Ultrawide gaming monitors are not quite as common as standard 16:9 monitors, and the LG 34UC79G is one of the few 21:9 monitors in the market that combines a high 144Hz refresh rate with a curved IPS panel. On top of that, it even comes with AMD’s FreeSync technology, which makes it that bit more appealing to gamers.
However, you will be paying quite a high price for the 34UC79G’s range of features, and not many consumers will be willing to drop that kind of money without careful consideration. Here’s what we think.
What Is It?
The LG 34UC79G is a 34-inch, 21:9 curved gaming monitor – it has a 3800R curvature – with a 144Hz native refresh rate. On top of that, it also offers AMD FreeSync, but only down to 50Hz.
Interestingly, the 34UC79G has a 2560 x 1080 resolution IPS panel too. While this is definitely not the sharpest display around, the 1080p resolution makes a lot of sense in the context of gaming. For one, you wouldn’t need a top-of-the-line GPU to truly take advantage of the monitor’s high 144Hz refresh rate; there are less pixels to push, after all.
Like any good gaming monitor, the 34UC79G’s display is height-adjustable; it can also be tilted, but not pivoted or swiveled. But hey, this is a curved gaming monitor: we imagine there’s no real need to pivot or swivel it.
Is It Any Good?
Out of the box, the 34UC79G’s display looks really good. Colours are vibrant, colour temperature is neither too cool nor warm, and it’s a pretty darn bright monitor. In daily use, I actually turn down the brightness level to 35%. There are also a range of “Picture Mode” to choose from, including Reader, Cinema, and various Game modes.
Speaking of which, gaming on the 34UC79G is without a doubt an absolute bliss. Although its 3800R curvature isn’t immediately noticeable when gaming, its ultrawide 21:9 aspect ratio and fast 144Hz refresh rate make for a surprisingly immersive gaming experience. Thanks to the high refresh rate, games feel a lot smoother and fluid.
Outside of gaming, the 34UC79G’s 21:9 aspect ratio gives enough space to multitask efficiently. For example, I can open a Word document and have Google Chrome active at the same time side-by-side without feeling cramped at all. Thanks to the fact that the 34UC79G has an IPS panel, viewing angles are very good too. However, I did notice some light bleeding at the top and bottom left sides of the monitor, but this isn’t terribly noticeable in normal usage.
I’m also quite fond of the on-screen display (OSD) of the 34UC79G. Not only is it simple and easy to understand, the joystick control right under the LG logo at the bottom of the monitor makes it very intuitive to navigate around the menu.
The Bad Stuff. Tell Me.
Although the 34UC79G has a 144Hz native refresh rate, there’s a noticeable drop in image quality when I crank up the refresh rate. Out of the box, the monitor is automatically set to run at 59Hz, but switching the refresh rate to 144Hz results in a noticeably darker display.
It’s not just the brightness itself, mind you: colours appear more muted overall. Reds are darker than they should be, the colour temperature is noticeably cooler, and…the display just doesn’t look quite as pleasant.
That being said, tweaking the 34UC79G’s colour profile in the OSD does improve the image quality, but this really shouldn’t be necessary at all. Not only is this not user-friendly, it’s pretty unexpected for a monitor at this price range.
And that’s the other downside with the 34UC79G: it costs RM3,899. While it’s really only one of very few ultrawide gaming monitors with a high 144Hz refresh rate and a curved display, RM3,899 is still a pretty steep price to pay for a monitor.
We did do a quick search on several e-commerce sites to find that the 34UC79G can actually be purchased for as low as RM3,311 now. That’s still quite a high asking price, of course, but the monitor’s feature set does make it a less bitter pill to swallow.
Should I Buy It?
Well, it depends. If you’re looking for an ultrawide, curved gaming monitor with a high 144Hz refresh rate, the LG 34UC79G is almost your only option; almost. The closest competitor to this monitor is actually the BenQ XR3501, which we reviewed back in 2015. Originally retailing at RM3,999, the XR3501 can be bought for only RM2,899 now.
However, there are a few things to note here: although the XR3501 is a slightly larger 35-inch gaming monitor with a more “curvaceous” 2000R curved display, its VA panel isn’t quite as good as the LG 34UC79G’s IPS display. On top of that, LG’s offering also supports AMD FreeSync; the XR3501 has neither FreeSync nor Nvidia G-Sync.
Bar its high asking price, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the LG 34UC79G. Its display quality is definitely above average, it has a fast 144Hz panel, and I love how intuitive its OSD is. Yes, it’s a costly gaming monitor, but not many gaming monitors in the market matches the 34UC79G’s extensive feature set.
And if the 34UC79G has all the features you’ve been looking for in a gaming monitor, it’s really quite a good buy.
Photography by Leon Lam.