LG 34UC97-S; An In-Depth Review

Curved TV has started a new trend in display industry right now, combining great aesthetics with great performance and unique curved screen. Started by Samsung Smart HU9000 UHD TV, clearly, curved display has captured the attention of many, as the unique curve glass promises the best viewing experience possible. This gave LG the inspiration for their first curved desktop monitor, the LG 34UC97-S, which is also the first of its kind to hit the PC market. This computer monitor is a thing of beauty, but what really makes it tick and worth the money? Check this in-depth review from Dual Monitors Guide.

(image from Amazon)

Who is it for?

If you’re looking to upgrade your 1080p to a more powerful display with curved screen, or if you want to have one single huge display that can accommodate multiple tasks like a dual monitor or triple monitor setup, then you should definitely check out LG 34UC97-Sthe first curved display for your desktop computer. It has 1440 resolution, which is the sweet spot between 1080 and 4K, with a reasonable price tag justified by high image quality and optimum all-around performance.

 

Benefits

The LG 34UC97-S is a huge 34-inch curved desktop monitor that uses In-Plane Switching (IPS) display for a 21:9 Quad High-Definition (3,440-by-1,440) resolution. It features a sleek style with a slightly curved, bezel-free screen. It has tons of features, loads of connectivity options and a very powerful set of speakers, making it a great option for anyone looking to make a workstation-entertainment system combo of their computer setup.

 

Curved and Ultra-Screen for Your Needs

(image from Amazon)

Web pages, document and spreadsheets look great in LG 34UC97-S’s 34-inch large curved screen.  But everyday users will rarely notice the difference while playing games or watching movies. First-time users however, will surely appreciate the curve, as it will surely bring the action closer, especially when playing action-packed FPS games such as Call of Duty: Black Ops, and when watching Blu-ray movies such as Iron Man 3. LG promises to bring movie-theater experience with the LG 34UC97-S, and the display really lived up to its promise with its great IPS panel.

(image from Amazon)

The curved screen is even made better by the 21:9 aspect ratio, displaying Ultra-Wide 3440x1440 resolution with 2.4 times more visual info than the standard Full HD.

 

Wide Viewing Angle to Let You See Everything Clearly

(image from Amazon)

The brand’s exclusive IPS (In-Plane Switching) panel technology lets you everything on its widescreen clearly, in an expansive viewing range, with very minimal distortion of images. This means you can enjoy your display wherever you sit in your room.

 

Richer Colors and Deeper Blacks

(image from Amazon)

The out-of-the-box color accuracy of LG 34UC97-S is quite decent. Though it can be improved through some tweaking, it’s able to deliver rich colors. Chromaticity test shows colors red and blue are close to their ideal CIE coordinates, while green is slightly off. This is not a big issue though, as it’s a common thing among monitors today. It also doesn’t cause oversaturation or tinting of the colors or affect images in some sort. Graphic designers, photographers, or any professionals looking for excellent color accuracy should really take advantage of this monitor’s Six Color adjustment to better fine-tune the color’s settings and quality, especially the green levels.

In terms of grayscale performance, the massive monitor has no trouble showing dark blacks. Blacks are nice and dark. Though there are some slight loss of shadow details from test images. However, it does have some issues in showing the darkest shades of gray. DisplayMate 64-Step Gray-Scale test shows that the two darkest gray shades appear black.

Good Pixel Response for All-Around Use, Even for Gaming

LG 34UC97-S runs with 5-millisecond (gray-to-gray) pixel response. It may be short compared to market’s best, but it is still good enough to handle speeding objects and images without noticeable issues. There are no noticeable ghosting or smearing, even at fast-moving scenes in Call of Duty: Black  Ops on Xbox 360, rather, it played smoothly, without lag or motion artifacts.

 

Split Screen App for Convenient Multi-Tasking

Also included in its wide range of features is the Split Screen app (software CD included in the package), which lets you split the massive screen into four (4) custom-size windows, a perfectly convenient feature for anyone working on multiple apps and windows at the same time. This is a very helpful feature, as the massive display makes it difficult for most users to have dual monitor and obviously, multiple monitor setups with this display.

 

Energy Consumption

The LG 34UC97-S runs at 56 watts of power at Cinema mode, which is also the best setting for entertainment, and fitting enough for its massive size, as it can function as TV or home theater display. Obviously, it consumes a lot of energy compared to other monitors. However, it is a bit more energy efficient when compared to its predecessor, LG 34UM95, which runs at 64 watts at its best display mode. The energy-saving mode has little-to-no effect in reducing power consumption and image display quality.

 

With VESA Standard Mounting Holes for Ergonomic Options

(image from Amazon)

The cabinet also features VESA standard mounting holes, located at the back. This means users who wish to look for more ergonomic and fully-adjustable aftermarket products such as monitor stands, LCD arms, desk mounts and wall mounts, or better yet, height-adjustable work standing desks, for a more ergonomic set-up.

 

Dual Monitor and Multiple Monitor Mounting Options

With a colossal screen size and being the world’s first curved monitor, it is expected for LG to equip their 34UC97 with a dependable stand. Indeed, the V-shaped stand offers solid stable support to hold and secure the humongous monitor in place. However, the stand is not designed for optimum adjustments, as it is only limited to tilt adjustments. Fortunately, the backside of the panel comes with VESA mounting standard holes.

It can be quite hard to find a decent monitor stand that can hold two 38-inch monitors side-to-side for dual monitor setup, but there are lots of options out there if you’re simply looking for improved ergonomics.

(image from Amazon)

This MultiSync monitor is a great display that can double as work and entertainment monitor. Should you wish for a more adjustable and comfortable mount, you can opt for Ergotron Interactive Arm, HD.  The arm gives you the flexibility to position your display anywhere you want; it can swing, swivel, or turn it into any direction you want to get the best viewing position and make your monitor look like it’s floating in mid-air. It supports displays of up to 55-inch size and weighing up to 40 lbs.  It's a perfect solution for mounting monitors as big as LG 34UC97-S.


Design and Features

(image from Amazon)

The curved silver cabinet of LG 34UC97-S is even made more beautiful by the shiny chrome trim and bezel-free design, and it’s certainly one of the most attractive displays out there. The IPS screen is coated with a non-reflective anti-glare screen, and housed inside an 18.2 lbs. cabinet, which is massive 33.7 inches wide. Thus, make sure your desk has enough room to accommodate such big screen.

 

Attractive V-Shaped Stand for Stable Support

(image from Amazon)

The massive cabinet is supported by a V-shaped chrome stand that holds the curved monitor stable and secured in place. It allows limited adjustability, as the screen can tilt forward and back, but doesn’t allow swivel, height adjust and pivot functions.

 

I/O Ports

(image from Amazon)

Connectivity is one of LG 34UC97-S’s strongest assets, as it comes with a plethora of inputs/outputs. The back side of the cabinet houses the two (2) HDMI inputs, full-size DisplayPort input, two downstream USB 3.0 ports, and an upstream USB 3.0 port, and two (2) Thunderbolt 2.0 ports.

(image from Amazon)

With the Thunderbolt2 ports, this curved monitor can work nicely with Mac or PC and Pegasus2 storage directly, transmitting data four times faster than USB 3.0.

(image from Amazon)

Like its un-curved sibling, LG 24UM85, the LG 34UC97-S also comes with a very powerful 7-watt speakers, which are exceptionally crisp and loud. It doesn’t come with a powerful bass response, but it sounds full nonetheless.

Buttons and Functions

The LG 34UC97-S has a small 4-way joystick users can use to navigate the display’s OSD (on-screen display) menu, and picture adjustment settings, including all the basics such as Brightness, Contrast, Aspect Ratio, and Picture Mode (Custom, Photo, Cinema, and Game).

Users can also fine-tune their display’s picture quality by changing through the color levels using the monitor’s six (6) color menu options, namely Hue, Saturation, and Red, Green, Blue, Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow color settings. There are also three (3) Gamma levels settings to choose from and four (4) Color Temperature levels.

There’s also the Picture-by-Picture (PBP) settings that lets users view their content from two different input sources side-by-side, and Response Time which offers three (3) different speed levels for the response rate (low, middle and high) with Off setting.

 

Tech Specs

Package includes the resource CD, the software CD which contains the Split Screen software for both Windows and Mac platforms, HDMI cable and DisplayPort cable.

 

Bottom Line

1080p is becoming obsolete, as more and more display manufacturers release their 1440p and higher resolution monitors, and it’s becoming a norm these days, especially at large screen monitors. There is no doubt that 4K or Quad High-Definition will be the display of the future. However, to enjoy these displays at its fullest capacity, computer users must have enough graphics power to cater the smooth frames. Also, there’s not a lot of 4K content out there. With this, the sweet spot seems to be somewhere between 1440p and 4K. And everybody loves widescreen. Most TV displays nowadays are at 16:9 ratio, but computers seems to have a more options. And this is what the LG 34UC97-S is about – widescreen curved monitor with 21:9 aspect ratio running at 3,440-by-1,440 resolution.

The display is quite impressive, especially when you sit in front of it. The native resolution provides great viewing experience you don’t normally see even from monitors of its size. Thanks to its unique curved screen design, which genuinely gives an immersive experience at such relatively short distance of viewing.

Also, the IPS screen has excellent viewing angles and good color reproduction. The maximum brightness is also quite impressive, more than enough for even for daily computer use.

The satin anti-glare coating provides good defense against glares and reflections, especially in well-lit environment, while at the same time, doesn’t compromise the per-pixel clarity that glossy displays can always brag about. The pixel response and input lag are decent, but can be low for twitchy FPS games.

It has wide array of connect options, making it a great display for variety of use, whether for home entertainment, games, work, etc.

The hefty price tag LG 34UC97-S one of its biggest challenges, but it’s quite understandable considering the hardware and quality this display has. For its price, it’s actually a solid choice, especially for people looking to replace their dual monitor or multiple monitor setup with one massive screen. Also This monitor comes with a one-year parts, labor and backlighting warranty, which many may find stingy, considering its hefty price tag (most displays in this price range has three-year warranty).

For more in-depth reviews like this, check out Dual Monitors Guide today!



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