Before I get into the nitty gritty of the review I thought I would let you all in on a little secret. I live a double life, that’s right a double life. Like so many in the Gaming & Tech space I have a full-time job and operate the site outside of the day job. By day I’m in the software business, by night (and the wee small hours) I keep ThoseGamers going. Whether I’m in the office doing the day job or I’m at home running the site, a good quality monitor makes the world of difference. The Samsung S34790C Curved Monitor isn’t a good quality monitor, in fact it’s not even a premium monitor. No, this weapon is in a league of its own. For want of a better word I’m going to go ahead and call this behemoth an Ultra-Premium Monitor.
Aesthetically this monitor pulls no punches. With a 21:9 aspect ratio and packing 34 inches of curved goodness, this monitor commands attention. The T- Shaped design featuring a brushed metal finish and matte black screen compliment the subtle curvature perfectly. I had this badboy setup in my living room only a few metres away from my 51 inch Samsung Plasma TV but whenever someone came to visit the first thing they noticed was none other than the monitor. If you are looking for a monitor that commands attention and takes centre stage then this is the one for you.
We all know that looking good is one thing but when it comes to something as important as a monitor, be it for work or play, the picture quality has to be right up there. The S34 features a glorious Ultra QHD display, with a contrast ratio of 3,000:1. What that means is a resolution of 3440 x 1440, 2.5 times that of Full HD. Picture quality is very good, colour pops off the screen in amazing detail with good black representation. There is nothing like looking a a screen and not being able to distinguish pixels. I love that black ink feel to on screen text, I never grow tired of it. From playing a game through to looking at videos and pictures, the detail is amazing with vivid colours that jump off the display.
For those of you out there who are looking to game on this monitor then you are in for a treat. There is a preset gaming option available that manages to make colours even more vibrant. Load up a game like Dragon Age Inquisition or The Witcher 3 and the world come alive. The subtle curve adds a level of depth that a flat screen monitor just can’t reproduce. Without even realising it I was drawn further into games and felt a stronger sense of connection. It’s as close to a 3D effect as you could possibly get without going 3D. The Ultra Wide 21:9 aspect ratio shows manages to show even more of a game without making it feel stretched, it is a joy to behold and will impress you right from the moment you first load a game. The only downside is that the monitor take up considerable resources to power so you’ll need a high end graphics card to get the best out of the monitor. If you’ve got a GTX 980 then you’ll get the best experience. You will lose some FPS but the better the graphics card the less of an impact you will see.
As a work monitor the 34 inches on offer here make a second monitor redundant. There is more than enough screen real estate here to display at least two windows side by side. When at work I use dual monitors but when I trialled this in place of dual monitor I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t miss the second screen at all and had two windows open side by side on the one screen, and in better detail than the dual monitors could offer me. If you open just the one window, especially a web browser then things start to look strange. Most webpages are not optimised for a screen like this so they don’t scale properly, the result is webpages that appear in the center but have massive blank spaces either side. If you open a web browser next to another window then the scale is much more like a standard monitor experience.
When it comes to input there is enough here to cater for most modern devices. Two HDMI ports go with a Display Port and 4 (yes 4!) USB ports. One of the major advantages of so much ports is Samsung’s support for PIP (Picture in Picture) and PBP (Picture by Picture). For the average person what this means is that you can have two different devices connected and displayed on screen at the same time. Picture in Picture means that you can have one device taking up all of the screen with the second monitor displayed in a corner of the screen. Picture by Picture means that two devices share the screen side by side which gives an aspect ratio of 4:3. I gave this a go and was pleasantly surprised by how well it works. On one side I had my Lenovo Y50 connected so I could work from home and my PS4 on the other side so that I could do some gaming while working. The trick to getting the best experience is choosing which input provides the sound. If your business on one side and party on the other then you’ll want the party side providing the sound. The screen handles both PBP effortlessly, type an email or stream some YouTube on one and game on the other and fluidity is maintained with no visible lag in display.
With a price tag of $1,799NZ this monitor is right up there at the high end of the market. The old saying goes that you get what you pay for and that is definitely the case with Samsung’s 34 inch Curved monitor. The Ultra QHD, Ultra Wide display adds depth to games and brings them to life like nothing I have quite experienced before. The subtle curve creates an immersive experience right from the moment you enter a world in-game. At an enterprise level this display makes dual monitors redundant as everything can be done on the one screen. Be it for work or play Samsung have produced an amazing monitor that is worth every last cent. If you want one of the best monitors available today and price is no object then the Samsung S34E790C is an excellent choice. The toughest part now is going back to using a standard monitor after this one has been sent back to Samsung. In fact as I was packing it up to go back to Samsung my 3 year old Daughter kissed the screen and hugged it as a final goodbye, now what better endorsement can you get then that?