Another AMAZING Predator Monitor from Acer - Acer Z1 Z321QU 32" 1440p 144hz VA G-Sync Curved Monitor Review

Before we jump into the review, check out this imgur album of the monitor unboxing.

Acer Z1 Z321QU

★★★★★ (5 out of 5)

  • Price...
    • Only when compared to (as of 180328) the 1 other equivalent G-Sync monitor on the market (LG 32GK850G)
  • Features
    • Refresh rate
      • 144Hz out of the box with up to 165Hz OC
    • G-Sync
      • 144Hz out of the box with up to 165Hz OC
    • Solid stand
      • Very sturdy construction with plenty of adjustment options
    • VESA mount capable
    • Quality VA panel
      • Great contrast, no smearing, no ghosting, no slow response time issues
    • LED underglow
      • The "Screen Color" setting is pretty neat
    • Massive size
      • Massive 32"(inch) gaming experience
    • Curve
      • Reminds me of the 1st Gen Predator X34 I owned except with a more pronounced curve
    • Built-in speakers
      • Sound decent but I won't be using them

  • Price
    • $699 is a lot for a monitor
    • G-sync "tax"
      • Still waiting and hoping for Nvidia to adopt VESA adaptive sync or FreeSync
  • QC Concerns
    • My unit's LED underglow strip initially only half-worked. Now it's back to normal after doing nothing to fix it
  • Limited connectivity
    •  Displayport and HDMI are the only options

Other Thoughts
Second experience with a VA panel of this size and with this feature set. This is basically the perfect monitor for me. It has all the features I was looking for and came in at a cheaper price point than its equivalent competition (the LG monitor). The 2560x1440 resolution pairs perfectly with my GTX 1080 and having G-Sync with high refresh continues to be a real treat. Coming from the Dell S2417DG (24" TN 1440p 144hz G-Sync), there is an increase in color quality as well as an increase in immersive feel due to the larger size. I prefer this over a 34" (or larger) ultrawide because it covers more of both my horizontal and vertical physical Field of View (FoV). This personally gives me a much more immersive gaming experience. This truly is the epic conclusion to my monitor journey I've been on for the past 4 years and I don't plan on going anywhere.

Quick story about how I purchased this… I was able to pick this up at a $50 discount on Newegg's Ebay store front due to a site-wide Ebay coupon. I was a little nervous going that route because I was having some bad luck with monitor purchases lately. I was getting units that had connection issues or stuck/dead pixel issues so I would prefer to go through Newegg's own store front since I am a Premier member. I’m glad I did go the Ebay route as everything turned out fine. Onto the review…

This… monitor… is… incredible! There's no other way that I can describe it. After testing out the LG 32GK850G I knew that going with a 32"(inch) QHD 144hz (or higher) G-Sync gaming panel would be my "end game" and I'm happy to say that I'm here sooner than expected. I did weigh the pros and cons between buying an equivalent FreeSync panel for anywhere from 1/2 to 2/3 the cost but since I plan on keeping this for a very long time, won't be changing my current build's components and I've been using G-Sync for the past 3 years it made my choice a bit easier. The price is still a hard pill to swallow because $699.99 is a lot to pay for a monitor. However, just like with the LG display, you get what you pay for and paying the premium gives you a premium experience.

This monitor is essentially equivalent to the LG gaming display but at a discounted cost and it has what I would argue are better features. One of those features is the curve. The curve on this display is more pronounced than the 1st Gen Predator X34 I used to have but it's not distracting or annoying in any way. I think on a monitor this size, it works perfectly to help bring in the edges of the screen. With the curve aside, that is really the only major difference between the two. Otherwise from a hardware perspective, they both feature 32" of screen, QHD resolution, 144hz native with 165hz OC, adjustable stands and G-Sync. However, I still vastly prefer the Acer model of the LG one.

The VA panel that Acer chose for this monitor is excellent. The contrast is great. There are no noticeable standard VA panel woes (smearing, slow response, ghosting etc.) that I can see or they are so minimal that it simply doesn't bug me. My unit came with no dead/stuck pixel issues or image quality issue. The panel OC'd to 165Hz without a problem and G-Sync works exactly as expected. The only issue I initially had which strangely went away was the led underglow only half-worked. After leaving the monitor sleeping for 1 day I came back and tested it again out of curiosity and now it's fully functional.

I've played a variety of games on this monitor and every single one has been a wonderful experience. I love the physical FoV covering experience and the combination of a high refresh rate with G-Sync makes things buttery smooth. I'm back to having a similar experience to what my Predator X34 provided except it's even better IMO due to the higher refresh rate and additional vertical physical FoV coverage. 21:9 is cool but it has its downsides. In the end, I am incredibly pleased with this monitor and I applaud Acer for putting out another quality gaming display under their Predator brand.

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