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LG 34UC79G 34-inch Ultra-Wide FreeSync Monitor Review

Conclusion

Most curved ultra-wide monitors still occupy the premium end of display pricing, but the 34UC79G and AOC’s C3583FQ have made a dent in the armor. Some might still consider a $700 screen to be a luxury purchase, but we’ll take progress in any form, no matter how small.

The great thing about this new LG is that no corners have been cut. We don’t consider its 2560x1080 resolution to be a negative. While we wouldn’t complain if the same performance were available at 3440x1440, the fact is you’d be hard pressed to replicate the gaming experience we had on a screen with that higher pixel count.

To us, gaming performance has to start with proper motion processing. Though contrast ranks a close second, the action has to be smooth and latency needs to be low. You just can’t get truly involved in an on-screen environment if framerates are sluggish, objects leave ghost trails, or tears occur. The latter has been eliminated thanks to G-Sync and FreeSync, but overdrive and refresh are still things that set monitors apart from one another.

At $700 list, the 34UC79G represents the pinnacle of the price/performance spectrum for now. It offers the highest contrast of any IPS screen, flat or curved, we’ve tested. It comes from the factory needing no calibration, though it includes a full set of adjustments that can be used to squeeze out one extra drop of performance. That’s more in the realm of ego than tangible result, but it’s there nonetheless.

We’ve said before that there’s nothing quite like the feel of gaming on an ultra-wide curved monitor. Whether the radius is small or large, the curve helps the room fall away and greatly expands the suspension of disbelief. That the 34UC79G adds such high performance in all areas just makes it even more attractive.

For those who appreciate nicely styled hardware, this LG is sure to please. Its balanced use of red trim and black surfaces, along with gentle curves and rounded corners is an ideal aesthetic if you find some other brands to be a little over-the-top. The design intent is clear, but it won’t hit you over the head.

In addition to the factory calibration, we appreciate the blur reduction feature that is currently without peer. We’ve never seen a backlight strobe have such a small effect on contrast. And output is still firmly in the usable range. It’s the first time we’ve considered it a viable option if you don’t choose to use FreeSync.

Lastly, buyers should not be concerned with the 34UC79G’s 50Hz lower limit. We had no trouble staying above that number with our modestly-equipped gaming PC. Our experience showed us once again that extra resolution does not universally mean higher image quality. For its superior contrast, accuracy and gaming prowess, we’re giving it the Tom’s Hardware Editor’s Choice Award.


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Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.