Acer XR341CK; An In-Depth Review

Though curved screen has been around for more than a year now, many people still don’t embrace its idea, and why they should spend extra on it. Monitor manufacturers however, don’t seem to be undaunted by such perception, as newer models from different makes are being introduced. For many who have already jumped to curved screen bandwagon, the 21:9 Aspect Ratio is a good convincing factor. And this is what the newest curved screen from Acer offers – Acer XR341CK, a 34-inch that runs WQHD, uses IPS panel, with plenty of gaming features, and comes with sleek and sophisticated design. These things make this monitor a flagship product, which means it comes with a premium price. But is it worth every penny? Check out this in-depth review from Dual Monitors Guide.

Acer XR341CK (image from Amazon)


Who is it for?

Acer XR341CK is designed for any computer users, whether avid gamers or regular computer users who love to play games from time to time and wants an ultrawide monitor with curved screen for better gaming experience. It’s quite a versatile display that can fit perfectly in both work and play environment. Plus, it comes with sleek and sophisticated aesthetics that allows the product to blend in nicely to any environment it’s in.

 

Benefits

The Acer XR341CK sports a curved IPS panel, running 3440x1440p resolution in an UltraWide screen of 21:9 Aspect Ratio, with 75Hz Refresh Rate and AMD’s FreeSync technology. That alone should impress any gamers out there. The beautiful curved panel comes from Dell, which is the same with Dell U3415Wwith a curve of 3800R, which is far more subtle than the 2000R radius we saw in the BenQ XR3501 and Acer Predator Z35.

 

Good Color Reproduction for a Gaming Monitor

Color reproduction is good in this curved monitor, white doesn’t look too bright, texts are visibly clear, and above all, any user can use it for hours without hurting their eyes (eye strain). The resolution is simply perfect for the 35-inch curved screen, may be even better than other 4K on 28-inch panels.

 

Fast Response Time and Refresh Rate for Improved Gaming Experience

Acer XR341CK is definitely targeted for gaming enthusiasts, with a premium price tag and hardware requirements to drive 3440x1440p resolution. It runs games gloriously, especially the FPS games, such as Battlefield 4 and Star Wars Battlefront.

Also, the 75Hz Refresh Rate is definitely a plus, as it’s simply better than 60Hz, pair that with FreeSync and you get an even better gaming monitor that runs even the most graphically-demanding games without any signs of blurring, ghosting and screen tearing. It may not be as smooth as 144Hz, but it’s definitely an upgrade.

Of course, you need an AMD Radeon graphics card with around R9 290 or higher to crank this display up to its full potential.

 

Impressive Viewing Angle and Screen Uniformity

IPS monitors usually have no issues on viewing angle, and in the case of Acer XR341CK, the viewing angle is even improved with the subtle curve of the screen. This results to amazing viewing angles.

In terms of screen uniformity, this screen has no visible light or hotspot issues.

Dual Monitor and Multiple Monitor Setup Options

 

It's hard to imagine putting two ultrawide 34-inch monitor side-by-side, as monitors this big are mostly used for single display. As a matte of fact, not many people will feel comfortable working on a single 34-inch monitor. Thus, we will simply talk about more ergonomic options for this Acer ultrawide monitor.

 

The best solution out there is a wall mount, such as the Interactive Arm, VHD  from Ergotron.

Ergotron Interactive Arm, VHD (images from Amazon)


This wall mount with articulating arm can support screens ranging from 30-inch to 60-inch in size and weight of 35 lbs. to 70 lbs. It is fully adjustable, allowing you to swing, lift and turn your display to any direction, and make the screen look like it’s floating in the air. This monitor lets users move their monitor or TV into multiple positions with one simple touch; no more sore necks and caused by awkward angles.


Design and Features

 

Acer XR341CK (image from Amazon)


The Acer XR341CK come fully assembled out-of-the-box, which means it only needs to be lifted out and unwrapped. The panel is 4 inches thick, which is understandable, considering its size and hardware inside.

The backside of the cabinet features chevron pattern vents, which simply complements the Predator name. The Acer logo is nicely placed on the upper-left corner.

The screen is equipped with a typical anti-glare coating, and doesn’t show any grain or various image artifacts, and simultaneously filtering glares and reflections, keeping images displayed on screen bright and sharp, even when the lights are on.

Acer XR341CK (image from Amazon)


Looking from the top of the monitor, you can see the subtle curve of 3800R, it’s very subtle and doesn’t cause any distortion on the contents of the screen, rather, just enough curve to make better viewing experience and immersion, ideal to pair with the 21:9 Aspect Ratio.

 

Buttons and Controls

Facing-down buttons are located at the bottom right side of the cabinet. Unfortunately, the buttons are not as intuitive as expected, they don’t click firmly and may take a few extra presses to bring out the OSD (on-screen display). The OSD itself however, is very easy to understand and navigate.

The first menu of OSD contains the controls for Brightness, Contrast and Black Level, the latter is something we don’t normally see from other monitors. It’s a very advantageous feature for people who play their games in a brightly-lit room, as this feature can bring out better shadow details.

Like other Acer gaming monitors out there, this one also comes with the Blue Light control, which manages the screen’s blue light emission, minimizing the risk of eye strain, allowing gamers to play longer, comfortably.

There’s also the Dynamic Contrast Control, but since it doesn’t really help in gamma, and brings down both highlight and shadow details, then you’re better off leaving this feature. The Super Sharpness feature brings out subtle edge improvement and slightly reduces contrast. Like the Dynamic Contrast Control, you can skip this one.

For the Color Menu, Acer XR341CK offers extensive options for calibration, allowing users to fine-tune the screen’s image quality, including a color management system and a 2-point white balance. sRGB locks all image adjustments, which includes Brightness and Contrast. Both color and grayscale are good, but gamma looks too light.

For gamma, there are three Presets to choose from, 1.8, 2.2 and 2.4. The last one comes closest to the correct value.

For its color temperature, this monitor comes close to perfect right out of the box, which means you don’t need to do any adjustments.

 

Inputs/Outputs

Acer XR341CK (image from Amazon)


The connectivity options this Acer monitor are strategically located on both sides of the upright, facing backwards, making plugging cords and cables quite convenient. It has two HDMI version 2.0 inputs, with one being MHL-compatible. One standard DisplayPort 1.2 and one mini-DisplayPort 1.2.  The bottom DisplayPort connector however, is an output for daisy-chaining. On the right are the headphone output and power plug.

USB 3.0 (1 upstream, 4 downstream ports) hubs and Kensington lock are at the right half of the input panel.

 

With 7 Watts DTS Speaker

Acer XR341CK (image from Amazon)


As with many Acer gaming monitors, especially those in Predator series, Acer XR341CK come equipped with a pair of 7W DTS fire-down speaker strategically placed in the central location in front of the upright. It works with a good deal of transparency and punch than what we normally see from other built-in speakers. And even more adequate for gaming.

 

Sleek and Elegant Aluminum Stand

Acer XR341CK (image from Amazon)


The stand may look simple at first glance, but it’s actually a sleek and nicely designed stand made of single piece of aluminum cast, which construction extends to the upright. It comes with a spring-loaded rise mechanism enclosed in plastic, but the actual support is made up of metal for optimum durability. The stand truly adds to the high-end aesthetics and credibility of the monitor as a whole, and interestingly, this is one of the very few ultra-wide monitors out there with a height-adjustable stand. It allows 4 inches height adjustment (which is just fair for the size screen the) and 25˚ tilt. No swivel and pivot adjustment.

 

Acer XR341CK (image from Amazon)


The top of the stand includes a handle for your hands to grip on and carry the monitor easily. It’s definitely one of the nicest-looking stands out there. The stand also comes with a simple and quite a resourceful cable management bracket at the end of the height adjustment mechanism.

 

Tech Specs

Package includes HDMI cable, DisplayPort cable, external power brick, USB 3.0 A to B connector, and a full printed manual in 5 languages.

 

Bottom Line

The 3440x1440 resolution at 21:9 Aspect Ratio at 35-inch screen is simply awesome. It’s a perfect combination of size and functionality, which may be even better than 4K resolution on 27 to 28-inch sized monitors, and definitely a huge upgrade for people using Full HD (1080p) monitors. Also, the 75Hz Refresh Rate is a step forward from the usual 60Hz, which makes gaming on this monitor better, as games seem to feel more fluid. It may not be as smooth and fast as 144Hz, but it definitely gets the job done, and a nice welcome for monitors with such Aspect Ratio.

Stylistically, Acer XR341CK has quite a sleek and sophisticated aesthetics that can fit well with any workstation or environment, from its cabinet design, color scheme to its stand. Ports are nicely laid out, except may be in DisplayPort, which is located at the top fold of plastic, making it very difficult to remove DisplayPort cable.

All in all, the Acer XR341CK is easily another impressive monitor from Acer, and the addition of FreeSync even makes it better, leaving this product with very little flaws. If you’re a gamer looking to try an UltraWide curved screen, then this definitely should be on your list.

For more in-depth reviews like this, check out Dual Monitors Guide today!



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