Would we buy a monitor just to get Tobii Eye-Tracking? If it performs as well as Acer’s Z301CT, that would be a resounding affirmative. And if you’re wondering about the potential cost of all this extra technology, it’s not as high as you might think. At this writing, the display is selling for under $900, which competes favorably with several other monitors that don’t offer 200Hz, G-Sync, or eye-tracking. And frankly, we’re enamored enough with Tobii’s tech that we’d consider adding the company's standalone solution to one of our existing monitors.
Gaming displays have become almost a commodity these days. While still commanding high prices, there are many products that offer great performance and a long feature list. If you have around $1000 to spend, you can get a decent-sized screen with good resolution, fast refresh, adaptive sync, and a curved ultra-wide panel from most major manufacturers. We’ve looked at many of them already and more are sure to come. But this Predator has two major features that set it apart.
First is that wonderful AMVA panel. We’ve touted the extra contrast of this technology and stated that its extra image depth is more significant to us than sheer resolution. Many reader comments focus on pixel count but ask yourself if you can truly tell the difference between 109 and 92ppi. A 3440x1440 screen at 34” will cost you around $300 more and run at a lower framerate than the 2560x1080 example shown here. With game detail levels maxed, fine textures look equally good on either panel. But that added dynamic range has a huge impact.
Second is, of course, Tobii Eye-Tracking. Some might be tempted to dismiss it as a gimmick, but once we tried it, we were hooked. It’s a leap to call anything “the future of gaming,” but we’ve seen many lesser technologies come and go. With 60 titles in its library already, it seems to have a strong following. Tobii has not rushed its product to market with half-finished software and thin support. Check out its website and block out some time for research because there is a ton of information there.
In practice, the eye-tracking feels like a polished piece. We didn’t experience any glitches and everything worked as advertised. As presented, we have no complaints. The system is extremely responsive and once you adapt to it, provides a unique and fun experience. Our only wish? More titles of course!
By keeping the price in line with the competition, Acer has come out with a home run display. Gaming performance with G-Sync, ULMB, and fast refresh is beyond reproach. Color accuracy has a few tiny flaws but is competitive with more expensive monitors. Tobii Eye-Tracking takes it over the top, though. It won’t cost you a lot of extra money and we think many users will find it to be a major value-add. For its quality, features, and performance, we’re giving the Z301CT our Tom’s Hardware Editor’s Choice Award.
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