Z35 screen's curved for greater immersion

The Acer Predator Z35 curved gaming monitor can make you feel like your field of view has been enveloped by the screen.
The Acer Predator Z35 curved gaming monitor can make you feel like your field of view has been enveloped by the screen.PHOTO: ACER

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.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $1,399

    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

  • RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    VALUE: 3/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

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.

Vincent Chang

•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.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2016, with the headline 'Z35 screen's curved for greater immersion'. Print Edition | Subscribe