REVIEW / Acer HN274H

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Alexandre Botella Published on April 15, 2011
Translated by Sam McGeever
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  • Screen size 27 inches
  • Panel type TN
  • Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Response time 5 ms
  • Inputs (HDMI / DVI / VGA / Component) 3 / 1 / 1 / 0
  • Other details Headphone jack, built-in 3D Vision
Acer is continuing to expand its range of 3D monitors.  The Taiwanese manufacturer has just launched the HN274H, a 27'' screen with a 120 Hz display.  Like the GN245HQ (24'') which we looked at a few weeks ago, it has a built-in transmitter to sync the 3D glasses with the picture on screen.

Hardware: not 1, not 2, but 3 HDMI ports

Acer has used a similar stand to the one found on its latest 24'' 3D monitor, which only allows users to tilt the display back a few degrees, and there aren't many accessories on offer either.  That only leaves the video inputs to help the HN274H score a few points in this section, and fortunately, Acer hasn't been stingy in that department, with the usual trio at the back: VGA, DVI and HDMI.  The last of three is in good company, joined by two more on the left hand side of the screen, giving a total of three HDMI inputs.  We're not used to having that much to play with on a monitor but we're glad about it!

Like the GN245HQ, there's an infrared transmitter hidden inside the frame which keeps the 3D glasses synced to the active 3D glasses that form part of the Nvidia Geforce 3DVision system.  You can watch movies and play games in three dimensions, and not just with an Nvidia graphics card.

Colours: cover your eyes!

The most important thing to do as soon as you switch the HN274H on is to turn down the brightness.  We normally recommend a brightness of around 200 cd/m² for a well-lit room, but by default, the HN274H produces over 400 cd/m².  You should turn the brightness down from 100 to 35.  That doesn't-unfortunately-do anything for the colour reproduction.


Our tests revealed a slightly high colour temperature (resulting in a blue tinge) and a gamma curve, which describes our luminance is divided up, that needs some work.  The deltaE score, or the difference between the ideal colours and those shown onscreen, is as high as 3.8.  That's too much of a discrepancy for us to say the colour reproduction is accurate.  Unfortunately, like with the GN245H, we couldn't manage to fix this problem however hard we tried.  The only alternative is a calibration profile.

The contrast ratio isn't much good either: at 720:1, it's below the average value of 850:1 we've found on other monitors.

Responsiveness: ghosting time too long

Measured responsiveness
Light background Black background Average
This graph shows the 'ghosting time' of the monitor.
The lower these figures, the more responsive the monitor is.

The HN274H doesn't do any better than any other monitor with a 5 ms TN panel and has a ghosting time of 15 ms.

If a screen doesn't suffer from any crosstalk, there should be none of the 'R' visible on the left nor 'L' on the right.

Not only will that not be enough to win over gamers, the HN274H also suffers from crosstalk when showing games or video in 3D.  We didn't spot this problem on its faster little brother, the GN245HQ.

It's a real shame, because the HN274H doesn't have much input lag, so with a touch more responsiveness, it could have been a great friend to gamers.
Use Any Source You Like
Just about everything you need to enjoy 3D content comes with this monitor, including a 120 Hz display, a transmitter and active 3D glasses. One element is missing though: the content itself.

Because it has a HDMI 1.4 input, the HN274H can use just about any video source, including Nvidia or ATI graphics cards, a Blu-ray 3D player or even a PlayStation 3.

This is one limitation though: to maintain 60 Hz per eye (a total of 120 Hz), you need to switch to a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. Until HDMI 1.4, the only way of sending 120 Hz video was with a DVI Dual Link cable, something only a graphics card can handle. Worse still, Nvidia's 3D Vision kit previously only worked with the firm's own graphics cards, and not ATI's, but could sent 1080p video at 120 Hz. If you do have an Nvidia card though, that's the best option for 3D gaming.


  • Three HDMI inputs
  • Compatible with all 3D inputs
  • Built-in infra-red transmitter
  • 1080p 3D with a Dual-link DVI cable


  • Colours could be better
  • With a HDMI 1.4 cable, 3D is just 720p
  • Ghosting time is too long with visible ghosting


The Acer HN274H monitor is almost as big a disappointment as its little brother the GN245HQ was a success. There's really nothing left to save the day ...
3 Acer HN274H DigitalVersus 2011-04-15 00:00:00
Compare: Acer HN274H to its competitors
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