Acer Predator X34 Curved G-SYNC Gaming Monitor Review

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by Rob Williams on February 15, 2016 in Graphics & Displays

On the lookout for a gaming monitor that can do it all? If price isn’t a concern, Acer’s Predator X34 is the one to look at. It comes in at 34 inches, boasts a 3440×1440 ultra-wide resolution, makes images pop with an IPS panel, takes advantage of NVIDIA’s G-SYNC frame-smoothing technology, and if that’s not enough: it’s curved.

Testing & Final Thoughts

There’s not too much that can be said about this monitor that I haven’t already covered. The fact that I called it “ridiculously good” from the start doesn’t leave much to the imagination, either. And when I call it “ridiculously good”, I mean it. The Predator X34, simply put, is one hell of a monitor.

The fact that the Predator X34 is curved doesn’t matter too much, at least to me. It’s nice to look at, but I don’t find that it’s something I wouldn’t want to live without. The resolution, on the other hand, is definitely something I wouldn’t want to live without.

When 1440p/1600p monitors first hit the scene, I felt like they were a little “overwhelming” for desktop use. After settling in with such a display, though, I quickly became accustomed to it. We’re at a point now where 4K monitors have hit the scene, and now that I’ve come to love 1440p, I find those too overwhelming. I’m afraid that won’t change, either: 3840×2160 on a small monitor is not for me. You can increase the DPI, of course, but that means that the monitor mostly benefits games, not the desktop (150% DPI at 4K looks similar to 1440p on the same-sized monitor).

Acer Predator G-SYNC Curved Monitor

Near the beginning of the article, I talked about aspect ratios, and how on this monitor, the ultra-wide aspect ratio results in more of your game being exposed. This is different to 1080p, 1440p, and 4K – all three show the exact same content (all are 16:9, after all), whereas 21:9 or ultra-wide in general can reveal things you wouldn’t ordinarily see (as some of the examples on the previous page highlight).

I might love 21:9, but that doesn’t mean everyone will. Some might not mind the fact that 4K is still 16:9, because the ultimate goal is crispness. For me, I prefer not just having more crispness; I want to see more of the game world. It’s for that reason that I came to like multi-monitor so much, but with a solution like this one, I’m met in the middle: the resolution is still wider than 16:9, and there are no bezels to contend with. It’s a win/win, as far as I’m concerned.

The biggest “issue” I can cite with this monitor, besides the obvious one (its $1,299 price tag), is that the glow in the corners is noticeable with a dark scene on the screen. The reason I use quotes for “issue” is because it’s not an issue; it’s a trait of IPS panels. It’s just more noticeable here because the monitor is so large (or at least because it’s so wide). To me, this trait is better than having to use a monitor with a TN panel (regardless of how good some of them are).

For all of what’s offered, the Predator X34 delivers in spades. Unlike launch G-SYNC monitors, this one offers an HDMI port in addition to a DisplayPort, and if you’re like me and want to hook up more than one PC or device to the same monitor, that’s a boon. I’ve been keeping a PlayStation 4 hooked up to the monitor with HDMI, and then use DisplayPort for the computer (DP is required for G-SYNC). I also keep headphones plugged into the display, so when I switch between HDMI and DisplayPort, I automatically hear the audio from the proper feed. I do wish that I could choose to hear audio from the alternate source, though, but that’s not going to be an issue for everyone (I like it because I could listen to music from the PC while playing something on the console).

To help wrap things up, I’d recommend the Predator X34 to anyone who wants a no-compromise gaming monitor – and is willing to cough up $1,299 for it. The resolution offered is fantastic for gaming (and desktop work), while the IPS panel makes things nice and bright. G-SYNC meanwhile keeps gameplay fluid (read the second heading here to learn more) during even the most demanding of situations, and for those who like high refreshes, the 100Hz “overclock” feature is a nice touch. Beyond that, the monitor has a great build (the stand is extremely durable), and the fact that plugged-in headphones or speakers can be used for either video source is a nice touch.

The Predator X34 is simply an outstanding gaming monitor. If $1,299 is a bit too rich (we hear that), alternatives are going to lack one feature or another; most often G-SYNC. Acer’s B346CK bmijphzx, for example, is similar to the Predator X34 but features a more standard design, a 6ms response time, and a lack of G-SYNC. It goes for about $800, just like the XB280HK bprz. That monitor is a 28-inch 4K model that does include G-SYNC.

If the Predator X34 isn’t perfect for you in one way or another, don’t fret: alternatives are far from limited.

Pros

  • Best monitor I’ve ever touched, bar none.
  • Bright IPS panel.
  • Officially overclockable refresh rate. 100Hz success should be common.
  • Beefy ultra-wide resolution reveals more of your game, enables more efficient desktop work.
  • G-SYNC works well, especially when your GPU horsepower isn’t where it should be for 5 megapixels.
  • Includes audio out port that works for both the HDMI and DisplayPort connectors.
  • Base leaves a lot of room free for odds-and-ends lingering around your desk.

Cons

  • At $1,299 USD, the Predator X34 is one expensive monitor.
  • IPS glow is noticeable during dark scenes in gaming or movies.
Acer Predator X34 Gaming Monitor - Techgage Editor's Choice
Acer Predator X34 Gaming Monitor

Rob Williams

Rob founded Techgage in 2005 to be an 'Advocate of the consumer', focusing on fair reviews and keeping people apprised of news in the tech world. Catering to both enthusiasts and businesses alike; from desktop gaming to professional workstations, and all the supporting software.

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