A super-smooth 240Hz refresh rate and aggressive curve make this stunning 44.5in OLED gaming monitor super-immersive
- High SDR brightness
- Fabulous motion handling
- Good quality speakers
- Type-C port supports 90W PD charging
- Non-gaming HDR performance is nothing special
- Aggressive Auto Brightness Limiter
- Downward-facing ports are hard to access
- Quite expensive
The Acer Predator X45 is one of two 240Hz OLED gaming monitors that the company announced at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year. The smaller of the two was the Predator X27U which, as the name suggests, is a 27in version with a flat 2,450 x 1,440 resolution panel, while the larger version sports a 44.5in rather aggressively curved UW-QHD (3,440 x 1,440) display.
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Both have been available in the USA for a few months, but are only now appearing in Europe. The X45 is available for £1,599, while the X27U costs around £899.
These two new models mark Acer’s entry into the coveted OLED gaming monitor market. Previously, you had to make do with the company’s impressive mini-LED IPS-style Predator X32FP if you wanted a good HDR gaming display. Strong competition comes from Corsair’s bendy 45in Xeneon Flex, the 34in curvy Philips Evnia 34M2C8600 and BenQ’s bigger, flat 48in Mobiuz EX480UZ which is a bit of a monster.
Acer Predator X45 OLED review: What do you get for your money?
The X45 is a big monitor, and it comes in a very big box, one necessary to protect a cabinet that’s over 20cm deep (the screen itself is 7.94cm thick) without the stand attached. Including the stand, it’s over 30cm from screen edge to stand rear. The quick-release stand bracket hides a VESA mount, but given the extreme curvature the X45 isn’t ideal for wall mounting. At just over 13kg (with the stand), it’s also a little on the heavy side.
The tripod stand is a typically stylish and spindly elevated Predator affair. Unlike the one for the lighter Predator X32FP, the X45 doesn’t have a carry handle built into the top, though it does have a tripod screw so you can mount a camera.
Adjustability is pretty limited, but typical of the screen size with 15° swivel side-to-side, tilt from -5° to +15° and 110mm of height adjustment.
The 44.5in UW-QHD (3,440 x 1,440) OLED display uses an LG panel with a very tight curvature of 800R (meaning the screen curve forms a circle segment with a radius of 80cm). That amount of bend means that you don’t need to sit very far away for the display to completely fill your field of vision, unlike panels with a more gentle curve such as Philips’ 1800R Evnia 34M2C8600.
A good rule of thumb with curved monitors is that the ideal viewing position is the “R figure” in millimetres away from the middle of the panel, or in the case of the X45, just under a metre away (rather than just under two metres for the Evnia).
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Acer Predator X45 OLED review: What type of connections does it have?
The X45 has a good range of ports for a gaming monitor. There are two HDMI 2.0 ports, a USB Type-C port that supports DP Alt Mode, and a regular DisplayPort 1.4 input. For data, you get a USB-B 3.2 Gen 1 upstream port and two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 downstream ports. There is also a 3.5mm audio jack for headphones.
All the ports are placed in a group towards the bottom of the rear of the cabinet, and they each face downwards, making connecting cables a bit of a chore. I had to kneel on the floor next to my desk with the X45 pulled up to its maximum height to plug anything in.
This selection of ports is enough to enable a basic KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) setup so you can bounce between an HDMI/DP and a Type-C source using the Input selector in the on-screen display. There’s no option for Picture in Picture or Picture by Picture, but given that this is a gaming monitor, that hardly comes as a shock.
Something else to bear in mind is that the maximum refresh rate of 240Hz is only supported over DisplayPort. Use the HDMI ports and you’re limited to 100Hz regardless of the resolution.
Acer Predator X45 OLED review: How good is the image quality?
Due to its size and resolution, the X45 has a relatively low pixel density of 84dpi. That’s not an issue for gaming, but may be if you plan on using this big Predator for serious work. With the present state of technology, that’s the trade-off you need to accept for the 240Hz refresh rate.
Remember, the BenQ Mobius EX480UZ is only a little bigger at 48in, and has a slightly higher resolution at 3,840 x 2,160 (92dpi) but tops out at just 120Hz. Acer has given the screen a very slight anti-glare coating, which works brilliantly at keeping distracting reflections from appearing without affecting the image clarity.
In SDR mode, the X45 is surprisingly bright for an OLED panel with a maximum luminescence of 425cd/m2. In HDR, that jumps to 605cd/m2 from a 10% area. Acer reckons that from a 3% screen area, it will reach 1,000cd/m2, but 940cd/m2 was the highest level of brightness I could record. Being an OLED panel, blacks are just that, meaning the contrast ratio is infinite.
The display is vibrant and colours really pop, covering 146.8% of the sRGB gamut volume, 104% of the DCI-P3, and 101.1% of Adobe RGB. The X45 has a selection of colour spaces in the menu system, including sRGB, DCI-P3, EBU and Rec.709. Measured against the first two, the Delta E colour deviation came out at 1.54 and 1.93, respectively, which is well below 3, at which any deviation becomes noticeable.
The X45 only carries a basic HDR10 certification, but thanks to the wide colour gamuts and impressive brightness levels, HDR video content looks decent enough, but it lacks the truly sumptuous effect you see on monitors like the Samsung G95SC. The X45 doesn’t have the Samsung’s algorithmic know-how to be able to produce similar quality images, although it’s no slouch in that area, either.
The Windows desktop looked rather drab in HDR, which says more about Windows than this panel. While some monitors automatically switch into HDR mode with Windows, the X45 requires that you do that manually, which is a bit of a faff.
Matters improve when it comes to HDR gaming. Immortals of Aveum, which has quickly become my go-to game to test HDR, looked very good on the X45, with great contrast and vividly colourful on-screen effects.
Combining a 240Hz refresh rate and a quoted 0.01ms G2G response time makes for good motion fidelity with minimal smearing, ghosting or blurring. The X45 is AMD FreeSync Premium certified, but also worked with Nvidia’s G-Sync when hooked up to an RTX GPU.
I can happily conclude that in both SDR and HDR modes, the X45 is an outstanding performer when it comes to gaming – fast, bright, colourful and entirely immersive.
Like many OLED monitors, the X45 has a rather aggressive Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL) that adjusts the brightness depending on how much the screen is lit up. To give you an idea of what this involves, a white web browser page that takes up the whole screen will pump out around 120cd/m2 of light depending on which mode you’re in, but if you shrink that down to a 100mm square, it jumps to around 300cd/m2. Rather annoyingly, the ABL can’t be switched off.
I didn’t find the ABL to be an issue when using the X45 for work, but my office space is quite dim. However, the limited full-screen brightness could be an issue if you need to work in a very bright environment.
The X45 isn’t the most uniform OLED display I’ve encountered, with more brightness deviation in the upper corners than I would have liked. Of course, you can only “see” those differences on a colorimeter-generated uniformity chart, so it’s really nothing to worry about.
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Acer Predator X45 OLED review: Are there any other features I should know about?
The X45 packs a pair of 5W loudspeakers, and they work brilliantly, pumping out 78.2dB(A) – measured from a pink noise source one metre away. Even at maximum volume, the sound is composed with enough bass to avoid sounding raucous.
Acer has always done a great job keeping its monitors’ on-screen displays simple, and the X45 continues that tradition. Access to and navigation around the menu system is done using a small joystick below the centre of the display. Push or nudge the joystick, and you get options to change the user mode, alter the brightness and input source or open the main menu.
Assuming you choose the last, you’re presented with a simple and sensibly laid out list of options with everything pretty much where you’d expect it to be. All the basic gaming needs are catered for, including a built-in frame rate counter, sniper mode, virtual crosshairs and a timer. I’d personally have put the black boost in the Game Assist rather than the Picture menu, but that’s a minor gripe.
If you don’t like where the OSD appears, you can change its location and how long it appears for as well as how opaque it is. The contrast with the clunky, logic-defying user interface of the Samsung G95SC couldn’t be more stark.
Acer Predator X45 OLED review: Should I buy it?
The Predator X45 isn’t cheap, but the size, shape and quality of its OLED panel make for a very satisfying gaming experience without having to optimise your viewing position (and rearrange your room) by sitting far away.
Non-gaming HDR performance is better on the BenQ EX480UZ and Evnia 34M2C8600, but neither of those can come close to matching the X45’s 240Hz refresh rate and, given that we’re judging this as a gaming monitor, that has to be the most important factor.
Add the X45’s KVM functionality and solid, powerful speaker system, and it’s tough not to regard it as fantastic value for money, even at the rather high asking price.