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

Brightness And Contrast

To read about our monitor tests in-depth, please check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test Monitors and TVs. Brightness and Contrast testing is covered on page two.

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Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level

Today's group includes curved gaming monitors with both IPS and VA technology. We've also included the nearly-perfect Asus PB238Q, which isn't specifically aimed at gamers but works extremely well for the task. Also present is the BenQ XR3501, Asus PG279Q, Acer XR341CK and the HP Envy 34c.

There is plenty of brightness from every screen in the group but the displays with ULMB need some extra power to compensate for the output loss when it's engaged. The Z35 and PG279Q both have that quality.

It's pretty easy to tell which panels are VA just by looking at the numbers. Black levels are far lower than IPS or TN are capable of. This is why they have such high contrast and why their images have greater depth.

Even though the Z35 and XR3501 use the same panel part, Acer has coaxed quite a bit more contrast from the Predator. The addition of G-Sync and 200Hz already sets it apart; fantastic contrast is just icing on the cake.

Uncalibrated – Minimum Backlight Level

All of the displays work well in a darkened room. The Z35 is almost exactly at our preferred 50cd/m2 output level. Its ambient light feature can act as sort of a bias light if you want to close down your pupils a bit when playing with the lights off. For the most immersive effect however, we suggest turning everything off so the image floats in front of you.

These are some seriously low black levels. If you're watching a movie with black bars for example, they just blend into the bezel rather than glowing around your content. Of course with a 21:9 aspect ratio, bars can be easily eliminated.

Contrast drops by a negligible six-percent when the backlight is bottomed out. For a monitor with such a wide dynamic range this is very consistent performance.

After Calibration To 200cd/m2

Here we're showing the effects of ULMB. Light output is cut by nearly 50 percent. If you reduce the pulse width for greater blur reduction, the Z35 gets even darker. Fortunately there's sufficient benefit at the highest setting. And you can up the brightness to its maximum to return the output level to 200cd/m2. But the best part is seen in the two charts below.

ULMB usually has little effect on black levels, which means contrast is reduced. That is not the case here. Acer has implemented the option very well. You can see that the minimum output number is reduced by roughly the same percentage as the maximum. The result is...

...nearly identical contrast! This is the first ULMB-equipped monitor we've tested that maintains a consistent contrast level in both modes. Though we expect most users to opt for G-Sync and its higher refresh rates, the Z35's blur reduction does a fantastic job of cleaning up motion detail. We found some situations where we preferred it over G-Sync in fact. Page seven has more on that subject.

ANSI Contrast Ratio

The ANSI result is strong at only six percent less than the sequential value. The AU Optronics part used here is of very high quality despite its less-than-bleeding-edge resolution. We think the contrast quality coupled with the Z35's other features trump its lower pixel count.

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


    Not really....
  • DanT060
    not 4K no
  • 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?
  • SBMfromLA
    1675488 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"...
  • turkey3_scratch
    1675488 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.
  • envy14tpe
    Quote:
    1675488 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.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • vaughn2k
    Wake me up if the price goes down.. :)
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • Peter Martin
    I will NEVER buy another curved screen anything. You manufacturers really think we are stupid, don't you?
  • 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!
  • xapoc
    dear Santa..
  • cknobman
    Over $1000 for THIS??????

    For 1080p??????

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

    frikin gsync tax
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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..
  • moogleslam
    Still waiting for 21:9, 34", 3440x1440p, G-Sync, 144Hz.... Getting close.
  • g-unit1111
    That is an insane amount of money for an ultrawide display with a 144hz refresh rate. For that price you can go for a 1440P ultrawide for less money. You don't get the refresh rate, but $1K or more for a 1080P display? Get real!
  • liteup23
    Quote:
    Still waiting for 21:9, 34", 3440x1440p, G-Sync, 144Hz.... Getting close.


    I'm waiting for the same thing... only difference being that I would settle for 90Hz if the price was right. I've been waiting for almost 2 years now. When is someone going to wake up and make this monitor?
  • moogleslam
    628648 said:
    Quote:
    Still waiting for 21:9, 34", 3440x1440p, G-Sync, 144Hz.... Getting close.
    I'm waiting for the same thing... only difference being that I would settle for 90Hz if the price was right. I've been waiting for almost 2 years now. When is someone going to wake up and make this monitor?


    If you're happy with 90Hz, two such monitors already exist. Both the Acer Predator x34 & the ASUS PG348Q meet that criteria (100Hz)