HP Omen 34c 165 Hz Gaming Monitor Review: Smooth Performance and Refined Style

A 34-inch curved ultra-wide monitor with 165 Hz, Adaptive-Sync, HDR and wide gamut color.

HP Omen 34c
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

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Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level

Most edge backlight VA monitors aren’t super bright, but the Omen 34c manages to top 450 nits in SDR mode. It’s rated for DisplayHDR 400, so that tracks. The black level is mid-pack in the group with contrast just over 3,100:1, which is respectable performance. The top two screens have multi-zone Mini LED backlights, but for this test, all dimming was turned off to put the panels on a level playing field.

After Calibration to 200 nits

Calibration cost the Omen 34c a few points in the contrast test, but at 2,800.4:1, it’s still well ahead of any IPS screen. The Mini LED Philips and ViewSonic screens fare well here, with 4,000:1 achieved without the dimming engaged. But they also cost a good deal more. Among the affordable screens, the differences are barely visible.

The Omen 34c holds its own in the ANSI test with just under 3,000:1. It indicates good screen uniformity and build quality that this score is so close to the static result. This is excellent performance.

Test Takeaway: VA as a category offers excellent native contrast that’s around triple that of IPS. The Omen 34c is a prime example of consistent performance before and after calibration. The intra-image ANSI result is also an example of its consistency. The image has plenty of depth and impact with good blacks, solid detail and bright highlights. It is also visibly brighter than the average VA ultra-wide monitor.

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Christian Eberle
Contributing Editor

Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors. Christian began his obsession with tech when he built his first PC in 1991, a 286 running DOS 3.0 at a blazing 12MHz. In 2006, he undertook training from the Imaging Science Foundation in video calibration and testing and thus started a passion for precise imaging that persists to this day. He is also a professional musician with a degree from the New England Conservatory as a classical bassoonist which he used to good effect as a performer with the West Point Army Band from 1987 to 2013. He enjoys watching movies and listening to high-end audio in his custom-built home theater and can be seen riding trails near his home on a race-ready ICE VTX recumbent trike. Christian enjoys the endless summer in Florida where he lives with his wife and Chihuahua and plays with orchestras around the state.