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Acer Predator GM712 Projector review

For day-to-day gaming the GM712 gives you a good projection, but its held back from greatness by confusing pricing and its speakers.

Acer Predator GM712 Projector review image showing the projector on a wooden surface.

Our Verdict

The Acer Predator GM712 is a well-rounded 4K gaming projector, but not necessarily the best value. The in-built speakers are quite basic and lack depth, and the streaming options are more limited than those with Google TV. What this gamer-centric option lacks in the overall feature set, it makes up for in pure quality projection.

Reasons to buy
  • Solid 4K picture quality
  • Impressive color accuracy
  • VRR offers epic gaming experience
Reasons to avoid
  • Overall poor aesthetic
  • Underwhelming build quality
  • Setup, and third party support lacking

The Acer Predator GM712 is a confusing product to shop for. At the time of writing, there are two GM712s – the slightly cheaper MR.JUX11.001 and the pricier, newer MR.JUX11.002 I’m testing in this review. The main difference is that the 002 offers variable refresh rate (VRR) which I’ll get onto below.

These two models are still available at retail stores simultaneously, and though the 02 is likely to replace the 01 entirely once stock runs out, the two products fall into different classes because of their prices. That’s a shame because the GM712 in its 01 configuration is spot on.

At under $1,000/£1,000, 4K with a 60 Hz refresh rate, fantastic color reproduction, and low latencies make it an incredibly appealing pick – easily one of the best gaming projectors. Especially for a pricing bracket that sorely needs some decent 4K gaming projector love. But what of the new GM712? Is it improved? I’ve tried it for gaming and streaming to find out.

Why you can trust our advice ✔ At PCGamesN, our experts spend hours testing hardware and reviewing games and VPNs. We share honest, unbiased opinions to help you buy the best. Find out how we test.

Acer Predator GM712 Projector review image showing the ports on the back.

Specs

Maximum resolution 3840×2160
Maximum refresh rate 4K 60 HZ, 1440p 120 Hz, 1080p 240Hz
Contrast ratio 10,000:1
Colors 1.07 Billion (30-bit)
Life expectancy 15,000 Hrs with Eco Mode
Response rate Not Listed
Connectivity 2x HDMI, 1x VGA In, 1x USB Type A (2.0), 1x RS232 in, 1x SPDIF Optical Audio Out, 3.5mm Analog Audio Out, 3.5mm Analog Audio In, Wireless Dongle
Wireless 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4G / 5G), Bluetooth 5.0, Airplay, Google Cast
Dimensions 500 x 500 x 280
Weight 4.5kg

Acer Predator GM712 review image showing the projector from above.

Design

Still, enough about poorly conceived naming schemes, and price hikes, let’s get into the details here. Out of the box, the Acer GM712 doesn’t impress on first appearances. The housing is a cheap black plastic affair, adorned with “gamer” graphics, and it comes in a non-padded carry bag, that looks like it was pulled straight out of 2004. Still, all the expected features are there; you have manual zoom and focus dials on top of the unit, along with a selection of OSD, source, and power buttons (complete with LED lights for power, lamp, and temp warnings), and a removable service panel as well, if you need to get to the innards.

Around the front, you’ll find the lens, sat alongside a non-rotatable Acer logo, and an IR receiver for the included remote. There’s plenty of support in the rear for I/O of course. Acer includes their wireless dongle solution as standard (ideal if you don’t want to run HDMI cables across your entire room and don’t mind the added latency), along with two HDMI ports, two USB Type-A ports (one’s a service port technically), VGA in, optical audio out, and two 3.5mm audio jacks (one for input and one for output) along with an RS232 solution as well.

Cooling on the GM712 is curious. The design of the chassis itself is considerably well-ventilated, perhaps too well-ventilated. A glance to either side of the unit and you’ll see entire gaping holes showcasing the hardware within. There are no visible fans here like you’d find in something like Benq’s X500i (although active cooling can be heard when it’s running), but it dissipates that excess heat effectively. The only downside is a lack of filtration, meaning dust build-up could become an issue later on without regular maintenance.

Similarly, underneath is minimal. There are secure points for ceiling mount solutions, plus three rubberized feet. That last element is a bit of an odd pick, as it does mean it’s not quite as stable on the front end as some other projector units out there (with the third foot being located at the front of the unit), using four feet, yet, really you shouldn’t be placing your hands on this thing anyway. Acer also includes an anti-microbial remote controller unit to help navigate the included menus.

Acer Predator GM712 Projector review image showing the lens as seen from above.

Features

Where the GM712 excels however is in its projection capabilities, with an arsenal of features here that ensures it remains competitive with projectors far pricier than even its VRR edition.

The GM712 is powered by a Texas Instruments DLP 4K projection lens and bulb, providing up to a 4K resolution, at a 300-inch display size, with a brightness of 4,000 lumens. Acer doesn’t state the latency in its product page, specs, or marketing materials, but my testing puts it at around 15.2ms MPRT at 4K, halving each time you drop the resolution and double the refresh rate or so.

That brings us on nicely to the supported resolutions as well, as it can drive 1440p at 120 Hz, and 1080p at 240 Hz (although I did find some apps and programs couldn’t detect it was a 240 Hz panel, despite the Windows settings being set to that). For color accuracy, it’s also rated as HDR10 capable and comes with a somewhat average 10,000:1 contrast ratio.

The menu options also include keystone adjustment, with an automated mode (curiously disabled by default), along with a variety of eco-modes, source selection automation, and color temperature adjustments as well (designed specifically for if you’re projecting onto different color walls). There’s also a third-party app store built-in too, however, the app downloads are clunky. If you’re looking for a seamless Google TV solution, the X500i or XGIMI’s Halo+ are far better picks.

This point is where the 001 dips out, and the 002 comes into play, as the latter now also includes support for Variable Refresh Rate tech. It’s effectively added support for Nvidia’s G-Sync, or AMD’s FreeSync solutions. This allows the projector to match its refresh rate to the frames generated on screen, at any given time. This is particularly useful for PC gaming, where frame rates vary wildly. For the uninitiated, if you’re gaming on a PC, or even a console, your frame rate in-game (how many graphical frames are generated per second) can vary massively, depending on on-screen elements, physics, and textures, and it could range from 30 fps to 71 fps, and everywhere in between constantly.

For the longest time, most displays or projectors were typically fixed at one refresh rate (usually 60 fps), so you’d end up with gaps, or something called “screen tearing”, where two frames would interlace. Or there’d be a gap in the middle if your game was running at 27 fps, and your screen at 60, and it’d effectively distort the image. What VRR does is allow the projector or display to match the frame rate of the game in question, constantly adjusting its refresh rate to match the frame rate, eliminating any screen-tearing and giving your gaming a much smoother experience than you’d otherwise get.

Acer Predator GM712 Projector review image showing the quality of the image being projected.

Performance

So, what’s the GM712 like when it comes to day-to-day use? The answer: pretty darn good. Over the last few years, I’ve spent considerable time testing and getting to grips with the latest and greatest monitor and projector tech and found the GM712’s projection capabilities top-tier.

As standard, for every projector I get in to test, I first put it through the “grey wall” benchmark. This is a custom test where I project onto a dark grey background, and see how the projector handles it. Many now have color-shifting tech, that allows the projector to pivot the light so that it offsets the dark grey of the wall (or any other color tone). This puts an incredible amount of stress on both the rated lumens of the projector, and that color accuracy I mentioned earlier.

The GM712 performed far better than the earlier Acer GD711. Acer has color tech built into the menus, so you can manually adjust it at will, depending on your preference. Go into the picture settings on the unit, then select the color tone you want to take advantage of for the wall in question. In my case, the dark grey wall suited “light yellow” best.

It’s not quite as potent as the BenQ’s X500i, as the colors are still slightly washed out by comparison, and I didn’t have to go into settings to adjust that at all, but it is far better than I expected. Pitch it onto a pure white display, however, and you get even better results, with the brightness popping in comparison. Acer wasn’t joking about those 4000 lumens.

Gaming on the GM712 was a treat too. The variable refresh rate tech helps smooth out gameplay, and latency wasn’t noticeable (admittedly it was a touch smoother at 1440p and below).

The integrated app store still isn’t a patch on Google’s TV solution that many other projectors at and around this price point have. If you’re looking for the ultimate projector for streaming and watching Netflix, with some gaming on the side, this isn’t it. Or at least, it isn’t without a dedicated PC to back it up.

The built-in sound quality was pretty poor too – although fine for a work meeting or presentation, hardly befitting a solid gaming experience. If you want to watch movies or enjoy casual evening gaming, I’d recommend a decent soundbar or computer speakers.

acer-predator-gm712-projector-review-vents

Should you buy it?

  • Yes: If you want a smooth 4K gaming projector with VRR
  • Yes: If you don’t care about Google TV or built-in apps
  • No: If you want a well-rounded gaming projector
  • No: If sound quality is super important

Acer’s Predator GM712 is a problem. The 001 version is phenomenal, at £900 it represents a fantastic 4K solution for those on a budget. It gives consumers an awesome 4K option at an affordable price point and competes with projectors nearly twice the cost in some scenarios. That said, the 002 variant, bumps that price by an impressive £400, all for VRR, pretty much eliminating that value proposition. Combine that £1300 price point with a design straight out of 2008, and a feature set that’s as broad as a potato outside of gaming, and it suddenly comes crashing back to earth. If you can still grab the 001 do it, if you’re stuck with the 002, don’t.

If It Isn’t For You?

If the GM712 doesn’t quite tick the mark for you I’d suggest considering these alternatives.

Acer Predator GM713 Projector review image showing the projector projecting the game Elden Ring.

Verdict

Acer’s Predator GM712 gaming projector, is, on the surface, a solid and dependable 4K solution. It just comes from the wrong era. It’s a sleeper projector, packing in some decent projection quality, in a chassis from the late 2000s. That said, the price difference between the 001 and 002 revisions, for the only added benefit of VRR is a challenging pill to swallow, and radically changes how this projector should be viewed. It mises some of the features found in a few of the best 4K projection units out there, such as the BenQ X500i or BenQ X3100i, but what it lacks in the overall feature set, it makes up for in pure quality projection.

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