The Acer Predator X34 is a new display in the growing market of “ultra-wide” monitors that are taking the PC gaming market by storm. With a horizontally-stretched aspect ratio of 21:9, ultra-wide monitors shut out your peripheral vision for a more immersive computing experience. But, will the X34’s wider field of view and 100Hz refresh rate be enough to justify the sky-high cost of admission as well as its top spot in our best gaming monitor list?
Read on in my Acer Predator X34 review to find out.
Acer Predator X34 Overview
Price: $1299.99 on Amazon
Summary: The Acer Predator X34 is the ultimate pick in gaming monitors, ultra-wide or otherwise.
What We Liked
- Gorgeous picture clarity, image quality, and solid performance
- Spectacular color representation across all tests
- 100Hz refresh rate makes games buttery smooth
What We Didn’t
- Settings menu was clunky, confusing to navigate
- High price
- Could have more port options
Acer Predator X34 Specs
|Resolution||3440 x 1440|
|Refresh Rate||60Hz ( up to 100Hz overclock)|
|Device Dimensions||32.5 x 12.2 x 23.1 inches|
|Ports||1 HDMI 1.4, 1 DP 1.2, 5 USB 3.0, 1 audio-out|
If you had to use one adjective to describe the current state of gamer-centric hardware, “restrained” would definitely not be it. Most desktops, laptops, and even other machines in Acer’s own Predator lineup are offenders in the category, shipped with bright menacing colors, lean stealthy lines, and elements that look like they were designed by a ninja from the future that went back in time to fly attack helicopters and make gaming peripherals.
Thankfully, the X34 curved gaming monitor seems to have gotten the message. A lone red accent along the cable management port lets you know this monitor is a part of Acer’s Predator family, along with a Predator logo along the bottom the screen itself. Other than that and a neat pulsing ambient light feature, this is a monitor that looks like it means business from the moment it’s out of the box.
The curved angle of the screen is a feature that some monitor affianados love, and others despise with a deep passion. Personally, I think it adds tons of immersion, and makes any task just a little bit more exciting when you feel like you’re being enveloped by it on all sides.
As a premium, top of the line screen, the Predator X34 doesn’t feature nearly as many connectivity options as one would hope. That said, there’s still enough to get the job done in a pinch with one DP 1.2 port, one HDMI 1.4 (regrettably not 2.0), and 5 USB 3.0 ports.
On the back you’ll also find an audio throughput jack in case you want to split the audio from your HDMI into a pair of headphones, as well as two moderately boomy 7-watt speakers. These two won’t be shattering windows anytime soon, but they’re plenty serviceable compared to what we’ve heard on other monitors before. At 21.9lb the monitor is a bit heavier than most people might be used to, but considering its large footprint and the addition of the curve, the added pounds aren’t all too surprising.
For such a beautiful screen, the input and settings menu is anything but. Clunky, unintuitive, and downright frustrating at times, you’d think a company like Acer (who’s been in the monitor game for decades) would have figured out a sleeker way to make a menu system work.
Instead, every left turn you think you’ve taken actually turns out to be a right, and the button that should lock in a setting actually reverts it back to default. Plus as if the navigation system weren’t already difficult enough, Acer also has no way to lock in the “User” setting on the four included presets. This means that every time you change to a new setting (“User” to “Game”, for example), any settings you established on the “User” profile are erased, completely defeating the purpose. Needless to say, if there was one area we’d love to see some improvement on the next X35, it would be how the onboard menus are handled.
When run through a string of tests including the color gamut, the brightness/contrast ratios, and color accuracy representation, the X34 excelled in every category.
All tests completed with the Datacolor S5P100 Spyder5PRO
Scoring 80% of Adobe RGB and 100% of sRGB, photos, movies, and games all had perfect color replication. And with a staggering 100,00,00:1 contrast ratio blacks were rich, deep, and could be seen in all available light settings.
The Acer Predator X34 gets its most of its wallet-smacking price point from the included gaming features, like the addition of Nvidia’s G-Sync technology and the option to put the monitor into overdrive to a eye-searing refresh rate of 100Hz.
When running both in conjunction on action games like The Witcher III, we noticed minimal screen tearing and buttery-smooth movements as we hacked, slashed, and dodged our way through battle. Higher FPS games like League of Legends and Counter Strike: Global Offensive also had a noticeable “smoothing” effect, where the rapid fire movements between positions that might cause lesser monitors to lag was handled with ease and grace.
Of course, at this price it’s expected that your gaming monitor would be at the very least be able to handle games. But what about the rest? Thankfully, movies also looked stunning, with Blu-Rays coming out clean and all our applications quickly upping in clarity as we activated the adaptive contrast. The curved effect of the 34″ display made purpose-shot films like Christopher Nolan’s 70mm Interstellar cut look astounding, and provide a movie watching experience unlike anything we’ve seen before.
Acer Predator X34 Review Wrap Up
Sure it may not have a ton of ports and the price is enough to bring any savings account to its knees, but all that aside: you 100% get what you pay for. The hefty upfront investment becomes a whole lot simpler to justify when you actually sit down and use this thing, whether it be to play a game, watch a movie, or just get some work done for the day.
The deeply immersive effect of the curved screen wraps itself to the edges of your peripheral vision, and makes you feel like you’re truly living in the future of PC gaming and movie watching for the very first time. After doing this review I’ve already started looking into buying an X34 of my own, because my old 27″ 1920 x 1080 monitor simply can’t measure up to the glory of what my eyes have already experienced. Thankfully, I also didn’t notice any IPS glow from this display and the low input lag is a big bonus.
Put simply, this isn’t just the best gaming monitor I’ve seen – this is the best display I’ve ever used, period.
Unless you’re stingy about ports or finicky about weight, buy this curved gaming monitor as soon as you can. You won’t regret it.
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