For the past two years, the Acer Predator X34 has remained one of the best gaming monitors on the market. I've been so happy since the start that I kept it as my personal monitor for games and video production. I like the combination of a 34-inch 21: 9 3440 x 1440 display with a maximum refresh rate of 100 Hz, G-Sync and even excellent color accuracy for a gaming monitor.
But this new Acer monitor, an updated version of the X34, is even better in almost every way. It's called the Predator X34P and could be the perfect monitor to surprise us before the HDR-enabled X35 finally hits the market.
Interestingly, the Predator X34P has received a fair proportion of starting problems. This monitor was already presented at Computex 2016It therefore took a long time for the new panel in this display to be ready for mass production.
And yes, there is a new panel in the X34P. It maintains the same 34-inch size and 3440 x 1440 resolution as the original X34, but now has a refresh rate of 100 Hz as standard and can easily overclock up to 120 Hz.
Previously, the X34 was a 60 Hz monitor with 100 Hz overclocking, although some buyers were unable to achieve 100 Hz due to flickering. The X34P solves this offer with native 100 Hz and an additional boost of up to 120 Hz. My retail store had no problems reaching this brand, and I hope that this will also be the case for others.
The other important change on the panel is a more aggressive curve that moves from 3800R to 1900R. I'm not a big fan of curved displays, but the X34 is so wide that the increased curvature improves the experience.
With the new 1900R curve, the edges are only slightly stronger in your field of view, which I think helps me to shoot down enemies in games more easily. The truth is that I'm probably just as mediocre as before, but with a new fancy monitor.
Most other specifications remain unchanged: IPS, maximum brightness of 300 nits, a native contrast ratio of 1000: 1, 4 ms gray-gray response times, 100% sRGB coverage and G-Sync support. Power consumption is also apparently the same, although in my tests the X34P consumes about 8 W more power when overclocked to 120 Hz and about 6 W more at 100 Hz.
The X34P design has been redesigned to fix virtually any problem with the original X34. The annoying shiny plastic was developed in favor of plastic with a brush-brushed metal finish, while all other plastics have received a subtle upgrade to a more refined design that better matches the monitor's high price. Unfortunately, the "chin" at the bottom remains, although this is probably a by-product of the design of the panel itself.
The good news for fans with narrow bezels like me is that the bezels on the X34P have also shrunk slightly and move from 13mm to 10mm on most sides. This is a decent, if minor, upgrade. The stand has also become more versatile and now supports a larger selection of height settings and a new swivel support. The stand is a bit uglier from the back, but the extra flexibility is certainly a nice bonus.
The monitor gods heard my prayers when the X34P finally included a directional switch for the on-screen display, rather than the terrible five-button approach of the original design. The switch makes it so much easier to move around in the OSD and make adjustments if necessary. It is supplemented by three buttons for quick adjustment of the input, brightness and display modes.
The OSD is not revolutionary. Here you will find basic color controls and overdrive settings, the overclocking option, typical functions such as shadow enhancement and weak blue light as well as additions such as crosshair overlays and even a refresh rate counter. I have never used most of the additions, although you may find something interesting there.
The 20 Hz refresh rate that the X34P offers compared to the original is certainly not as noticeable as the jump from 60 to 100 Hz, but it's nice to have a bit more refresh rate. When the X34 hit the market, it was much more difficult to achieve 100 FPS at 3440 x 1440 with ultra-quality settings in AAA games, but with modern cards like the 1080 Ti, the extra speed of this monitor is really practical.
Unfortunately, AMD users seem to be excluded from the party again, as there is no FreeSync equivalent and Acer's best 3440 x 1440 FreeSync monitor gets stuck at 75 Hz. This is one of the cases where the G-Sync model not only supports Nvidia's variable update technology, but also offers additional functions that are only available for the G-Sync variant.
Acer generally gives accurate information on the performance of its monitors, and the X34P is no exception. The contrast ratio is 1040: 1, only slightly better than stated on the data sheet, while the peak brightness I was measured at 294 nits near the nominal mark of 300 NIT. A contrast ratio of over 1000: 1 is also maintained in the entire brightness range, which is easy to see.
Like many curved displays, the X34P also suffers from some uniformity issues, although it's nowhere near as bad as I've seen on other panels. The right side is tinted slightly yellow relative to the middle, with a maximum DeltaE difference of 2.2 with a pure white display. This is noticeable when displaying solid colors.
Ghosting and pixel response are almost identical to those of the X34, which means that the "normal" overdrive setting remains the ideal option for most users. The IPS panel used is quite fast for this type of display technology, so ghosting is not a major problem for the most part.
The viewing angles are also very good, as you would expect from an IPS panel, although the contrast ratio is not as good as you would see from a VA display. Although the contrast ratio is not as high as that of VA displays, the X34P has no noticeable backlight.