Hello everyone. I am super-pumped for today’s review because this will be my first proper wide-screen experience for the desktop, as I go ahead and use the 34-inch LG monitor as my daily driver for two weeks, and explore what the curve on this widescreen 21-by-9 IPS monitor can deliver. The exact model of this panel is 34UC87C, priced over $1,000 USD, so you are looking at the premium investment, one that is unique in so many ways, and just hope that we don’t stumble upon too many drawbacks.
First Impressions of the 34-inch curved ultra-wide
First thing is, this is a 34-inch curved ultra-wide form factor with a resolution of 3440 by 1440 at 60 Hertz. It is a bit of an odd resolution and one that takes some time getting used to, but imagine a typical 2560 by 1440p panel with 34% more wide pixels. It is a beautiful [inaudible 00:00:56] IPS panel that LG calibrates at the factory for correct out-of-the-box colors, that’s highly appreciated. Before switching over to the LG panel, this is what I was used to, dual 27-inch setup, both 1440p panels. This way I can comfortably work on multiple applications, plus they are 144 Hertz G-Sync displays for that incredible stillness. When I started using the LG monitor, the 60 hertz hit me hard with a long adjustment period. This is where 75 hertz G-Sync or even FreeSync would have complemented the panel nicely to future-proof this monitor and expand this ability into gaming, which by the way, at this resolution, delivers a fantastic and unique experience.
The physical characteristics of the monitor are satisfactory, with a tiny bezel and edge-to-edge glass design, with a larger chin at the bottom, and plenty smaller bezels all around to make this LG panel stand out with elegant and slim body. For the I/O at the back, we have a power-in, headphone jack, dual HDMI and a single display port, plus a USB 3.0 hub with incredibly difficult-to-reach ports. For the stand, there isn’t any kind of cable management. Cables are just routed behind it, and the basics with plenty of height adjustment and some angle, the LG stand lacks rotation and pivot, which could have been really handy in multi-monitor configuration, and also allow me to strengthen the monitor, as our sample was just a tiny bit off-angle, that once you notice, it’s very hard to avoid. Although I love the low profile and open design for the stand base that allows me to put some important items … ‘important’ in quotations … in the center for perceived organization.
Pros and Cons
One of the weakest points on this monitor is the on-screen display and the uncomfortable joystick to navigate through the OSD. The layout for a $1,000 monitor is just disappointing. It requires digging around to find the needed functions that are all buried behind flawed navigation, but the 3-axis color adjustment along with 6-axis adjustments are available, which luckily will not require your immediate attention, thanks to factory calibration. The panel curve itself will be a love-it or a hate-it type of feature. There’s nothing on screen that’s straight. While I was enjoying the extra real estate for my timeline in Premier, the curvature of all the horizontal lines on screen made the editor inside of me unhappy, as you can see the bowtie effect very evidently. I ended up moving the preview window closer to the center to reduce the bending lines for that footage. It’s weird but I never thought that I would dislike the curved editing, and also viewing angles suffer when looking at the monitor at an angle. For optimal brightness and color uniformity, you better sit directly in front and view head-on.
Also, here the panel uniformity chart, with the top-left corner being significantly darker than the rest of the screen. At the price, that’s just disappointing. However, what this monitor does best is multi-tasking, having 2 applications side-by-side for a comfortable work environment, plus anything that takes advantage of the wide-screen real estate. This is a dream monitor for Excel work, amazing. Visually outstanding for gaming as well, as the screen curvature is subtle, but adds an awesome layer of immersion as the edges wrap around you. For media consumption that is natively 21-by-9, it is an outstanding experience, one that makes me want to find more 21-by-9 content to enjoy in its full-screen aspect of playback. However, the majority of content is still in the 16-by-9, one that leaves black bars on the side. It’s fine to enjoy a YouTube video, but you wish that there was more content produced in this 21-by-9 aspect for the consumer.
If you think that you will love the panel quality and resolution of the LG 34UC87C, then you are 100% correct. This is a multi-tasking single-panel dream, one that does not favor to creators that work with Photoshop or modelling software, because the lines are just not straight. If only LG made this a G-Sync or a FreeSync monitor, then it would have been a little more future-proof for gaming purposes, as you need really powerful GPUs to drive the games at this resolution for smooth frame-rate. In conclusion, the LG 34UC87C will definitely put pressure on the more conventional 16-by-9 monitors. Unfortunately, the LG monitor is not your all-round versatile monitor, because it is expensive, content is just not ready for the 21-by-9 aspect ratio, and also there is more to be desired with the stand. However, if you are ready to experience the curve and all the benefits that carry over with it, then there is no doubt, you’ll definitely love what you see.