The Acer B286HK presents an excellent value for performance option in today’s market of dazzling products with out of this world specs. By the time of this review, this model has already spent some time on retailer shelves. But even if that’s the case, can we still consider the Acer B286HK as an amazing product for both gaming and professional use in a fast-changing digital world?
Acer B286HK Specifications
- Screen Size: 28 Inches
- Resolution: 3840 x 2160 4K UHD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Panel Technology: Twisted Nematic (TN)
- Refresh Rate: 60Hz
- Response Time: 2ms
- Contrast Ratio: 300:1 (Static)
- Brightness: 350 cd/m²
- Built-in Speakers: Yes (2 x 2 Watts)
- Stand: Height – Yes (6 Inches)
- Stand: Tilt – Yes (-5°/+35°)
- Stand: Swivel – Yes
- Stand: Pivot – Yes
- VESA Compatibility: Yes 100 x 100
- Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.2 x 1, Mini DisplayPort 1.2 x 1, HDMI 1.4 x 1, DVI x 1, USB 3.0 x 4
- Dimensions with Stand(WxHxD): 25.93” x 15.04” x 9.73”
- Weight: 18.6 lbs
Design and Features
What’s great about the Acer B286HK is its 28-inch form which is universally considered as the sweet spot for 4K monitors. This model appears humble when compared to its Predator brethren, but we like the cleanliness of the subdued matte black and the industrial aesthetics. This treatment provides slim bezels all around the screen, which is hard to notice against the eye-popping 4K output.
The whole package weighs in at only 18.6lbs, but the included stand looks and feels like it could hold twice the heft. The mounting arm is pleasingly flexible with 6-inch height adjustments, a forty degree tilt, plus swivel and pivot. The square base provides enough footing for this big display, but if you would rather have the Acer B286HK on your wall, you can detach the armature and use VESA mounts with a 100 x 100 bolt pattern.
The tactile OSD buttons of the Acer B286HK are conveniently located under the bottom bezel. Opening the OSD reveals a myriad of options for calibration so you can run a perfect setting according to your standards. You can also use one of the six to select inputs, presets, and to power down the device.
The Acer B286HK includes a respectable I/O layout which should exceed regular expectations. With this monitor, you will find a DisplayPort 1.2, a Mini DP, an HDMI-MHL slot, and a DVI port for old connectors. You also get three USB 3.0 ports for peripherals, plus audio jacks for pass through. The Acer B286HK includes two 2-watt speakers in its arsenal, but like all other built-in pairs, the set sounds tinny with a minimal bass response.
Display and Performance
The Acer B286HK features a 28-inch TN panel with a 4K resolution, 60Hz refresh rate, and 2ms response time. What’s great about this formula is the crisp sharpness of your computer’s projections thanks to the tighter pixel pitch. Of course, as expected from TNs, viewing angles are poor while colors and blacks may sometimes lack the pop we all want.
The Acer B286HK is capable of providing a near perfect coverage of the sRGB color gamut, but it is nowhere near the level of professional or designer monitors. You can’t rely on this product for color-critical work, but its excellent accuracy with minuscule issues makes it a fantastic choice for both games and multimedia entertainment.
If you find some skewing in shades, the feature-loaded OSD which includes a 6-axis color calibration feature can help. With this tool, you can adjust the Yellows, Cyans, and Magentas of the color spectrum. Although we usually don’t recommend touching the 6-axis factory settings in here, its inclusion makes it easy to correct minor discolorations if you notice any.
Despite our minor misgivings, the Acer B286HK performed superbly in our Mass Effect Andromeda test. The extra crispness of the pixel pitch gave our eyes smooth edges and sharper objects to enjoy, plus the massiveness of the view space is impressive for immersive purposes. There are some grayish dark scenes due to the lower contrast ratio of TN panels, but it was easy to ignore and alleviate with brightness adjustments.
If you are into fast-paced action, the Acer B286HK is a great 4K gaming monitor due to its snappy responsiveness. The 2-ms pixel transition time comes into play to help avoid ghosting and blurring, while controls felt connected and spot-on thanks to the 11ms input lag rating. In retrospect, most 1080p monitors have a standard and expected 10ms or below result.
Since the Acer B286HK is a model from the Pre-VRR era of gaming displays, you can’t expect FreeSync and G-Sync to smoothen out your graphics. 4K is still too much for most video cards, so you need to have a meaty battle station to use this screen. Newer models have come out with better spec sheets, but for what the Acer B286HK offers at its current price point, it rarely gets beat.
For a little under $400, the Acer B286HK is a fantastic choice for 4K gamers who are on a budget or would rather spend the extra cash for an overpowered GPU to run 4K 60Hz in AAA titles. There are minor flaws in color and contrast, but most are forgivable considering the module uses TN technology.
The rich OSD is also a worthy inclusion for its ability to provide solutions for minor color skewing, so you won’t have to live long with some greenish tinting we noticed. This model doesn’t catch up to its XB series cousins, but we can say it can hold its own. Product age comes into play here, but that also means you can get this for a bargain. In this economy, a sub-$400 4K display is difficult to ignore if you want the eye candy without tearing your budget apart.