PC and console gamers who want brilliant picture quality and contrast will have two more OLED monitor options to consider in 2023, thanks to Acer. Today, the company is announcing a 27-inch flat panel called the Predator X27U and a 45-inch 800R curved ultrawide model called the Predator X45. Both will release in the US and Europe sometime in the second quarter.
These OLED 1440p (QHD) gaming monitors are pretty similar to the ones that LG showed off a few weeks ago. Both have a 240Hz refresh rate and an incredibly fast .03-millisecond response time, but the spec similarities aren’t a one-to-one match. Getting the price out of the way first, the X27U is $100 pricier than LG’s similarly sized option, costing $1,099. The X45 will be $1,699 — no change in price compared to LG.
While LG’s two UltraGear OLEDs have two HDMI 2.1 ports and one DisplayPort to allow either video input to support the full 240Hz refresh rate at 1440p on PC, it’s a little more complicated with Acer’s OLEDs. Both have two HDMI 2.0 ports instead, which are limited to displaying 144Hz at 1440p, according to Acer spokesperson Erin Davern. There’s one DisplayPort 1.4 input that presents no hindrances to pushing the maximum supported resolution and refresh rate on PC.
The limitations aren’t as apparent for consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X. Over HDMI 2.0, those can output 1440p resolution at up to 120Hz in games that support a fast frame rate mode. Those who strictly play on console should consider the 27-inch display, which has a 16:9 aspect ratio. Consoles cannot stretch the image to fit the 45-inch model’s 21:9 aspect ratio, so you’ll get an image surrounded by big black bars on its sides.
Acer claims that both can reach a peak brightness of 1,000 nits, but you cannot take this spec at face value with OLEDs. In reality, it can display its peak brightness with an HDR image taking up just three percent of its total screen size, while Acer’s spec sheet claims that its typical brightness level is just 150 nits. To make a relevant comparison, LG’s UltraGear OLEDs claim to reach a peak brightness of 800 nits with an HDR image taking up 3 percent of its screen but drops to about 200 nits during typical full-screen usage.
There are other non-display specs where Acer’s monitors have the advantage over LG, like with their built-in KVM switch that allows you to control two connected desktops or laptops with one keyboard and mouse. Its monitors can also act as a USB hub for connecting accessories and charging tech. It includes a USB-C port with up to 90W of charging as well as two USB-A 3.2 ports and a headphone jack. Both the 27-inch and 45-inch models support VESA wall mounting.
In terms of design, Acer’s Predator OLEDs look nice, with bezels so slim that I’m skeptical that they’ll look this good in person. I’m doubtful since the OLED gaming monitors that I’ve tried out so far, including the Alienware QD-OLED and Corsair’s Xeneon Flex, have slightly thicker bezels to allow for pixels to shift, which helps to prevent burn-in.
2023 is shaping up to be a fun year to buy a display since gaming OLEDs of many sizes are arriving. It’s great that gamers will have more options than just whichever OLED TV fits on their desk, and it’s great that companies like Acer, LG, and others are releasing monitors with features that aren’t available on TVs.