Despite users' pleas for better value in gaming monitors, manufacturers continue to release premium products. While some value-oriented products have come to market, the top-end displays are still updated regularly. Curved displays are the best example of the phenomenon in that their prices have not come down much at all since they first appeared.
We wondered when flat 21:9 screens came out if anyone would notice. We certainly saw their usefulness but weren't sure if they'd catch on. Before we could publish any further analysis, curved monitors jumped into the mix. We enjoyed them right away but many users still questioned why anyone would want one. Obviously people are buying them because companies have not abandoned the category. But the bulk of those sales must be to well-heeled customers because prices have stayed high despite an increasing number of available choices.
The Z35 is clearly intended as a do-it-all gaming display. The 2000R curved panel with its extreme width, 200Hz refresh overclock, G-Sync, ULMB, monolithic build and sci-fi styling scream entertainment. People looking for maximum attention while playing games in public will want one of these for sure.
In our tests we found superb contrast courtesy of an excellent AMVA panel. True, the resolution is low compared to like-priced competition but we still believe the image quality is superior to every other gaming monitor we've reviewed despite a lack of pixel density.
The only spoiler is the Z35's motion processing. The artifacts we observed were minor but when you're paying for things like G-Sync, ULMB and 200Hz, these features should enhance the image beyond what's possible on lesser products. And in fairness, it does achieve superiority over many other screens. But one should be able to engage adaptive refresh and 200Hz and see something special and that isn't quite the case here.
Aside from this flaw, we're impressed with the Predator. It has excellent color, gamma and grayscale accuracy and it's obviously a rugged product what with a metal stand, super-solid upright and substantial chassis. And we like the unique styling; red trim is always a welcome addition and we're glad Acer wasn't afraid to include a lot of it.
As always with products like this, we suggest you try one in person before deciding to buy. The flaws we observed are not necessarily a deal-breaker. When you see its incredibly life-like, almost three-dimensional image, you may be won over.