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Bottom Line

If you want the best gaming experience available right now, the Acer Predator X35 and its ASUS counterpart offer just that, albeit at a rather hefty price. NVIDIA G-SYNC up to 200Hz ensures fluid and responsive performance while the 512-zone FALD solution makes for an incredibly immersive HDR viewing experience. You also get plenty of additional features and premium design quality.

Design:
(5)
Display:
(4.9)
Performance:
(4.9)
Price/Value:
(4)
4.7

Introduction

The Acer Predator X35, along with its counterpart by ASUS, was one of the most anticipated gaming monitors due to its combination of 512-zone full-array local dimming solution for exceptional HDR viewing experience and NVIDIA G-SYNC up to 200Hz for buttery-smooth performance.

Does it live up the hype and is it worth the hefty price? Let’s see!

We’ll also compare it to the ASUS ROG Swift PG35VQ which uses the same panel and offers similar features.

Image Quality

The Acer X35 monitor is based on a 35″ AMVA (Advanced Multi-domain Vertical Alignment) panel by AU Optronics with 3440×1440 UWQHD resolution, a 200Hz refresh rate, and dithered 10-bit color depth support.

It utilizes a QDEF (quantum-dot enhanced film) layer which allows it to extend its color gamut to 90% DCI-P3 for more lifelike and vibrant colors.

You’ll also find the sRGB mode which restricts the color output to ~100% sRGB in case you want a more accurate color representation of sRGB content.

Further, it has a peak brightness of 600-nits which gets a boost to ~1000-nits for HDR compatible content thus earning VESA’s DisplayHDR 1000 certification.

Now, the native contrast ratio of the Acer Predator X35 display amounts to 2,500:1 which already provides deeper blacks and brighter whites in comparison to IPS monitors which usually have a contrast ratio of 1,000:1.

However, the monitor has a 512-zone full-array local dimming (FALD) implementation which pushes the contrast ratio even further by dimming parts of the picture that need to be dark without affecting parts that need to remain bright.

This effectively increases the contrast ratio to ~7,500:1 for SDR content and to over 100,000:1 for HDR content. As a result, you get incredibly vivid details in highlights and shadows of the picture.

Alas, since the monitor has almost 5 million pixels and only 512 dimming zones (which is more than any other FALD LED monitor available at the time of this writing), there will be some halo and bloom visible in certain scenarios.

For instance, if you’re moving a white cursor across a dark background, there’ll be a noticeable halo effect around the cursor as there aren’t enough dimming zones.

This isn’t really noticeable in video games and movies – if it is, it is negligible as it doesn’t occur often, so you can just disable local dimming for regular desktop use if you find the blooming and haloing too distractive.

Generally, you get an immersive picture quality with vibrant colors and vivid details. The ultrawide format further increases the immersion by extending your field of view in compatible games.

You get a pixel density of ~106 PPI (pixels per inch) meaning that you get plenty of screen space as well as sharp and clear details without any scaling necessary.

Content that doesn’t support the 21:9 aspect ratio will be displayed with black bars at the sides. Alternatively, you can stretch, zoom, or crop the picture to fill the screen.

So, make sure to check out how your favorite games, movies, apps, and streaming services handle ultrawide resolutions for the optimal viewing experience.

Performance

Now that we’ve established that the picture quality of the Acer Predator X35 is as good as it gets when it comes to HDR picture on LED-backlit monitors, let’s see how it performs.

With just below 5ms of input lag, the monitor has no perceptible delays whatsoever; the time the display takes to react and display your commands is basically instantaneous.

There are three response time overdrive options: Off, Normal, and Extreme.

We recommend using the Normal mode as it doesn’t introduce as much overshoot as ‘Extreme’ yet it is very effective at eliminating ghosting and motion blur. For a VA panel display, there’s very little smearing and motion blur visible!

The response time behaves a bit differently when local dimming is enabled in which case the Extreme mode actually works better. There are also three different backlight response modes: Desktop, Gaming, and Hybrid.

We recommend using the Gaming mode here (even for desktop use) as it has the least amount of trailing and no other disadvantages.

Moving on, the Acer Predator X35 gaming monitor features a dedicated G-SYNC v2 module which provides a variable refresh rate up to 200Hz for tear-free gameplay without any stuttering or perceptible input lag added.

Keep in mind that G-SYNC doesn’t work with AMD cards on this monitor.

NVIDIA’s G-SYNC module also offers variable overdrive which allows the response time overdrive to change on the fly thus eliminating ghosting at high frame rates and preventing pixel overshoot at lower frame rates.

Due to the bandwidth limitations of DisplayPort 1.4, there’s a catch when setting the monitor to 200Hz:

  • When using 10-bit color and full 4:4:4 color range, the Acer Predator X35 is limited to 144Hz.
  • With 8-bit color and full 4:4:4 color, you can set the monitor up to 180Hz
  • Finally, for 200Hz, you need to use 4:2:2 chroma subsampling (can be used with 10-bit or 8-bit color)

Using 4:2:2 chroma subsampling makes text appear fringy, so it won’t be an issue for many games.

Generally, you can use 200Hz for competitive and undemanding games where you can actually benefit from 200Hz at 3440×1440, and for more graphically-oriented games where you’ll hardly surpass 144/180FPS, you can use 10-bit/8-bit color without subsampling.

Since most games support only 8-bit color and the difference between 8-bit and 10-bit color isn’t all that obvious in games, you’ll probably find 3440×1440 180Hz with 8-bit full color to work best.

Another thing to keep in mind about VA panel displays are the viewing angles. While they are advertised as 178°, they’re not quite as wide as that of IPS panel monitors.

Some, mostly minor, shifts in contrast and brightness are expected when viewing the screen off-axis. You’ll also notice that halos become more visible at certain skewed angles.

Further, the colors aren’t as consistent as that of IPS panels and there are some gamma shifts that aren’t noticeable for everyday/entertainment use, but for color-critical use, we still recommend using IPS monitors.

If you just do basic content creation that doesn’t require professional-grade color accuracy, the Acer X35 will do fine.

Features

acer predator x35 on screen display menu

Navigation through the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu of the Acer Predator X35 200Hz gaming monitor is quick and easy thanks to the user-friendly layout and the 5-way joystick placed at the back of the monitor, at the right side.

In addition to the joystick, you’ll find a power button and three hotkeys for shortcuts, one of which is input source selection, and the other two can be customized.

Noteworthy gaming features include customizable crosshair overlays, pre-calibrated picture presets, Dark Boost for better visibility in dark games, and a convenient option for refresh rate overclocking.

Note that the first batch of the Acer X35 monitors had flickering issues that can now be solved via a firmware update which you can get here. The same issue affected the ASUS PG35VQ models which can be fixed via this firmware.

Moving on, the Acer Predator X35 has a flicker-free backlight and an integrated low-blue light filter. These two technologies ensure a comfortable viewing experience without eye strain or headaches after prolonged use.

Design & Connectivity

acer x35 back

The monitor features premium design quality with a metal stand and a wide range of ergonomics including up to 130mm height adjustment, +/- 30° swivel, -5°/25° tilt, and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0, four USB 3.0 ports (3 downstream + 1 upstream), an audio line-out port for the headphones, and two 4W integrated speakers.

Note that HDMI 2.0 is limited to 100Hz at 3440×1440, but it supports HDR.

The screen has an anti-glare matte coating which effectively eliminates reflections and a 1800R curvature which further improves the immersion. You also get RGB lighting at the back of the monitor.

The main issue people have with the Acer X35 is its cooling fan which occasionally gets loud while ramping up. In-game audio or music will cover the fan noise, but if you are in a silent room, the random fan noise can be rather annoying.

You can hear the fan noise in the embedded video player above, at 3:16 time mark. 

Price & Similar Monitors

The Acer X35 goes for $2,500 but it often drops to ~$2,200 whereas the ASUS PG35VQ mostly sits at $2,450 – $2,500.

AOC is yet to release their model which uses the same panel, called the AOC AG353UCG, which may be less expensive as it’s a less known brand, though the release date is still unknown.

If you are looking for something cheaper that offers a comparable HDR viewing experience, check out our ASUS PG27UQ review; it’s a 27″ 4K 144Hz gaming monitor with an IPS panel and a 384-zone FALD solution.

Alternatively, you may be interested in the LG 38GL950G which is ~$700 cheaper. It’s a 38″ ultrawide monitor with a 3840×1600 resolution and G-SYNC up to 175Hz.

It has a notably bigger screen and it uses a Nano IPS panel with 98% DCI-P3 gamut and 1ms GtG response time.

So, it has more consistent and vibrant colors as well as zero ghosting and motion blur, but it has no local dimming, so its HDR picture won’t be nearly as good.

Acer X35 vs ASUS PG35VQ

asus pg35vq

Both the Acer X35 and the ASUS PG35VQ use the same panel and offer basically identical features, so the image quality and performance will be more or less the same.

ASUS’ model tends to have better calibration out of the box, but this can vary across different units of the monitor, so it’s not a guarantee.

Just like the X35, the PG35VQ has a cooling fan, but it doesn’t get as loud – which is its main advantage over the Acer.

Now, the ASUS PG35VQ has a bit bulkier design and a more flashy appearance with the ROG logo emitter on the stand and the AuraSync RGB lighting at the back.

Its headphones jack also features a built-in DAC for 24-bit/192kHz lossless audio, but it has one USB port fewer than the Acer X35. So, one upstream and just two downstream USB 3.0 ports.

Overall, if they are priced the same, we recommend going with the ASUS PG35VQ to avoid the annoying fan.

However, if the Acer X35 is a couple of hundred dollars cheaper, it’s definitely worth considering depending on how sensitive you’d be to the fan’s ramping up noise.

Visit our always up to date best gaming monitor buyer’s guide for more information and the best deals available.

Conclusion

Along with the ASUS PG35VQ, the Acer Predator X35 is the best gaming monitor currently available as it offers an incredibly responsive performance while at the same time delivering an otherworldly HDR picture quality!

In case your favorite games don’t support HDR, consider the LG 38GL950G instead; it’s cheaper yet offers a notably larger screen with better colors and even faster pixel response time with no ghosting or overshoot.

Another alternative would be to get an OLED TV such as the LG B9 or wait for one the upcoming 2020 models.

Lastly, you may want to consider waiting for Mini LED displays which would have over twice as many dimming zones and would therefore reduce the amount of blooming and haloing, among other things.

Naturally, these Mini LED monitors will be even more expensive, and at the time of this writing, there are no ultrawide models announced, just 27″ and 32″ 4K 144Hz variants. You can learn more about them here.

Acer Predator X35 Specifications

Screen Size35-inch
Screen Curvature1800R
Resolution3440×1440 (UWQHD)
Panel TypeVA
Aspect Ratio21:9 (UltraWide)
Refresh Rate200Hz (4:2:2 Chroma Subsampling)
180Hz (8-bit color)
144Hz (10-bit color)
Response Time2ms (GtG)
Adaptive SyncG-SYNC Ultimate (30Hz-200Hz)
Speakers2x4W
PortsDisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0
Other Ports3x USB 3.0, Headphone Jack
Brightness600 cd/m2
Brightness (HDR)1,000 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio2,500:1 (static)
Contrast Ratio (HDR)~100,000:1
Colors1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
90% DCI-P3
HDRDisplayHDR 1000, 512-zone FALD
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • Premium design quality
  • G-SYNC up to 200Hz
  • Excellent response time for a VA panel
  • Plenty of additional gaming features
  • Exceptional HDR picture quality with high contrast, strong brightness, and wide color gamut

The Cons:

  • Noisy fan
  • DP 1.4 limitations
  • Minor ghosting and overshoot visible
  • Expensive
  • Noticeable halo/bloom in certain scenarios

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