A premium monitor for all purposes.
I’ve spent most of my adult life with a mobile workstation that has pretty much solely consisted of a single laptop. I have at times added a wireless mouse, but for the most part, I’ve only worked with a laptop. In the past year or so, I’ve attempted to add to my home office workstation. I’ve branched out to include speakers and a dock for connectivity. I’ve been searching for quite some time for the ideal monitor to complete the set-up and while there have been a few contenders, the ‘right’ one still hasn’t graced my desk’s presence. A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to test out a new gaming monitor by LG – the LG 34GK950F-B 34-inch Curved LED Gaming Monitor.
The LG 34GK950F-B 34-inch Curved LED Gaming Monitor features a 34-inch 21:9 UltraWide QHD Curved IPS display with Radeon FreeSync 2 Technology, which enables smoother motion and less stuttering while playing games. The monitor has a refresh rate of 144Hz with 1ms Motion Blur Reduction and is designed to handle high-performance gaming. This LG monitor is gaming optimized to provide more accurate color and a broader contrast ratio. The Nano IPS controls color better with a film industry standard. With a resolution of 3440 x 1440, the UltraWide display ensures you will be fully immersed in your game or another form of entertainment. The monitor’s pixel area is about 1.8 times larger than a Full HD 21:9 monitor and about 2.4 times larger than a Full HD 16:9 monitor.
- Screen size: 34″ Curved
- Panel Type: IPS
- Color Gamut: DCI-P3 98%
- Color Depth: 1.07B
- Pixel Pitch: 0.2325 x 0.2325mm
- Response Time: 5ms, 1ms MBR
- Aspect Ratio: 21:9
- Resolution: 3440 x 1440
- Brightness: 320cd/m_(Min.), 400cd/m_(Typ.)
- Contrast Ratio: 700:1 (Min), 1000:1 (Typ.)
- Viewing Angle: 178ª (R/L), 178º (U/D)
- Surface Treatment: Anti-glare, 3H
- Input: HDMI (2), DisplayPort, USB Up-stream, USB Down-stream, Headphone Out
Even before I unboxed the monitor, I was impressed with it — it only weighs 16.1 pounds, which was a huge change from the 20.83-pound behemoth that I had been using for several months. The LG was also quite a bit thinner than the previous monitor and despite being 2-inches larger in screen size, the LG actually seems to take up less desk real estate than the older monitor. I believe that is due to the small stand it rests on. The stand keeps the monitor’s footprint at a minimum even though it stretches an impressive 32.3” wide (side-to-side).
Once I removed all the parts from the box, I took a brief look at the assembly instructions (yes, some assembly is required) and set to work. The monitor comes in three parts — the monitor body, stand and stand base. The stand base is designed like a pair of legs. It’s actually a very light piece and at first, I worried that it may not be sturdy enough to hold the massive screen. The stand is a longer extension piece that is made out of a much heavier duty material than the base. The pieces are meant to lock together to keep the monitor secure. First, you snap the stand into the back of the monitor body and then you tighten the thumb screw on the bottom of the base into the stand. Assembly of the monitor can be completed within a few minutes.
After I had the monitor set-up, I connected it via the provided display port to my MacBook Pro. Since I have a 2016 model with only USB-C ports, I had to use a third party docking station in order to make the connection between the laptop and the monitor. The monitor immediately took the connection from the laptop and voila! I had a second screen setup for my computer. I typically use secondary monitors for reference when I’m editing photos or videos and as a working bulletin board of sorts. I love my 13-inch laptop, but at times, having multiple windows open is simply overwhelming. I love being able to toss those windows onto a different location, which leaves them open for easy reference but also separates you from the stress of cluttering your smaller desktop.
The image quality is of the LG monitor is really impressive. Photos, text, and video graphics were very clear and the colors were vibrant. In addition to my personal opinion that the monitor provides an awesome viewing experience, I ran an Eizo Monitor Test. This is an online test that checks 13 different measurements including a test pattern, defective pixels, uniformity, color distances, gradients, sharpness, viewing angle, gamma, and response time. The LG monitor passed each test with flying colors with the exception of the gradient test. The grayscale that was on the screen broke up a bit when the color shifted from darker to lighter colors. I’m not sure if it would have been the case for every type of gradient, but it was definitely noticeable when I ran this test.
Before I concluded testing on this fantastic monitor, I played a first-person shooter game called ‘Game of War’ and I watched some 4K videos that were available through Netflix. Gameplay was really smooth. I didn’t see any graphics tearing or screen stuttering because it couldn’t handle the graphics. It was really enjoyable to play Code of War using the LG Monitor. Videos were gorgeous. One of the ones I typically use is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 because it has a lot of action, movement, visual effects, and bright, vibrant colors. Because the colors are so rich, sometimes they tear quite a bit and there is a lot of pixelation. The LG monitor handled the video perfectly. I immediately wanted to find a pair of speakers to match the quality of the monitor.
While the retail price of the monitor is on the high side at $1200, I believe this monitor is worth it. It’s an amazing piece of equipment that provides premium visuals and an easy set-up. Even though this monitor is optimized for gamers, I really liked using it for other purposes in addition to gaming. It really excelled at showing off high-quality graphics in movies as well as being awesome for detailed work like photo editing. This is a wonderful investment for anyone looking to upgrade their monitor.