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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)

When you play HDR content, the X35 automatically switches into its HDR picture mode. Most image controls will be grayed out, but you can change the color temp if you wish.

HDR Brightness and Contrast

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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Acer claims the X35 will hit up to 1,000 nits brightness with HDR content, and we hit 1,060 nits by using a 10% window pattern. Most HDR displays won’t reach their full brightness when showing a full-coverage white field. This is one seriously-bright group of panels though. Until you’ve experienced it, you can’t imagine how intense 1,000 nits is. We could barely look at it for more than a few seconds at a time.

HDR black levels proved difficult to measure. A full black field pattern shut off the backlight entirely, making a measurement impossible. By turning on a small info icon at the bottom of the screen, we were able to measure an impressive 0.0142 nit. That makes the X35’s HDR contrast higher than any screen we’ve measured except the mini-LED PA32UCX and the AW5520QF, whose black levels can’t be measured in any way due to its OLED tech. With contrast like this, the X35's picture quality is simply stunning.

Grayscale, EOTF and Color

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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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The X35 allows for grayscale adjustments in HDR mode, but those settings carry over to SDR content. Fortunately, this is just fine, as our sample measured to near-perfection. There are no visible errors on either side of the clip point, which is extremely high at 75%. You can thank the super-low black level for that. The luminance curve detailed by our EOTF tracking is almost spot on. It’s a tad darker than spec at the bottom and a tad brighter between 60-75%. Yep, we’re splitting hairs again. Acer has pretty much nailed its HDR implementation here.

HDR color tracks nicely with good accuracy at all points of the DCI-P3 gamut. The results are similar to SDR mode but with slightly more over-saturation. Since a lot of 4K content and games are mastered to Rec.2020, we recorded that measurement as well. The X35 tracks the inner targets will until it runs of available color. This is the way it should be until all monitors can render the full Rec.2020 gamut. There is no question that the Predator X35 brings the goods when it comes to HDR.

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MORE: How We Test Monitors

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  • 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