Acer Nitro XR343CK P is the best ultrawide gaming monitor available for under $500.
The Acer Nitro XR343CK Pbmiipphuzx (or Acer XR343CKP for short) is a 34″ 3440×1440 144Hz (180Hz OC) curved ultrawide gaming monitor based on an IPS panel with a fast response time and wide color gamut.
It uses the same panel as the popular LG 34GP83A / 34GN850 yet it goes for up to $200 less while also offering additional features, such as a USB-C port with 85W PD, integrated KVM functionality and more!
The Acer XR343CKP is based on LG’s Nano IPS panel with a wide 98% DCI-P3 gamut coverage, providing you with vibrant colors.
This is equivalent to around 135% sRGB color gamut volume and will cause colors to be over-saturated when viewing regular sRGB/SDR content.
However, most users will prefer the extra color vibrancy. For those who prefer more accurate colors, there’s an sRGB emulation mode that will restrict the gamut down to ~100% sRGB.
Additionally, you will find dedicated Rec.709, EBU, DCI, SMPTE-C and HDR color space options in the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu as well.
Next, the Acer XR343CK P has a screen resolution of 3440×1440, which on its 34″ viewable screen provides you with a high pixel density of 109.68 PPI (pixels per inch). As a result, you get plenty of screen real estate with sharp details and text, and no scaling necessary.
The 21:9 aspect ratio further improves the viewing experience by extending your field of view in compatible games, while the extra horizontal screen space is especially useful for audio/video editing and productivity work. The Acer XR343CKP is basically a 27″ 1440p monitor with ~33% extra width!
Movies shot at the ~21:9 aspect ratio are displayed without the black bars at the top/bottom of the screen as they’d be on regular 16:9 screens for extra immersion.
Note that 16:9 content will, naturally, have black bars at the sides of the screen. This goes for games that don’t support ultrawide resolutions too, though most of them work just fine, either natively or via mods.
There are a few titles, including Valorant, StarCraft, Diablo and Overwatch that don’t support 21:9 as they consider it an unfair competitive advantage.
Moving on, the Acer Nitro XR343CKP has a high peak brightness of 400-nits, meaning that it can get more than bright enough to mitigate glare even in well-lit rooms. To get the full brightness, make sure that the “Max Brightness” option is enabled in the OSD menu.
It also supports HDR (High Dynamic Range), but without a full-array local dimming (FALD) solution or an OLED panel, you are not getting a proper HDR viewing experience.
The Acer XR343CKP does get a boost in peak brightness up to 550-nits and puts its wide 98% DCI-P3 color gamut to good use when viewing HDR content, but besides this and a bit smoother gradients provided by dithered 10-bit color depth, you’re not getting an improvement in contrast ratio, which is limited to 1,000:1.
A native contrast ratio of 1,000:1 is expected from an IPS panel and means that you won’t get as deep blacks as that of VA or OLED panels (or monitors with FALD) – however, these displays also have their own drawbacks and the Acer XR343CKP still offers exceptional image quality, performance and features for the price.
The IPS panel of the monitor has 178° wide viewing angles, meaning that the image will remain consistent regardless of the angle you’re looking at it. Moreover, unlike OLED gaming monitors, you get a standard RGB subpixel layout for sharp text and no risk of permanent image burn-in. This makes the Acer XR343CKP monitor ideal for both professional color-critical work and gaming!
One more drawback of IPS panels is the IPS glow, which can be characterized as visible glowing around the corners of the screen at certain angles. However, it’s mainly noticeable when viewing dark content in a dark room with a high brightness setting (which should be avoided anyway), so it’s completely manageable.
The Acer Nitro XR343CK P has a rapid 1ms GtG pixel response time speed, resulting in no noticeable ghosting behind fast-moving objects.
There are three response time overdrive modes Off, Normal and Extreme. We recommend sticking with the Normal mode since Off results in slower response time and Extreme is too aggressive as it adds inverse ghosting (pixel overshoot).
Input lag performance is excellent as well at ~4ms, which makes for imperceptible delay between your actions and the result on the screen.
Further, the monitor supports variable refresh rate (VRR) with AMD FreeSync Premium certification. VRR synchronizes the monitor’s refresh rate with the GPU’s frame rate in order to prevent screen tearing and stuttering at no input lag cost for buttery-smooth gameplay.
The FreeSync range is 48-180Hz, but even if your frame rate drops below 48FPS, the screen uses LFC (Low Framerate Compensation) to refresh the same frame a few times to avoid tearing (47FPS -> 141Hz, etc.).
To access 180Hz, you’ll need to first enable the Overclock option in the OSD menu, and then select the refresh rate in your GPU/display settings.
Even though the monitor is not certified by NVIDIA as G-SYNC Compatible, VRR works with compatible GeForce graphics cards (GTX 10-series or newer) over DisplayPort without any issues.
When VRR is enabled, overdrive is locked to the Normal mode, but this isn’t an issue as Normal overdrive works well across the entire refresh rate range.
As an alternative to VRR, you can use VRB (Visual Response Boost). This technology cannot be enabled at the same time as VRR – it uses backlight strobing to reduce perceived motion blur at the cost of picture brightness. However, since this introduces screen flickering (invisible to the human eye), users sensitive to flicker may experience headaches after prolonged use.
At the rear of the monitor, there’s a directional joystick, three hotkeys and a power button, which makes navigation through the OSD menu quick and easy.
Besides the standard image adjustment tools (brightness, contrast, color temperature, etc.), the Acer XR343CKP also offers a few advanced settings, including five gamma presets, 6-axis hue/saturation, sharpness, aspect ratio control (full, aspect and 1:1) and auto input source detection support.
Useful gaming features include Black Boost (improves visibility in dark scenes), crosshair overlays and a refresh rate tracker.
There’s also an integrated light sensor that can automatically change the screen’s brightness according to ambient lighting.
Picture in Picture and Picture by Picture modes are available as well, allowing you to display two sources simultaneously.
Finally, there’s an integrated KVM functionality.
There’s no dedicated switch on the monitor, but you can connect your keyboard and mouse to the screen, and connect the monitor to two sources (via USB-B and USB-C). Then, just swap between C-Type and B-type options in the OSD menu to choose which source you want to control.
Design & Connectivity
The stand of the monitor is sturdy and offers a good range of ergonomics, including up to 130mm height adjustment, +/- 30° swivel, -5°/35° tilt and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.
The screen has a moderate 1900R curvature for added immersion as well as a light matte anti-glare coating that prevents reflections without making the image too grainy.
Display inputs include two DisplayPort 1.4 sockets, two HDMI 2.0 ports (limited to 100Hz at 3440×1440) and USB-C (with DP Alternate Mode and 85W Power Delivery).
You’ll also find a quad-USB 3.0 hub (1 upstream + 4 downstream, 2 of which are at the side of the screen), a headphone jack and dual 7W DTS integrated speakers with decent audio quality.
Price & Similar Monitors
The Acer XR343CKP can be found for $450 – $480, which is excellent value for the price.
The LG 34GN850 / 34GP83A goes for over $600 yet it doesn’t have as many features as the XR343CKP.
Overall, the Acer XR343CKP is the best ultrawide gaming monitor you can get for under $500. If you want something a bit better, check out the Dell Alienware AW3821DW with a 38″ 3840×1600 144Hz IPS panel for ~$720 or the Dell Alienware AW3423DWF with a 34″ 3440×1440 165Hz OLED panel for $800.
There’s also the 38″ version of this monitor, the Acer Nitro XR383CURP, with the same panel as the AW3821DW plus an integrated KVM switch and USB-C port, but it’s too expensive at $1,300.
For more options and information, check out our dedicated best 21:9 ultrawide monitors buyer’s guide.
Overall, the Acer Nitro XR343CKP is an excellent gaming monitor with a vibrant image quality, smooth performance and plenty of useful features for the price.
|144Hz (180Hz OC)
|Motion Blur Reduction
|VRB (Visual Response Boost)
|2x DisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0,
USB-C (DP Alt Mode, 85W PD)
|Headphone Jack, 4x USB 3.0
|1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
|VESA DisplayHDR 400
- Wide color gamut
- Quick response time
- Plenty of features, including VRR and MBR up to 180Hz
- Ergonomic design and rich connectivity options, including KVM and USB-C with 85W PD
- IPS glow and mediocre contrast ratio (as expected from this panel technology)