Acer Predator X34 G-SYNC Monitor Review
Since the X34 uses a relatively modest 3800R curve and we recently witnessed what 2000R curved monitorsbring to the table we already knew there would be very little to recommend it for movie watching. This is first and foremost an unabashed gaming tool. Hence, while it does set a new standard upon which monitors are judged in gaming scenarios, it can’t compete with the BenQ XR3501 in movies. It is however still capable of delivering some awe-inspiring experiences.
Now with that being said, only coming in second place to what is easily the best movie and multimedia monitor available today is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, if we had not used the XR3501 very recently – and it was still fresh in our minds – the X34 would have been the one to beat. That selfsame combination of excellent color fidelity with decent panel uniformity is a winning combination. It is just that movies do not play to this monitor’s strong suit.
To be perfectly candid the noticeably less expensive Acer XR341CK provides just as good a level of immersion in movies as the X34. This is because G-SYNC and the higher refresh rate are simply not important. 60Hz is overkill for movies and if we planned on watching a lot of television or movies on this monitor we would certainly turn off the panel overdrive and let it go back to its normal 60Hz. Put another way, the 100Hz and G-SYNC module are the two main reasons for the X34’s existence and having them as non-issues really does hurt this monitor’s value in this scenario.
The X34 also suffers from the same issues as all 21:9 monitors: poor scaling. As all movie aficionados already know, the number of movies transferred to Blu-ray in anything besides 16:9 can be counted on one’s thumbs. Instead everything is 1080P or 1920×1080 pixels. This means that in order to actually use all 34” of screen real-estate consumers have to use software to upscale both the horizontal and vertical dimensions. This does make for some odd looking images from time to time and will break your immersion in a movie faster than someone yelling ‘fire’ in a theatre.
Even with these issues taken into account, we still think this monitor makes for an above average movie watching experience, and while we would never recommend purchasing it specifically for HTPC duties, its IPS monitor and minor curvature would certainly do better than most monitors.