Acer Predator X35 35” Ultrawide Gaming Monitor Review: Best Gaming Ultrawide

Today we will be reviewing the Acer Predator X35 35” ultrawide gaming monitor. Acer’s take on the new 3440 x 1440 200Hz HDR1000 G-Sync ultimate ultrawide display (what a mouth full). As we have stated in past reviews, we truly believe that ultrawide monitors are the best form factor for both productivity and gaming. The extra real state without the need for scaling and the increased immersion in games is simply unbeatable.

Specifications

This monitor uses an AU Optronics manufactured AMVA panel with a 3440 x 1440 resolution that can reach upwards of 200Hz with a display overclock and a couple of compromises in color accuracy. 10-bit color is supported via 8 bit + FRC dithering and quantum dot enhancement film.

  • Screen Size: 35 inches
  • Panel type: AU Optronics M350QVR01.7 AMVA
  • Native resolution: 3440 x 1440
  • Typical maximum brightness: 600 cd/m² (1000 cd/m² HDR)
  • Color support: 1.07 billion
  • Response time (G2G): 2ms
  • Refresh rate: 200Hz (variable, with G-SYNC)
  • Contrast ratio: 2,500:1 (without local dimming)
  • Viewing angle: 178º horizontal, 178º vertical
  • Power consumption: 64.1W
  • Backlight: 512-zone local dimming QD LED (Quantum Dots + blue LED)
  • Typical price as reviewed: $2,500 USD

Aesthetics

acer predator x35 monitor review

Compared to its major competitor (Asus PG35VQ) the X35 in my opinion looks less bulky and won’t be mistaken for an alien spaceship. However, it still includes gamer centric features like RGB lighting that can be controlled on the OSD (on screen display) menu. The X35 is a good-looking monitor with its silver and black design. The overall design hasn’t really changed from the previous X34 ultrawide monitor from Acer. The X35’s stand is relatively simple although it is still quite big, measuring around 13 inches from front to back, therefore a large desk is necessary for this beast of a monitor.

acer predator x35 2019

The bezels adopt a 3-sided borderless design at the top and sides. The bezels at the top and side are approximately 1/3 of an inch while the bottom bezel is quite larger at 1 inch. The screen itself contains a light matte anti-glare surface and is curved at 1800R, which in our opinion is the sweet spot for 34/35-inch ultrawide monitors.

acer predator x35 review

From the side, the monitor is relatively bulky. However, not as bulky as the Asus PG35VQ. This is due to the 512-zone backlight solution for local dimming.

acer predator x35 g sync ultimate

From the rear, the monitor is reminiscent of previous Acer Predator monitors. It is mostly matte black with some minor silver accents.

acer predator x35 g sync hdr monitor

The monitor also includes lighting zones that can be illuminated in various colors or effects with the use of the OSD menu. You will also find ventilation slots and speakers located in the back of the monitor.

acer predator x35 monitor

The included stand can be removed in order to expose a 100 X 100 VESA mount for alternative mounting. The connectivity ports are down firing as expected within the Predator lineup and include HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, USB 3.0 plus an upstream port, 3.5mm headphone jack and DC power input.

acer predator x35 ports

The OSD menu is controlled with a combination of 4 pressable buttons and to our excitement a joystick! The OSD is self-explanatory and contains basic settings such as brightness, contrast and backlight response among others.

acer predator x35 ultrawide monitor

Presets

Out of the box, the X35 includes a variety of Image modes: ‘Action (G1)’, ‘Racing (G2), ‘Sports (G3), ‘User’, ‘Standard’, ‘ECO’, ‘Graphics’ and ‘Movie’. However, we will be using our own calibrated preset for our subsequent testing.

Our testing environment includes an RTX 2080 Ti hooked up to the monitor via a DisplayPort 1.4 cable, on a Windows 10 computer running version 1903.

Our calibrated Test settings are as follows:

  • Brightness: 80
  • Contrast: 50
  • Backlight Response: Gaming
  • SDR Variable Backlight: On
  • Relative Gamma: +0.3
  • Color temp:
    • RED: 100
    • BLUE: 99
    • GREEN: 98
  • OverDrive: Normal

All other settings were kept at default.

Image Quality (HDR/SDR) In Games

The overall image quality of this display is fantastic! The contrast is incredible in both SDR and HDR content likely due to the 512-zone backlight.

The table below measures white luminescence, black luminescence and contrast ratio under a multitude of conditions.

Settings White Luminescence (cd/m2) Black Luminescence (cd/m2) Contrast Ratio (cd/m2)
Brightness: 100 584 0.23 2539
Brightness: 80 451 0.18 2505
Brightness: 60 326 0.13 2507
Brightness: 40 223 0.09 2477
Brightness: 20 124 0.06 2066
HDR ON 1174 <0.01 >120,000
SDR Variable Backlight ON Brightness: 100 536 0.08 6700
SDR Variable Backlight ON Brightness: 80 427 0.06 7110

As you can see, the X35 has a respectable native contrast at 2500:1 across all brightness settings with the exception of 20%, in which it drops to 2066:1. With SDR variable backlight turned on, the X35 employs the use of its 512-Zone Full Array Local Diming (FALD) solution  to increases the contrast ratio to an incredible 7000:1. With HDR turned on the X35 can achieve an eye scorching 1174 nits of brightness! This is competitive with the top of the line LED TVs out now. The contrast ratio also skyrockets to an impressive >120000:1. This brightness and contrast is more than enough to experience HDR content as intended by the producers.

The one downside to FALD solution is a “Halo effect” or blooming in dark scenes. This is not noticeable while playing games or watching movies, unless you are looking for it. However, it quite noticeable when moving your mouse pointer across a dark area of the screen.

The color reproduction of the X35 is also quite good. However, not as good as IPS panels. Acer specifies 90% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space. DCI-P3 is the gamut that is most often used for HDR content, so high coverage of this is desirable for HDR games and movies. Our tests indicate 91% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space. This results in great color reproduction in HDR content, while SDR content will suffer from mild over-saturation and increases in color vibrancy. In our opinion this is a good thing, unless you plan on using this display for content creation or work that requires absolute color accuracy.

The X35 also offers an sRGB emulation mode, in case you want true sRGB color reproduction. This aims to cut down the color gamut to avoid the over-coverage of the sRGB color space as described above. However, this setting does not work well. It results in severe under-coverage of the sRGB color space, 83% in our test. Therefore, if you need a sRGB color accurate display, we recommend you don’t invest in the X35.

In games that support HDR such as Destiny 2, Battlefield 5 and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, the X35 performed beautifully! Excellent contrast ratio coupled with great color reproduction resulted in a heighted sense of realism and immersion that needs to be experienced to be fully understood. After gaming in HDR with a monitor such as the X35, it is hard to go back to SDR gaming.

When compared to the LG 34GK950F, which is a cheaper HDR 3440 X 1440 ultrawide that is HDR400 certified, one can clearly see how the FALD backlight and increased brightness enhances the overall experience. We are firm believers that anything less than HDR1000, which requires a minimum of 1000 nits peak brightness and local dimming is simply a gimmick and shouldn’t be considered true HDR.

Gaming Responsiveness

In our tests, we measure an input lag of 4.96ms, which is approximately 1 frame at 200Hz. This measurement reflects both pixel responsiveness and signal delay. This is a fairly low input lag which should not be noticeable to anyone, unless you are a professional gamer that plays extremely fast paced shooters on TN panels.

acer predator x35 ultrawide review

Since this is a VA panel, perceived blur or “ghosting” is present in the X35. Although it is far from the worst I’ve experienced, it is noticeable. With OverDrive off, ghosting is extremely prevalent at 60Hz as well as 144Hz, although less so at 200Hz. With OverDrive set to normal, ghosting is less noticeable especially at 120Hz and above. With OverDrive set to extreme, we started to experience severe inverse ghosting or overshooting. Overall, we recommend you use the normal setting. Ghosting shouldn’t be very noticeable at 120Hz or above, but it’s still there. This is just a compromise one must make when investing in a VA panel, although it is much improved in the X35 when compared to older VA offerings.

The X35 also offers G-Sync, which a variable refresh rate technology used by NVidia in order to prevent tearing and mitigate stuttering.  It requires an NVidia GPU to be used but it works flawlessly on this display, completely eliminating tearing and stuttering in all of our tested games.

Compromises Necessary For 200Hz

Although Acer states that the X35 supports 200Hz refresh rate, this is not actually true. It can natively support upwards of 144Hz without any color compromises or 180Hz without display overclocking. This is due solely to the bandwidth limitations of DisplayPort 1.4. The interface is just not capable of supporting high refresh rates without some sacrifices. To achieve higher than 144Hz refresh rates, you will have to lower the color support in one of the following ways.

  1. Decrease 10-bit color to 8-bit color: This will not make any noticeable difference in games being played in SDR. However, most HDR games require 10-bit color for proper HDR support.
  2. Use Chroma Sub-sampling: This is a form of color compression to save bandwidth. This will not noticeably impact picture quality in games, either in SDR or HDR. However, it will impact text clarity in Windows or subtitles in games.

We recommend that you use chroma sub-sampling when playing games in HDR or 8-bit color when playing games in SDR. However, achieving >144Hz in newer games will be extremely difficult, even with the most powerful GPUs available today. Even if possible, we believe that 144Hz is more than enough for competitive gaming at its highest level.

Conclusion

The Acer X35 is very best gaming ultrawide available, but it comes with an extremely high price tag of $2,500. The price of this display is much higher than most gaming monitors we have seen in recent years. However, we believe the price in warranted. This display includes many expensive components including the FALD backlight and G-Sync ultimate module. Also, the amount of research and development that went into this display for its production and validation must have been enormous. We expect that its price will keep it out of range for most gamers, but enthusiasts that are able to invest large amounts of money into their displays will be hard pressed to find a better gaming display.

performance computer editors choice award

With pricing out of the way, the X35 is an incredible display. It has absurd contrast and color reproduction in both SDR and HDR, but the HDR support is what truly sets it apart from the rest. The display has low input lag, but it does have some ghosting issues. We would have liked to see Acer tackle some of these ghosting issues prior to release but we understand it’s a drawback of VA panels. Also, the implementation of G-Sync only adds to the already good gaming responsiveness by completely eliminating screen tearing and stuttering.

Overall, we highly recommend this display for anyone with deep enough pockets to afford it!

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Summary
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Acer Predator X35 Ultrawide Monitor
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