The Samsung 34″ WQHD Curved Gaming Monitor prides itself on being more curved than the ordinary curved monitor. I didn’t know that there was a curviness competition, but evidently there is, and Samsung aims to win it. The Samsung 34” curved monitor wants to replace your dual monitor setup, and to be the gaming monitor of your dreams. But does it accomplish either of those goals? Time for me to test it out!
Unboxing the Samsung 34″ WQHD Curved Gaming Monitor
When I spied the size of the monitor’s box at the deliver depot, my back tensed up in uneasy anticipation. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the box and monitor within were much lighter than expected. It was easy to extract it from the packing material and manoeuver it into place.
The second surprise I encountered was the wealth of cables included in the package. Most monitors will begrudgingly give you a single HDMI cable. Samsung includes an HDMI cable, a display port cable, and a USB connector. Why a USB cable, you may ask? The monitor can function as a USB hub by connecting it to one of your PC’s USB ports. In fact, the USB ports on the monitor do nothing at all until you connect your PC to the monitor.
Samsung 34″ WQHD Curved Gaming Monitor Technical Specifications
Samsung 34″ WQHD Curved Gaming Monitor
Setting Up the Samsung monitor
Time for me to be unflinchingly critical. I hate the input method for this monitor. Loathe it with all my being. It is a single, 4 directional button that instantly left me lost and befuddled in a navigational hell. In trying to be streamlined and elegant, Samsung has reduced the functionality of the physical controls to near zero. Though it is true that there is a definite limit to how good a monitor bezel button can be, this one is on the very lowest part of the usefulness chart. After several frustrating minutes of wrong turns, I adapted to the control scheme adequately enough to do some basic configuration changes. The settings themselves were easy to understand and change as soon as I was able to reach them.
But let’s leave that one unfortunate aspect behind us and continue looking at the good things this monitor has to offer. There is a recessed area at the back of the monitor that contains all the display ports and the power port. After your cables are connected, there is a plastic cover that easily snaps into place to hide the bulk of the cables from sight. You channell all the cables through a small space at the bottom of the cover, making everything tidier and more visually appealing.
Samsung 34″ WQHD Curved Gaming Monitor Features
More Curved than ever before
As I mentioned before, the curvature of the monitor is a point of Samsung pride. It is 1500 R, which is not exactly a commonly understood metric of measurement. The number refers to the radius that the curved surface would have if it was extended into a circle. So if this monitor was a complete circle that you sat in the middle of, the distance from the center to the screen would be 1500 mm. The human eye is 1000 R, as a comparison. The theory is that the closer the curve can get to your eye’s natural curve, the les distorted and more true the image will appear.
Two sources, one monitor
The Samsung 34″ WQHD Curved Gaming Monitor can take two different video sources and display them simultaneously. You have two options on how the sources are put on screen. Picture by picture (PBP) puts them side by side at roughly equal sizes, while picture in picture (PIP) makes one source the dominant one with the second relegated to 25% of the available screen. If you’re already running a multiple output setup with a pair of monitors, this will allow you to get rid of one monitor and reclaim some desk space. Both configurations worked seamlessly for me, clearly displaying both images with no appreciable detrimental effect on picture quality.
I know this isn’t a cutting edge technological feature, but I was very happy with the quality and power of the built-in speakers. True audiophiles will want to keep with their complicated external sound gear, but for the regular gamers out there like me, the built-in speakers will do everything you need. My only word of caution is that the volume is controlled by the same single button that controls everything else, and that irritated me. I want my volume control separate, thank you very much. As I was setting the monitor up, I had accidentally set the volume on maximum. This led to a panicked fumble through the settings to turn the blaring noise off. On the plus side, the speakers were able to pump out an impressive level of terrifying sound.
Quantum Dot Technology
Oh, did I think this was going to be something much cooler than it turned out to be. Not that it’s a bad feature. Quantum dot refers to the colour display range, with no connection to quantum mechanics. The Samsung 34″ WQHD Curved Gaming Monitor can display a larger range of colours, and the colours are sharper and more distinct than conventional monitors. I am not a colour connoisseur, but I did notice that the colours on the monitor were bright and sharp.
Overall Impression of the Samsung Monitor
The Samsung 34″ WQHD Curved Gaming Monitor is a gorgeous piece of technology. It does everything that Samsung claims it can do, and it does them well. I thoroughly enjoyed gaming on the monitor, or watching a movie. I had a little bit of adjusting to do when trying to read and edit text displayed on the curved surface, but overall it was minor and quickly overcome. It can easily serve as your primary display in place of whatever television and monitor combination you’re currently depending on. The physical controls left me cold, but the reality is that you’ll spend very little time using them. Overall, my time with the Samsung 34″ WQHD Curved Gaming Monitor was immensely pleasurable, and I’m going to miss the big guy when it’s time to send him back home.
images from Samsung.com