LG 34UM95 34-Inch Ultra-Wide QHD Monitor Review

When we looked at 29-inch ultra-wide displays last year, we asked for greater size and more pixels. LG answers that request with its 34UM95, a 34-inch panel with a resolution of 3440x1440. Today we run it through our performance and usability analysis.

Last year LG introduced the first ultra-wide monitor we’d ever seen, the 29EA93. With a 21:9 aspect ratio, the screen tried answering a question we weren’t sure anyone was asking. But after reviewing two competing displays based on the same panel, NEC’s EA294WMi and AOC’s Q2963PM, we came away with some fresh ways to work with this new concept in monitors.

My own experience, along with feedback from the Tom's Hardware community, told me that there were two main problems with the 2560x1080, 29-inch form factor. Number one was a lack of pixel density. With only 1080 pixels of vertical resolution, it proved difficult to use for Web browsing and word processing. The second issue was overall screen size. Even if it had greater pixel density, a 29-inch ultra-wide is only 11.4 inches in height, resulting in too-little screen real estate for most tasks other than gaming or movie-watching.

Today we get our first look at LG’s second-generation ultra-wide display, the 34UM95, which purports to address at least one of those two shortcomings.

Brand
LG
Model
34UM95
MSRP
~£800
Panel Type
AH-IPS
Backlight
W-LED, edge array
Screen Size
34-inch
Max Resolution
3440x1440
Max Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Aspect Ratio
21:9
Native Color Depth
10-bit (8-bit w/FRC)
Native Gamut
sRGB
Response Time (GTG)
14 ms
Brightness
320 cd/m2
Speakers
-
VGA
-
DVI
-
DisplayPort v1.2
1
HDMI v1.4
2
Thunderbolt
2
Audio In
-
Headphone
1
USB
v3.0 - 1 up, 3 down
Media Card Reader
-
Panel Dimensions
W x H x D w/base
32.7 x 18.5 x 6.8 in
824 x 466 x 171 mm
Panel Thickness
1.9 in / 48 mm
Bezel Width
.4-.8 in / 11-20 mm
Weight
17 lbs / 7.7 kg
Warranty
One year

First (and most obviously), LG takes a major step in the right direction with increased size and resolution. Now you get the same screen height as a 27-inch QHD display and the very same 109 PPI density. It wields all of the same advantages, plus a bonus 7.75 inches of screen width. If you were considering a dual-screen setup before, a display like this one warrants a serious look.

Whether you have a high-performance gaming rig begging for a multi-monitor configuration or you just want some extra screen real estate for productivity-oriented workloads, the biggest bummer about using two or three monitors is the bezel interruption between panels. Even displays with no bezel still have a frame around the picture. Current LCD technology seems to have no solution, so we’ve accepted the compromise for now.

Really, then, the decision between two 27-inch QHD screens versus one 34-inch ultra-wide comes down to total screen area and how badly you want to get rid of the bezel. Two 27-inch 16:9 displays yield 623 square inches, while the 34-inch ultra-wide totals 419. Now that the 34UM95 offers the same pixel density, it becomes a more fair comparison.

Aside from the ultra-wide aspect ratio, this is a fairly typical IPS-based monitor. The color gamut is sRGB with a White-LED backlight. To facilitate better utilization of the extra width, an application is included to help manage window sizing in up to four zones on the screen. The HDMI inputs are MHL-compatible, so you can easily window the output from a phone or tablet along with your computer desktop.

Along with our usual performance benchmarks, we’ll test the usability of the 34UM95. It promises to be a unique experience. Let’s take a closer look.