I expect it would have been even further improved if I could actually have made use of FreeSync.
It was a bit strange going down to a 24 inch monitor after using a larger one for so long, but realistically I think 24 inches is an alright size for 1080p gaming anyway. In modern games you’ll need a powerful graphics card to actually take advantage of the higher refresh rates, but for less demanding E-sports titles like overwatch and CS:GO you can get away with a lower end graphics card, especially if you’re willing to drop the settings down a bit.
Playing Overwatch on ultra settings with my Nvidia 1080 ran well above 144 FPS and the gameplay was very smooth the whole time. I’ve also used the monitor to edit some recent posts too, and as shown before the colour gamut isn’t too bad, to my eyes it definitely looked good enough to get the job done. As for the price it’s going for around $299 AUD here in Australia, which translates to $225 USD on for my international viewers, but things usually cost more here so it’ll probably be closer to $200 USD when it’s available, making it one of the cheapest monitors with a 144Hz refresh rate.
So what did you guys think about the KG251QF gaming monitor from Acer? I’m still impressed that we can now get 144Hz displays with FreeSync and 1ms response times for this price. Yeah it’s definitely missing other nice to have features, but these are the core components needed for a great gaming experience, and I think it’s definitely delivering, especially considering the price point. Be sure to let me know your thoughts down in the comments!