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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.

Grayscale Tracking And Gamma Response

Our grayscale and gamma tests are described in detail here.

In the User picture mode, Warm is the default white balance preset. It runs slightly cool though all errors are below the visible three-DeltaE threshold. If you don't plan to calibrate, the X34 is an excellent choice for color accuracy.

A few changes to red and green levels take care of the invisible errors we recorded. The above chart is within a whisker of perfection and compares well to professional monitors we've evaluated.

Here is our comparison group.

A 1.62dE average error is excellent among all monitors, not just gaming ones. It seems to us that displays in all categories, and at all price levels, are getting better with regards to out-of-box performance.

Any of the displays here would compete favorably with a professional product. Any time we can get the average error under one DeltaE it's a win. It seems these days you can have speed and good color in the same panel.

Gamma Response

The X34's default gamma tracking chart shows the effect of an incorrectly-set contrast control. The huge dip from 50-90 percent means not only a flat-looking image but a significant loss of highlight detail. It's rare that any monitor we test needs a contrast adjustment but this one absolutely does.

It's still not perfect but after dropping contrast to 39 and calibrating the grayscale, we have a reasonable gamma result. From 0-70 percent the trace runs above the line, which means things are a tad too dark. Even though we adjust brightness to a 200cd/m2 level for testing, we might raise it a few clicks more to help bring out the mid-tones. While this approach is unusual, it's the only way to ensure full rendering of all detail present in the signal.

Here is our comparison group again.

Gamma doesn't track quite straight, which results in a greater range of values than the other screens. It isn't a huge problem but it's a weakness in an otherwise strong performance. No display is perfect but we think this particular metric could be improved with a firmware update.

We calculate gamma deviation by simply expressing the difference from 2.2 as a percentage.

The too-dark values result in an average of 2.32; a little above the 2.2 standard. The question now is: how will color saturation be affected?

Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.