Samsung C49HG90 Review: No More Dual-Monitor Gaming

In the distant past, gamers used the same business-class monitors used for spreadsheets and word processing. Once fast refresh rates became available, manufacturers raced to be the first with innovative new features like adaptive refresh and curved ultra-wide panels. Now that we’ve reached a saturation point with sharply focused gaming displays, what else can a company do to create a unique product? Samsung attempts to answer that question with its C49HG90 monitor.

Gamers often install 2 or 3 monitors to increase their field of view. Seeing more of the game’s environment offers a distinct advantage. There’s nothing so immersive as when one’s entire peripheral viewpoint is covered; it takes gaming from play to simulation. But no one likes seeing that ugly line between screens. Even the latest thin-bezel monitors create a line when butted up next to each other. The smallest that pesky line can be is around half an inch.

Samsung has eliminated the line with a 32:9 aspect panel that’s 13.3 inches high. It effectively creates the same viewing area as two 27-inch monitors placed side-by-side. The action is brought into focus courtesy of an 1,800R curvature. Speed is addressed with a 144Hz refresh rate and FreeSync 2. Contrast? There’s plenty, thanks to a VA (vertical alignment) panel that offers DCI color and HDR.

Specifications

Panel Type & Backlight

SVA (super vertical alignment) / Quantum Dot LED

Edge array w/zone dimming

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio

49 inches / 32:9

Curve Radius – 1,800mm

Max Resolution & Refresh

3,840 x 1,080 @ 144Hz

FreeSync 2: 36-144Hz

Density: 88ppi

Native Color Depth & Gamut

10-bit (8-bit+FRC) / DCI-P3

Response Time (GTG)

1ms

Brightness

SDR - 350cd/m2

HDR - 600cd/m2

Contrast

3000:1

Speakers

Video Inputs

2x DisplayPort 1.2

2x HDMI 2.0

Audio

1x 3.5mm input

1x 3.5mm output

USB

V3.0 – 1x up, 2x down

Power Consumption

51.7W, brightness @ 200nits

Panel Dimensions

47.4 x 15.9-20.7 x 15 inches

WxHxD w/base

1,204 x 404-526 x 381mm

Panel Thickness

7.7 inches / 196mm

Bezel Width

Top/sides - .4 inch / 9mm

Bottom – .7 inch / 17mm

Weight

26.2lbs / 11.9kg

Warranty

3 years

The C49HG90 boasts impressive specs, but there is 1 area that may give some users pause – resolution. Viewable height is 1,080 pixels, the same as a Full HD (FHD) panel (1,920 x 1,080). And its extreme width means density is a relatively low 88 pixels per inch. This is right on the edge for many who may be used to Quad HD (2,560 x 1,440) or Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160) panels. How will this pan out in actual use? We’ll explore that later.

But first, we should explain the QLED label. In this case, Q refers to quantum dot, which is the method Samsung uses to increase the backlight’s available color gamut. Unlike more expensive RGB and GBr LEDs, a quantum dot backlight uses a glass tube coated with semiconductor nanocrystals that covers blue LEDs. The crystals are electro-emissive and create red and green light when excited. It’s a cheap way to provide extended color, and in this case, you get almost 90% of the DCI-P3 gamut.

The C49HG90 also includes the latest in gaming and video technologies. A 144Hz refresh rate keeps things smooth and blur-free. FreeSync 2 operates over a 36 to 144Hz range, so there's no chance you’ll see a frame tear. And the VA panel offers HDR10 support, along with that DCI-P3 color. 

Physical Layout & Accessories

The base is the widest and deepest example we’ve ever seen but is slim and neat at the same time. It bolts to the upright, which is then attached to the panel with four captive screws. You’ll need a Phillips-head screwdriver to get the job done. Be sure to install the plastic trim ring first, otherwise the lighting effect is very bright, and the attachment hardware will be left exposed. Samsung includes a small cover for the input panel, along with 1 cable each for HDMI and USB and 2 for DisplayPort. The monitor also comes with a cable for IEC power, which you'll need for its right-angled plugs; a standard power cord won’t fit into the deeply set jack panel. You also get a metal adapter with 100mm VESA mount holes if you wish to use an aftermarket system.

Product 360

To call the C49HG90 a desktop monitor is a stretch. It is all of 4 feet wide and requires a lot of space. You’ll also need at least 15 inches of depth to accommodate the curve and the large stand, which is extremely solid and stable. The upright offers a 4.8-inch height adjustment, along with 15° swivel to either side, 15° back tilt and 5° forward. Movements are firm and feel high-quality. Build is excellent as well, as befits a monitor in this price range.

The anti-glare layer is aggressive, necessary in such a large screen, and blocks all but the very brightest reflections. It does not create grain or other visible artifacts. The bezel is narrow, just 9mm around the top and sides and 17mm across the bottom. Just right of center, you’ll find an on-screen display (OSD) joystick to control everything, including power. Three additional keys allow access to 3 settings memory slots.

You'll also notice some tight curvature. 1,800R is the smallest radius currently available in any screen size. The wraparound effect is quite something in practice. It’s a little strange when working in business-oriented apps, and resolution may hamper productivity there. But gaming is a unique experience when your entire peripheral vision is filled with the on-screen environment.

Inputs include 2 HDMI 2.0, 2 DisplayPort 1.2 (1 mini) and USB 3.0 (1 upstream, 2 downstream). Audio is supported by 3.5mm jacks, 1 in and 1 out. Once you’ve made your connections, you can hide cables with the included snap-on cover.

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  • WildCard999
    It's beautiful!
  • lhughey
    1080p? Hard pass on this. It needs at least 1440 and 1600 would be better. I know that diminishes the market for this, but people willing to pay $1000 for a monitor are going to be have a strong video card. Nvidia is about to drop a new generation of cards also, so the entry to 3840*1600 is about to move down to GT2070 series.
  • Fait
    When someone comes out with one that is 4k HDR10+ G-sync and 144 or 240Hz, then I will get excited. The specs here just aren't that impressive.
  • milkod2001
    Dear Samsung. Drop the facking curve, make it 32'' 4k, 100Hz, factory calibrated and we all be happy. Kind regards Most customers.
  • SkyBill40
    I saw one of these in the wild recently. It was, in a word, impressive. That said, the 1080p resolution is likely a no go for many despite the high refresh rate and excellent quality VA panel. The curve doesn't appeal to everyone but having a smooth rather than flat view in terms of peripheral vision is pretty much a requirement for something of this size. If I had the desk space for it, I would definitely be in the market... much to my wife's dismay.
  • Alpha Gametauri
    Ehh, i think i will stick with my Alienware 3418DW's at 3440x1440 res, 120hz, and GSync. Plus, i'm dual screening either way.
  • 10tacle
    Yeah I immediately lost interest when I read it was 1080 on the vertical resolution. I can't stand that pinched look and lacking in vertical resolution with a super wide screen even at 21:9 aspect ratio, let alone this one at 32:9. To me it's like looking at a monitor with eyes half closed. I remember losing my 16:10 ratio 25.5" Samsung 1920x1200 monitor and upgrading to a 16:9 27"1440p monitor. It took a while to get used to the loss of vertical height even though it was a resolution upgrade.

    But it's nice to see a true 10-bit panel of this size in a sub-$1,000 (USD) price range, so kudos for Samsung on that. Just give me more vertical resolution on these extreme ulrawides and I'm sold.

    Anonymous said:
    If I had the desk space for it, I would definitely be in the market... much to my wife's dismay.


    That's what kills me about women. We men have to fight for a little master bedroom closet space for our few clothes and shoes while they pack it wall to wall with their ever growing clothes and shoe collection from weekend shopping trips. Then we are lambasted for wanting our tech toys which are only purchased once every several years.
  • acme64
    @milkod that's literally a different monitor entirely.
  • SkyBill40
    Anonymous said:

    Anonymous said:
    If I had the desk space for it, I would definitely be in the market... much to my wife's dismay.


    That's what kills me about women. We men have to fight for a little master bedroom closet space for our few clothes and shoes while they pack it wall to wall with their ever growing clothes and shoe collection from weekend shopping trips. Then we are lambasted for wanting our tech toys which are only purchased once every several years.


    To be honest, she's really not that bad. She doesn't like that gaming is a hobby of mine and feels it to be a wasteful time sink, but she is fine with me doing my thing when I feel like doing it. Beyond that, I just have some exceedingly expensive hobbies: firearms, computing, high end A/V, and cars. :/

    While I could probably make it work (or any other for that matter), I hold off due to her sacrificing for the greater good and spending money on our house and such rather than expensive individual things with limited purpose. It's fine... though I won't lie that I *am* in the market for a new display as my 1920*1200 60Hz Samsung is long in the tooth and holding back my beastly 1080.
  • bolkar
    Such a waster opportunity. 1080p vertical? really? This beast have half the pixels of my 27 inch 4K monitor, even though this is 49inch. Double the pixels on both directions then we have something to talk about...
  • salgado18
    Everyone complaining about resolution, but make it 1440p vertical, and even if you don't lose that 144Hz refresh, it could cost up to 50% more. Samsung should release another one with higher resolution, but keep this one like it is.
  • gaborbarla
    They need to also start concentrating on a bit more vertical space on monitors. This could be the ultimate monitor if they just made it taller. Immersion also needs vertical space and any proper work also needs it.
  • WildCard999
    The games that do support 32:9 must look amazing on this thing, although the price is a bit much for what your getting, maybe $700 would be a bit more reasonable.
  • therealduckofdeath
    At that physical size they really should have gone with 1440p or made it smaller, like two 24" displays. As a casual gamer, I like the idea though. And the super wide desktop has many uses for others, too. I rarely only have one program running when I'm on my PC and if you only need the 1920x1080 space you can always switch to that resolution to get a single centred display size, which is another thing you really can't do with a dual display setup.
  • Mopar63
    Do not judge based on resolution until you have sat down and used the monitor. For gaming the lower pixel density is a none issue due to the distance you need to sit from this monitor for comfortable viewing. Is an amazing gaming experience with games that support the aspect ratio properly.
  • giovanni86
    Anonymous said:
    When someone comes out with one that is 4k HDR10+ G-sync and 144 or 240Hz, then I will get excited. The specs here just aren't that impressive.


    Exactly how i feel. Here'es to hoping someone out there is working to get those monitors to us ASAP!
    Though i'd like to add i would like mine to be curved as well. Its a niche market i know, but hey i'd like that as well.
  • Kevin_138
    $1K, 2018 and still 1080p?
  • Giroro
    This would be pretty nice if it had a manageable aspect-ratio, more vertical space, no curve, and QHD resolution. And, considering the price, OLED instead of a backlit LCD.

    Also, Windows needs a pretty significant update to window management because the user experience on ultra-wide monitors is horrid right now when it comes to productivity and even web browsing.
  • Alpha Gametauri
    Anonymous said:
    Anonymous said:
    When someone comes out with one that is 4k HDR10+ G-sync and 144 or 240Hz, then I will get excited. The specs here just aren't that impressive.


    Exactly how i feel. Here'es to hoping someone out there is working to get those monitors to us ASAP!
    Though i'd like to add i would like mine to be curved as well. Its a niche market i know, but hey i'd like that as well.


    But problem is it might be a Black Hole when it comes to money, a 240Hz 4k HDR10+ Gsync might be WELL into the thousands, wouldn't be surprised if it was.
  • branden.moe
    Why are people giving suggestions for products that already exist "Dear Samsung make *this product that I can easily find with a 2 second google search*, if you want a 4k monitor that's smaller, just get that" I get the complaints about the resolution though.