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Acer Predator X34 34-inch WQHD Curved G-Sync Monitor Review

Today, we're looking at Acer's flagship curved gaming monitor, the Predator X34. It offers WQHD resolution, G-Sync, a 100Hz refresh rate and DTS audio in an impressive ultra-wide package.

Packaging, Physical Layout And Accessories

To protect the integrity of an ultra-wide curved screen, the carton needs to be oversized and Acer has stepped up on that score. The box is enormous and seems capable of withstanding a lot of punishment during shipping. Even the grab handles are reinforced with plastic inserts on the sides. You're unlikely to see an X34 damaged en route to its new owner.

The cable bundle includes one each of HDMI, DisplayPort and USB 3.0. The external power supply is oversized and runs fairly cool. You also get a beefy metal adapter for the 100mm VESA mount around back. If you choose to forgo the excellent stand for an aftermarket bracket, this plate will interface with the hardware of your choice.

Product 360

The stand is cast aluminum and while it looks spindly, it is quite solid. It allows for a 5.1-inch height adjustment, which is somewhat rare among ultra-wide displays. You also get 25 degrees of tilt. Movements are firm and free of extraneous play.

In the lower right, facing downwards, are five control keys. You have to operate them by feel but icons appear on the screen to tell you their functions.

The screen itself is billed as a borderless design but when the power is on a .5-inch frame appears around the picture. The lower trim measures 1.1 inches in width. Using the X34 in a multi-screen configuration means a one-inch gap between images. The anti-glare layer is the same one we see on the majority of gaming monitors striking a proper balance between light rejection and clarity.

The curve is fairly subtle at 3800mm. Compared to the 2000mm radius, seen on displays like the BenQ XR3501 and Acer's own Z35, it makes a marked difference in how the image wraps around the user. 3800R is a "less is more" approach and brings the edges of the image just a bit closer without imparting any visible distortion.

The X34 tapers from side to side so it looks thinner than it actually is. At the bulge's center point it hits three inches but by the time you get to the edge it's less than an inch. There are no USB or headphone jacks here but you'll find both on the rear-facing input panel.

From the back you can see an extremely useful handle at the top of the upright. It's at a good balance point so the X34 will remain vertical when you pick it up. The screen's only grillwork takes the form of a v-shaped feature that complements the panel's taper. That grill covers two excellent seven-watt speakers. Tuned by DTS, they offer a decent frequency range and plenty of volume. While there isn't much bass to be had, we think they sound better than the vast majority of built-ins.

The inputs all face backward and are nestled under the upright making access difficult. Luckily there aren't too many of them. You get one each of DisplayPort 1.2a and HDMI 1.4. The USB hub is version 3.0 and includes one upstream and four downstream ports. For a more immersive audio experience, you can plug in your headphones here as well.

  • Alan Caldwell
    Looks great!
    Reply
  • Realist9
    Finally a large monitor that checks all the boxes, resolution included.

    Now I just have to decide between this and a 4k. :(
    Reply
  • TechyInAZ
    It's a very nice display. But $1300 is still very hard to swallow.
    Reply
  • WyomingKnott
    Serious question, and maybe I'll learn something. Didn't freesync / Gsync eliminate the need for 100hz rates?
    Reply
  • Au_equus
    Which batch did this monitor come from?

    The predator x34 was produced in two main batches. The 2nd batch (Feburary 2016) was done to correct problems in the first batch.
    Reply
  • av30
    There is no blb etc.. because you received a cherry picked press sample. I can't take this review at face value due to that fact. The fact is that these panels have huge quality control issues that a visit to the forums will provide evidence of. I've gone through enough panel lotteries tyvm. Buy one of these at retail and see what a difference it makes.
    Reply
  • natedawg72
    Serious question, and maybe I'll learn something. Didn't freesync / Gsync eliminate the need for 100hz rates?
    Not at all. The purpose of Freesync/Gsync was to increase the apparent smoothness of gameplay by syncing refresh and frame output, which also happens to reduce possible input lag somewhat.

    High refreshrates (90+) still have the advantage of less pixel blur (from pixels transitioning colors faster) which makes images clearer in fast paced games, and can still appear smoother than 60 hz gsync. Additionally, with a game running at 120 fps+ input should feel a tad snappier, especially with a higher refreshrate monitor.

    How much you will notice it depends on several things I suppose. Some people don't care about it, but I've really enjoyed my 144hz monitor, even when I disable free-sync.
    Reply
  • natedawg72
    Not at all. The purpose of Freesync/Gsync was to increase the apparent smoothness of gameplay by syncing refresh and frame output, which also happens to reduce possible input lag somewhat..

    Forgot to mention one the most important points, elimination of screen tearing (within the dynamic refresh range). I apologize that I don't know how to edit comments here..
    Reply
  • scott91575
    There is no blb etc.. because you received a cherry picked press sample. I can't take this review at face value due to that fact. The fact is that these panels have huge quality control issues that a visit to the forums will provide evidence of. I've gone through enough panel lotteries tyvm. Buy one of these at retail and see what a difference it makes.

    I own one. The only issue I have is some backlight bleed that has actually improved with time. It is noticeable in a completely dark room and a black screen but I never notice it during normal usage. No other issues at all and I do get 100Hz.

    That is of course a sample size of one, and for $1300 (although I paid $1150) expecting perfect is not unreasonable. Yet it is a fantastic monitor.
    Reply
  • Sam Hain
    Conclusion... By looking at the test comparisons, the BenQ X3501 bests the X34 OVERALL and is cheaper by a landslide.

    $1300 plus say $600 (average) for a GPU to push the X34's pixels, not to mention S&H and potential sales-tax... and your looking at $2K for your video-display option. SLI/X-Fire, ramp it up even more. Going Titan with this monitor as a dual-purchase and that's a loan, LOL! No thanks!

    DSR upscale to 1440p with the X3501 makes more sense, i.e. bang-for-buck performance.

    Who cares if the desktop is 1080p? If you are a strictly a gamer, it matters not to most, only those who vid/photo render/edit, or are just plain elitist's.

    The X34 is a grand monitor, yes. But for the price, strictly for gaming... There are better/smarter options. Just my opinion.
    Reply