OSD Setup And Calibration
The OSD is very similar to other Acer products with a few additions, namely ULMB and Overclock. We also discovered color saturation controls and a 6-axis adjustment. Let's take the tour.
Acer eColor Management refers to the five picture modes: User, Eco, Standard, Graphics and Movie. The default setting is Standard but if you change any setting, the Z35 automatically switches to User where you gain full access to all adjustments.
After the brightness and contrast sliders there's a Blue Light control that warms the color temp by reducing blue levels. As usual, an accurate calibration will accomplish the same goal, which is to reduce eye fatigue.
Dark Boost increases shadow detail along with the black level. When properly set up, the Z35 has decent gamma tracking so you shouldn't need this option for most content.
Adaptive Contrast is also variable and will increase perceived contrast at the expense of detail in the darkest and brightest image areas.
In the Color menu there are two gamma presets, 2.2 and 1.8, which both track pretty well. Color Temp contains three presets plus an adjustable User mode. sRGB mode will lock out all adjustments in favor of a fairly accurate Rec.709 preset with a 6500K color temp. We saw no difference between it and the default Standard picture preset.
Saturate will increase color luminance for all six colors at once. If you want to make individual changes, 6-axis color gives you the necessary sliders. When we tried them, they changed only luminance, not saturation. Our tests showed these options are best left alone.
The OSD is available in 15 languages and can have a timeout of up to 120 seconds. It cannot be moved from its position in the lower right corner of the screen.
Refresh rate num is an fps counter that resides in the upper right corner. The characters are nearly an inch tall so it's best used for diagnostics and not during serious gameplay.
Game Mode is a series of presets where users can save their settings into any of three memory slots.
Finally, the Aim point will place one of three different reticules at the center of the screen.
The Tools menu has a few unique options. After the input selector, there is a DTS setting that turns the speaker tuning on and off. The sound stage and audio presence is far better with it on and we feel it works for all content equally well.
OD is Acer's term for overdrive and it has three settings: Normal, Extreme and Off. It does a fantastic job of cleaning up detail in moving objects but we saw artifacts around moving objects during some of our tests at high frame rates. Check out our report on page seven for more information.
Ambient Light controls the glow from the panel's bottom edge. You can choose red, green or blue; or a color that indicates G-Sync/ULMB status or frame rate. The effect can be steady, breathe, flash or ripple. Finally you can vary the brightness.
When you set the Z35's refresh rate to 144Hz in Windows, the Overclock slider is then available with settings up to 200Hz. After specifying the rate, you have to reboot the monitor. ULMB will not work in G-Sync mode and it won't work over 120Hz. It has a pulse-width adjustment but even on its least-aggressive setting it cuts brightness by almost half. See our calibrated brightness tests on the next page for more information. We'll also test it in-game on page seven.
Here you can reset everything back to factory defaults and leave the USB ports powered when the Z35 is off. That lets you charge devices without turning on your computer.
The info screen indicates the input resolution, refresh rate, mode (G-Sync, ULMB or Normal) and whether or not the Game mode is engaged.
Changing any setting including brightness kicks the Z35 into User mode so that's where we performed our calibration. The default Warm color temp is a bit too much with its red tint so we tweaked the RGB sliders in User mode to achieve excellent grayscale tracking. Color measurements show slight over-saturation across the board so we tried the 6-axis controls. It turns out they only change luminance, not saturation so their effect did not improve accuracy. Luckily the gamut is already pretty good and the extra boldness is nice during gameplay. If you'd like to dial in your Z35, please try our settings below.
|Acer Predator Z35 Calibration Settings|
|Color Temp User||Red 95, Green 97, Blue 100|