Acer XR341CK and X34 75Hz and 100Hz curved IPS models
Update: Our review of the FreeSync model is now live. News piece below initially published 24th April 2015.
We’ve explored how the 3440 x 1440 resolution on a 34” ‘UltraWide’ model can provide an incredibly engrossing gaming experience. And indeed how adding a subtle curve can help enhance the experience without making the experience seem completely alien. The Acer XR341CK and X34 take things one step further. They combine the same or a very similar curved slim-bezel 34” AH-IPS panel to that seen on the likes of the Dell U3415W and LG 34UC97 and ramp the refresh rate up to 75Hz and 100Hz, respectively. They also add variable refresh rate technologies, with the ‘1CK’ suffix denoting the presence of Adaptive-Sync (AMD FreeSync) and the shorter model designation denoting the presence of Nvidia G-SYNC. Aesthetically the monitors are quite interesting, gently curved and very wide as already mentioned but also with a quite unique-looking aluminium stand. This provides tilt (5° forwards and 35° backwards) and height adjustment (130mm or 5.11 inches). The G-SYNC model’s power LED glows red when the technology is active, with the intensity of the light indicating the refresh rate being used (i.e. brighter light = higher refresh rate). The FreeSync model glows blue during normal operation and amber in standby.
The panel used is the LG LM340UW2-SSA1, which features a gentle curve and is AH-IPS (Advanced High Performance In-Plane Switching) with a very light matte screen surface. The monitors support up to 75Hz (100Hz for G-SYNC model) once overclocked at the native resolution of 3440 x 1440 (over DP 1.2), have a 1000:1 static contrast ratio and a typical maximum luminance of 300 cd/m². A flicker-free (DC dimming rather than PWM) WLED backlight is used with enhanced phosphors ensuring 100% sRGB coverage and a little extension beyond. Viewing angles are 172° horizontal and 178° vertical, with the slightly obscure horizontal number to account for the gentle curvature of the screen. 10-bit colour is supported (8-bit + FRC dithering) and you can expect the panel to deliver consistent and accurate colours throughout its gamut. Some nifty little ‘Acer additions’ include an onscreen crosshair and frame rate display function.
A 4ms grey to grey response time is specified, which should of course be treated with a degree of caution and perhaps scepticism. The inputs and outputs are a little limited on the G-SYNC model with an HDMI 1.4 port, DisplayPort and 4 USB 3.0 ports (plus upstream). 7W integrated DTS stereo speakers also feature. The FreeSync model (‘1CK’) features a MiniDP input, MHL 2.0 port and 3.5mm headphone jack in addition to the inptus and outputs already mentioned. It is nice to see an HDMI port included for compatibility purposes, even on the G-SYNC model, but be aware that to use G-SYNC or FreeSync (‘CK1’ model) or indeed the maximum refresh rate at the native resolution you need to be using the DisplayPort on a compatible GPU. Either variable refresh rate solution will work down to 30Hz on these monitors.
Further information can be found on the G-SYNC model via this press release, where it was originally referred to as the XR341CKA. The monitors are now available. The RRP of the ‘1CK’ (FreeSync) model is set at £899.99 and for the G-SYNC model £999.99 in the UK. The US RRP for the G-SYNC model is $1299 with the ‘1CK’ model at around $1000.