The Acer Vero RL272 surprised me from the moment I picked it up from the box it arrived in. I'm used to regularly swapping out big, bulky monitors as they conga-dance across my desk for tests and reviews, so when I pick them up I almost automatically go into Heave Mode, applying that extra little force to lift the usually heavy construction after I've slotted the support and stand into the back.
Here, though, that heave resulted in a moment of sheer panic as the monitor almost flew out of my hands into the air, because it was lighter than literally any screen I've had in years.
Coming in as a keenly priced budget monitor, it's never going to compete against the best 4K monitors around, nor is it trying to. This is a monitor for people on a budget, students or someone looking for a decent monitor for working from home. And so I set my expectations accordingly, but maybe I shouldn't have, because, during my weeks with it, I noticed precious little difference between this and some other monitor two or three times its price...
Acer Vero RL272 review: Key specs
|1920 x 1080
|H 178º / V 178º
|1x HDMI 1.4, 1x VGA
|Dimensions (with stand):
|436.10 x 612.30 x 223.80mm
Acer Vero RL272 review: Design and build
The Acer Vero RL272 is very light. Astonishingly so for a 27-inch monitor, in fact. Screens of that size often come in at 5-8 kilograms with the stand, and I've even had one gaming monitor in recent months that came in at 12 kilograms. By stark contrast, this Vero model is only 3.25 kilos. That's mainly thanks to an ultra-thin screen, which is only about 36mm deep at its thickest.
The stand has a hollowed-out circular base and a lightweight arm, so adds precious little weight while keeping the monitor firmly in place. It's easy to set up too, again thanks to its lightness and ease of moving around to set up in place.
There's only an HDMI port, though, along with a VGA one, so no DisplayPort connection here, but for a budget monitor, this was to be expected.
The panel is an IPS proposition, which I thought was quite a nice touch on a £150 monitor, as I find those generally sharper and brighter than VA panels.
There's no height adjustment, swivel or pivot on offer here, which is a little limiting, but at least I was able to easily turn the monitor slightly to each side at will because it's so ridiculously light.
Acer Vero RL272 review: Features
The Acer Vero RL272 is light on the muscles, and similarly light on luxury features. There's only an HDMI and VGA ports on the back, and the max refresh rate is a pedestrian 75Hz, while the colour gamut offers up 16.7 million colours and 99% sRGB coverage, with an impressive dynamic contrast ratio of 100,000,000:1 but rather less brilliant 250 nits of brightness.
The HDMI connection offers up AMD FreeSync technology while the response time is quoted at 1ms (VRB).
And the resolution? A standard 1920x1080 pixels in a 16:9 ratio. A 4K video-editing screen this ain't. But it ticks all the necessary boxes for a general home-working (or study) screen, with the IPS panel, contrast ratio and decent response time means it should work as a casual gaming screen too.
And it does.
Acer Vero RL272 review: Performance
During my time with the Vero, I encountered remarkably little frustration from its limited feature set (apart from the fact I only had the single HDMI to play with, so needed to swap that around as I swapped between machines).
The relatively tame refresh rate and max brightness meant I could do some casual gaming but those shortcomings were countered a bit by the nice IPS panel and impressive contrast ratio. It also meant I could do all the general photo-editing I needed without really noticing the difference. More detailed work would prove tricky, as the FHD does show its limitations fairly quickly.
Watching films was also painless, if unspectacular, with good blacks and realistic colours, and generally using the screen was very easy.
Acer Vero RL272 review: Price
Acer prices the Vero RL272 at £159.99 in the UK and $149.99 in the US, but it can be had for less than that with a little shopping around (or using our deals widget below). At the time of writing, I could see it offered for $129.99 on Amazon US and £119.99 on Curry's website in the UK. At this price point, the features set and performance compares really positively.
Should I buy the Acer Vero RL272?
I don't want to call the Acer Vero RL272 a 'cheap monitor' because it doesn't feel like one. It's a good screen, with obvious, expected limitations or compromises due to its low price, but offers some impressive specs and performance at the same time. The colour coverage is really good, equal to monitors at least twice its price, and despite being only FHD, it can be used for casual creative work and gaming ventures alongside its main purpose, which is a general home-working or office monitor. So if I were looking for a budget-class monitor, I'd be seriously considering this one.