LG 34UC97 34-Inch Ultra-Wide Curved Monitor Review

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Packaging, Physical Layout And Accessories

A sleek chassis like this doesn’t have much room for an internal power supply so LG supplies a brick with its own detachable cord. You also get HDMI and DisplayPort cables. Even though there is a two-port USB 3.0 hub, the cable isn't provided. Rounding out the accessory package is an input panel cover, and a CD containing desktop management software and the user manual.

The stand is a slim-but-sturdy piece of chromed metal that comes in two parts. Four screws are included for assembly, along with a foam pad to protect the screen when you lay it face-down on your desk. It’s quite solid in operation, though you only get a 20-degree tilt adjustment. Height and swivel are fixed.

Product 360

Fortunately, the 34UC97’s height is just about right for the average desktop. Since the panel is IPS, viewing angle isn’t as critical to nail down. You’ll see a bright, contrasty image without a lot of tweaking. The anti-glare layer is a standard 3H-hardness plastic with an average level of reflection. Powered off, the monitor appears to bezel-less. But when it's on, there is a frame around the image measuring less than half of an inch. Putting three of these together would make for a great flight simulator!

Obviously, the big star here is the curved screen. It’s more subtle than it looks in LG's photos. You won’t see any kind of distortion when using the display. Moreover, the curve does make it a little easier to utilize all of that extra width, since you don’t have to turn your head as far to see the sides. It’s a cool idea that works.

The styling drips high-end, not only with the chromed base and upright, but a flush bezel and completely clean front. OSD navigation is accomplished with a tiny joystick under the LG logo. We imagine this monitor will be right at home on an expensive glass and chrome desk, though it looks pretty good on our more industrial-looking test bench too.

The back of the 34UC97 curves more than the front, hence the apparent bulge in this photo. The stand appears skinny, but it’s actually rock-solid. There’s no wobble at all, and the tilt function is both smooth and firm. The only thing we miss are USB ports. There are two on the input panel; they're just hard to reach.

The curved seam you see is the input panel cover. The jacks face downwards. Apparently, though, LG wanted to clean that part of the display up even more. While you can't see any ventilation in the above image, there is some along the bottom. We never felt excessive heat from the 34UC97. The seven-watt speakers also fire downwards. With their extra power they sound better than most. And you’ll also find plenty of audio options in the OSD that make them sound even better.

The input panel is fairly hard to see, so we weren't able to plug in cables by feel as we usually do. When you make connections, it’s easiest to simply lay the panel down on the provided foam pad. Starting from the left, we have a power supply connector, headphone jack, two HDMI ports, one DisplayPort input, two Thunderbolt ports and the USB 3.0 up/downstream connectors.

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.

  • Grognak
    I sure wish I could afford a screen like that, or the rig to go with it. Still, it's interesting how 21:9 just feels more natural when human FOV is about 4:3. It makes for great gameplay experiences, especially in first person games.
  • spp85
    Is this a FreeSync display?? Love to see the review here :)
  • loki1944
    Too bad it's not $1300 cool. Even the ROG Swift is cheaper than this.
  • Sanjirox
    Maybe it's 120 degrees per eye in which case 4:3 is a perfect match if you can only use one eye.
  • arossetti
    Waiting to see the new gaming model -u67. I'm sure the price on that one U.S. gonna suck too! But it is like buying two monitors.
  • Merry_Blind
    @Grognak Interesting! I've always wondered what was the actual aspect ratio of our vision. That 4:3 you talk about, is it per eye individually? or the two combined together?
  • Fokissed
    Human FOV, according to wikipedia:
    "The approximate field of view of an individual human eye is 95° away from the nose, 75° downward, 60° toward the nose, and 60° upward."
    "With eyeball rotation of about 90° (head rotation excluded, peripheral vision included), horizontal field of view is as high as 270°."
    This means 155°:135°(31:27, very squarish) for nonmoving eyes, and 270°:135°(2:1) for moving eyes.
  • RedJaron
    I think it's unforgivable that they didn't pack the USB cable. A USB3 A-to-B cable is not something most people have just have sitting on a shelf. You could argue that someone spending $1300 on a monitor has the money to pick one up, but I say for $1300 LG could have included a $5 cable in the box. Just ridiculous.
  • teahsr
    We know this is an expensive piece of equipment, but there isn’t anything else like the 34UC97 out there.

    ^^Except my Dell U3415W that is.....which is awesome..

    Now that 3440x1440 is around and more manufacturers are making this resolution, can we get it included in reviews?
  • moogleslam
    Needs 120Hz+ and G-Sync/FreeSync.