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LG 34-inch Curved Ultra-Wide LED Monitor (34UC97) Review

By: Anthony Garreffa | Monitors in Displays & Projectors | Posted: Dec 30, 2014 7:52 pm
TweakTown Rating: 88%Manufacturer: LG

Desktop Use - Wow. So Much Room For Activities!


Desktop use on the 34-inch monitor was nothing short of amazing. I actually quite liked the 21:9 aspect ratio, even more so than using a 16:9 4K display. Sure, 4K provides 3840x2160, but I find myself using multiple Chrome windows and countless tabs inside of them, so the additional horizontal use is great.




If you've ever used a monitor with the resolution of 2560x1440, or 1440p, you'll find yourself at home with the pixel density here on the LG 34UC97. This is pretty much just an ultra-wide 1440p monitor, with additional pixels left to right. I actually quite like 1440p monitors depending on the size (up to 27 or 28 inches) but anything bigger is too big.


This is where the 34-inch ultra-wide does things so well, it can provide a much wider resolution and not feel like it's either making everything too small, or too big. It strikes an amazing balance, something that I felt easy to look at for hours on end. I sat in front of the LG 34UC97 for just over a week, thoroughly enjoying every moment of it. One of the worst parts of this review is that it has to end, and I have to send the monitor back to LG. Boo.



Gaming On an Ultra-Wide 21:9 Display


I had some real mixed feelings on the LG 34UC97, where when games did work on it, they were mostly skewed by the stretched field of view and 21:9 aspect ratio. This is purely a productivity monitor, but I thought I would try games on it anyway. Games of course work, but not all games work with the out-of-this-world 21:9 aspect ratio.


This monitor isn't the type of screen you purchase for gaming, but if you do please be prepared for some pain. Most games don't work or scale very well at all on a 21:9 aspect ratio, unless you run them at 2560x1440 or 1920x1080 and enjoy the black bars to the side. The LG 34UC97 has a refresh rate of 60Hz, which is expected from an IPS panel. It's fine for most gaming, but for twitch shooters and the usual FPS games, 60Hz isn't exactly ideal. When these monitors get bumped up to 120Hz, there is going to be something seen from space. That will be me exploding with joy.




Here we have Battlefield 4 running at 3440x1440, looking completely mind blowing on the LG 34UC97.






Tomb Raider looked just as good, in fact, it looked bloody beautiful on the monitor.



I tried Battlefield 4, which actually scaled incredibly well. The sense of scale using the LG 34UC97 was absolutely incredible, and it felt almost like cheating. I've got a video of that above.


We also ran through a bunch of our normal gaming benchmarks, so you can have a better look at what the monitor looks like when displaying 21:9 aspect ratio content. For the most part, it all looks incredible.


Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor



Tomb Raider



GRID Autosport



Metro: Last Light



Unigine Heaven



BioShock Infinite


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