Acer Predator X35 Review

Recently we reviewed the Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ, a monstrous 3440 x 1440 ultrawide with a massive 200 Hz refresh rate and proper HDR support. We weren’t afraid to call it the best monitor we have ever tested. Well, as many keen monitor fans would know, Acer has their own version of this display, the Acer Predator X35, and today we’ll be putting it head to head against the PG35VQ to see how it stacks up.

As expected the Predator X35 packs the same specs as the PG35VQ because it uses the same panel. It’s a 35-inch 3440 x 1440 VA panel with up to a 200 Hz refresh rate, 1800R curvature and G-Sync Ultimate support.

It’s a true HDR monitor as well, with DisplayHDR 1000 certification and a 512-zone full array local dimming backlight. Pricing is also similar: both are expected to cost around $2,500 when they go on sale since neither is widely available yet.

With that sort of price tag, this monitor isn’t going to be for everyone. In fact there are places like in Australia where it costs considerably more, with an MSRP of $4,000 this thing costs more than a high-end LG OLED TV.

Performance

Response Times / Overdrive Modes

Moving into performance, we’ll start by looking at response times. The monitor has three overdrive modes, the default being Normal at a maximum 200 Hz refresh rate. Couple of interesting things to note here. Dark level performance is really good for a VA panel, only the transitions from full black suffer from slow response times, basically everything else is very quick, which leads to a dark level average of 8.48ms. Most other VAs will have sub-40% grey transitions run well over 10ms, but what we’re seeing from the X35 in this mode is more akin to an IPS panel, which also tend to have weak performance transitioning from full black.

Input latency is okay without blowing me away, 8.23ms is a bit faster than Acer’s previous X34 monitor, but still indicates around 5ms of processing lag, helped by the faster refresh rate. Interestingly, if you turn on the FALD backlight, input latency increases by around 4ms, presumably that’s due to the additional processing that’s needed to figure out what the FALD backlight should do.

Power consumption is also interesting. This monitor uses a lot more power than other ultrawides of a similar size, even when displaying the same brightness. The FALD backlight isn’t a particularly efficient way of illuminating an LCD, consuming 20W more than non-FALD options.

One of the key differences between the PG35VQ and Acer’s Predator is their color performance. Asus has done a decent job of factory calibrating their offering, while Acer has kinda dropped the ball a bit here with the X35. This is a flip of the situation with the 27-inch G-Sync Ultimate montiors, where we found the X27 was better than the PG27UQ.

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