LG 34UM95 34-Inch Ultra-Wide QHD Monitor Review

LG 34UM95: Solid Performance And Real Usability

When we last looked at ultra-wide displays, we concluded that, while they were solid choices for gaming and entertainment, their lack of resolution and screen height made them less useful for productivity. Now that LG is following up with a 1440p 34-inch wide screen, we are forced to reassess our judgement.

Many users like two or three monitors on their desks for the extra working/gaming space (Ed.: I use three QHD displays myself). Even a relatively mainstream PC allows for easy multi-tasking and lots of concurrently-running applications. So, we need displays able to accommodate that functionality. Plus, it’s nice to be able to connect a smartphone or tablet and see its output alongside the PC desktop without giving up significant screen area.

An informal poll of the Tom's Hardware editorial staff suggests that 27-inch QHD panels are just about right for a single- or dual-monitor setup. The height and viewing distance mean we can sit fairly close and still see the entire screen without turning our heads. With two displays, I personally like to put one directly in front for the main desktop and one off to the side for ancillary tools.

Sometimes it’s handy to be able to stretch a single program like Photoshop or Excel across a large area. Splitting the image across two monitors is certainly doable. However, on a display like the 34UM95, it becomes a way of working that’s hard to give up. Here’s a perfect real-world example. When I create comparison charts for Tom’s Hardware reviews, I have the charts and data on a single Excel page. Normally I’m scrolling left and right quite often. But when I perform the same task on LG's screen, I'm able to see the entire spreadsheet without scrolling. In Photoshop, it becomes possible for me to work with a lot more open files because no windows are hidden from view.

As far as this specific model is concerned, the 34UM95 performed extremely well through our benchmark tests. Its color and grayscale accuracy were among the best for sure. We would like to see better native contrast in a $1000 monitor, and we found some black screen uniformity issues plaguing our particular sample.

Accessory- and feature-wise, LG provides a complete package that includes an excellent screen window management utility. Screen Split is fantastic for quickly arranging content in as many as four zones, and it’s easily reconfigured or turned off with a few mouse clicks.

We expect many entertainment-seekers will enjoy the 34UM95's ultra-wide form factor. I'd stop short of calling it a gaming monitor, given that 60 Hz refresh rate. But input lag does measure a bit lower than other IPS-based panels we’ve tested. The immersion factor versus a single 27-inch QHD panel cannot be overstated. It offers nearly eight inches of extra width, and when you sit closer than three feet like I do, the screen almost fills your peripheral vision. With a good surround speaker system, movie-watching in the office can take on a whole new dimension!

So, if you’ve considered adding a second monitor to your desktop, we recommend giving the 34UM95 a look. Offering solid performance, a sleek-looking chassis, and superior usability to its 29-inch forebears, it may finally be a reason to add an ultra-wide display to your system.

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  • InfinityPixels
    I want this so bad.
    6
  • rantoc
    4k gaming is amazing but demand alot from the computer hardware. Just got a dell 3214 and its hard to describe how much better the picture/emersion is with the way higher definition in the picture quality and still came from descent 2560x1600 before that.

    Playing on "full" hd (LD? Low definition) feels like a joke once you get to know uhd/4k
    -7
  • wtfxxxgp
    Rantoc, what does your comment have to do with the article? Seems to me that you were waiting for an opportunity to brag about your new monitor... Glad you got that out of your system. lol

    With regards to this monitor...I LOVE the looks...very elegant. I think the price tag is fitting as well - it has great resolution and there are still plenty of people who are gaming on 60hz displays that may have just enough GPU power to actually game at this thing's native resolution, albeit with slightly lower settings. GG LG!
    3
  • ubercake
    Great to see larger-sized higher-than-HD res monitors.
    8
  • Nossy
    For a grand, you can get two Asus PB278Q.
    1
  • cknobman
    $1000?

    Next
    -2
  • xPandaPanda
    I have this monitor. Because of it's cinema format, market age, lower production numbers, and early adoption as competitors haven't offered this yet, it is reasonable to think this monitor would cost this much--a lot.

    It would have been nice to include what revision this is, because LG is aware of uniformity issues, which is why the product was largely on backorder and a Rev.2 is in place (but Rev. 2 didn't fix the problem either). My first one had a glaring Uniformity problem, but LG is cool and offered an advanced exchange. The new one has some uniformity problem, but it is very 'livable' and discrete.

    Overall, I am pleased with this product. I have a single 780 to push this and it works nicely. If I got a 4k monitor, I'd have performance issues as the GPU as a whole sector is behind.
    1
  • eklipz330
    as a pc gamer who has been playing for ~15 years, i have to say that this is one of the biggest changes that i've seen on the pc platform. this is a big step towards bringing pc back to relevancy. it's something that will be held to acclaim in productive and gaming environments. in fact, the only thing that i'm surprised that they didn't do is make it curved, simply because when a user sets up a multi-monitor setup, they set the outside monitors at an angle. this makes curved monitor solutions make sense more so than tvs, especially since curved monitors benefit solo users the most. im shocked they didnt make it curved. probably going to cash in next year on that.

    seriously though, pc monitors have been lacking for some years now, falling behind in innovation and technology in general(phones have been jacking up their screen quality year after year, we've been stuck since like 2005). i bet 21:9 screens will have the biggest penetration on PCs.
    6
  • josejones
    Why still the old HDMI 1.4 instead of HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2 instead of the new 1.4 ???
    -1
  • Jamie Blumenfeld
    Wish this was 1600 pixels tall. Don't get the fascination with XX:9 at all.
    0
  • mikeangs2004
    don't post spam
    -2
  • Phillip Wager
    i want this bad its a good compromise of between high framerate and high pixel count. honestly for gaming i would just run 2560x1440 but i would run the full resolution for the desktop
    0
  • SessouXFX
    This monitor...it's been at the top of my list for nearly a month now. I know most gamers would prefer to see something with a better aspect ratio, and certainly better response and refresh time. But if you use your monitor for more than gaming, say watching movies, streaming on twitch, and using multiple applications at a time, I'm not sure how you can ignore it as a possibility.
    1
  • photonboy
    21:9 ->
    This is simply a horrible aspect ratio for most people.

    The problem is that if you can see the entire monitor without moving your head then 16:9 is the proper ratio to maximize viewing area such as 3840x2160.

    Ultrawide really only makes sense if it's WIDER than what you can see without moving your head. For that, I'd rather have more than one monitor.

    Ultrawide for gaming makes little sense. Screens need to be curved, or have multiple angled monitors with minimal gap but a single super-wide screen just doesn't work.

    *If you really think about it, it's hard to justify the 21:9 ratio.
    0
  • SessouXFX
    Anonymous said:
    21:9 ->
    This is simply a horrible aspect ratio for most people.

    The problem is that if you can see the entire monitor without moving your head then 16:9 is the proper ratio to maximize viewing area such as 3840x2160.

    Ultrawide really only makes sense if it's WIDER than what you can see without moving your head. For that, I'd rather have more than one monitor.

    Ultrawide for gaming makes little sense. Screens need to be curved, or have multiple angled monitors with minimal gap but a single super-wide screen just doesn't work.

    *If you really think about it, it's hard to justify the 21:9 ratio.

    Don't knock it, if you haven't tried it. Seen the demos of this screen with 21:9, it's quite impressive looking, compared to the other ratios out there. At the very least, it's more compelling than given credit for.
    2
  • Home-World
    What to see the same density as 4k, the ultra wide is the way forward for me buy one instantly
    0
  • moogleslam
    This size/format needs G-Sync and a faster refresh rate, then it would be perfect for my gaming needs.
    0
  • somebodyspecial
    Next time, ask for an ULTRA TALL monitor. So we don't have to scroll too much. You know, just get back to 2560x1600. 1440p sucks and going further with width doesn't help my browsing etc. There's a premium on 1600P right now just because of all this 1440p crap taking over. How many people are using spreadsheets all day? Some width is ok but I'd rather have tall and more monitors to get more width (2 or 3 screens) vs. splitting crap on one HUGE wide screen. Give me 2 or 3 1600p 27/30inchers and I'd be happy to drop different apps on each or run games.

    Impressive LOOKING and impressive FUNCTIONALITY are two different things ;) I'm not saying wide isn't good for SOME applications, but not for the majority of us. Not sure where monitor makers are getting their data, but I don't think they're asking the right people what we users want :)
    0
  • ubercake
    ...

    Anonymous said:
    This size/format needs G-Sync and a faster refresh rate, then it would be perfect for my gaming needs.


    That's what I'm thinking. It seems like the wider the screen resolution the more perceivable tearing is. G-sync would help this situation. Acer is supposed to be releasing a 4K G-sync monitor in the next 6 months or so:
    http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/articles/nvidia-g-sync-monitors-unveiled-shipping-soon-worldwide
    0
  • dehcbad25
    I had the 29UM95, and I am writing from that monitor. Christian...WHAT USERS WERE COMPLAINING ABOUT THE SIZE? I can buy 2 29UM95 for the price of 1 34UM95.
    Granted the 34" will have its uses and applications, but from the UWHD I don't think it will be the most sold. the 27" might be too small, but 29" is perfect for 2650x1080. BTW, I do game in this monitor too, and I work on it TOO
    0