In watching the evolution of the curved ultra-wide category, it’s interesting to note that the first products were entirely business-oriented. Looking back at our first review in the category, LG’s 34UC97, we see that monitor was of little use to enthusiasts, as it sports just a 60Hz refresh rate. Since then we’ve seen quite a few panels, in various sizes and radii, boasting G-Sync, FreeSync, refresh over 144Hz, and resolutions ranging from 2560x1080 to 3840x1600 pixels.
So, where does the NEC EX341R fit? It’s firmly planted in the business class. That much is clear just from NEC’s marketing. The company endows it with rugged build quality and a full set of enterprise features that put it right in line with other monitors in the EA-series. Those screens are a luxury, given their premium prices, but will likely be sitting on their desktops for many years to come, and through multiple computer upgrades.
But there is that 75Hz refresh rate and that SVA panel. Resolution-wise, 3440x1440 offers 110ppi and a good level of performance for users with mid-priced graphics boards. It won’t take a ton of processing power to drive framerates up to the maximum. And the extra contrast afforded by Samsung’s SVA technology means image depth and detail will exceed that of the IPS monitors that fill most of this category. We’re not saying the EX341R is a gaming screen by any stretch, but it can provide a decent experience.
Our only concern cropped up during calibration. While the end results were good, it took a little more effort than usual to get there. Grayscale adjustments required some compromise but our experience aided us. Gamma could also use a little improvement, though it can be mostly repaired with proper use of the contrast slider. When compared to its competitors, color stacks up favorably and contrast easily outpaces any IPS panel.
But most EX341Rs will be installed in the workplace. Features like ControlSync, SpectraView II, and NaviSet Administrator will make it indispensable to IT departments managing potentially hundreds, if not thousands of monitors. The ability to daisy-chain 24 screens and control them all from a single location is something no other manufacturer offers in any display. And don’t forget that handy KVM switch: something not seen in many displays.
Buy an NEC for its build quality, supreme functionality, and excellent flexibility. We have yet to see a product from this company that doesn’t impress in some way. And the EX341R is no exception. For business users who want the curve, it’s a great choice.
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