The Predator Z850 offers giant images, a bright picture that can stand up to quite a bit of ambient light, ultrawide HD gaming, and an input lag time that felt minimal (though I don't have input lag test equipment to find the actual number). Still, this was not a flawless experience. Colors accuracy out of the box was poor in all modes (the movie preset offered the best color, but was still inaccurate), and without proper equipment to calibrate I was forced to use it as-is. If you aren't using a projection screen the wall color plays a huge role in color accuracy, of course. I did end up testing the Z850 on an fixed 100-inch projection screen, and here the color results were actually worse than my wall, as my screen clearly was not receptive to an ultra short throw projector (it rejects light to a certain extent from the extreme angle of a UST). This is not a realistic scenario, as I would imagine that most users are simply using a wall with this portable projector, so I didn't let it affect my impression of the Z850 too much.
It's easy to forget about drawbacks when you're actually playing a game
Throughout my time with the Predator Z850 I could not help but think of the cost; it was the 100-inch ultrawide elephant in the room, so to speak. I have to play devil's advocate here and bring up total cost of ownership, which is something that projector enthusiasts know all about. Replacement lamps are not cheap, and average life is not very long with standard bulbs – with brightness diminishing over time. Yes, $5000 is a lot to pay for a projector, and much higher-end home theater models like the Sony VPL-HW45ES start at $1999, and can be used for gaming as well (though with far greater lag). In addition, 1080p short-throw DLP projectors can be found for under even $1000, and only require about 5 or 6 feet to throw a 100-inch image on a wall. But again, all of the more affordable projectors have something in common, and that's limited lamp life. Any bulb-illuminated projector will end up costing hundreds more if they are used for more than a couple of years, as rated lamp life on most models range anywhere from 2000 – 6000 hours depending on mode (with 'eco' providing the longest life, but the dimmest image).
A worst-case scenario for bulb cost would be the Sony projector mentioned above, as the MSRP on a new bulb is $499. Assuming the max 6000 hour lamp life for the Sony (if you only ever run it in "eco" mode), the replacement bulbs would run an additional $2000 over the same 30,000 hour life of the Predator Z850's laser diode in "eco" mode. That still leaves $1000 on the table, however, as even in this scenario the total cost of ownership for the Sony model is $4000 ($500 bulb x4). Now, the Sony is meant for darkened home theater use, and has just over half of the rated light output of the Acer at 1800 lumens, but much brighter home media projectors are available, including the incredibly bright Epson 1440, which pumps out a staggering 4400 lumens (and costs less than $1700). Epson is also known for its comparatively low bulb cost, making total cost of ownership much more affordable long-term. But once more, I am bringing up projectors that were not designed for gaming.
The competition in the entertainment projector space is very strong, with similar ultra-short throw models from Optoma and now ViewSonic. In particular, the new ViewSonic LS820 offers similar specifications to the Z850, along with promised Rec. 709 color accuracy, for under $3500. I would hope that competition like this will push the price of the Acer model down in time.
For an immersive, ultrawide, and ultra-bright projection image that is easy to move and set up, the Predator Z850 is an attractive option for gaming anywhere you can find a clear wall. The cost is very high at $4999.99, even for a model with laser illumination now that Viewsonic has entered this area, and there are far less expensive conventionally-illuminated options (even considering bulb replacement over time), including Acer's own Z650 short-throw gaming projector. Still, the Predator Z850 is a truly plug-and-play experience, and it was dead simple to set up; requiring only seconds to level it off and adjust focus – and of course it needed only inches from the wall for a big picture. There are plenty of input/output options, and the 10W onboard speaker sounds OK, and means you can game even if you forget your speakers or headset.
Ultimately the Predator Z850 is an impressive product that feels too expensive at $5000. However, it is a very convenient option for a massive gaming display, and I can only assume the price will come down over time.
immersive, ultrawide, and
immersive, ultrawide, and ultra-bright porn please!
You can get fully surround
You can get fully surround porn if you stop being a loser and get a girlfriend.
Wangs joke was better. Thank
Wangs joke was better. Thank you come again
Because 34″ ultra wide
Because 34″ ultra wide monitors too mainstream. Also seems like Acer like LG is a cheapskate for just bundling VGA cable in box.
1920 x 720
1920 x 720
I don’t know why those
I don't know why those numbers weren't in the specs rundown. Fixed!
man I love projectors.
man I love projectors.
I do, too. And the best part?
I do, too. And the best part? After this review my wife is 100% on board with getting one. Too bad 4K models run $8k+ (unless you count pixel shift) – not that I need any more than 1080p…
I mean the projector in my
I mean the projector in my home office is an old education projector and it’s barely over 720p (1280×768) projecting at about 90″, and from about 7 to 8 feet away, it still looks great.
would 1080p be better? sure, but should I spend £500 on a 1080p projector when my £25 (yes, seriously) 720p one still works? likely not.
Though yo, Wife being on board, milk that for all it’s worth
Probably best to get a ~1000
Probably best to get a ~1000 model, and upgrade once the price of 4k units come down in price.
HDR is the next big thing, and I can only think of one model of projector that has it.
I’m with you here. Currently
I'm with you here. Currently the sweet spot looks like a refurbished Epson Home Cinema 3500 for $899 (amazon link). Hard to argue with 1080p, lens shift, auto iris, and 2500 lumen output. I NEED IT.
I myself have a BenQ W1070.
I myself have a BenQ W1070. It has many image-correcting options to position it almost anywhere. Right now it is ~$700, I think I paid a bit more about 2 years ago.
Only cons is that it may be a bit loud.
The Z650 costs less than
The Z650 costs less than 1/4th and has very similar specs.
So does buying a 1080
So does buying a 1080 projector and running it with black bars..
I assume this is not HDCP2.2
I assume this is not HDCP2.2 as it’s not listed anywhere on this article or Acer’s website.
However I am disappointed this was not mentioned by PCPER in the article. This is a new projector (is $5000) so it should have HDCP2.2 even if it is not 4k.
The lack of HDCP2.2 should be something mentioned by reviewers to consumers (especially when the manufacturer leaves it out), as it could easily result in scenarios were someone might try to hook it up to a uhd bluray player for it not to work.
I would have liked to see a
I would have liked to see a photo of the 16:9 with the extra light on the sides.
The review’er realized that
The review’er realized that the price was so high, that he stated it almost as a secret. Took a second to realize that he was talking about the acer and not the sony. 5g’s is a lot when also considering new graphic cards annd kabylake. First adopters – let us know if you feel that it was worth it and putting off 10 series Nvidia or a new cpu and motherboard.
A secret? It’s on the front
A secret? It's on the front page. I'll quote the review's first page here for your convenience:
I would argue that reading the review is a prerequisite for critique.
(FACE PALM) Do you know how
(FACE PALM) Do you know how much a SONY laser projector cost?
I’ve gamed on a BenQ 1080ST
I’ve gamed on a BenQ 1080ST short throw at 6 feet away for a 125″ screen size from my PC at full HD 1080p/60 for less than $900 and it was amazing. I do a lot of gaming and movies but decided to dedicate movies only at that size and transition all gaming to a 70″ 4k display instead because gamers know, you spend a LOT of time in a game and at some point you will burn out the bulb and have to replace it for another several hundred dollars.
This 1920×720 is a garbage resolution at those large screen sizes and should be avoided, especially at that price. This a failed attempt to market the over priced Predator brand to uneducated consumers with expendable income.
In case you didn’t know,
In case you didn’t know, laser projectors are the future. You should always do a bit of research before you dissing it like you know everything.
Sound a gimmick more then
Sound a gimmick more then anything else same projector without short throw .900$ so you pay 4100 $ to get short trow.no surprise .this is clearly aimed at the mobile market. RV TRUCK DRIVER.where space is a premium. HDMI only?1920×1080 100 plus inch . I can see the market for this type of device . Getting something light and efficient is awesome .truck are limited in what they can carry.w eight wise so this is awesome .would have to compare with similar product and simulate an 18 wheeler. And see the result.not sure this cuts it
Laser is not a gimmick..
Laser is not a gimmick..
Lasers last 10 times longer than lamps.
Lasers are far more energy efficient.
Lasers provides image quality lamps cannot imagine.
This Acer is, very cheap, among laser projectors..