Entertainment

Acer’s Predator gaming projector is one of the first to support variable refresh rate

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Acer’s Predator lineup of gaming products now includes two 4K projectors: the GM712 and the GD711. Focusing on the GD711 first because that’s the one Acer chose to share the most information on, it’s an LED projector that boasts up to 1,450 ANSI lumens of brightness (or 4,000 LED lumens) with HDR10 support. It supports 4K resolution in standard mode, but it stands out with its variable refresh rate (VRR) mode that’ll display a smoother image as performance fluctuates in powerful consoles, including the Xbox Series X and fast PCs.

In that mode, it bumps the resolution down from 4K to 1080p resolution but boosts the refresh rate to 120Hz for consoles or up to 240Hz for PCs and notably can dynamically shift the refresh rate as needed. The PS5 supports up to 120Hz at 1080p, but it doesn’t yet work with VRR. I couldn’t find any other projectors on the market that support variable refresh rates (though several high-end TVs do), so this seems like a big feature that Acer has in its court to differentiate itself from other models.

Acer says the GD711 has a wide range of possible throw sizes, though it recommends a 100-inch screen thrown from 8.85 feet away. It’ll ship with the Aptoide TV app store built-in. This model has two HDMI 2.0 ports, an audio-out port, and three USB-A ports. It has an expected lifespan of approximately 30,000 hours in Eco mode or up to 20,000 hours in standard mode.

Acer hasn’t shared an expected release window for the US, but it’s set to land in China in November for 11,999 Chinese Yuan and in December in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa for 1,499 Euros. Converting these two currencies to the US dollar puts it between $1,700 and $1,860, but keep in mind that this is an approximation on my part.

Coming back to the GM712, it’s a lamp-based 4K gaming projector that’s far brighter than the GD711 with 3,600 ANSI lumens of brightness, and it’s a little more affordable, too. It’s coming to China in November for 10,999 Chinese Yuan, and then to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa in January 2022 for 1,399 Euros. While the slightly cheaper price is nice, it’s heavier than the GD711, and it has a more limited lifespan at about 5,000 hours in standard mode, or up to 12,000 hours in its “ExtremeEco” mode. That said, it does have many of the same features of the GD711, including variable refresh rate, HDR10, and support for up to 240Hz refresh rate for PCs.

For those who usually shop for TVs, this might have been a rude awakening that projectors can get pricey. Considering that these pack in some gaming-focused features like fast and variable refresh rates, the high prices start to make sense. If portability is paramount for your gaming setup, then you might want to stay tuned in the coming months for pricing and availability in your region.

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