The Acer Predator X38 is my go-to proposition when it comes to researching and testing the best gaming monitor: go big or go home. It’s a big, beautiful beast, and it’s stacked with gaming specs and chops to make sure it performs beautifully too. And it does.
Now the ‘big’ may not be as gargantuan as the 49-inch ultrawide monitors and curved gaming monitors we know on the market, but a 38-inch curved panel is impressive and still offers a great amount of gaming immersion available, as well. as screen real estate for work and productivity.
It’s not a budget buy, unfortunately, and is at the opposite end of the spectrum compared to its cousin the Acer Nitro XV340CK. But it’s very good, and if you’re looking for one large monitor to be a ready, one-and-done solution, then the Acer Predator X38 is ready and waiting to take on that challenge. And boy, does he deliver in doing so.
As a quick note, before we dive in, there are still a few different versions of the X38 that seem to be out in the wild – our model was the Pbmiphzx.
Coming from Acer’s predator line, this beast has more of a ‘gaming’ aesthetic to it. However, there’s no need to dismiss that as I like the angular lines and flourishes – although you won’t see much of that once it’s in place. But if you’re into more of an open layout, I think it’ll be right at home in a lot of gaming-oriented or gaming-first setups. It’s really an Acer monitor with that famous look – but bigger.
However, with many of the angles and lines hidden, it is the stand that you could see. This is quite slim and takes up quite a bit of desktop space but it also offers a large amount of screen adjustability – which you wouldn’t expect from such a large screen. Where some ultrawides can take such flexibility out of the equation, the X38 had loads of movement on the stand from height up and down, to angular movement, to tilt, and so on. It’s strong and stable too, and the space it takes up means it’s stable as heck too.
However, personally, as with the Nitro I tested earlier this year I negated the need for the stand by mounting it on a monitor arm (it’s VESA mount compatible at 100mm x 100mm). This is a big plus for such a beastly screen, although still something I would expect, and certainly at this price point.
The huge screen is, of course, the main feature – when it is not in ultrawides in particular?
This X38 has an Agile-splendour 38-inch IPS panel that oozes Acer pedigree and offers strong initial specs of 0.3ms GtG response time, and 175Hz refresh – plenty fast for such a large ultrawide monitor. To this, add G-Sync Ultimate to ensure that you have the smoothest images, DisplayDHR 600 to offer lively and vibrant colors and this UWQHD + resolution, the curved beauty of 2300R starts a real shape and offers a measure of gaming goodness. The 3840×1600, 21:9 resolution is further complemented by a 98% DCI-P3 color gamut as well.
In terms of functionality wise and objectively functional, you are also well set on ports with one HDMI 2.0, one DisplayPort 1.4 and a four-port USB 3.0 hub. USB-C connectivity would be nice though.
Chuck in some semi-reasonable speakers, and some useful Acer monitor presets that aren’t too baffling and enable me to find my site quite easily, and prove to be a fulsome feature set available – although there should be it at the price.
The first thing I noticed and grew to love while using the X38 was the gentle curve of the 2300R – it’s nowhere near as aggressive as those new waves of curved ultrawide screens going for the 1000R bundle. At 2300R, it’s a relaxed curve, and one that gently spreads around you – however, this doesn’t really affect immersion as there’s only so much screen to interfere with; your eyes are truly blessed. I think this could be a sweet spot just still be under the 2000R mark – 1800R or 1900R – but then it depends on desktop space, setup, screen size, and so on. And choice, of course.
However, compared to those slightly smaller 34-35 inch models that may have that stronger curve, I’ve come to appreciate the extra inch of screen, as well as the extra height and width. All of this makes for a great monitor for work, ensuring there’s plenty of space no matter the task.
But, like I said, the Acer Predator X38 is cutting edge gaming, and it’s easily one of the best gaming monitor experiences I’ve had in a long time.
Any and all games are well catered for with the Predator X38. By combining a huge ultrawide resolution with fast specs, it really meets most needs and approaches or gaming preferences: on the one hand, you get immersive and extremely extensive experiences in strategy games and RPG , but on the other hand, you can be nippy, responsive. experiences in shooters and online fun.
From Dawn of War III and Troy: Total War, where the X38 treats me to expansive views and ensures I can see an incredible amount of my conquests, to the open landscapes of Red Dead 2 where I can really be under the Great American land, and from Apex Legends where the HDR performance and the color of the X38 ensure everything punches and is vividly bright, to revisit The Witcher (yes, the first one, not @ me) I’m happy, where the X38 added to my enjoyment enough to make me forget. despite the weird controls I had to get used to, this monitor provided me with a joyous experience across the board.
Away from gaming, it’s great for work. I would love to switch from two 27-inch flat screen monitors, to one, but large, ultrawide, ensuring I don’t lose out on the functionality of that dual screen amount of space, while at the same time cleaning up my setup at the measure of a couple of cables.
All in all – should you buy the Acer Predator X38?
The X38 could be a one-stop gaming and work monitor solution for many people. It does both very well, providing great experiences in both no matter what you throw at it. It looks perfect when on a gaming desk, and has the chips to perform well in almost all types of games, while also being a perfect work monitor given its screen space and curve.
For those looking for more, you could always consider the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 at a similar price, and for those who don’t want to go full ultrawide, there’s the AOC CU34G2X which offers both experiences amazing for their price tags. And the price tag will be a stumbling block for people looking at the X38: it’s obviously a big investment. But I’d say that, given his pedigree and overall ability in all areas, the four-figure price tag is largely justified – although, in autumn 2022, it might be too much for enough.
Overall, for me, the Acer Predator X38 is hard to beat; I’ll be sticking with the X38 for as long as I’m allowed to use it – it’s just a really great screen that’s really good for gaming and work.
How we tested the Acer Predator X38
The X38 has been my primary, and only, monitor for work and PC gaming for many weeks. It was fully incorporated into my setup for both work and play: I enjoyed the screen real estate, and access to various windows, programs and tasks for the former, and then completely immersed myself in Total War: Troy, Dawn of War III, Red Dead Redemption II, and The Witcher 1 for the latter.
You can read more about how we test gaming monitors at GamesRadar + as well as our more holistic approach to gaming technology in our full Hardware Policy.
If you are after something that is still specialized but in a different way, then head on to our guide on the best 4k monitors for gaming and the best G-Sync monitors.
Revised by a Razer blade 15 laptop (opens in a new tab) provided by Razer.