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Acer Predator X35 Gaming Monitor Review: The Best of the Best

This is the best gaming monitor we've tested yet--if you can afford it.

Acer Predator X35 Gaming Monitor
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Acer)

To read about our monitor tests in-depth, check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test Monitors and TVs. We cover brightness and contrast testing on page two.

Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level

The X35 is the fourth G-Sync Ultimate monitor we’ve reviewed. The Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ, Acer Predator X27 and HP Omen X 65 Emperium also earn that moniker with their 1,000-nit HDR capability. The mini-LED Asus ProArt PA32UCX is our brightness champ with nearly 1,500 nits available. We round out our group of incredibly expensive, high-performance monitors with the OLED Alienware AW5520QF.

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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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The Predator X35 is rated for 600 nits in SDR mode, but we couldn’t quite get there. We measured both full fields and window patterns and got the same result. It also made no difference whether the zone dimming was engaged or not. But this isn't a deal-breaker because we can’t imagine a situation where one would need such high brightness in SDR mode. Even in an outdoor location, 548 nits max brightness is more than enough.

The black level is quite low at 0.2 nit with the backlight maxed. Only the HP and the Alienware OLED can get darker. Turning on the zone dimming means the backlight is completely off when a 0% signal pattern is displayed making measurements impossible. Native contrast for the X35 is 2,451.9:1, which is quite respectable. We recommend using the dimming feature once calibration is complete; then the contrast is theoretically infinite.

After Calibration to 200 Nits

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Calibration to our recommended settings (see above) left the X35 in third place for both black levels and contrast. Our calibration only reduced dynamic range by a tiny amount. 2237.1:1 (compared to 2,451.9:1 before calibration) is still an excellent result.

For the ANSI test we used the monitor's Gaming mode. The X35 is the first FALD panel we’ve measured that benefits from its dimming feature in the ANSI test. Asus' PG27UQ and Acer's X27 measured the same whether dimming was engaged or not. In the X35’s case, we saw a 19% improvement in intra-image contrast. This figure will vary depending on the average brightness of the content you’re viewing. And it will change with the three different dimming settings. this test, we used Gaming. Regardless, this is excellent performance.

MORE: Best Gaming Monitors

MORE: How We Test Monitors

MORE: All Monitor Content

  • derekullo
    I've never owned a curved or Ultrawide monitor.

    I'm sure gaming looks amazing since you can render the image so that it perfectly fits your display.

    Watching a 1080p on a 4k display isn't that bad since they share the same aspect ratio and we have decent 4k upscalers.

    But what about watching a 1080p movie on a 3440x1440 screen?

    Do you get visual artifacts if you stretch a 16:9 to a 21:9 screen?

    Do you typically watch a movie stretched out or do you create a custom 1080p resolution (basically blacks bars on the sides)?
    Reply
  • Late_Apex
    As a long time reader of this site and lurker on the forums, I am disappointed to see the rating on this monitor given the lateness of the review. I was in the market for this monitor and it’s Asus twin and very quickly realized that there is a major issue with this monitor. A quick search will reveal that there is a significant flickering problem with the backlight of this monitor during usage in some games above 60hz. Asus and Acer websites are full of complaints as are other forums.

    Asus to its credit posted a few weeks ago that they were working on a firmware to fix it as Nvidia is not able to do anything. Acer has been quiet on this topic.

    At this point in time, at the price point, this monitor is defective and should receive a 1 star or lower rating until it is fixed appropriately. Also, Acer not even acknowledging the problem is a huge warning to stay away.
    Reply
  • Ninjawithagun
    I actually do own an Acer X35 and yes, it is provides the ultimate gaming experience. There is absolutely no substitute for HDR1000 combined with 120Hz (and higher) refresh rate, G-Sync, and 10-bit color. Regardless, gameplay on this monitor is breathtaking and something that you may have only experienced on an LG OLED TV. I will confirm the concern that Late_Apex stated regarding that there are existing issues with this particular panel. The Asus PG35VQ shares the same panel and the same issue - flickering. The flickering is triggered by specific colors and patterns within certain games. Both Acer and Asus have stated that the issue is known problem and they have a firmware solution in the works and have stated that an optional firmware update would be available by the end of December. However, it's now January and neither have provided it for download on their websites. Regardless, I still highly recommend this monitor in spite of the flickering issue. Knowing that a firmware fix will eventually be available, just makes me want to double down on my recommendation.
    Reply
  • Ninjawithagun
    Late_Apex said:
    As a long time reader of this site and lurker on the forums, I am disappointed to see the rating on this monitor given the lateness of the review. I was in the market for this monitor and it’s Asus twin and very quickly realized that there is a major issue with this monitor. A quick search will reveal that there is a significant flickering problem with the backlight of this monitor during usage in some games above 60hz. Asus and Acer websites are full of complaints as are other forums.

    Asus to its credit posted a few weeks ago that they were working on a firmware to fix it as Nvidia is not able to do anything. Acer has been quiet on this topic.

    At this point in time, at the price point, this monitor is defective and should receive a 1 star or lower rating until it is fixed appropriately. Also, Acer not even acknowledging the problem is a huge warning to stay away.

    Acer actually did finally respond and stated that a firmware fix is coming soon:

    https://us.answers.acer.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/65552/~/acer-predator-x35-optional-firmware-update
    Reply
  • Late_Apex
    Ninjawithagun said:
    Acer actually did finally respond and stated that a firmware fix is coming soon:

    https://us.answers.acer.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/65552/~/acer-predator-x35-optional-firmware-update

    That's great that they finally responded. I picked up an Asus PG27Q for the moment and have another week to return it. I've been waiting for word on the actual fix because I would like to buy the monitor in the review.

    Given that this monitor came out midway through the year, the lateness of this particular review, and the known issues, I take issue with this rating. For $2000+ USD, it needs to be a 1 star monitor UNTIL it is fixed. I sent Asus an email asking for an update and no response yet as on paper, this is the best do it all monitor you can get, assuming it works as advertised!

    Glad you are enjoying it. I hope the firmware will fix it for you in the near future.
    Reply
  • VeggieX
    How do you change the brightness level for the different Nit levels that they mentioned? I find the HDR too bright. I have an LG C9 that has been calibrated and my buddies CRG90 and his HDR looks much closer to my C9. It doesn't hurt my eyes.




    Here are the settings we used during testing:

    Picture ModeUserBrightness 200 nits36Brightness 120 nits20Brightness 100 nits17Brightness 80 nits13SDR Colors sRGBOnContrast50Gamma+0.3Color Temp UserRed 97, Green 96, Blue 100
    Reply