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Acer Predator Z650 Gaming Projector Review - Turning Heads and Changing Minds

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Over the years, the GameZone team has often been asked about the viability of using projectors for gaming. The very nature of projectors being able to present an enormous and scale-able picture make them very appealing. Yes a big picture is immersive and awesome. No debate.  However, I have always been inclined to caution against using them for gaming.

The reasons for that is that most projectors only push out a standard definition or low resolution image. Sacrificing size for resolution is not a good idea for the smoothness or in turn the sharpness of the picture. For graphics sluts like me, the image quality in most games, like sports, also tends to take a dip when using a projector. The bulbs generally tend to struggle with the fast-paced changing of the image, which leads to “ghosting”. Having heard that this type of use also reduces the lifespan of the bulbs rapidly. An expensive item to replace hence my caution.

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'Massive' gaming without the need for a massive room

Enter the Acer Predator Z650 to turn all of your and my preconceived biases on its heads. This beast is a gaming projector and it fulfills that role with distinction. Managing to tick off all of our sometimes pedantic and always critical boxes and then some. An awesome feature is its “short throw projection”, which means that you only need a distance of 1.5 meters to project an image 100 inches wide. Your gaming will be massive without the need for a massive room.

The Acer Predator Z650 Gaming Projector really lives up to its Predator name. It comes with all the hallmarks of a beast with its red and black colour scheme, but is also unassuming when compared to most other projectors on the market. Yes, it looks a lot like any other projector, but when it roars to life, you really discover what it is capable of.  

It's ‘Auto Game mode” analyses content in real time and will, as its mode name suggests, automatically enhance the image on the fly which gets rid of any of the “ghosting” woes mentioned above. Depending on your lighting conditions, it also has an adjustable "Dark" and "Bright" mode to enhance visibility regardless of your environment. 

The added ability for it to stream content wireless at full 1080p using its “HiddenDongle” technology is feature that we did not even know we no longer want to live without. Add to the mix how you can steam audio to the projector using Bluetooth to its in-built 2 x 10W speakers and you may begin to see how this awesome display device is set apart from the rest. It is even capable of rendering an image in 3D, but I must admit that we did not test this out very much.

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The Z650 is a gaming projector, and for $1,300 (almost R20,000 at the time of writing), you will need to be a gamer with deep pockets to cough up for the device. It does indeed come fully packed with all the right bells and whistles and is capable of numerous video formats via a whole number of port options. The host of input and output options make it viable for any custom setup.

Mount it to the roof, place it on a coffee table or quickly go mobile and put it in its handy carry case. Either way, if you do happen to ask my advice on the viability of a projector as a gaming display device, I will no longer caution against it, but instead will point you in this direction. Maybe we will see it again in action at the #PredatorMGMS Grand Finals at the end of the eSports season.

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Here are its full tech specs in all of its glory:

Image

  • Native Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Maximum Resolution: 1920 x 1200
  • Standard Mode Brightness: 2200 lm
  • Native Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Compatible Aspect Ratio: 4:3
  • Contrast Ratio: 20,000:1
  • Throw Ratio: 0.69 to 0.76@ 100"
  • Digital Zoom: 2x
  • Vertical Keystone Correction: -30°/+30°
  • Horizontal Keystone Correction: -30°/+30°
  • Maximum Vertical Sync: 120 Hz
  • Maximum Horizontal Sync: 100 kHz
  • Minimum Vertical Sync: 24 Hz
  • Minimum Horizontal Sync: 15 kHz
  • Color Supported: 1.07 Billion Colors (30-bit)

Projection Lens

  • Lens Type: Manual Focus | Manual Zoom
  • Minimum Lens Aperture: F/2.6 
  • Maximum Lens Aperture: F/2.78
  • Minimum Focal Length: 10.20 mm
  • Maximum Focal Length: 11.22 mm
  • Minimum Diagonal Image Size: 54"
  • Maximum Diagonal Image Size: 25 ft
  • Minimum Projection Distance: 35.43"
  • Maximum Projection Distance: 15.09 ft
  • Optical Zoom: 1.1x

Lamp

  • Lamp Type: UHP
  • Number of Lamps: 1
  • Lamp Power: 240 W
  • Normal Mode Lamp Life: 3000 Hour
  • Economy Mode Lamp Life: 4000 Hour
  • ExtremeEco Mode Lamp Life: 6000 Hour

Interfaces/Ports

  • Number of HDMI Ports: 3
  • HDMI: Yes
  • Number of USB Ports: 1
  • USB: Yes
  • USB Connector Type: Mini-B
  • Number of Composite Video Ports: 1
  • Composite Video: Yes
  • Number of Component Video Ports: 1
  • Component Video: Yes
  • Number of S-Video Ports: 1
  • S-Video: Yes
  • Number of VGA Inputs: 1
  • VGA In: Yes
  • Number of VGA Outputs: 1
  • VGA Out: Yes
  • Number Of Audio Inputs: 1
  • Number Of Audio Outputs: 1
  • Audio Line In: Yes
  • Audio Line Out: Yes

Technical Information

  • Projection System: DLP
  • Projection Method: Ceiling | Front | Rear
  • Video Compatibility: EDTV | HDTV | NTSC | PAL | SDTV | SECAM
  • Computer Compatibility: Mac PC | Windows PC

Audio

  • Number of Speakers: 2
  • Speaker Output Power: 10 W
  • Speaker Output Mode: Stereo
Power 
  • Power Supply: 100 V AC~240 V AC
  • Input Voltage: 120 V AC | 230 V AC
  • Operating Power Consumption: 424 W
  • Operating Power Consumption (Eco Mode): 360 W

Physical Characteristics

  • Fan Noise: 30 dB Approximate Economy Mode | 33 dB Approximate Standard Mode
  • Temperature: 32°F (0°C) to 104°F (40°C)
  • Humidity: 80% Maximum Relative Humidity
  • Weight (Approximate): 7.50 lb
  • Form Factor: Ceiling Mountable

Package Contents

Z650 DLP Projector | Battery for Remote Control | Security Card | User's Guide (CD-ROM) | Quick Start Guide | Remote Control | VGA Cable | AC Power Cord | Carrying Case

Optional Accessories

MHL Wireless Adapter | iPhone/iPod Adapter | 3D Glasses

Have you used a gaming projector before and what do you think about the Acer Predator Z650 Gaming Projector? Let us know in the comment section below. 

Brad: Twitter / MWEB GameZone: Twitter | Facebook


"a gaming projector and it fulfills that role with distinction"

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