Intro and Design
The Predator Series from Acer, really, needs no introduction. From quite humble beginnings, Acer has exploded onto the gaming and monitor scene with some absolutely knockout displays. Their X34 model was one of the rare pieces of gear to ever receive a perfect 10/10 review in our labs and their 27" 1440p and 4K models also received very high marks. To say that the Predator brand carries some series clout and has sky high expectations from us is an extremely large understatement.
So, what's new with the Z35 from Acer? First off, we are up to 35" inches of pure awesomeness. Yep, it's 35 INCHES. (The monitor people! Focus!) So, that is some serious Ultrawide, 21:9, curved real estate for graphics, word processing, homework and oh, yeah, you can game on it too. Anywho, out of the box, on a DisplayPort connection, you can rock 2560x180 @ 144hz. Overclock mode, 2560x1080 @ 200hz! Unbelievable. More on that later but besides these insane specs, the Z35 features the well-known black with red accents with quality construction and one of the best menu systems out there. It's extremely powerful, flexible and easy to use without much clutter and no out of place or confusing options.
Overall, this is a rock solid and extremely well designed monitor complete with all the cables, adjustment and tweaking that you will ever need. Just like the other options in the Predator series, the Z35 continues the amazing legacy and quality that Acer has solidified in the gaming market.
A beautiful design and striking looks don't automatically make it a solid performer (I know a few spouses like that -- Ohhhh snap!) but in this case, overall, the Z35 delivers. The biggest strength of this display? The absolute untouchable achievement of 2560x1080 @ 200hz. Bravo Acer. I bow to you oh wizards of monitor tech! Even without the built in over clocking, you can rock 144hz without even tweaking. To have so many options, a gorgeous VA panel display and such high refresh rates is really just a gamer's wet dream. Every game I tested from shooters like Battlefield 4 and Battlefront to action such as Rise of the Tomb Raider, it was sheer gaming joy in spades. This is another stellar entry in an already extremely strong portfolio from Acer.
Now, not is all puppies and rainbows but honestly, this comes down to a bit of preference. After using 3440x1440 and especially 4K monitors for almost a year now, the resolution of 2560x1080 at 35" is a bit too chunky of pixels for this hombre. Picky? Maybe, but you really need to decide if you want the highest refresh rates at ultra-wide aspects, or not. If you do then the Z35 is your horse. If you want the sharpest image and resolution, you really need to look elsewhere. Once again, for most gamers 2560x1080 is just fine, but for some it's hard to go back after the sharper images. Please note, you really do need to use the DisplayPort interface to reach any decent refresh rate. Also, please note that not all games work out of the box with the 21:9 Ultrawide aspect ratio. If you want to get started, download Flawless Widescreen.
Value and Conclusion
In the end, the Z35 is a fantastic display, especially if you want the best response times and highest refresh rates in shooters, racing games and other faster pace games. Is it the sharpest monitor I've tested? Nope. Is that mainly just a matter of preference? Yep. That being said though, it's so feature packed, of the highest quality materials and easy to use, it's hard not to love. While I prefer a higher resolution image, this is still one that is easy to recommend. This type of quality doesn't come cheap and while I highly point potential buyers in that direction, it's retailing for $1299, which can be a tough pill to swallow for some, especially for a 2560x1080 display. Regardless of price, high end gaming monitors are some of the most sought after items on the market. If you're in said market, the Z35 is a strong choice for today's most demanding games.