34″ ultrawide monitors: Asus vs Acer

I’ve had occasion to try out two fancy gaming monitors recently; the Asus ROG Swift PG348Q and the Acer Predator X34 bmiphz. They are nearly identical. Both are great. Buy whichever one is cheaper. Last few times I’ve looked one has been $1100 and one has been $1200. If it’s a coin flip, I think the Acer X34 is slightly better.

Both monitors have identical panels and specs, as you can see in this comparison. They’re both 3440 x 1440 monitors in a 34″ package (109 ppi), they both support NVidia GSync, they’re both IPS panels. They both have an “overclock” feature to run up to 100 fps. I think there’s no meaningful difference in the display. This one review found slightly better color fidelity in the Asus but given it’s the same panel I think that’s probably individual item variance or testing error, not a real thing. They sure look the same to me. The difference is in the extra electronics and details.

For electronics, they both have speakers that can be driven via USB, but the Asus PG348Q has absolute garbage 2W speakers whereas the Acer X34 has merely awful 7W speakers. Also the Acer is 100% better in that it has 4 USB outputs, not just 2. The Asus has slightly nicer buttons and OSD menu UI but you will use those things once at setup and never again.

I like the Acer stand better; it came preassembled and doesn’t have an unusable cable management feature. Also it’s not some ugly asymmetric weirdo thing like the Asus. Both monitors have stupid decorative LED lights shining down that you will immediately turn off. The Acer monitor has the word “PREDATOR” prominently on the front bezel which is sort of sinister, but it’s easy enough to ignore it or put some tape over the branding.

They’re great monitors. The 34″ 21:9 form factor is the first monitor big enough I haven’t felt any need to have a second monitor. The screen quality looks very good to me and I haven’t missed my old iMac screen at all. But I don’t have exacting color fidelity requirements. I will say both the Asus and Acer screens look a bit hot to me, even after fiddling with color calibration. They also both have suspiciously garish default color settings and weird “gaming modes” I don’t understand.