Acer XFA240 review: This $180 gaming monitor punches above its class

A 1ms response time and 144Hz refresh rate round out this affordable FHD gaming monitor's impressive specs.

Acer XFA240
(Image: © Cale Hunt | Windows Central)

Windows Central Recommended Award

Acer's XFA240 is a 24-inch gaming monitor that's available for a bargain price, yet it doesn't cut nearly as many corners as you might think. It tops out at 1080p (FHD resolution), yet it has a smooth 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time, both specs that gamers look for when buying a new display. Perhaps the biggest selling point is its ability to work with both AMD's FreeSync and NVIDIA's G-Sync variable refresh rate (VRR) technology, delivering smooth visuals no matter the graphics card (GPU) in your rig. Is it the right monitor for you? I used the XFA240 for about a week to find out.

What you'll love about the Acer XFA240 gaming monitor

Out of the box, the Acer XFA240 is quick to put together and includes a DisplayPort cable to connect back to your PC. The base could be a bit heavier, but it attaches firmly to the vertical arm, which then clips onto the back of the monitor. It is compatible with a 100mm x 100mm VESA mount, giving you extra options for your battlestation setup. The stock vertical arm allows for height and tilt adjustment, and you can rotate the display for landscape or portrait mode if you're using it as a secondary display.

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Size24 inches
Resolution1920x1080 (FHD)
Refresh rate144Hz
Response time1ms
Brightness350 cd/m²
PortsHDMIDisplayPortDVI3.5mm audio
SpeakersDual 2W
VESA100mm x 100mm

The rear chassis seems well-built with pebbled plastic, and there are ample vents to keep things cool. As an added touch, horizontal grooves run from side to side, with an Acer logo in the top-right corner. The monitor isn't as thin as expensive premium options, but it's certainly not egregiously large. It doesn't press out too far from the stand, and you shouldn't have issues with it taking up too much space. At 24 inches, it's perfect for anyone who doesn't have a ton of space on their desk.

Connected with DisplayPort to take advantage of all features, including a 144Hz refresh rate, the XFA240 offers an impressive picture. I tweaked a few settings in the on-screen display to take care of the factory setup, then tested color accuracy. I got back 98% sRGB and 77% AdobeRGB, both excellent results at the price. Brightness maxes out at about 350 nits, and combined with the matte finish, you shouldn't have to deal with glare when gaming in a well-lit room. When connected with HDMI or DVI, note that the maximum refresh rate is 120Hz.

At the asking price, it's hard to turn down the XFA240's 144Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time, and FreeSync with G-Sync compatibility.

A 1440p (QHD) resolution is becoming ever more popular in the gaming world as performance hardware ramps up and monitors get bigger. However, at 24 inches FHD still makes perfect sense for the XFA240. Everything looks clear and crisp, and you're not needlessly taxing your GPU. At the lower resolution, it's easier for lesser hardware to push 144 frames-per-second (FPS) to keep up with the monitor's maximum refresh rate.

Six visible buttons on the bottom-right corner of the monitor make up the controls. One is a power button with LED status light, and the others are unmarked. Hitting any of the five regular buttons brings up the settings, and you have a choice of volume control, input selection, overdrive adjustment, and gaming mode. There's also a function menu for adjusting color, picture, and the settings window itself. A blue light filter can be enabled within to help look after your eyes during long playtimes, and you can even tweak hue and saturation levels to get the picture looking just right without an extra calibration tool. Flicker-less tech adds to the viewing comfort.

What you'll dislike about the Acer XFA240 gaming monitor

There's not a lot to dislike about the XFA240 with picture and performance in mind, and I had nothing but an enjoyable time using it for long gaming periods. Visuals were smooth thanks to G-Sync compatibility with my NVIDIA RTX 2060, and I was able to push 144 FPS in modern AAA games thanks to the FHD resolution. The bezel is a bit thicker than I'm used to, but at this price, it's hardly an issue.

Although the stand is quite versatile thanks to height, tilt, and rotation adjustments, it doesn't swivel on the base. To get a square viewing angle, you need to move the entire monitor. The TN panel doesn't offer quite as good of viewing angles as an IPS panel, and if you often have a person or two watching you game, they will certainly notice a difference in color if they're sitting to the side.

The built-in 2W speakers are a nice addition, especially on a budget monitor, but they're best for short periods of time when you don't have a quality gaming headset connected. Sound is hollow and doesn't get exceptionally loud, but it's an option if you're sharing content with others.

Should you buy the Acer XFA240?

For anyone who wants to get in on quality 1080p gaming performance, the Acer XFA240 is easy to recommend. The resolution looks crisp at the 24-inch size, and lesser hardware will have a much easier time hitting a high framerate to keep up with the monitor's 144Hz refresh rate. The stand doesn't swivel, but it provides adjustments for tilt, rotation, and height, features that aren't exactly common with monitors this cheap.

A 1ms response and FreeSync with G-Sync compatibility only add to the smooth picture, and you won't have to worry about which GPU you're using, as long as on the NVIDIA side you have a 10- or 20-series card. As long as you're not looking for something larger or with a higher resolution, the Acer XFA240 should be near the top of your shortlist for next gaming monitor.

Cale Hunt

Cale Hunt brings to Windows Central more than eight years of experience writing about laptops, PCs, accessories, games, and beyond. If it runs Windows or in some way complements the hardware, there’s a good chance he knows about it, has written about it, or is already busy testing it.