Sitting in front of the Acer Predator Z35 curved gaming monitor, it feels like my field of view has been enveloped by its 35-inch screen.
Playing a video game with it feels more immersive than with other curved monitors I have tried in the past.
There are two reasons. Firstly, the Z35 has a curvature rated at 2000R, which simply means it is as curved as a circle with a radius of 2000mm (2m). In comparison, many curved monitors in the market, such as last year's Dell SE2716H, have a 4000R curvature that is more gradual than the Z35.
The other reason is the Z35's ultra-wide 21:9 aspect ratio. The monitor is much wider compared with the standard 16:9 displays, which enhances the wrap-around feel.
But the Z35's 21:9 aspect ratio has a downside. Videos are usually formatted for 16:9 displays, which leads to black bars at the sides when viewed on a 21:9 screen.
This is less of an issue with games, which often support a range of screen resolutions.
RESOLUTION: 2,560 x 1,080 pixels
ASPECT RATIO: 21:9
BRIGHTNESS: 300 cd/m2
RESPONSE TIME: 4ms
PANEL TYPE: Vertical Alignment (VA)
CONNECTIVITY: DisplayPort, HDMI, 4 x USB 3.0 downstream, 1 x USB 3.0 upstream, headphone jack
In Crysis 3 and The Witcher 3, I was able to change the screen resolution to the Z35's native 2,560 x 1,080 pixel screen resolution for a full-screen experience without any black bars.
This also resulted in a greater field of vision that is useful in certain scenarios.
For instance, I could see more in-game units in a strategy game. However, the action role-playing game Dark Souls III retained the black bars despite changing to the native resolution.
More importantly, the Z35 supports Nvidia's G-Sync feature, a technology that synchronises the frame rates produced by a compatible Nvidia graphics card with the monitor's refresh rate, in order to reduce screen tearing and stuttering.
In addition, the monitor has a high 144Hz refresh rate that can be further overclocked to 200Hz.
As a result, games can stay in sync with the monitor even at high frame rates, which benefits gamers with powerful high-end gaming PCs.
For office and productivity tasks, the ultra-wide Z35 lets you fit multiple browser or app windows side by side. However, the monitor's 2,560 x 1,080 pixel screen resolution is relatively low for its size and, even from a distance, I could make out the individual pixels of the monitor. A higher 3,440 x 1,440 screen resolution would be ideal in this case.
The Z35 has a vertical alignment (VA) LCD panel. It offers better viewing angles than monitors that use twisted nematic (TN) technology. But images look washed out compared with in-plane switching (IPS) displays when viewed from the sides.
I was pleasantly surprised by the audio quality of the Z35's built-in speakers. They were loud and clear, though not as good as a proper pair of speakers.
•Verdict: Gamers will be pleased at the immersion created by this curved monitor, along with its high refresh rate and Nvidia G-Sync feature. But the screen resolution and viewing angles could be improved.