Predator X34 GS Review: The perfect gaming monitor
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Meet the Predator X34 GS the latest in a premium line of 1900R curved NanoIPS monitors from LG of the latest generation with a resolution of 3440 x 1440 pixels and a screen refresh rate of up to 180 Hz (in overclocking mode). The best part is that despite the overall increase in performance, prices continue to fall.
Let the game wrap itself around your vision as the deep, 1900R* curve bends and extends past your peripheral sight.· Go beyond the “standard” (1080p) gaming resolution. UltraWide QHD, (or 3440 x 1440), creates an entirely different kind of game experience.· Smooth, tear-free gaming is the norm with an Agile-Splendor IPS* display and up to a 180Hz* overclockable refresh rate.· With support for Adaptive-Sync*, or NVIDIA® G-SYNC® technology*, your GPU can match up with the display’s refresh rate for smooth, tear-free gaming.· The wide color gamut, ensures that you’ll experience all intended colors – whether venturing through the colorful, chaotic depths of space or exploring the deep blue sea.
The packaging of the monitor has lost its colors, but has not lost the package at all – as usual for the Predator series, the X34GS monitor is equipped to capacity. A pair of high-quality DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0 cables, a powerful power supply and cable to it, a cable for connecting a USB hub of the monitor to a computer, a USB-C to USB-C cable, a headphone hook and a set of documentation including a report on the factory calibration of the monitor.
Quality factory calibration has become a familiar addition to premium gaming monitors, and I never cease to rejoice at it. One of the strengths of IPS panels is accurate color reproduction, which is why high-quality monitor calibration significantly improves the quality of using the monitor.
The Predator X34GS monitor design is familiar to the Predator series: a massive tripod, silvery shades and a virtually bezel-less design. Monitor functions are controlled via 3 shortcut buttons and a joystick. The connection interfaces include x2 DP 1.4, x1 HDMI 2.0, x4 USB-A 3.0, x1 USB-B 3.0 and x1 USB-C. The monitor supports up to 80W USB-C charging for recharging or powering devices directly from the monitor – for this, the Predator X34GS is equipped with a 180W power supply.
The stand at the monitor is solid – it perfectly compensates for vibrations and stabilizes the position of the monitor. The ergonomics of the monitor are excellent and include a ~ 30 degree swivel in both directions, a height adjustment from 12 cm to 25 cm, and a tilt from -5 to +35 degrees. There is no reversal – you won’t be able to use the monitor in portrait mode. And given the curvature of the monitor, it is not needed – in portrait mode it would look very strange.
The curvature itself in 1900R is almost imperceptible – changing from a flat monitor to a Predator X34GS and back does not create any problems with getting used to. Over the course of using the monitor, I regularly transitioned to the flat panel and adapted instantly. Curved panels take some getting used to. Adjusting the position of the monitor does not require serious effort or precise movement – all operations can be done with one hand.
OSD menu functionality is extensive and includes a full set of color calibration parameters, pre-packaged color profiles and HDR mode. The design of the control interface is very convenient and it is very convenient to use the necessary modes and functions – in addition, the ability to configure shortcut buttons for switching frequently used functions (for example, a blue filter or PiP) helps. The monitor contains both familiar gaming functions (matrix overclocking, low input lag mode, cheating sights, etc.), as well as useful functions for work and multitasking, such as Picture in Picture mode or Blue Light Filter.
The functionality of the monitor can be controlled directly from Windows using the Acer Display Widget application – in addition to accessing color settings, operating mode and most of the monitor’s functionality, the application provides two very interesting functions. The first is linking color profiles to different applications. The setting takes place literally in a couple of clicks – select the program and assign a color profile to it. Now, when you switch to the window of this program, the work profile will be instantly selected with its settings for brightness, contrast and color calibration. Instantly – no flickering, lag or long toggles. Even during alttab and selection of the program window, the color profile instantly switches.
The second useful feature is Picture in Picture. It is implemented just as subtly and clearly – select the desired display format from several, assign a keyboard shortcut to activate the mode and … you’re done. No ugly stripes in the middle of the screen, no obsession with sharing the monitor ONLY in the chosen way. You can use the monitor as usual, only the Acer Display Widget software will add the optional one-move ability to dock the window corresponding to the selected PiP mode. Of all the variations of Picture in Picture functionality I’ve seen from other manufacturers, the Acer app offers the most convenient and functional option.
I love the Ultrawide format for gaming monitors for a long time – the 21: 9 aspect ratio provides a higher level of immersion in all games. And for work, this option is much more convenient. FullHD resolution in 2021 is objectively time to retire and 3440×1440 is the most optimal option for Ultrawide format, offering a sufficiently high pixel density and resolution that can be handled by video cards of the middle segment. In conjunction with the 34-inch screen size, we get a pixel density of 109 ppi and the most comfortable peripheral vision coverage – ideal.
The Predator X34GS looks like the first licked 3440×1440 IPS monitor of the next generation. The models of previous years contained some obvious flaws that immediately caught the eye – the Predator X34GS does not create such an impression even after two weeks of using the monitor. Together with a massive stand, the monitor weighs an adequate 9.7 kg. It will be easy to choose a VESA bracket for this size, if you wish.
The Predator X34 GS doesn’t offer anything superfluous or bloated, and that’s great. The monitor uses adaptive sync technology with G-Sync Compatible and Freesync 2 Premium certifications. This means that HDR and G-Sync / Freesync can be used simultaneously in the 48-180 Hz region. Objectively – everything you need. The proprietary G-Sync Ultimate module, which is not available on the Predator X34GS monitor, contains two important differences – synchronization at 1 Hz and dynamic matrix overclocking, which ensures that there are no overclocking or ghosting artifacts when using G-Sync at any FPS. However, setting the panel on the Predator X34 GS monitor in “Normal” overclocking mode ensures adequate matrix behavior at 48-180 FPS without visible artifacts. That is why the absence of the proprietary G-Sync module practically does not affect the experience of using the monitor.
They also did not inflate the HDR certification to HDR 500 due to cheap local dimming techniques – we have honest VESA HDR 400 and an adequate level of brightness – up to 400 nits in SDR and up to 550 in HDR. HDR like this, when properly configured in Windows, provides a much more pleasant experience than basic local dimming algorithms. “True” HDR, however, requires local dimming with a large number of discrete backlight adjustment zones, such as can be found on the Predator X35 monitor today, or wait for new MiniLED-based products that promise to take HDR gaming to the next level.
To achieve 10-bit color depth, the monitor uses an 8-bit FRC matrix to cover the full range of colors used in today’s games, movies and video, and provide smooth gradation.
The Predator X34GS uses an IPS panel that provides the best combination of gaming and photo / video performance. Compared to VA panels, IPS offers better viewing angles, more accurate color reproduction, wider color gamut, lack of “soap” in dynamics and generally lower pixel response. The VA technology loses to IPS only in two components – the contrast level (3000: 1 for VA on average) and a more uniform black color. The Predator X34GS demonstrates the standard weaknesses of IPS – not deep enough in comparison with VA or OLED black level and noticeable in complete darkness glowing effect at the corners of the screen.
Well, the strengths of NanoIPS have only become stronger with the new generation of technology. The 180Hz refresh rate coupled with a well-tuned panel ensures a smooth gaming experience at various FPS rates. No blur, soap, or obvious pixel overclocking artifacts. The contrast of NanoIPS increased noticeably – I did not find any posterization artifacts when viewing content with low bitrate. Color gamut coverage provides 99% sRGB and 98% DCI-p3, which allows the monitor to accurately display the colors used in 99% of all modern content – games, videos, movies and photos.
The first generations of Ultrawide IPS monitors with a resolution of 3440×1440 and higher were sold at a very high price – prices for the previous Predator X34 model started at $ 1399 dollars. Over the past two years, the performance of these monitors has increased significantly, but the price is the opposite.
The Predator X34GS gaming monitor offers more than just paper specs, but the perfect balance of everything you need to play at maximum speed – high hertz, smooth dynamics, high resolution and the perfect size for the low-curvature format of 1900R. And all this for an adequate, albeit premium, which, given the global shortage of electronics, is very sweet for one of the best monitors today.