ACER Predator Z35P
The Z35P offers fantastic visuals and performance, but it’s simply too expensive
THERE ARE A handful of ultrawide gaming monitors on the market, offering various configurations at differing price points. On paper, the Acer Predator Z35P has almost the same specifications as the AOC AG352UCG, yet costs around £300 more. Is it worth the extra?
The Z35P gets off to a good start on build quality and design. Finished in a brushed grey aluminium shell with red accents, it looks great. The bezels are thin, but have an eye-catchingly chunky design, which may be a desired taste.
TURN OF EVENTS
The metal stand provides plenty of flexibility: it can be adjusted in height, tilted from -4º to 35º and swivelled by 20º. A handle makes it easier to pick up. At the back, there are four USB3 ports, one of which provides fastcharging capabilities for smartphones.
The onscreen display is accessed through a set of buttons found at the bottom right-hand side of the monitor. The interface is easy to get around and provides plenty of options, including an ‘overclock’ setting that boosts the panel’s refresh rate up from 100Hz to 120Hz.
For connectivity, there’s one DisplayPort and HDMI input apiece, plus a 3.5mm headphone jack output. Two internal 9W speakers go impressively loud, without distorting.
The Z35P also supports Nvidia’s G-Sync technology, which is fantastic for those who own a compatible Nvidia graphics card. If you have an AMD card, you’ll have to rely on V-Sync, which adds unwanted input lag.
Acer’s 3,440x1,440 VA panel has a 21:9 aspect ratio. Its image quality is very good; a small step above the AOC AG352UCG. In sRGB mode, it covers 99.3% of the sRGB colour gamut, and colours look wonderfully rich and vibrant. It might not look as good as some IPS displays out there, but it’s certainly one of the better ultrawide gaming panels we’ve seen.
Colour accuracy is good, too, with an average delta-E of 1.69 – that’s good enough for photo and video editing. A strong 2,043:1 contrast ratio and 0.14cd/m2 black level reflect a panel that’s able to render great tonal depth.
It isn’t the brightest panel in sRGB mode, however: we measured a maximum luminance of 285cd/m2. Switching to regular mode brightens things up to 340cd/m2, which is fine for sunlit rooms. Uniformity isn’t great, either, with up to 17% variance from its centre point thanks to backlight bleed and IPS glow. That’s to be expected from a large ultrawide monitor, but it’s something to bear in mind if you’ll be using the display for image or video editing as well.
In ‘overclocked’ 120Hz mode, the Z35P passed all the UFO Frame skipping tests. We didn’t notice any visible gamma shift either, which means you don’t have to worry about losing colour accuracy when overclocking the panel.
To get the best results, you’ll naturally need a graphics card that’s capable of reaching 120fps at 3,440x1,440; for most recent games, this means the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 and upward, and even then, you’ll likely need to reduce graphical quality as well. The good news is that such GPUs support G-Sync technology, which eliminates tearing by locking the refresh rate of your monitor to your graphics card’s frame rate.
Initially, we found the Z35P a little sluggish. However, enabling overdrive caused the panel to respond a lot faster, making it much more acceptable for competitive games. Activating the Extreme setting added a lot of unwanted inverse ghosting (in the form of purple trails), but dialling this down to Normal mode minimised the effect, while still keeping things responsive.
Input lag could be better, but for anything other than the most intense games, we found the panel to respond reasonably well. The large 35in curved design also provides an element of immersion that adds to the overall experience.
BECOMING THE PREY
The Z35P’s gaming performance is impressive, especially if you’re into more casual games. Colour accuracy and vibrance are great, and the build quality is stunning. There’s really not much to dislike about the Acer Predator Z35P – apart from its titanic price.
Unfortunately, this is an issue that’s impossible to ignore. At nearly £1,000, you’re grossly overpaying for a panel that offers only slightly better colours and an extra 20Hz over the AOC AG352UCG, which even at £600 looks like a bargain in comparison. When it comes to 21:9 ultrawide gaming monitors, give this one a miss and go for the AOC model instead.