Acer Predator Z35 35-inch Curved G-Sync Monitor Review

It seemed as if gaming monitors had reached a plateau when G-Sync and FreeSync came along. Adaptive-refresh technology is a big step forward in video processing that brings smooth motion and tear-free gaming to more users than just those with expensive video cards. We thought manufacturer's efforts to increase refresh rates might relax a bit. Well, it looks like we were wrong.

Recently, we tested Asus' latest ROG Swift, the PG279Q. Not only does it deliver a superb image courtesy of an IPS panel and Nvidia G-Sync, it tops out at 165Hz supporting adaptive refresh to that maximum. With every feature a gamer could ask for, it earned our Tom's Hardware Editor Recommended Award.

Also in our recent review history is BenQ's XR3501. Why is that monitor significant? Because of its high-contrast VA panel, 2000R curve and immersive 35-inch screen size. With a 144Hz refresh rate it has plenty of gaming cred but lacks G-Sync or FreeSync. We lamented this as the only real flaw in an otherwise stellar display.

Today, we're looking at the new Acer Predator Z35. It combines the stunning panel of the XR3501 and the full feature set of the PG279Q in one package. And it raises the speed bar to a new height: 200Hz.

Specifications

Those who have browsed the specs certainly noticed the 2560x1080 pixel resolution. That's something we weren't thrilled to see in the XR3501 either but after testing and playing games on it for a while, the lower pixel density became a non-issue. We continue to maintain that contrast is the most important factor in image quality, not resolution. And the Z35 is no different.

You'll see in the contrast tests that it has an even greater dynamic range than the BenQ. Kudos to Acer's engineers for coaxing greater performance from the same AU Optronics panel part. Light output and color accuracy are about the same as the XR but the Z35 adds G-Sync and a 200Hz max refresh rate.

The panel's native rate is the same 144Hz but an overclock option in the OSD lets the user up the max to as much as 200Hz. There is no guarantee of stability from Acer. The company's website suggests lowering the rate if problems occur. We however, had no such issue. Our sample ran at 200Hz all day without even so much as a coil whine.

In addition to G-Sync, you also get ULMB with a 100-step variable pulse width. We found that to be very effective in the improvement of motion detail and resolution. The only caveat is you'll have to up the brightness control because light output is reduced by almost half at the least-aggressive setting.

On paper the Z35 sounds nearly perfect. Some will decry its 1080-pixel vertical resolution but stick with us and definitely check one out for yourself. The image is stunning and smooth for sure. Before we load up the games however, let's take a closer look.

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53 comments
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  • Realist9
    "2560x1080" at 35 " in 2016. That's a joke, right?
    8
  • SBMfromLA
    Quote:
    "2560x1080" at 35 " in 2016. That's a joke, right?


    Not really....
    4
  • DanT060
    not 4K no
    0
  • Realist9
    The only 'gamer' I see buying this monitor is one that wants super mega hecka uber duper high refresh rate for their twitch FPS and doesn't care that the image looks crappy.

    Seriously, why not 1440, at least?
    1
  • SBMfromLA
    Anonymous said:
    The only 'gamer' I see buying this monitor is one that wants super mega hecka uber duper high refresh rate for their twitch FPS and doesn't care that the image looks crappy.

    Seriously, why not 1440, at least?



    Some people feel a need to have the "latest and greatest"...
    -2
  • turkey3_scratch
    Anonymous said:
    The only 'gamer' I see buying this monitor is one that wants super mega hecka uber duper high refresh rate for their twitch FPS and doesn't care that the image looks crappy.

    Seriously, why not 1440, at least?


    It's a simple answer: CSGO. Competitive players want these high refresh rates.
    1
  • envy14tpe
    Quote:
    Anonymous said:
    The only 'gamer' I see buying this monitor is one that wants super mega hecka uber duper high refresh rate for their twitch FPS and doesn't care that the image looks crappy.

    Seriously, why not 1440, at least?


    It's a simple answer: CSGO. Competitive players want these high refresh rates.


    Don't forget us BF4 players. We like the high refresh rates too. But for $300-400 less you could get a 1440p IPS panel like the PG279Q that runs up to 165Hz. That's why this bigger screen seems kinda weird given the price. At that price resolution should matter more.
    5
  • Jack_565
    "You'll need to use the former for G-Sync and for 200Hz operation, which also requires a GeForce GTX960 BOOST or better"
    Could someone clarify what a 960 BOOST is, a OC'd 960?
    0
  • ohim
    The thing with G-Sync is that every gamer in Battlefield 4 forums said that they use their monitors without G-Sync when gaming at 144hz, i asked them why and they all replied that it`s a pointless tech at that fps speed.. so practically you pay for G-sync only on the slower games where you can`t reach to fast fps.
    0
  • Max_x2
    Did any of you actually read the article? First paragraph under the specs, right on the first page:

    "Those who have browsed the specs certainly noticed the 2560x1080 pixel resolution. That's something we weren't thrilled to see in the XR3501 either but after testing and playing games on it for a while, the lower pixel density became a non-issue. We continue to maintain that contrast is the most important factor in image quality, not resolution. And the Z35 is no different."
    0
  • vaughn2k
    Wake me up if the price goes down.. :)
    4
  • SpAwNtoHell
    I can live with the resolution as it eliminates the need for 3 monitor setup were in my opinion half of each left and right monitor are waisted, i like the contrast, gsync for slower games but not sure i can leave with the artifacts considering the price tag.... For this reason i am looking forward for the lenovo y27g amva panel with gsync 144hz ... As seems the only cons would be the fact that is a fhd res in a 27" but seems far better then a wide hd on a 35" like this one... I am hunting for a monitor to be pleased with for almost a year now but this certanly is not it tho close, as i would not settle for tn and ips low contrast...
    0
  • George Phillips
    At any size, 4k resolution will not work at 200hz and will have lags and won't run well with any graphics cards. 2560x1080 native resolution is perfectly fine and can produce high frame rates with many cards. I just wish there is a cheaper and smaller version with similar specs at a much lower price. Priced at $1000 and only for gaming? It's a no no.
    1
  • Peter Martin
    I will NEVER buy another curved screen anything. You manufacturers really think we are stupid, don't you?
    -2
  • Eggz
    When are we going to see a 21:9 OLED display with adaptive refresh as a non-proprietary feature on DisplayPort 1.3 running at 5160x2160?

    It would essentially be 4k but at a 21:9 aspect ratio. I'd be all over that!
    1
  • xapoc
    dear Santa..
    0
  • cknobman
    Over $1000 for THIS??????

    For 1080p??????

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

    frikin gsync tax
    -1
  • Uri___Pisarev
    Quote:
    The only 'gamer' I see buying this monitor is one that wants super mega hecka uber duper high refresh rate for their twitch FPS and doesn't care that the image looks crappy.

    Seriously, why not 1440, at least?


    My monitor is 1440, there's nothing special about it. Just because the number is bigger doesn't mean it is better. I have a 34 inch Ultrawide, 1440 is not all it is cracked up to me.
    3
  • Uri___Pisarev
    Quote:
    I will NEVER buy another curved screen anything. You manufacturers really think we are stupid, don't you?


    Why, it does make experience more immersive. I have a Dell U3415W, the curvature is very mild, it is so mild that i honestly forget that it is curved. I think that type of a display is best, it is more immersive than a flat panel but not as absurd as some monitors are.
    1
  • picture_perfect
    Edit: I changed my mind on this particular monitor.
    Except for the slower response time TFT Central mentioned it's pretty awsome :)
    The below doesn't really apply here.


    Hz are pointless without a matching FRAME RATE. 200hz gets you nothing if you can only average 60fps. Additional Hz contribute NOTHING visually or functionally. *Some* monitors fail with their emphasis on high resolutions / high Hz while ignoring frame rates. It's frame rates that do what people want (1) reduce stutter (2) decrease input lag (3) reduce blur. Hz only serve as their medium. You need both so don't fall for the marketing hype, like 20,000 dpi mice.

    1080p @ 120fps vsync'd beats 1440p @ 60fps gsync'd every time:
    1/2 the blur
    1/2 the lag
    no "below 40fps" stutter

    What I mean is Hz are fine but only if you have horsepower to back it up. *Some* monitors make it impossible without SLI, All of which helps explains this:

    Quote:
    every gamer in Battlefield 4 forums said that they use their monitors without G-Sync when gaming at 144hz, i asked them why and they all replied that it`s a pointless tech at that fps speed..
    1