Acer XR382CQK Curved FreeSync Monitor Review

We’ve seen enough curved ultra-wide monitors now to conclude that they represent a true category and are not just a passing fad. Gamers have embraced them as a viable alternative to expensive multi-screen setups that require a lot of desk space and a stack of pricey video cards. And don’t forget that annoying line between panels. Even with today’s super thin bezels, you can’t unsee those vertical bands.

Today we’re checking out Acer’s latest XR382CQK 38” ultra-wide. Its resolution of 3840x1600 makes it attractive to those wanting something more than QHD, but who don’t want to be tied down to UHD’s 60Hz limitation. While that’s inevitably going to change, there are monitors out there right now that can put more pixels in front of the viewer and deliver higher refresh rates. This screen offers FreeSync and 75Hz, along with premium build quality.

Specifications

When shopping for curved monitors, there are more choices than you might think at first glance. Diagonal screen sizes range from 32-38”, and resolutions start at 2560x1080 and go up to what we’re seeing here today: 3840x1600. That puts the pixel count almost exactly halfway between QHD and UHD, so you’ll need a little more power under the hood to move the extra dots, but you won’t quite need to break the bank on a bleeding edge graphics board.

The XR382CQK sports a gentle 2300mm curve radius, which offers a nice wrap-around effect without image distortion. Thanks to its tremendous width, you can sit at a comfortable distance and completely fill your peripheral vision. Doing anything on this monitor is a completely different experience than what we’re used to with flat 16:9 monitors. And that extra size sets it apart from other curved ultra-wides.

This isn’t our first review of this screen size. A few months ago, we covered LG’s 38UC99, which offers nearly the same specs. In fact, the core panel part is the same, but Acer boasts a slightly larger FreeSync range: down to 48Hz rather than LG’s 52Hz. Pricing is relatively close between the two, so it now comes down to our tests to determine the winner. Let’s take a look.

Packaging, Physical Layout & Accessories

The XR382CQK approaches the size of a small HDTV, and due to its curve, comes in a huge carton with lots of internal foam to protect the panel. It’s fully assembled, though users wanting to employ an aftermarket mounting solution can unbolt the upright if they wish. An adapter is provided for this purpose. Most of us will simply lift the monitor out and plug it in. To that end, Acer has provided a large external power supply along with two DisplayPort cables and USB-C.

Product 360

At a tick shy of 3' wide, the XR382CQK requires a fair amount of desktop space. The stand, however, has a relatively small footprint. It’s made from solid aluminum with a satin finish. It extends up into a useful handle, which makes moving the monitor much easier and safer. It features full adjustment, with 5" of height, 30° swivel in each direction, 35° backward tilt, and 5° forward. Like all ultra-wide displays, there is no portrait mode.

The front screen layer is a 3H-hardness plastic with excellent anti-glare properties. It has no apparent impact on clarity, which is solid from side to side. A soft glow comes from LEDs mounted on the bottom bezel. You can specify the color and brightness or have them change with video processing mode. When FreeSync is active, they can light up your desktop in red. If you prefer less subtlety, they can be made to flash or pulse.

Controls are found around the back-right side and consist of a joystick and three buttons, plus the power key. Two of the buttons are user-programmable. The joystick is super handy and clicks with a premium feel. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be whipping through the OSD like a pro; or someone that has reviewed hundreds of monitors.

The top and side views show the XR382CQK’s 2300R curve. It’s subtle compared to some, but just enough to create an immersive effect without image distortion. The side profile is understandably thick, and we miss having USB ports here. There are four available, but they’re on the back facing to the rear. To activate the hub, you’ll need to have a USB-C port on your computer to use with the included cable.

The monitor sports two 7W speakers that are DTS-tuned. They offer a little more volume and depth than most, though you’ll still be best served with a good pair of headphones or an external system. The headphone jack is found on the bottom-facing input panel.

Speaking of which, it is well-stocked with DisplayPort in and out, USB-C, and two HDMI 2.0 inputs. One has MHL 2.1, and both are HDCP 2.2 compliant. This makes it ready to use with Ultra HD sources like streaming boxes and Blu-ray players. The XR382CQK does not support HDR at this time.

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  • toddybody
    Hasnt this monitor been available for a while? I feel like Tom's is often behind the release curve of most displays.
    0
  • Lucky_SLS
    isnt the G sync version cheaper than this? the X34A got a 100hz refresh rate. strange to see a similarly spec'ed free sync monitor costing more than a G sync one. would have been convincing if it had HDR
    0
  • shrapnel_indie
    Would have liked to see the Response Time (GTG) a little lower, say 3 or 4, for the price range.... but 5ms just makes the cut for gaming. The cost is truly a bit pricey, but at least it is an IPS panel for the cost.
    0
  • Ryguy64
    Why do Freesync monitors always have such a narrow range when it comes to variable refresh? I would love to get a Freesync monitor buy my RX 480 probably couldn't keep up with 48 fps in plenty of games at this resolution.
    0
  • shrapnel_indie
    Anonymous said:
    isnt the G sync version cheaper than this? the X34A got a 100hz refresh rate. strange to see a similarly spec'ed free sync monitor costing more than a G sync one. would have been convincing if it had HDR


    If I were to just use PCPartPicker.com as a guide, This XR382CQK model is the only model Acer has at this resolution. The LG 38UC99-W, being the only other one at the same/similar specs, is just shy of $400 USD more expensive.

    Also note that the XT382CQK is 38" class (37.5") and the XR342CK, Predator X34, and Predator XR341CK are 34" class (34".) The X34 itself being the 100Hz, 4ms IPS panel (The XR341CK is the only one that is 75Hz 4ms, the XR342CQK is 75Hz 5ms.) These 34" class monitors are also 3440 x 1440 instead of 3840 x 1600.
    2
  • JakeWearingKhakis
    Check out this monitor that I have.

    Viotek GN27C - $249.00
    27" Curved 1800
    1080p
    144hz Freesync (minimum is around 30hz I think)
    3 or 4 ms response time with a boost option in the settings
    VA Panel 16:9, 20,000,000:1 Dynamic Contrast

    All at $249.00. No it's not the latest Acer Predator, but it's a serious gamer's dream.
    0
  • shrapnel_indie
    Anonymous said:
    Check out this monitor that I have.

    Viotek GN27C - $249.00
    27" Curved 1800
    1080p
    144hz Freesync (minimum is around 30hz I think)
    3 or 4 ms response time with a boost option in the settings
    VA Panel 16:9, 20,000,000:1 Dynamic Contrast

    All at $249.00. No it's not the latest Acer Predator, but it's a serious gamer's dream.


    Source?
    0
  • WyomingKnott
    Why no portrait mode?

    (just kidding)
    0
  • bjornl
    Pity there is no G-Sync version. Free-sync = entirely uninteresting to me.
    -4
  • photonboy
    It's almost exactly the width of my entire DESK.
    1
  • gaborbarla
    I wish this monitor were 144Hz at least; can't go back to 75 or even 100. The resolution looks alright and would work well with today's top cards but it just needs those extra Hz for me to buy it.
    0
  • KaiserPhantasma
    Just a little bit more and we'll be on 4K 120FPS curved g-sync/freesync monitors?
    0
  • SiggeLund
    GSync! There are no video cards to drive games at high settings with FreeSync at these resolutions.
    0
  • JakeWearingKhakis
    SHRAPNEL_INDIE

    My source is me. I have it. Look up the model number on amazon. There is also a 32 inch version but it's still at 1080p so I wouldn't recommend going bigger than 27" for 1080p. PPI gets low.

    Viotek GN27C is a beautiful monitor and 249 bucks is amazing for getting all those premium features. Also the build quality is heavy painted metal for the base and looks very much like a Predator. It's just not adjustable which isn't a problem for me.
    0
  • shrapnel_indie
    Anonymous said:
    SHRAPNEL_INDIE

    My source is me. I have it. Look up the model number on amazon. There is also a 32 inch version but it's still at 1080p so I wouldn't recommend going bigger than 27" for 1080p. PPI gets low.

    Viotek GN27C is a beautiful monitor and 249 bucks is amazing for getting all those premium features. Also the build quality is heavy painted metal for the base and looks very much like a Predator. It's just not adjustable which isn't a problem for me.


    Okay, the source is: Amazon. So, as long as I have the funds, and they have the stock, I can source that Viotek monitor from Amazon all day long. (or at least I could if it popped up in their search. I only see the GN32C)
    0
  • rwinches
    I can't go for these wide initial cost and because of the fail replacement cost plus no monitor.

    I do like the Idea of 1440 though.

    For Value; You can get Three of These

    Look Here
    Just over $200 Amazon
    Freesync Range
    35-144Hz DisplayPort, 35-120Hz HDMI

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/aoc-g2460pf-24-inch-144hz-freesync-monitor,4743.html


    $440 Amazon
    FreeSync Range
    30-144Hz

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/aoc-g2770pf-27-inch-freesync-gaming-monitor,4472.html
    2
  • eriko
    Looks lovely.

    I wouldn't like to drive that many pixels though - hence my XK34 @ 100Hz.
    0
  • yyk71200
    amd should have made freesync standard to start at 30hz. Low fps is where adaptive sync benefits most.
    0
  • Roopa_1
    Heard about the Dell launching 8k resolution monitor. Is this model comparable to that? Suggestions??
    0
  • Tanquen
    Ok fine, I can't have nice flat!!! 30"+ 16:10 4k display. Can I just get a 16:9 then?
    I can't do work on a 21:9 display and can't just have a gaming only one setting around taking up space.
    Why do they do this to me? For $1200+ I can’t have what I want? :(
    Curved displays stink too!
    0