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