Acer Predator X34
Ultra-Wide monitors have been around for a while now, and truth be told we’ve kind of ignored their existence as somewhat of a gimmick or completely unnecessary for gaming. 21:9 aspect ratio? Surely a thing for those who need multiple windows open at any given time to browse, write, and surf the web. Which, we’ve come to realise is just about everyone. Including us. So, from an immediate productivity position, an Ultra-Wide monitor is something to savour. And the Acer Predator X34 is a winner on that front with its 34440x1440 resolution and immersive widescreen display. A definite improvement over standard 16:9 1080p and 1440p screens.
But what about gaming? Games aren’t meant to be played in cinemascope - so why bother with an Ultra-Wide screen. Well, turns out we were wrong on that front too. 21:9 gaming on the Acer Predator X34 presents a monumental shift in immersion over the regular 16:9 display we were running mere moments before the X34 arrived. From DOOM to Assassin’s Cred Origins to Wolfenstein II – this is next level stuff. Not only are we now converts and full disciples in the Ways of the Ultra-Wide Monitor, it doesn’t hurt that the X34 also includes one of the best IPS panels we’ve ever seen. Regardless of aspect ratio. This is gaming as it was always meant to be.
The Predator X34 comes from Acer’s gaming line of Predator products which includes everything from laptops to desktops, monitors, and even projectors. All emblazoned with the Predator logo - which looks like a cross-between the Autobots symbol and Saruman’s tower from The Lord of the Rings. Ahem. Anyway, Predator is an Acer line that has grown from strength to strength in recent years, with the Predator X34 now representing one of the best gaming screens that money can buy.
If not, the best.
The 34 of the name refers to the size, 34 inches, Ultra-Wide, with an aspect ratio of 21:9. From a screen height perspective you get something in the realm of the now standard 27-inch monitor but stretched out to fill more desk. And slightly curved to improve immersion. Now, curved screens can tend to overdo things. The Predator X34’s curve on the other hand is subtle, almost imperceptible. And only there to compensate for the wider aspect ratio, making the displayed image look more natural.
As a premium monitor, which you’ve probably already guessed by taking one look at the price, the Predator X34 doesn’t cut any corners. From the build quality to features like USB inputs and aesthetic touches like angular brushed metal and an LED under-glow. In fact, the only thing missing is a remote. Something that just about every monitor lacks, leaving adjustment to series of buttons. But, like with everything else the Predator OSD is one of the best we’ve seen allowing for quick switching between picture modes and deep colour adjustment right down to RGB gamma control.
Still, a remote would have been nice.
Maximum Resolution: 3440 x 1440
Refresh Rate: 60 Hz (100Hz NVIDIA G-SYNC)
Colour Support: 1.07 Billion Colors
Contrast Ratio: 100,000,000:1
Brightness: 300 cd/m²
We’re now living in the age of insane contrast ratios, so they’re not the most important thing when it comes to looking at a new screen. Peak brightness is where it’s at, and the Predator X34 presents a bright image that also features excellent contrast and great colour. It’s the sort of thing you expect with an IPS panel, but even in darker scenes or images the X34 holds its own with fantastic shadow detail. A truly stunning image that only falters when viewing strictly 16:9 content – and only in the sense that you can visibly make out the edge-lighting in each corner.
That being said the brightness is balanced and uniform across the entire 21:9 panel, with colour reproduction being accurate and rich across the board. The X34 shines when displaying a native 21:9 image. From your desktop, to a cinematic widescreen movie, through to the latest game.
A View to Remember
The Predator X34 is a gaming monitor, and as such features a G-SYNC capable screen with a refresh rate of 100Hz. For those that are unaware of Nividia’s G-SYNC technology, once you experience it in full it’s impossible to imagine life without it. Essentially it syncs the refresh rate of the monitor with that of a game’s frame-rate. And by doing so almost eliminates the need for a super high frame-rate. In practise it means that a title with a fluctuating frame-rate of anywhere between 30-60 frames-per-second will look like its running smoother than a game running at a pure 60 with minor dips.
Couple that with the ultrawide 3440 x 1440 resolution, impressive brightness, contrast, and colour output, and playing DOOM or Wolfenstein II or Overwatch or anything for that matter – is revelatory. Impressive to a fault. Immersive, and brilliant. It’s like being in control of a real-life FOV slider and finally getting to see more of your surrounding environment. That being said you’ll need a decent GPU to get the most out of the X34, with our GeForce GTX 1070 Ti
proving to be the perfect fit for the new reality. Ultra-Wide.
Also, we were surprised to find out that most if not all modern titles support the 21:9 aspect ratio.
After testing out a standard 4K display that was of a similar size but with a 16:9 aspect ratio, the choice couldn’t be clearer. The X34 is without a doubt an amazing display for gaming. And even without the still yet-to-be-seen HDR implementation across a wide-range of PC monitors, the X34 still feels like something that will stand the test of time. (Note: The Acer Predator X35 which has been announced will support Nvidia’s HDR implementation in addition to increasing the refresh rate to 200Hz). But even so, the X34 still ticks all the right boxes, keeps image quality, brightness, contrast, and colour, at the top of the list of things it does well. And alongside the G-SYNC capabilities, low response time, and impressive build quality, it’s no wonder this is considered the ultimate gaming screen.