Gaming is one of Acer’s strengths, and they showed it off at CES 2017. Their new Predator Z301CT monitor is a 21:9 curved widescreen 1080p 30″ monitor that uses Acer’s partnership with Tobii to provide eye tracking.
Lacking a 4K display, it’s not quite the pinnacle of gaming monitors, but pretty much all the other bells and whistles are here — if you have a mid-range rig that can’t quite make the most of 4K anyway, this display might be a good fit. The Z301CT has a 2560 x 1080 resolution 1800R curved display with 178-degree viewing angles, although as usual with curved monitors, you’ll want to be looking straight at it for best results. The 200 Hz refresh rate and 4 ms response time should mean no ghosting and minimal dropped frames, crucial for faster-paced games like shooters or fighting games.
At the bottom, you’ll notice the Tobii eye tracker. This special camera can tell where your eyes are looking on screen, using that information for control. Usually, this feature is used to allow you to aim in shooters simply by looking at targets. Granted, it’s up to game developers to implement Tobii control in their games. So far, Ubisoft has been enthusiastic, adding Tobii to games like The Division. A total of 45 games currently work with Tobii, including Elite Dangerous, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, and Watch Dogs 2.
The Z301CT is pretty flexible on the desk, too. It can be tilted and swiveled between -5 degrees and 25 degrees, and the display can be raised up by as much as 4.7 inches. Acer has also thrown in a couple of 3W speakers with DTS sound, although you might well want a more powerful sound system than that for a widescreen monitor like this.
The Acer Z301CT display will be available in February for $900. Also at CES, Acer announced a gaming series of their mainstream Aspire notebooks — several models between 15″ and 17″ will be available with 7th gen Intel Core i processors and a wide range of RAM and storage options. GPU options will include the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050, 1050 Ti, and 1060, and the higher-end 17.3″ Aspire V 17 will have Tobii eye tracking as an option. There will also be a number of display and cooling options, including Acer’s AeroBlade metal fans that they unveiled last year. Starting prices will range from $800 to $1,400, with the laptops becoming available sometime during January and February. They’ll be solid compromise options for those who like to game, but need a more practical, understated machine for work, too. We haven’t seen many everyday laptops with discrete GPUs in recent years, but that’s changed at CES 2017, with multiple companies releasing more reasonably priced gaming options.