Tuesday, 11 November 2014

LG 34" 34UC97 Curved IPS Display Review

The LG 34” Curved IPS Display
It’s finally here. That was my reaction on the arrival of the LG 34UC97 Curved Ultrawide Display. We’ve seen consumer TV’s with curved panels and now it’s time for the PC master race to take full advantage of all these pixels.

The 34UC97 comes boxed up similar to any TV packaging you’ve come across the past few years. It’s shiny on the outside but pretty basic on the inside. Hard foam protection isn’t the greatest for such a delicate product and if I were to purchase this online, I’d definitely have a few nerves kicking in on how it will be handled if not packed properly.  It would have been nice to see LG adopt a similar concept to the packaging style used by Dell in their high end displays for ultimate panel protection.
Inside the box you’ll find the curved panel, leg support, back I/O cover, screws for fitting the leg to the panel, HDMI & DP cable along with the power brick and manual. Yes, this does come with an external power brick. A panel this size requires some serious juice from the wall.
Putting the panel together felt a bit old-school with the pieces fastened together with screws as opposed to the ‘insert and click’ option many other manufacturers are doing these days.
Once it’s all up and running though is where this display sits in its own category of awesomeness.

There isn’t much to say about the quality of the panel apart from ‘it’s awesome’. The colourfully rich IPS panel will have you watching things over and over again in awe of the panel quality. Movies, games, photos and general usage just looks amazing with everything you do. The quality in the display gets a solid 10/10. There aren’t many more displays out there that look this good.
The UI is controlled by the awkwardly positioned analogue stick right below centre of screen. It works yes, but being right in the middle you do need to awkwardly shape your arm to get to it. If they stuck the stick somewhere along the right side of the panel, would’ve been no issues at all.

The ‘Curve’
What gives this monitor the ‘wow’ factor, is the curve. Even if that factor lasts for only 10min. it’s definitely a head turner and will attract the sharp eyes of almost anyone who sees it. It’s an eye opener of a feature, but sadly that’s all there really is to it. In my usage I found no benefits to the curve from daily usage. It didn’t really add a benefit to the way I work but it also doesn’t take anything away. The curve is also slightly interesting for the fact that no matter where you look at it from, either the top part of the screen, or bottom will show some horizontal distortion at certain angles. It can be a bit off putting doing regular things like reading and general web surfing. With games I didn't even notice a curve; it didn't add or take away anything from the experience aside from the amazing amount of pixels to play with.

At 3440x1440, this is hands down the most productive display to work on, watch movies on, and if your GPU allows, the best gaming experience. I’ve been personally using Ultrawide Monitors for about a year now and I can’t imagine life without it. It adds a whole new level of productivity, an entirely new gaming experience and most of all for me, movies look incredible. With the 21:9 ultrawide ratio most movies will fill out the entire screen without any black borders. On the LG 34UC97 you not only get the wideness but the slight hint of curve which makes this in my opinion, The Best Display For Entertainment. There just is nothing that will give you the level of experience you get from the LG 34UC97 on any other display.
I’m not a competitive person, I always prefer panel and picture quality over the speedy TN panels so for me, this was an incredible experience. Games like Civilisation 5, Cities XL and other ‘sim’ type games are made for displays like these. The extra pixels give you so much more to play with it is an incredible feeling. FPS games at ultrawide give you a bigger field of view and with the slight curve you do feel a bit more immersed in the action, though I did realize while playing fast paced action games you sometimes do completely forget and not notice the curve at all.


Overall, this is a new piece of tech that is somewhat appropriately priced. The good news is if you’re willing to pay the $1800, you aren’t going to be disappointed. Even if you get over the curve feature, the quality in this panel is what makes this monitor really stand out. With a whole lot of pixels it will easily be the monitor you will ever work / play on.

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