Acer Predator X35 review: I'm finally sold on ultrawide gaming

This high-end ultrawide PC display is packed with gaming features, but it costs nearly $2,500. Is it worth the massive price?

Acer Predator X35
(Image: © Windows Central)

Windows Central Recommended Award

Acer has added to the the extra-high-end PC gaming monitor arena with the Predator X35, a commanding 35-inch 1440p ultrawide with G-Sync Ultimate, a 200Hz refresh rate, 2ms response time, and VESA DisplayHDR 1000 certification. It certainly fulfills the needs of most gamers out there, but it comes with a huge price tag that's more than what most people spend on a gaming PC. I've been basking in testing the Predator X35 for a couple of weeks to see exactly what Acer has delivered.

What I love about the Acer X35 Predator

The Predator X35's 35-inch display has a 21:9 aspect ratio and 1800R curve. It's a huge monitor that takes up a ton of space on your desk, but the curve is ideal for the size. It's not too aggressive for the width, and it does a decent job of pulling you in for increased immersion. The metal stand has a split-foot design to take up the least amount of room possible while still offering sufficient stability, though if you have a small desk with keyboard, mouse, and PC tower already established, you're likely going to have to make some changes to fit the huge screen.

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Size35 inches
Resolution3440x1440 at 180Hz refresh
Aspect ratio21:9
Refresh rate200Hz (overclocked)
Response time2ms
Colors1.07 billion
BrightnessLED backlight
600 nits (native)
1,000 nits (HDR)
HDRDisplayHDR 1000

The stand offers decent ergonomic options, including adjustments for height, tilt, and swivel. No rotation for portrait mode; the display is meant to be used horizontally. I like my monitor set up at about eye level to prevent slouching and back pain during long gaming sessions, but the stand doesn't get quite high enough without adding a riser. For a more permanent setup, there are 100mm x 100mm VESA on the back.

The monitor is relatively thick, but to be fair it's packing some intense hardware, including a cooling system. The back panel has customizable lighting controlled through the on-screen display (OSD) menu, dual 4W speakers, and a collection of ports in a dedicated cutout section. Altogether it looks rather stylized, especially with the additional thermal vents positioned from the middle out.

Ports include DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0, 3.5mm audio, three USB-A, and one USB-B, spaced out adequately to not cause crowding if you're taking advantage of multiple ports. To control the OSD, a joystick and four physical buttons live near the right side of the back panel. There are a number of presets available, including three customizable gaming modes for action, racing, and sports, as well as an eco mode, graphics mode, movie mode, and user mode where you can set things up exactly how you'd like. I was able to delve deep to get the exact picture I wanted, and there are joystick shortcuts — including brightness control — so that you don't have to open the full menu for common, quick adjustments. A blue-light filter can be enabled to help with gaming or working after hours.

Acer has removed most of the bezel along the top and sides of the display, with a slightly thicker chin along the bottom that includes a Predator logo. It's an impressive picture. The screen has a bit of an anti-glare finish on it, though it's not as powerful as you'll find on something like a business laptop. It's enough to keep the picture clear without adding too much grain. Considering how bright the monitor gets, especially with HDR enabled, you shouldn't have any problems gaming in a well-lit room.

Connecting an NVIDIA graphics card (GPU) with DisplayPort allows you to make the most of the X35, including up to a 200Hz refresh rate, 2ms response time, G-Sync Ultimate, and HDR. I mostly used the monitor without the 200Hz overdrive enabled — my PC hardware isn't quite up to pushing 200 frames — and even at 144Hz without HDR enabled games looked amazing. A 1440p resolution is an ideal middle ground between 1080p and 4K for most people, and with G-Sync turned on the picture is smooth and tear-free.

The Predator X35 easily offers the best picture I've ever seen from a gaming monitor.

The panel offers 100% sRGB and 83% AdobeRGB color reproduction, as tested with my Datacolor Spyder5 Pro colorimeter. To put itself in line with VESA DisplayHDR 1000 standards, it also manages about 90% DCI-P3 color. I primarily played Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition; the picture from both games blew me away. The former game, especially in missions with night-vision goggles, made the variable backlight with 512 separate zones especially evident. Dark spots in the scene remained dark despite bright lights nearby, with little to no bleeding over.

The variable backlight (which is also flicker free to be easier on the eyes) is enabled by default with HDR enabled. You might see a bit more bleeding over due to the lights and dark being so much more pronounced, but overall the HDR picture is incredible. The Predator X35 easily offers the best picture I've ever seen from a gaming monitor. Colors are vivid without looking unnatural, and every game I tested seemed to take on a new life. The combination of precise color reproduction, high refresh rate with G-Sync, and ultrawide format sucks you in and offers a PC gaming experience that's not easy to reproduce.

What I dislike about the Acer Predator X35

The Acer Predator X35 delivers an outstanding picture and features premium gaming features, but it's not a perfect piece of hardware. The dual 4W speakers on the back get loud and they remain clear, though they don't really deliver anything more than average sound. If you're watching a movie or playing casually you should find they get the job done, but for any sort of competitive gaming — or for the most immersion possible — you'll want to invest in either a quality headset or separate set of dedicated gaming speakers.

Monitors with this level of performance include a fan to keep hardware cool, and for the most part you won't notice the noise overtop of whatever noise is coming from your PC. However, I did notice a few times that turning the monitor off with the physical button rather than letting it go into sleep mode on its own caused the fan to kick into high gear. Leaving my office and returning minutes later, it sounded like someone was vacuuming behind the closed door. This didn't happen every time, but it did occur more than once. I resorted to leaving the monitor alone after use.

One last thing I noticed during regular use was slight backlight bleed along the bottom edge of the display. It wasn't anything egregious and it can certainly be ignored, but it is there. And then there's the price. The Predator X35 reaches nearly $2,500, making it pricier than what most people spend on an entire gaming PC. This puts it into a narrow user-base and makes it a waste of money for anyone not using high-end PC hardware. The NVIDIA RTX 2060 GPU I used to test the monitor with couldn't come near getting the most out of the X35 when used with modern AAA games. That doesn't mean I didn't fully enjoy what I was able to get out of it, but if you're spending that much money, you want to milk every last drop.

Should you buy the Acer Predator X35?

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Answering whether or not you should buy the Acer Predator X35 really comes down to your budget. If you have disposable income to blow on PC gaming, this is about the best picture and performance you're going to find. The X35 has some flaws, but it's going to majorly elevate your immersion and enjoyment no matter the game you play.

If you don't have the budget and still want to get in on a quality gaming experience, be sure to check out our roundup of the best gaming monitors available now. For the most part they won't match up to what the X35 delivers, but they also won't cost as much as a used car.

Cale Hunt

Cale Hunt brings to Windows Central more than eight years of experience writing about laptops, PCs, accessories, games, and beyond. If it runs Windows or in some way complements the hardware, there’s a good chance he knows about it, has written about it, or is already busy testing it.