Review: Acer XR341CK 34" Ultrawide Monitor
Packaging and Design
I consider myself a pretty reasonable person. I've really only tested and reviewed every 4K and Ultrawide monitor on the North American market in the past 6 months. Let's just say, the UPS and FedEx man/men get tired of lugging boxes to and fro while me myself, licking my chops, rubbing my hands together, watches anxiously as he brings it to the 'Hippos office steps. Honestly though, my excitement for Ultrawide monitors quickly waned as the more I tested, the more frustrated I was with price, performance and/or features. Well, let's be honest. My expectations were pretty low for the XR341CK not because I don't appreciate a ginourmous, 34" curved beast wrapped around my gaming noggin but rather, Acer's reputation isn't the greatest when it comes to quality and excitement for the average hardware reviewer. I am happy to report, they are making enormous strides not only in their product portfolio variety but the quality is outstanding.
Right, back to opening the box, right off, I was stunned of how high quality everything was from unboxing to power up. It's a delicious looking little morsel with gray and silver accents, minimal buttons and a sweet looking stand. This monitor is big. Not in an akward, obtuse and clunky way rather, in a nerdgasmic display of gaming goodness to be had. Everything is stellar in this set from the quality packaging, easy setup and great looking menus. Up to this point, I was cautiously optimistic.
Tomb Raider @ 3440x1440. Yep, it's delicious.
So the design is fantastic and the box was gorgeous but how does it look and perform?! That's the real test as almost every other ultrawide out there suffered from horrible backlight bleed *cough*LG*cough* to dull looking colors, to poor black levels. For a $1000+ monitor, there is no excuse for any of the mentioned isssues. So, to my own shock, I discovered the Acer XR341CK is the most breathtaking ultrawide on the market today. No really, colors, black levels, and motion clarity were absolutely top notch. I couldn't believe my eyes! After all the mediocre or overpriced Ultrawides I have tested, this one is the best. How good? Well, (don't) skip down to the final verdict below to see the score. No matter what we threw at this display, it looked utterly fantastic with little to minimal tweaking. This is a huge step forward not only for Acer but the display market as a whole.
Let me reiterate what this means. Deep blacks, vivid colors and smooth motion for every game we tested, every piece of video and a stellar looking desktop experience as well. Can you tell we are excited about this beast? If you are a gamer, especially of newer titles that mostly support the 21:9 aspect ratio, or 3440x1440 resolution, your shopping ends here. This is the display you want and you will never need anything else. It's sharp, it's detailed, it's huge, it's absolutely stunningly beautiful in every regard.
Baby Got Back.
Value and Conclusion
Look, I am not going to lie to you and tell you that this display is inexpensive. None of the Ultrawides are. That being said, I would say that most of them are an utter ripoff due to the issues already mentioned. While this will set you back at $1000, it may be the last monitor, especially if you are a gamer, that you will ever want or need. If you care about gaming responsiveness, inky blacks with some sweet looking colors, this is it folks. You want the best Ultrawide that money can buy right now? Look no further. Trust me, while some LG models came close, almost every Ultrawide has minor to major lightbleed in the corners or some other issues. I never thought I'd say this but, this Acer, is the real deal. Buy it. Love it. Caress it. Nerd it up. You can check out more on Acer's product page here
The Ultrawide and especially curved monitor market is extremely crowded. The Acer XR341CK rises above the competion with a stellar stand, gorgeous design, and easy to use menus. Most of all, it's sharp, detailed picture and quality gaming performance and the best on the market. This is the monitor that makes your friends and all the competing brands flat out jealous. We can't recommend it enough. Well, actually we can, that is why we have awarded it our highest honors.