PC

LG 34UC98: Curvy premium display ideal for work and play

The wider screen of the LG 34UC98 UltraWide monitor offers ample space for multiple documents or windows to be placed side by side.
The wider screen of the LG 34UC98 UltraWide monitor offers ample space for multiple documents or windows to be placed side by side.PHOTO: LG

Gaming on the LG 34UC98 monitor, with its greater field of vision, is fantastic

The LG 34UC98 UltraWide monitor has the most pronounced curve among all the curved monitors in the market.

As a result, it seems to wrap around my field of view, creating a sense of immersion unrivalled by most curved displays.

The LG has a curvature rated at 1900R, which means that it is as curved as a circle with a radius of 1900mm (1.9m). The recently tested Acer Predator Z35, rated at 2000R, is the closest to matching the curve on the LG display.

Despite its 34-inch screen, the LG monitor is relatively light at around 7kg. Its white, plastic body rests on a curved silver base.

The monitor cannot be rotated to portrait mode, but you can adjust its height and tilt it forward by 20 degrees.

The ports are located in the middle of its rear panel and are more accessible than monitors that place them at the bottom edge. A rare sight: two Thunderbolt 2 ports that provide higher transfer speeds than the monitor's USB 3.0 ports.

As an ultra-wide monitor, the 34UC98 offers a 21:9 aspect ratio ideal for productivity tasks. The wider screen offers ample space for multiple documents or windows to be placed side by side.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $1,599

    RESOLUTION: 3,440 x 1,440 pixels

    ASPECT RATIO: 21:9

    BRIGHTNESS: 300 cd/m2

    RESPONSE TIME: 5ms

    PANEL TYPE: In-plane switching

    CONNECTIVITY: DisplayPort, 2 xHDMI, 2 x Thunderbolt 2 ports 2 x USB 3.0 downstream, 1 x USB 3.0 upstream, headphone jack

  • RATING

  • FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

But these monitors are not as good for watching videos. Because most videos are formatted for 16:9 screens, they will have black bars at the sides on a 21:9 monitor.

The gaming experience, however, is fantastic. It feels more immersive because of the monitor's tight curve. Plus, most games support ultra-wide screen resolutions, so there are no black bars.

You get a greater field of vision that is useful in certain game genres. For instance, in a first-person shooter, I can better spot enemies coming at me from the sides.

LG has also implemented AMD's FreeSync feature, which helps to reduce screen stutter and lag in games by synchronising the game's frame rates (fps) with the monitor's refresh rate. The feature requires a compatible AMD graphics card.

Unfortunately, the feature only works on the LG monitor if your game runs at between 55 and 75 fps, which is more limited than other AMD FreeSync displays.

The 34UC98 looks sharp because it has a high 3,440 x 1,440-pixel screen resolution. It has an in- plane switching display that looks vivid and shows little colour shift when viewed from the sides.

Using a colourimeter, I found the colour accuracy of the 34UC98 to be very high. It supports up to 99 per cent of the sRGB colour space.

The on-screen controls for the monitor's settings are accessed via a joystick at the bottom edge.

Press it to reveal the circular on-screen menu, which lets you easily switch the input source or delve into the monitor settings by moving the joystick. It is more user-friendly than the buttons on other monitors.

• Verdict: An excellent, but pricey, curved monitor that impresses with its ease of use and good image quality. The $1,499 Acer XR341CK monitor is a more affordable option, albeit with a less pronounced curve.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2016, with the headline 'Curvy premium display ideal for work and play'. Print Edition | Subscribe