Science

Best Acer monitors of 2022


Published Jun 23, 2022 10:00 AM

While Taiwanese computing giant Acer is generally known for a wide array of computing gear, monitors are not the company’s primary focus. Despite that, they still make a lot of displays, specializing in high-end gaming monitors and budget all-purpose displays. Looking at the best of the best within Acer’s catalog, you’ll see the company’s sub-brand Predator offers most of the highest-end options. It’s in the Predator line that you’ll find some of the best Acer monitors and best gaming monitors on the market, and we’ve selected our favorites here.

How we chose the best Acer monitors

As a critic covering games and gaming hardware, I’ve covered computing and monitors for Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, and NBC Select. I’ve researched, tested, and reviewed dozens of gaming monitors, so I have a strong sense of what goes into a good monitor, versus a great one. To pick the best Acer monitors, we relied on my mix of hands-on testing, user recommendations, and insights from professional reviews. Almost all of Acer’s monitors are gaming-focused, so we zeroed in on specifications crucial to great gaming monitors, such as resolution, frame rate, and price.

What to consider before buying an Acer monitor

Shopping for a monitor can be a headache. Parsing the names for Acer’s Predator gaming monitors, which feature two strings of indiscernible letters and numbers, are particularly obtuse and obnoxious. Even with clear naming conventions, though, there are a fair number of unintuitive technical elements that you’ll need to learn about to understand.

Again, Acer has two specialties as a monitor maker: gaming displays and low-end productivity monitors for general use. Only one of those really needs explaining or makes its way onto a list like this. If you’re a creative looking for a color-accurate monitor for color grading or graphic design, you should check out our explainers and cast a wider net.

Regardless of whether you want an Acer monitor or a screen from another brand, we’ll go over some of the key specs that will show you how to pick the best monitor for your setup.

Resolution and size

Resolution indicates the number of pixels your monitor uses to create what’s on your screen. Generally speaking, the higher your resolution, the more detailed your image gets. As your monitor’s screen gets bigger, however, you’ll need more pixels to create an image with the same level of detail.

To maintain pixel density, we recommend scaling your monitor’s resolution based on the monitor’s screen size. A 1080p monitor looks great at 24-inches, but may not appear as detailed by the time you hit a large 32-inch screen. On the other hand, a higher resolution will always make your screen look sharper, but that improvement may not be worth the hundreds of extra dollars you spend to get it. We recommend 4K resolution for 32-inch gaming monitors. A 24-inch 4K should theoretically look even sharper, but the difference in fidelity will likely be small.

Refresh rate

Refresh rate, measured in Hertz (Hz), refers to the number of times your monitor can update what’s on screen per second. It impacts everything that moves on your screen, including your mouse cursor, but it is especially important for gaming. In a video game, refresh rate correlates directly to frame rate: A monitor with a maximum higher refresh rate will allow a powerful gaming PC to run games at higher frame rates.

For non-gaming monitors, a 60Hz-75Hz frame rate is more than enough to allow for smooth animation in web browsers and apps for work. We generally recommend a higher 144Hz refresh rate for most gaming monitors, as it opens the door for higher refresh rate play in most modern systems. There are higher refresh rate displays, which deliver little improvement to fidelity but can improve a competitive player’s reaction time. A 240Hz monitor or higher is overkill for most players, though.

Aside from one budget pick, all of our recommended Acer monitors have a refresh rate of at least 144Hz.

Response time

Response time measures the small amount of input lag created by a monitor. There is always a slight delay between when you press a key on your keyboard and when that input takes effect on screen. In modern PCs, even basic setups see only milliseconds of lag per input. Though your monitor only contributes a very small percentage of whatever lag you experience, some gaming displays are “faster” than others. Thus, response time becomes a key stat differentiating a good gaming monitor from a great one.

Most gaming monitors advertise a very low response time, usually 1 millisecond or less. As with frame rate, competitive players will want the lowest possible response time since even a single frame can be consequential. Most gaming monitors we recommend feature a 1ms response time. Among non-gaming monitors, response time isn’t considered a crucial spec and you’ll see the number slide up a bit. But among Acer’s gaming-focused catalog, nearly all of their monitors have a 1ms or lower response time.

Panel type

The physical screen of a monitor, the display panel, comes in three different types: Twisted Nematic (TN), Vertical Alignment (VA), and In-Plane Switching (IPS). Without getting too technical, each one has strengths and weaknesses that impact color accuracy, contrast, and response time. Our Acer recommendations feature a mix of IPS and VA panels. IPS panels are very common and offer wide viewing angles and balanced performance. VA panels have narrower viewing angles but handle darker colors better.

Variable refresh rate

Variable refresh rate allows your monitor to sync your frame rate with the output of the PC or console to which it is connected. Using it delivers smooth images devoid of any hiccups like screen tearing or visual artifacting.

Gaming monitors rely on one of two variable refresh rate formats, Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync. These technologies, particularly G-Sync, were designed to pair with graphics cards made by Nvidia and AMD, respectively. That said, there is wide cross-compatibility for the basic elements of the feature. If you are a gamer or work with video graphics, we recommend buying a monitor with the variable refresh rate technology that matches your GPU. That means G-Sync monitors for Nvidia cards and FreeSync monitors for AMD.

The best Acer monitors: Reviews & Recommendations

The best Acer monitors include some of the highest-performing options for gamers. They offer enough resolution, speed, and adjustability to satisfy even esports athletes. That said, many of them are very large and heavy, so measure your desk before hitting the “add to cart” button.

Best Acer monitor: Acer Predator XB323QK NVbmiiphuzx

Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: The Acer Predator XB323QK delivers stunning 4K and enough connectivity to please any kind of gamer.

Specs

  • Size: 31.5-inch
  • Native resolution: 3840 x 2160 (4K)
  • Panel type: IPS
  • Refresh rate: 144Hz
  • Response time: 0.5ms
  • Ports: HDMI 2.1 (2), DP 1.4, USB-C w/65W power delivery, USB-A 3.0 (4)
  • Ergonomics: Tilt, swivel, height adjust, VESA mountable
  • Variable refresh rate: G-Sync compatible
  • HDR: VESA DisplayHDR 400
  • Speakers: 4W (2)

Pros

  • 4K resolution
  • 2 HDMI 2.1 ports
  • Lots of extra USB ports
  • Sturdy build

Cons

  • Large design needs a lot of desk space
  • Low brightness

The Acer Predator XB323QK has almost everything a serious gamer could want. In particular, its excellent slew of connectivity options is a standout highlight.

The 4K IPS looks beautiful, with the right balance of resolution, size, HDR, and speed to perform well in most tasks. We also appreciate its superior connectivity options, including two HDMI 2.1 slots, USB-C charging, and more. HDMI 2.1 is particularly good for next-gen consoles, making it a great choice for PS5 and/or Xbox Series X owners.

While this monitor is very capable, it takes up a lot of desk space. Its broad, deep stand works best on a very deep desk. Be sure to measure in advance.

Best for gaming: Acer Predator XB323U GXbmiiphzx

Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: The Acer Predator XB323U delivers an extraordinarily high frame rate and low response time for a large monitor.

Specs

  • Size: 32-inch
  • Native resolution: 2560 x 1440
  • Panel type: IPS
  • Refresh rate: 240Hz (270Hz overclocked)
  • Response time: 1ms (0.5ms overclocked)
  • Ports: HDMI 2.0, DP 1.4, USB 3.0 (4)
  • Ergonomics: Tilt, pivot, height adjust, VESA mountable
  • Variable refresh rate: G-Sync compatible 
  • HDR: VESA DisplayHDR 600
  • Speakers: 2W (2)

Pros

  • Esports-grade refresh rate
  • Overclockable speed
  • Strong HDR
  • Highly adjustable ergonomics

Cons

  • We prefer 4K on a 32-inch display

Unless you have the most powerful graphics card available, you cannot really take advantage of a 4K 144Hz monitor. For most of us, 1440p at 144Hz is the sweet spot, and this Predator monitor hits that and then some.

Speed is king for competitive players, and this monitor is fast, hitting up to 270Hz and a 0.5ms response time when overclocked. Frankly, this may be overkill for many setups. Regardless, performance is buttery-smooth in-game and well-suited to competitive titles like Apex Legends.

The large screen size, IPS display, and bright HDR 600 combine to create great visibility from multiple angles, making local multiplayer more comfortable for everyone.

Best 4K: Acer Predator CG437K Pbmiiippuzx

Buy it used or refurbished: Amazon

Why it made the cut: The Predator CG437K is one of the biggest screens Acer offers, with standout contrast, brightness, and size.

Specs

  • Size: 43-inch
  • Native resolution: 3840 x 2160 (4K)
  • Panel type: VA
  • Refresh rate: 120Hz (144Hz overclocked)
  • Response time: 1ms
  • Ports: HDMI 2.0 (3), DP 1.4 (2), USB-A 3.0 (3), USB-A 2.0 (2)
  • Ergonomics: VESA mountable
  • Variable refresh rate: G-Sync compatible, FreeSync
  • HDR: VESA DisplayHDR 1000
  • Speakers: 10W (2)

Pros

  • Outstanding contrast
  • Good built-in speakers
  • Ample connectivity

Cons

  • More a TV replacement than a monitor
  • No HDMI 2.1

The 43-inch Acer Predator CG437K is massive. So big, in fact, that it looks more like a gaming TV than it resembles a conventional PC monitor (not quite the Philips Momentum, but heading in that direction). While all of its features are high-end, its TV-like contrast, brightness, and HDR set it apart from Acer’s other offerings.

Its very high 1000-nit brightness matches what we look for in TVs, giving you an incredibly bright, vibrant picture that’s perfect for HDR gaming. The 4K VA panel delivers especially strong contrast, enhancing sharp lines and fine details. Its 120Hz refresh rate is perfect for consoles. You can also overclock to 144Hz on PC, which is great for powerful systems. Used as a standard monitor, the Predator CG437K will blow you away. Meanwhile, its speed, loud speakers, and ample connectivity make it a versatile TV alternative in a smaller space.

Best ultrawide: Acer Predator X35 bmiphzx

Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: The Acer Predator X35 uses advanced features like full-array dimming and G-Sync Ultimate to create a great ultrawide image.

Specs

  • Size: 35-inch
  • Native resolution: 3440 x 1440 (21:9)
  • Panel type: VA
  • Refresh rate: 180Hz (200Hz overclocked)
  • Response time: 2ms
  • Ports: HDMI 2.0, DP 1.4, USB-A 3.0 (4)
  • Ergonomics: Tilt, swivel, height adjust, VESA mountable
  • Variable refresh rate: G-Sync (Ultimate)
  • HDR: VESA DisplayHDR 1000
  • Speakers: 4W (2)

Pros

  • Extensive full-array dimming
  • G-Sync Ultimate
  • Very bright

Cons

The Predator X35 is an impressive curved ultrawide gaming monitor with particularly great brightness and color contrast thanks to a tremendous boost from full-array local dimming, which spreads 512 backlighting zones throughout the screen. Unsurprisingly, this translates to a whopping 1000 nits of brightness and a true, TV-esque HDR experience in games.

The X35’s 34-inch 21:9 panel features a gentle 1800R curve, which is more geared toward a better ergonomic experience than creating cockpit-style immersion. Still, the curve enhances the ultrawide experience, giving you a huge amount of screen to easily survey. It’s also plenty fast, with a 180Hz refresh rate and G-Sync Ultimate variable refresh rate.

Our primary concern with the Predator X35 is its price. While it makes perfect sense that a curved ultrawide monitor with local dimming carries a heavy price tag, you will definitely want to find a way to take this monitor for a test spin before committing to it.

Best for esports: Acer Nitro XV252Q Fbmiiprx

Why it made the cut: With a shockingly fast 390Hz refresh rate, this is one of the fastest gaming monitors money can buy.

Specs

  • Size: 24.5-inch
  • Native resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Panel type: IPS
  • Refresh rate: 360Hz (390Hz overclocked)
  • Response time: 0.5ms
  • Ports: HDMI 2.0 (2), DP 1.4, 
  • Ergonomics: Tilt, swivel, pivot, height adjust, VESA mountable
  • Variable refresh rate: FreeSync
  • HDR: HDR 400
  • Speakers: 2W (2)

Pros

  • Market-leading speed
  • Good adjustability
  • HDR 400

Cons

Most people do not need a 390Hz gaming monitor. Outside of esports athletes, a 144Hz screen is more than enough. Even among aspiring pros, 240Hz should give you an edge playing online. If you’re a pro, or have convinced yourself that you need the fastest possible display, the Acer Nitro XV252Q is what you want. This 24.5-inch, 1080p display hits 360Hz, the fastest natural refresh available right now. It can also be overclocked to hit an even higher 390Hz. Only a select few games, such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, can run at a high enough frame rate to take advantage of the 390Hz setting. If you happen to play one of those games, this display may give you an edge over other refresh rate connoisseurs.

Outside of pure speed, though, this is just an average monitor. The build quality could be better, and it lacks any extra connectivity. This is a highly specific monitor for pros completely devoted to their craft.

Best budget: Acer SB220Q bi

Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: The Acer SB220Q bi is one of the most affordable IPS monitors you can get from a well-known brand.

Specs

  • Size: 21.5-inch
  • Native resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Panel type: IPS
  • Refresh rate: 75Hz
  • Response time: 4ms
  • Ports: HDMI 1.4, VGA
  • Ergonomics: Tilt 
  • Variable refresh rate: FreeSync
  • HDR: No (Max brightness: 250 nits)
  • Speakers: N/A

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Thin and lightweight
  • 75Hz

Cons

  • No built-in speakers
  • Very small screen

The Acer SB220Q bi is an incredibly basic display that works well as a no-frills work monitor. For less than $150, though, you will get a comparatively polished piece of gear for the lowest possible price.

It has a few tricks up its sleeve, at least compared to other monitors in its price range. A 1080p IPS panel offers deeper, more accurate color than the TN panels found in most sub-$200 monitors. The 75Hz refresh also gives just enough of a boost to make everyday computing look a little smoother. The SB220Q bi isn’t going to impress anyone, but you can rest assured that you got a great deal.

FAQs

Q: How much do Acer monitors cost?

Monitors, whether they’re made by Acer or any other brand, vary widely in price based on their size, resolution, color accuracy, and other factors. A small, no-frills display might run you $150-$200, while a top-of-the-line gaming monitor or display for creative work could cost over $2,000.

As you might expect, the best Acer monitors lean more on the expensive side, ranging from $800-$1,400.

Q: Are Acer monitors good quality?

Acer isn’t necessarily known for having incredibly high- or low-quality monitors and its monitors run the gamut from great to just okay. 

If you’re looking to get a sense of what people think about Acer monitors, keep in mind that many of its displays are released through two gaming sub-brands, Nitro and Predator.

Q: Does Acer have good gaming monitors?

Acer’s monitor catalog skews heavily toward gaming and the company makes some excellent displays.

Final thoughts on the best Acer monitors

The best Acer monitors are targeted at gamers seeking bleeding-edge performance. Though the company makes solid monitors in all shapes and sizes, we think that its large displays make the strongest impression. If you have the room and the cash to go for a splashy 32-inch gaming monitor, Acer may be the right brand for you.




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