A great 4K gaming projector with a strong set of features but the Predator G7D11’s price puts it out of competition with the best
- Strong all-round picture quality
- 4K at 60Hz or 1080p at up to 120Hz
- VRR support
- Not as bright as rivals
- Poor streaming app support
- More expensive than the competition
While the likes of BenQ, VIewsonic and Optoma have spotted that there’s a market for big screen gaming at 4K resolutions, it’s curious that manufacturers with more of a gaming heritage have taken so long to catch up. Asus, Samsung and LG all make fantastic gaming monitors and good or great projectors, yet we’ve never seen a gaming projector from any of these companies.
Acer, however, has jumped on the bandwagon. Its Predator line of gaming PCs and peripherals is one of the oldest and best established, and while it’s not such a major name in the projector market, it has still produced some very respectable offerings.
The new GD7110 brings both together in a projector with a powerful set of specialist gaming features, one of which we haven’t seen before on any gaming model.
Acer Predator GD711 review: What you need to know
The Predator GD711 is a 4K DLP projector with support for HDR10 and refresh rates of up to 120Hz on console and 240Hz on PC. Like most 4K projectors at this price point, the DLP chip doesn’t run at a native 4K resolution but uses pixel-shifting tech to simulate it. It’s a technique we’ve seen several times before, and it’s near-impossible to tell a pixel-shifted 4K image from the real deal.
Acer promises an output of up to 4,000 lumens from the RGB LED light source, though these turn out to be LED lumens rather than the standard ANSI lumens, where Acer claims just 1,450. Otherwise, we’re promised 125% coverage of the Rec. 709 colour standard and – most excitingly – support for Variable Refresh Rate (VRR). Supported on PC and by the PS5 and Xbox Series S/X consoles, this tech synchronises frame rates between the GPU on your games machine and the projector to avoid unsightly screen tearing and frame stuttering effects. We’ve seen monitors and TVs with VRR onboard, but this is the first gaming projector to include it.
Acer Predator GD711 review: Price and competition
While we’ve seen a few 4K projectors that happen to be good for games, the Predator GD711’s biggest rivals are the Optoma UHD38 (£1,069) and the BenQ TK700 (£1,199). Both have the same resolution, the same pixel-shifting tech and both support HDR10. The BenQ supports refresh rates of up to 120Hz at 1080p, while the Optoma matches the GD711 at 240Hz. Meanwhile, both go brighter than the Acer, with outputs of up to 4,000 and 3,200 ANSI Lumens respectively thanks to their more conventional Metal Halide lamps.
Of course, the LED light source in the Predator has one advantage: a lifespan of up to 30,000 hours compared to the 4,000 to 8,000 hours you’ll get from the other two models. Crucially, it’s the only projector of the three with VRR onboard.
Acer Predator GD711 review: Design
This is the first gaming projector we’ve seen that looks like a gaming projector, with the black plastic casing taking its design cues from Acer’s Predator PCs and monitors. Looks aside, though, the design is conventional, with a manual focus wheel above the lens, a control panel in the rear-left corner and all the connectivity at the rear.
There’s no zoom control, while your only means of raising the angle is the three screw-out feet on the base of the unit, with two at the rear and just one at the front. In practice, we had to extend these nearly all the way to get enough angle to place the picture from a low coffee table onto a medium-height screen. The lack of zoom also makes it tricky to reach maximum size without moving the screen or moving the projector, though the 1.22 throw ratio is reasonably short; you’ll need a distance of 2.7m to fill a 100in screen.
Otherwise, the GD711 is easy to get up and running, thanks to effective auto-keystone compensation, simple menus and a decent remote control. Each time we set it up or moved it from one room to another, we could get a good picture within minutes. In fact, the biggest challenge was working out how to change sources, which requires a long press on a button on the main control panel, and seems impossible when using the remote.
We would advise plugging in a 4K streaming stick if you want to watch your favourite services. While the Predator has built-in Wi-Fi, Android-based TV software, the Aptoide app store and some pre-installed apps, actually streaming anything is an effort. In fact, our attempts to get even Netflix up and running came to nought. Use your console or your streaming stick and save yourself some time and effort.
Acer Predator GD711 review: Picture quality
With our trusty Roku 4K Streaming Stick (£40) plugged in, the Acer is a good all-round performer. The image is bright and colours are vibrant without looking overcooked. Motion is natural, and 4K streams are sharp with plenty of detail, without the artificial, over-sharpened presentation you see with some 4K projectors. HDR material can look seriously impressive, even if you don’t get the deep black level and gleaming highlights you’ll see on a good OLED or QLED TV.
If I was picking a 4K projector for TV and movies, I’d probably go for the BenQ W1800 (£1,099) with its more subtle cinematic presentation and filmmaker mode, while the Optoma UHD38 has slightly richer tones and colours. But if you’re streaming rather than watching a collection of 4K Blu-rays, the GD711 is more than good enough.
More importantly, it comes into its own in gaming. I tried it across a range of titles on an Acer Nitro 5 (£1,699) gaming laptop and the PS5 (£450), and it was consistently excellent, whether dealing with high frame rates in PC games like Call of Duty: Vanguard, Borderlands 3 and Ghostwire: Tokyo, or running PS5 showcases like Returnal, Elden Ring and Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart. Returnal can be a challenging game for projectors thanks to its dark and mysterious alien world, flashy weather effects and its neon-spurting alien lifeforms, but the GD711 makes it look spectacular.
Ratchet and Clank’s sci-fi cartoon CGI visuals are just as jaw-dropping and Vanguard’s World War II action is twice as absorbing when you play it at this scale. And with VRR onboard, there’s no hint of screen-tearing or shonky frame rates, though I don’t see either on the PS5 with other projectors or smaller screens. Nor is there any input lag – it’s super responsive. It helps that the Predator doesn’t just have a single Game mode, but also specific Game Dark and Game Light modes designed to boost shadow detail or colour vibrancy in games that would normally be gloomy or particularly bright. Game Dark can definitely help in some games where you’re struggling to make out what’s going on, and it doesn’t seem to muddy up or grey out darker tones, at least not too much. Game Bright isn’t quite so effective – in Borderlands 3, I even found it a little aggressive.
Is the GD711 better than our existing favourites, the TK700 and the UHD38? I’m unable to make side-by-side comparisons so it’s hard to say. What I would say is that both go a little brighter. With a colorimeter 50cm from the screen, I couldn’t get the Predator above 200cd/m2 and that was with the brightness pushed up too far, resulting in washed out colours and grey blacks. At more usable settings, it was closer to 150cd/m2. Here, the TK700 gave me 278cd/m2 and the Optoma 255cd/m2, probably because they use conventional lamps. This gives them the edge in some scenarios, and particularly if you’re planning to use your projector during daylight hours.
One area where it isn’t as good is the built-in audio. I wouldn’t want to use any of these projectors without a soundbar or a set of headphones, but the Predator’s sound is noticeably weaker and harder on the ears. It’s just about usable at low volumes, but grows brash and wearing as you push the levels up.
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Acer Predator GD711 review: Verdict
This is another strong gaming projector with arguably the best set of specialist gaming features that we’ve seen. However, it doesn’t offer better image quality than our current champs, it doesn’t run as bright and a lot comes down to price.
At the time of writing, the GD711 is selling online for anywhere between £1,000 and £1,700, and at the latter price point it’s not great value, even with the VRR support. The UHD38 (£1,069) can still be picked up for around £1,000 while the TK700 (£1,199) is more expensive. At £1,000, the Acer is worth putting in the same mix, but if you’re thinking of paying substantially more, the features alone don’t justify the extra.