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

Yes, curved monitors are a thing now. We got our hands on LG's 34UC97 sporting a 34-inch width, 21:9 aspect ratio and 3440x1440 native resolution. It's pricey; is worth the premium you'll pay to be the first one on your block with this screen, though?

In 2012, LG introduced the first 21:9-aspect monitor we’d ever seen, the 29EA93P. At the time, we weren’t aware of the demand for such a product. But as it turned out, the extra width showed us a new way of working and interacting with computer desktops. Our chief concerns back then were the screen’s lack of vertical resolution and physical height. After being spoiled by 16:9 displays at 27 inches, it didn’t seem worth shrinking down just to gain more width.

LG answered our concern last summer with its 34UM95. At 34 inches, that screen checks in at the exact same height as a 27-inch 16:9 panel. And the lost pixels have returned (all 1440 of them). This new form factor makes a great alternative to running two QHD monitors. You get an extra 7.75 inches of width and there are no bezel lines to interrupt the image.

Today we’re checking out the newest-generation model, the 34UC97. Always willing to think outside the box, LG keeps all of the 34UM95's good parts while adding curvature. This is a first for us.

Brand & Model
LG 34UC97
Panel Type & Backlight
AH-IPS / W-LED edge array
Screen Size & Aspect Ratio
34in / 21:9 curved
Max Resolution & Refresh Rate
3440x1440 @ 60Hz
Native Color Depth & Gamut
8-bit / sRGB
Response Time (GTG)
5ms
Brightness
300cd/m2
Speakers
2 x 7W
Video Inputs
1 x DisplayPort, 2 x Thunderbolt, 2 x HDMI
Audio
1 x 3.5mm headphone output
USB
v3.0 - 1 x up, 2 x down
Panel Dimensions
WxHxD w/base
32.6 x 18.6 x 8.8in
831 x 473 x 226mm
Panel Thickness
.7in / 18mm
Bezel Width
.47in / 12mm
Weight
19.8lbs
Warranty
Three years

Aside from its curved screen, the 34UC97 is identical to the 34UM95. The panel is AH-IPS with a white edge-array LED backlight. Even though it has some professional aspirations (like a factory calibration, for example), it’s an sRGB display with native 8-bit color depth. We would categorize it as “luxury business-class” given the somewhat lofty price tag.

We’ve commented in the past about the sense of immersion we felt when using 21:9 displays. Remember that this aspect ratio matches the one used by most Hollywood films, 2.35:1. Watching movies on any of these monitors is a completely different experience because you can eliminate those pesky black bars at the top and bottom of the screen.

The screen’s curve, while obvious in a photo, is actually subtle when the monitor is in front of you. And it does mean you won’t turn your head quite as much to see content at the sides of the screen. As multi-monitor users know, that extra width is a real boon to productivity. We were smitten within minutes of unpacking it.

If your needs extend to Apple products, you’ll appreciate the two Thunderbolt inputs LG includes. You’ll also enjoy the same 1440-pixel vertical resolution as the 27-inch QHD panel we’ve become accustomed to. The extra 7.75-inch width translates to 3440 pixels horizontally, a gain of 880. And density remains at 109ppi.

We know this is an expensive piece of equipment, but there isn’t anything else like the 34UC97 out there. Is it worth the extra coin to be unique? Let’s take a look.