Sam­sung S34E790C

Turn your desk­top into a cinema with Sam­sung’s ul­tra-wide curved dis­play

Mac Format - - CONTENTS - | Oc­to­ber 2015

The fu­ture is curved…

£700 Man­u­fac­turer Sam­sung, sam­sung.com/uk Res­o­lu­tion 3440x1440 In­puts 2x HDMI, 1x Dis­playPort, 4x USB 3 Panel VA-IPS screen tech­nol­ogy, curved panel, 300-nit bright­ness, 4ms re­sponse time, 178/178-de­gree view­ing an­gles Stand 100mm height ad­just­ment, tilt from -2 to 20 de­grees Speak­ers 2x 7W

Ul­tra-wide desk­top dis­plays with a 21:9 as­pect ra­tio like the 34-inch Sam­sung S34E790C are a rel­a­tively new idea. They’re bril­liant for me­dia and en­ter­tain­ment, since many movies are in 2.35:1 as­pect ra­tio, so even on a widescreen TV, you get black bars at the top and bot­tom. On a 21:9 screen like this one they look per­fect, and with the sub­tly curved edges the ef­fect is like hav­ing a minia­ture IMAX cinema on your desk­top.

It also helps that this dis­play’s pic­ture qual­ity is ex­cel­lent. While its 300-nit bright­ness isn’t quite as high as other dis­plays, we mea­sured a 730:1 con­trast ra­tio and a low black point of 0.43, with the deep blacks you’d ex­pect from VA-IPS tech­nol­ogy.

It’s also great for gaming. Although con­soles can’t out­put a 21:9 im­age with­out stretch­ing their out­put, it works well with any Mac (or PC) game that prop­erly sup­ports the dis­play’s na­tive res­o­lu­tion of 3440x1440 pix­els.

Re­fresh­ingly ver­sa­tile

For 60Hz use, you’ll need a rel­a­tively up-to-date Mac with Dis­playPort 1.2 to use the S34E790C at its na­tive 3440x1440-pixel res­o­lu­tion, oth­er­wise it will only run at 30Hz. Pointer move­ment at 30Hz is frus­trat­ingly choppy and un­us­able, so it’s worth check­ing whether your Mac sup­ports the newer Dis­playPort stan­dard, oth­er­wise you’ll have to lower the screen res­o­lu­tion in or­der to ben­e­fit from a 60Hz re­fresh rate.

An ul­tra-wide mon­i­tor ob­vi­ously gives you a large workspace, which is great for us­ing two ap­pli­ca­tions side-by-side, such as a web browser and a spread­sheet, and it’s wide enough for most pages to dis­play with­out any hor­i­zon­tal scrolling. This could be­come even more use­ful with the new split-screen func­tion in OS X 10.11, when it’s re­leased.

With a pic­ture-by-pic­ture (PBP) mode, you can switch half of the screen to dis­play one of the other in­puts, so you could play on a games con­sole on one side while the other half of the screen is an ex­tended Desk­top. Typ­i­cal 16:9 dis­plays look a bit odd in PBP mode, but the S34E790C is wide enough to give you two near-per­fect 4:3 im­ages on each side. There’s a re­siz­able pic­turein-pic­ture mode (PIP) too, so a sec­ondary in­put can be dis­played in a small box in the cor­ner.

There are some ad­di­tional touches too, such as a small joy­stick to con­trol the on-screen dis­play, which is a bet­ter con­trol method than the but­tons usu­ally found on mon­i­tors.

A word of cau­tion, though - the S34E790C is mas­sive, and will ut­terly dom­i­nate your desk. Even the stand oc­cu­pies a large area. Make sure you have enough room for it. Orestis Bas­tou­nis A huge dis­play that works bril­liantly, both for watch­ing films and in gen­eral use with your Mac.

Joy­stick-con­trolled menus

3440x1440-pixel res­o­lu­tion

VA-IPS panel with deep blacks

178-de­gree view­ing an­gles

The ul­tra-wide workspace could be even more use­ful with the new split-screen func­tion that’s com­ing in OS X 10.11

The curved screen is re­ferred to as 3000R, mean­ing the an­gle would form a three-me­tre cir­cle.

The ul­tra-wide dis­play is sup­ported by a large stand. So, while it’s an ex­cel­lent dis­play, care­fully con­sider your avail­able desk space be­fore buy­ing.

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