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Want to game until your eyes bleed? Acer's new gaming monitors might be for you

acer ces 2017 predator monitors cuved tobii eye tracking z301ct front
On Tuesday, Acer revealed a huge lineup of new products just days ahead of the CES 2017 convention in Las Vegas. Part of the company’s device flood are three desktop monitors targeting gamers, one of which Acer deems as the world’s first curved monitor to include eye-tracking technology. The other two are flat and don’t support eye-tracking, but are packed with high refresh rates and support for Nvidia’s G-Sync technology.

As the specs show on the following pages, the curved monitor is based on Vertical Alignment technology. This tech offers wide viewing angles and great color reproduction, but not as well as the more popular In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel technology. Meanwhile, the two new flat displays in Acer’s linup relies on Twisted Nematic (TN) technology, which is rather old but offers fast response times and a very high brightness. That said, TN panels are ideal for gaming whereas VA and IPS are best suited for graphic design.

Additionally, all three monitors support Nvidia’s G-Sync technology. This essentially synchronizes the refresh rate of the monitor with the video output of a Nvidia graphics card. This synchronization eliminates screen tearing, input lag, and stuttering caused when the number of frames generated by the graphics card each second doesn’t match the rate the monitor is rendering those frames each second.

Finally, gamers will see rather high refresh rates with all three monitors. Again, this indicates how many times the display can render fremes each second, so the higher the number, the more fluid the visuals become. The curved monitor has a blazing refresh rate of 200Hz while the two flat monitors run at a faster 240Hz. That’s overkill to be honest, but at least gamers will know that it’s not the monitor bottlenecking the visuals on-screen.

Acer Predator Z301CT

This is the only display of the trio offering Tobii eye-tracking technology. While this is an awesome feature to have, not every PC game supports it. The most recent titles include Watch Dogs 2, Steep, Tom Clancy’s The Division, and Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. There are around 45 supported games in all including Dying Light: The Following that’s listed as “coming soon.”

Other notable features outside the Tobii eye tracking and curved form factor include support for Nvidia’s G-Sync, a maximum resolution of 2,560 x 1,080, a 200Hz refresh rate, and a four-port USB 3.0 hub. The panel has a four-millisecond response time, 178-degree viewing angles, two three-watt speakers, and a decent brightness of 300 nits.

Model: Predator Z301CT
Screen size: 30 inches
Panel type: VA
Resolution: 2,560 x 1.080 @ 200Hz
Aspect ratio: 21:9
Brightness: 300 nits
Contrast ratio: 3,000:1 native
Supported colors: 16.7 million
Supported color space: 100 percent sRGB
Maximum refresh rate: 200Hz
Curvature: 1,800R
Response time: 4 milliseconds
Audio: 2x three-watt speakers (DTS Sound)
ErgoStand Title: -5 to 25 degrees
ErgoStand Swivel: -25 to 25 degrees
ErgoStand Height: Up to 4.7 inches
Key features: Tobii Eye Tracking
Nvidia G-Sync
Acer DarkBoost
Acer BlueLightShield
Acer Flicker-less
GameView OSD Navigation Key
Cable Management
Ports: 1x DisplayPort 1.2a
1x HDMI 1.4
4x USB 3.0 (1x up, 4x down)
1x audio output
Price: Starting at $900
Availability: February

Acer Predator XB272 / XB252Q

Outside their obvious screen size differences, these two panels are exactly the same offering identical resolutions, refresh rates, brightness levels, and so on. Both are based on TN panel technology that’s ideal for gaming due to its fast response times and high brightness. These panels aren’t lacking in that department, with a super-high brightness of 400 nits, and a super-quick response time of one millisecond.

Like their curved cousin, both panels support Nvidia’s G-Sync technology. They also include a component provided by Nvidia called Ultra Low Motion Blur, though it cannot be enabled when G-Sync is active. This tech minimizes ghosting and decreases motion blur when the monitor is set at 85Hz, 100Hz, and 120Hz refresh rates. Other notable features provided by these two monitors include a four-port USB 3.0 hub and support for 1.67 million colors.

XB272 XB252Q
Screen size: 27 inches 24.5 inch
Panel type: TN TN
Resolution: 1,920 1,080 @ 240Hz 1,920 x 1,080 @ 240Hz
Aspect ratio: 16:9 16:9
Brightness: 400 nits 400 nits
Contrast ratio: 1,000:1 1,000:1
Supported colors: 1.67 million 1.67 million
Supported color space: 100 percent sRGB 100 percent sRGB
Color gamut: 72 percent NTSC 72 percent NTSC
Maximum refresh rate: 240Hz 240Hz
Response time: 1 millisecond 1 millisecond
Audio: 2x two-watt speakers 2x two-watt speakers
ErgoStand Tilt: -5 to 20 degrees -5 to 20 degrees
ErgoStand Swivel: -45 to 45 degrees -45 to 45 degrees
ErgoStand Height: Up to 4.5 inches Up to 4.5 inches
ErgoStand Pivot: 90 degrees clockwise 90 degrees clockwise
Key features: Nvidia G-Sync
Nvidia ULMB
Acer DarkBoost
Acer BlueLightShield
Acer Flicker-free
GameView OSD Navigation
Cable Management
Nvidia G-Sync
Nvidia ULMB
Acer DarkBoost
Acer BlueLightShield
Acer Flicker-free
GameView OSD Navigation
Cable Management
Ports: 1x DisplayPort 1.2
1x HDMI 1.4
4x USB 3.0 (1x up, 4x down)
1x audio out
1x DisplayPort 1.2
1x HDMI 1.4
4x USB 3.0 (1x up, 4x down)
1x audio out
Price: Starting at $680 Starting at $550
Availability: February February

The GameView aspect of all three monitors include three customizable display profiles that can be tweaked while players are still in the game. Some of the special settings include adjusting the black level to better see in dark places or at night, adding crosshairs when those provided in-game just don’t cut it, and adjusting the refresh rate on the fly. All three panels also support VESA wall mounting and cable management to remove all those annoying cables off the desktop.

Acer’s three new panels arrive in February.

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