The Acer Nitro XZ342CK Pbmiiphx combines solid gaming performance with an array of exclusive features, topping out an ultra-quick curved panel that excels across every metric that matters to gamers
- Innovative design and wide gamer feature set.
- Decent color results.
- Very low input lag.
- Aggressively priced for its class
- Lacks height or swivel adjustment
- Not a huge amount of ports
A high-refresh-rate curved gaming display, the Acer Nitro XZ342CK Pbmiiphx introduces some useful features to the ultrawide monitor space that some gamers didn’t even now they wanted, but newer GPUs are anything to consider, the features are must haves. Its color results may not be the best for professional creatives, and the HDR quality leaves a bit to be desired.
But outside of those rough edges (which don’t affect the monitor’s core audience), the Nitro XZ342CK is one of the best 34-inch ultrawide gaming panels today, it earns our Editors’ Choice.
On looks, the Acer Nitro XZ342CK is a beautiful monitor. Everything from the thin bezels to the enviable, round-tube stand and circular base, make for an elegant design for both work and play. The ergonomic stand offers 120mm height adjustment, -5°/20° tilt, 90° pivot, and 360° swivel, with complimentary 100 x 100 VESA compatible holes for mounting it to a wall bracket.
Port selection isn’t robust as we’d expect for an ultrawide monitor, but you still get two HDMI 2.0 ports and a DisplayPort 1.4. Its 27-inch stablemate that we reviewed last week, the Acer Nitro XV272U Pbmiiprzx includes a pair of USB 3.0 port on the side.
With a tight 1500R curvature, you might be wondering if the Nitro XZ342CK Pbmiiphx will be too curved for productivity, like working in spreadsheets and word processing. This isn’t the case. The Acer Nitro maintains a sharp and undistorted image from edge to edge. If you like to keep multiple windows open, you’ll enjoy the expanded desktop. And the WQHD resolution (3440 x 1440) on the VA panel means an ideal pixel density of 109 pixels per inch, similar to 27-inch QHD screen in the 16:9 aspect ratio; fast 144Hz refresh rate and short 1ms response time.
Being an HDR-enabled monitor, it’s possible to switch Windows over and benefit from the HDR400 option available in the Picture menu. In that case, it looks better than the default Auto setting, thanks to fairly brighter highlights. On the XZ342CK Pbmiiphx, HDR is completely usable in Windows, but it might be too bright for darker environments.
HDR gaming on HDR titles like Call of Duty: WWII won’t disappoint either. While the Acer XZ342CK Pbmiiphx doesn’t meet the standard set by some of the best HDR monitors we’ve reviewed, like the Acer Predator XB273K, HDR looks better than on screens that don’t use any kind of dynamic contrast feature.
On most modern titles, framerates will remain locked at around 144 frames per second (fps) on a GeForce RTX 3090 graphics card, whether HDR is on play or not. Similarly, running FreeSync on a Radeon RX 5700 XT-based machine yields between 120 and 130 fps without adaptive refresh problems.
Overall, the Acer Nitro XZ342CK is a super-fast gaming monitor with AMD FreeSync for tear-free gaming, and we expect it will be perfectly-suited for more-skilled players or even eSports competitors. At this price, this monitor is poised to succeed in both categories (gaming and work).
As priced, the Acer Nitro XZ342CK is a bright, buzzy, fast and furious ultrawide gaming monitor that checks close to every box a modern gamer could ask for. Personally, I have l been juggling from one model to the other in the Acer Predator X34 line as my daily driver at home for three years, and long since I jumped ship to the cult of curved 21:9 gaming. The Acer Nitro Pbmiiphx pushes each element of that experience to new heights.
With a wide array of cool customization options, innovative approach to the common issue of dark scenes in gaming, and super-fast input-lag scores, this ultrawide monitor is a recommended approach to any gamer who wants to play on one of the most feature-rich under-$500 displays we’ve tested to date. Connoisseurs of gaming on ultrawide panels will be especially jazzed by the Acer Nitro XZ342CK Pbmiiphx.
Acer Nitro XZ342CK Pbmiiphx 34" 1500R Curved WQHD (3440 x 1440) VA Gaming Monitor with AMD Radeon Freesync, VESA Certified DisplayHDR400, 95% sRGB, 144Hz, 1ms VRB (Display Port & 2 x HDMI 2.0 Ports)
1 used from $549.77