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Acer XR341CK 34-Inch Curved FreeSync Monitor Review

Acer offers its latest curved monitor, the XR341CK 34-inch WQHD, which should appeal to gamers with its 75Hz IPS panel and FreeSync. Today we check it out.

Conclusion

With a high-quality IPS panel and FreeSync, it seems that Acer has once again created a gaming monitor to lust for. We raved about the XB270HU with its 144Hz IPS/QHD panel and superb image. Now those with a large display budget just might consider going for the curve.

There's no question that curvature is just what 21:9 aspect screens need. If you're going to put such a wide display two to three feet in front of the user, it's natural that the sides should bend in slightly. Not only does it increase the suspension of disbelief in games, it makes things easier when working with multiple windows in productivity applications. After reviewing both flat and curved ultra-wide displays, we definitely prefer the curve. It just makes more sense.

Acer has pulled out all the stops by using the same excellent panel as in the Dell U3415W. If you recall, that monitor posted the best out-of-box numbers we'd ever seen, which we chalked up to its factory calibration. Acer doesn't include the datasheet in the box but it's obvious this panel part is super-accurate. Our test results show the XR341CK competes favorably with most high-end professional monitors.

The addition of FreeSync and a slightly higher 75Hz refresh rate puts the icing on the cake as far as we're concerned. And don't forget the built-in aiming reticules, fps counter and four settings memories. About the only thing the XR341CK doesn't have is ULMB.

Blur-reduction is something that has yet to make its way into a FreeSync screen. We don't consider it a loss though because even though G-Sync monitors have it, you can't use both features at the same time. Ultimately, frame-rate matching is about optimizing the experience between 30 and 60Hz. Once you go faster, tearing is much harder to see and has less impact on image quality.

Without getting too in-depth about the differences between G-Sync and FreeSync it's important to remember that FreeSync is an open and license-free standard that any manufacturer can implement in its products. That is why we're seeing differences in refresh rates from the various models. And it's the reason FreeSync screens cost around $200 less than their G-Sync counterparts.

AMD FreeSync vs Nvidia G-Sync

Regardless of that debate, we like the XR341CK. Its image quality is among the best, the FreeSync implementation works without issue and we enjoy the curve. For its high performance, build quality and the fact that it's just fun to use, we're giving it our Tom's Editor Recommended Award.

MORE: Best Computer MonitorsMORE: Display Calibration 101

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Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware, covering Monitors and TVs.

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  • ohim
    Why do they make screens brighter than 300 or let`s say max 350 cd/m² ? I had tested a Iiyama 27" with 350 and at max brightness i could feel the heat from the screen on my hands and face at 30 cm away from the screen ... you can`t even use the blessed thing at max.. i finally settled for around 20-30% of screen brightness max 50% for presentation purposes ...
    Reply
  • rene13cross
    Better the screen is too bright and brightness can be reduced than it being too dark and brightness cannot be increased. Nothing to complain about in my opinion.
    Reply
  • DoDidDont
    Seriously considering two of these for work/play, but holding off as the Asus ROG PG384Q 34" curved monitor looks more promising, G-sync, IPS, and 3440x1440 @ 100Hz. All come down to when Asus will release it, and how long I can wait...
    Reply
  • Au_equus
    acer also has a g-sync model (XR341CKA aka Predator X34), but, like asus, there seems to be a never ending delay after delay.
    Reply
  • Larry Litmanen
    I saw a similar monitor in the store recently and i have to say yes it is wide, but in height the display is too short, they need to add a few more inches to height so the experience is very immersive.
    Reply
  • PlanesFly
    Great Review guys. Just one thing, you need to remove the reference to being a Predator monitor, this monitor has absolutely no tie to the Predator line-up of products, it is a XR Series monitor. Only the G-Sync version falls under the Predator series.
    Reply
  • cknobman
    $1000? LOL No. They have already proven in the TV market that this curved crap adds nothing to the experience, and even detracts from it. It is not worth any type of premium whatsoever.

    $500, Yes
    Reply
  • PlanesFly
    16681781 said:
    I saw a similar monitor in the store recently and i have to say yes it is wide, but in height the display is too short, they need to add a few more inches to height so the experience is very immersive.

    You can't just add to the height or the aspect ratio wouldn't be 21:9. The height is equal to a 27" 16:9 monitor with 30% more width.

    You're looking for a monitor with 3820x1600, essentially a 4k monitor with the vertical chopped off.
    Reply
  • obababoy
    Seriously considering two of these for work/play, but holding off as the Asus ROG PG384Q 34" curved monitor looks more promising, G-sync, IPS, and 3440x1440 @ 100Hz. All come down to when Asus will release it, and how long I can wait...
    What GPU are you running? if you have AMD get this, if you have Nvidia get the ROG...but wait for however long it will take.
    Reply
  • PlanesFly
    16681911 said:
    Seriously considering two of these for work/play, but holding off as the Asus ROG PG384Q 34" curved monitor looks more promising, G-sync, IPS, and 3440x1440 @ 100Hz. All come down to when Asus will release it, and how long I can wait...
    What GPU are you running? if you have AMD get this, if you have Nvidia get the ROG...but wait for however long it will take.

    Why should someone wait for the ROG, they will be using the exact same panel and the Acer X34 has already passed both reviews I've seen so far with flying colors. The only difference is if you desperately want the slightly different aesthetic of the ASUS version over the Predator.

    The X34 should be out in a couple weeks...the ASUS won't be out until possibly Jan 2016.
    Reply