At this point, it is evident that 21:9 curved widescreen monitors are not a gimmick or a display concept that has come and gone in a couple of years. Instead, displays of this type have proven to increase general productivity across a variety of uses and bring forward an pleasant experience for consumers, prosumers, and professionals alike. Here I’ll review one of the newest widescreen monitors, the ASUS MX34V.
Getting Started with the Asus MX34V
Beginning with the specs, the Asus MX34V features a curved 34” 21:9 ratio QHD 3440×1440 resolution panel. It has a maximum brightness of 300 nits, can reach up to a 100hz refresh rate with a 4ms response time, and features a contrast ratio of 3000:1 with a total of 16.7 million colours. The monitor has 3x HDMI 2.0 ports and a DisplayPort 1.2 port along with a 3.5mm audio input. Additionally, you will find a built-in Harman Kardon 8W stereo speaker!
Inside the box, Asus includes everything you need to get started. The 19V power adapter and brick, but also an HDMI and display port cable which is always nice to see. There is nothing worse than receiving your brand new monitor before realizing you lack a spare HDMI to connect the computer to it.
Viewing Experience on the Asus MX34V
The viewing experience of a curved widescreen display is stunning, to say the least, a display of 34” offers an impressive level of real estate, while the curve gives you an immersive experience while keeping the large screen size manageable. A matte finish on the display hides most reflections while the 178-degree field ensures a similar viewing experience from different lighting situations and angles. I found the screen to be sharp and vibrant, and the colours popped even in the Standard setting. The contrast was good with deep blacks and minimal light bleed along the edges of the panel. Asus also has a series of Splendid modes that allow for a customizable experience including Standard, sRGB, Scenery, Theatre, Game, Night View, Reading, and Darkroom along with colour temperature adjustability for the best viewing experience in a given situation. For Windows users, Asus MultiFrame Management software ensures your desktops are always effectively neat and organized by helping you manage the window sizes of each program precisely. The 5-way joystick found beneath the display paired with the well-sorted and intuitive menu system makes navigating and customizing all monitor settings simple.
In my own situation, I enjoy 21:9 widescreen displays simply for the level of real estate there is to work with. The bulk of my utilities include video editing, photo editing, blogging, school papers and in all of these given situations I have found a widescreen to be beneficial. Being able to view a video editing timeline in a wider format is significantly more efficient compared to traditional displays while being able to open multiple windows parallel to each other for a research project solved overlapping computer workspace issues I had with typical 16:9 monitors. I found the Standard Mode to be best in my situation, but I would also recommend that photo and video editors who work with colours should have the display calibrated for maximized colour accuracy.
Can you game on the Asus MX34V?
Since I am not a gamer, I had focused my testing just by productivity. The Asus MX34V however, does have adequate specifications and dedicated display modes that are sure to please a game. A maximum refresh rate of 100hz is respectable and can be achieved when using the included DisplayPort cable, while a 4ms response time is relatively suitable for gaming. Asus’s GamePlus hotkey feature adds in-game enhancements such as crosshair overlay, an onscreen timer, and frames-per-second counter as well.
A Stand with Wireless Charging
The stand found on the Asus MX34V is beautiful but lacks an adequate level of customizability for certain workspaces. It is well built, stable, and appropriately weighted on the desk surface but only features a 5°-15° tilt with no ability to raise and lower the monitor, something that I need. Additionally, there is no VESA mounting system meaning the out-of-box orientation of the display would have to be at the proper ergonomics for your situation.
A built-in Qi wireless charger in the clear portion of the base is a nice touch, and a feature Android users would be particularly pleased with. By placing a Qi wireless charging compatible smartphone in the middle of the platform, your device will start charging immediately and even when the monitor is off.
Harman Kardon Speakers
Speakers are often something overlooked in monitors. After all, you are purchasing a display for the visual features while the audio is a secondary component that is there if you need it. Not on the Asus MX34V, as Asus as teamed up with Harman Kardon to ensure the category is just as important as the visuals in this monitor. You will find a 8 Watt stereo speaker built into the monitor, and I have to say they sound pretty good. Due to size constraints, the bass is lacking as expected, but the volume was enough to use as a primary casual listening speaker and presented a relatively clear sound. The Asus AudioWizard optimization gives you the option to switch between a Music, Movie, Gaming and custom user mode in controlling the listening experience.
Should you get the Asus MX34V?
The Asus MX34V is a great overall monitor for anyone looking to maximize their real estate especially for the purpose of productivity. And the display is sure to appeal to many types of consumers through its multitudes of customizability in the visual and audio settings. While a simple design aesthetic, unique features such as Qi wireless charging on the base and Harman Kardon speakers are not something you will find on many monitors. Aside from the lack of adjustability in the stand, the Asus MX34V is a great widescreen monitor.