image credit Acer

I’ve been using the Asus VS228H-P, a 21.5-inch screen with a 1920 x 1080 resolution that I’ve owned since late 2015, as my main gaming monitor for many years. Despite the fact that it is ancient, I have had very few issues with it. However, after purchasing both a PlayStation 5 and an Xbox Series X last year, I began to question whether I wasn’t making use of the consoles’ full capabilities since I didn’t have a display that could support the 120 frames per second and 4K resolution that the consoles were capable of.

Acer’s Nitro XV282K KV gaming monitor, which retails for $900 and has two HDMI 2.1 connections and supports 4K resolution and 120Hz refresh rates, has been in my possession for the last month and a half. During that time, I’ve been using it as my main gaming screen to determine whether or not the hefty cost is worth it in exchange for higher-fidelity gameplay.

Stuff That Good

  • a large screen
  • The graphics in the games are excellent.
  • Two HDMI 2.1 connections for gaming at 4K resolution and 120 frames per second.

Stuff That Isn’t Good

  • Exorbitantly priced
  • Speakers that are too small

With its 28-inch 3840 x 2160 resolution (also known as 4K) LCD display, the monitor provides a generous amount of screen real estate. Acer claims that the monitor has a one-millisecond reaction time, and although I haven’t tested it explicitly, I haven’t seen any input lag with any of the software I’ve used so far on it.

There are two HDMI 2.1 connections and one DisplayPort on the Nitro, so you can connect both next-generation consoles and your PC to the display if you so want. It also includes two built-in speakers, although they’re a little tinny and not very powerful. You’ll almost certainly want to connect the screen with a set of external speakers or headphones of your own to get the best experience.

As a general rule, I’m not the kind to delve into the nitty-gritty of things like the colors and contrast ratio on a computer monitor. I recommend reading Rtings’ evaluation for a more in-depth look at the subject matter.

But what about me? Everything seemed to be in perfect condition.

Fortnite was a riot of color, especially during Ariana Grande’s spectacular in-game performance, and it played silky smooth at 120 frames per second. The higher frame rate has allowed me to believe that I’ve been somewhat more responsive in-game as a result of this. Finally, Final Fantasy 7 Intergrade looks much better on the Nitro than it did on my Asus display when I played it on the PlayStation 4. Flying over Boca Raton in Microsoft Flight Simulator on the Xbox Series X gave me the impression that I was on a little tropical vacation without leaving the comfort of my own home. What has impressed me the most is having an HDR-enabled screen, which makes everything a lot more vivid than what I was accustomed to seeing on my last laptop, the Asus ZenBook.

Jay Peters contributed to this photo for The Verge.

In the end, after more than a month of using the Nitro, I was completely sold on all it had to offer. I got the distinct impression that I would never be able to return to the way I had been playing games before, and I was mentally prepared to save aside some money for a significant display upgrade.

But then I went back to playing some Nintendo Switch games, and I recalled why I’ve never been one to be too concerned about graphic specifications in the first place. More than anything else, the narrative and gameplay of a game captivates me and draws me in.

Playing through The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, which is a transfer of two games that were originally published on the Nintendo 3DS, has been a great experience for my wife and me. Even while it seems to be in good condition, it does not equal the degree of detail provided by games such as Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, which was released on PlayStation 5. I’ve been completely hooked into Fire Emblem: Three Houses, which I’m now playing exclusively in portable mode, which seems to be mostly running at 30 frames per second. I just won a round of Fortnite on the Nintendo Switch on the Nitro, and despite the fact that the game looks much worse than it does on next-gen consoles, and also chugs along at 30 frames per second, I had just as much fun as I usually do.

Jay Peters contributed to this photo for The Verge.

It was during my time on the Nitro that I was reminded of something that I’ve always believed: although stunning visuals and cutting-edge technological specifications may enhance a game, the overall quality of the game is what counts the most to me. If the game is entertaining, I don’t give a damn about how it looks.

Consequently, to address the first part of my question, is it worthwhile to spend $900 on an Acer Nitro XV28 display in order to take advantage of next-generation gaming? So, if you have the means to spend money, I believe you will be satisfied with the monitor you purchase. (However, you may have to wait a little longer to purchase it.) The Nitro seems to be sold out as of this writing, but Acer claims that more stock will be available in September on Amazon and Best Buy.)

However, for the majority of people, I would suggest either waiting until HDMI 2.1-equipped monitors become cheaper, or setting aside extra money to spend on a high-quality television. Your next-generation games will look fantastic on the Nitro, but the hefty price tag may not be worth it for some.


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