Viewing Angles, Uniformity, Response, Lag, G-Sync And ULMB
To learn how we measure screen uniformity, please click here.
We've been a tad disappointed by AMVA's viewing angles in the past. Off-axis image quality falls somewhere between TN and IPS. Detail is preserved well from both the sides and top but light falloff is significant and there's a red/green shift as well. It is easy to find a good viewing position from head-on even though the screen is over 30-inches wide. And multi-panel installations work fine too thanks to the 2000R curvature. While IPS still offers the best off-axis performance, VA is clearly better than TN.
Screen Uniformity: Luminance
Our sample shows superb screen uniformity in the black field test with no visible light bleed. Even in a completely darkened room, the pattern looks smooth in tone from edge to edge. Definitely nothing to see here.
Here's the white field measurement.
The white field test result is a little weaker but still well within the realm of excellence. We couldn't see any hotspots here either.
Screen Uniformity: Color
The Z35's color uniformity is mostly good but we saw slight shifts in the bottom two corners of the screen. It's not a problem in actual content but a little green tint was visible in our sample.
Pixel Response And Input Lag
Please click here to read up on our pixel response and input lag testing procedures.
We expected to see a top result at 200Hz with overdrive on Extreme and that's precisely what we got. While we're showing the monitor's full potential here there are some caveats that we'll get into below. Some ghosting is visible and we saw a black trail artifact behind moving objects when running at top speed. There is a significant improvement in motion detail when it's engaged however, so we suggest trying the various settings to see what works best for you.
Here are the lag results.
200Hz is the way to go for the least input lag. Though the Z35's three millisecond advantage over a 144Hz monitor is small, this price category is all about that last nth degree of performance. If you want the fastest display on the block, this new Acer is it.
G-Sync, ULMB And Overdrive
Normally at this point we'd talk about our gameplay experience and how G-Sync and ULMB impact motion processing and detail. But first we'll tell you about a few things we discovered in our motion pattern tests.
At Blurbusters.com there is an extensive suite of motion tests that make it easier to see things like ghosting, motion detail artifacts, overdrive problems and frame skipping. We usually run through these routines before trying actual content; and the majority of gaming screens show no issues. The Z35 however did present a couple of things at 200Hz that we hadn't seen before.
In one test, we try different overdrive settings to see if ghosting occurs. At the Z35's Extreme setting we saw slight white trails behind moving objects but that's not unusual, and not visible during gameplay. What we did see in both test patterns and games however was a black trail. This seems indicative of undershoot where the frame rate is so high, some pixels just don't have a chance to admit light during the refresh cycle. The fix was to turn down OD to Normal. The black trails were still visible but far less so. The only way to eliminate them entirely is to turn OD off but that causes softness that we just couldn't live with. OD Normal is the best compromise.
Of course, there is another solution—ULMB—but that means turning off G-Sync and running at 120Hz max. While this would seem to defeat the purpose of buying a monitor like this, it was the best quality we saw from the Z35. Of course the caveat is you need to keep frame rates above 100 to mitigate frame tears. We could still see them here and there but not enough to distract. If you don't have sufficient processing power to keep the fps that high, you will see more obvious tearing.
So the conclusion from our gameplay sessions is that this particular monitor doesn't quite nail the fast refresh rate as well as the Asus PG279Q. That screen looked great at 165Hz but the Z35 starts to show a few flaws above 144Hz.