LG 34UC79G

★★★★★ £480 • From www.ama­zon.co.uk

Computer Shopper - - RANTS & RAVES - Christo­pher Minasians

VER­DICT

LG’s gently curved 34UC79G is great for gam­ing and comes at an ex­tremely com­pet­i­tive price

UL­TRA-WIDE GAM­ING mon­i­tors usu­ally come with a high price, mak­ing them in­ac­ces­si­ble to those on a tight bud­get. The LG 34UC79G is more ex­pen­sive than a stan­dard of­fice mon­i­tor, but by gam­ing mon­i­tor stan­dards, this 34in, 144Hz 2,560x1,080 screen is pretty rea­son­able, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing its spec­i­fi­ca­tions.

This does mean that some cor­ners have been cut, specif­i­cally with re­gards to man­u­fac­tur­ing. The build qual­ity is low for a £400-plus dis­play; when we ex­tracted it from the box, we im­me­di­ately no­ticed how flimsy and pla­s­ticky the stand was, which is less than ideal con­sid­er­ing how large the mon­i­tor is.

It isn’t that flex­i­ble, ei­ther. The stand al­lows you to tilt the screen by -5 to 20 de­grees and ad­just its height by up to 120mm, but its in­abil­ity to pivot is frus­trat­ing when you want to ad­just it quickly. For­tu­nately, you can re­place the stand, since the mon­i­tor is 100x100mm VESA-com­pat­i­ble, but we’d still ex­pect bet­ter than this.

Around the back of the stand is a clip-on ca­ble holder, which is handy for ca­ble rout­ing, but there’s no head­phone arm for your PC head­set to sit on.

WELL ROUNDED

On a more pos­i­tive note, the 34UC79G has thin bezels at the side and the top of the mon­i­tor, which lends the screen a pleas­ingly min­i­mal­ist look. The mon­i­tor also has a sub­tle cur­va­ture, which pro­vides a slightly more cin­e­matic, im­mer­sive view­ing ex­pe­ri­ence than a reg­u­lar flat mon­i­tor would. How­ever, this isn’t the dra­matic 1500R cur­va­ture you’ll find on the Sam­sung CF791 (Shop­per 356).

To con­nect the mon­i­tor, there’s one Dis­playPort 1.2 and a pair of HDMI 2 ports sit­u­ated on the left-hand side of the rear panel. Two USB3 ports, a head­phone jack and a line out jack can also be found here.

The mon­i­tor’s on­screen dis­play (OSD) is ac­cessed via a set of phys­i­cal but­tons on the bot­tom of the screen. Through the OSD, you can ad­just the bright­ness and con­trast, en­able Su­per Res­o­lu­tion+ (used for up­scal­ing), DFC (Dig­i­tal Fine Con­trast, for dy­namic con­trast), change the re­sponse time, ad­just RGB colour val­ues and gamma and en­able 1ms Mo­tion Blur Re­duc­tion.

The LG 34UC79G also has sup­port for AMD FreeSync (cov­er­ing the 50-144Hz range over Dis­playPort), mean­ing if you have an AMD graph­ics card you can get tear-free gam­ing on games run­ning be­tween 50fps and 144fps. This can also be tog­gled via the OSD.

The 34UC79G em­ploys a 2,560x1,080 IPS panel that runs na­tively at 144Hz. Un­for­tu­nately, the mon­i­tor doesn’t come with an sRGB mode, which means that its colour ac­cu­racy out of the box for im­age and video edit­ing leaves much to be de­sired. In our tests we found that it cov­ers only 85.2% of the sRGB colour gamut in Cus­tom mode, and has a pretty poor delta-E of 4.65.

COLOUR COR­REC­TIONS

It isn’t the bright­est screen at max­i­mum set­tings, reach­ing a mere 251cd/m2, and this is fur­ther re­duced when you switch on the 1ms Mo­tion Blur Re­duc­tion op­tion through the OSD, lim­it­ing the max­i­mum bright­ness to around 130cd/m2. That’s too dark for gam­ing or watch­ing movies in any­thing other than a dark­ened room. On the plus side, its low 0.19cd/m2 black level (mea­sured at full bright­ness) and 1,269:1 con­trast ra­tio are good, and sub­jec­tively we found the mon­i­tor’s abil­ity to dis­play deep blacks and vi­brant colours im­pres­sive. What’s more, de­spite colour ac­cu­racy be­ing far from per­fect, that’s not so im­por­tant for play­ing games – here, im­ages look vi­brant and suf­fi­ciently sat­u­rated. The LG 34UC79G even keeps a lid on back­light bleed, which we’ve seen cause prob­lems on other ul­tra-wide mon­i­tors, such as the AOC AGON AG352QCX (Shop­per 353). Run­ning at 1080p and 144Hz, the LG 34UC79G is a fast mon­i­tor, mean­ing you can en­joy ul­tra­smooth game­play, es­pe­cially if you have a com­pat­i­ble AMD FreeSync graph­ics card. We found the mon­i­tor’s 5ms G2G (grey-to-grey) re­sponse time to be pos­i­tively af­fected by en­abling the Fast Re­sponse Time set­ting through the OSD. There’s min­i­mal in­verse ghost­ing, too, mean­ing no dis­tract­ing pur­ple trails.

Per­ceived in­put lag is low for a mon­i­tor of its size as well. Play­ing fast-paced com­pet­i­tive games won’t be a prob­lem on the 34UC79G, which isn’t some­thing we can say for all curved gam­ing mon­i­tors.

At £480, the LG 34UC79G is the most af­ford­able ul­tra-wide gam­ing mon­i­tor we’ve tested

When you switch on the afore­men­tioned 1ms Mo­tion Blur Re­duc­tion mode, the mon­i­tor’s max­i­mum bright­ness drops sig­nif­i­cantly. On the plus side, this does com­pletely elim­i­nate blur­ring, but it’s not re­ally a sac­ri­fice worth mak­ing.

CHEAP SHOT

At £480, the LG 34UC79G is the most af­ford­able ul­tra-wide gam­ing mon­i­tor we’ve tested yet. It pro­vides un­par­al­leled gam­ing per­for­mance for the money, while its colour pre­sen­ta­tion is vi­brant and pleas­ing to the eye.

Granted, build qual­ity isn’t great, and it doesn’t have the most ac­cu­rate panel nor the high­est bright­ness lev­els. Still, that doesn’t take away from the fact that there’s an aw­ful lot of gam­ing mon­i­tor here for a rel­a­tively rea­son­able amount of money. If you’re a fre­quent gamer look­ing to spend less than £500 on an ul­tra-wide mon­i­tor, there aren’t many that com­pete with the LG 34UC79G.

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