On prior 21:9 monitors I always felt they had a niche where they worked well, but they weren't a product for everyone. Perhaps it is just using too many 27' monitors at this point, but only having 1080 vertical pixels with such a wide screen feels very limiting. With menu bars and everything else that occupies program windows, you are left with very little vertical space and a plethora of horizontal space. For gaming and movies it works very well, but for a regular monitor it leaves me wanting.

With 1440 vertical pixels, the LG 34UM95 frees me of that problem. Using the 34UM95 as my only monitor for two weeks I never feel cramped or that I am lacking the space for work. On the contrary, it does a very good job of providing space for two programs side-by-side and allows me to actually be productive in both of them. While editing this article I almost have the space to run three programs at once since they need very little horizontal space but the vertical space is far more important.

When I started using dual monitors ages ago, like most I started with a pair of 17" or 19" CRTs. Having those two screens opened up productivity but dominated space on the desk. The LG 34UM95 is a very similar design to having two of those old 4:3 or 5:4 CRTs on your desk again. The resolution is higher, and the depth is much slimmer, but the overall experience is similar. Make no mistake: 34 inches is a lot of display for a desk, but if you're used to dual monitors already that shouldn't be a problem.

The little gaming that I do on the LG 34UM95 is also very enjoyable. I have covered this more in my prior 21:9 reviews, but the extra field of view makes for a more immersive environment than 16:9. The larger screen size of the 34UM95 compared to prior 21:9 monitors only increases that. It also has a very low input lag, making it a useful choice for those that are competitive at FPS and other games.

A direct competitor here is the Apple Thunderbolt Display. It is the only other Thunderbolt display on the market but it's a few years old now. It is lower resolution and lacks the HDMI and DisplayPort inputs, USB 3.0 support, and cannot use a VESA mount without an adapter. The Apple display includes a (now outdated) MagSafe adapter, webcam, Firewire 800, and Gigabit Ethernet Ports. Given the choice of the two, I would pick the extra resolution of the LG. The contrast ratio of the LG, and the uncalibrated numbers, are superior as well.

At $1,000 you have a number of display choices. The 24" Dell UP2414Q is a 4K panel available for the same price right now that offers even higher resolution. It has the 4K limitations involving DisplayPort 1.2 and MST that I mentioned in my other 4K reviews, so it won't work quite as easily. You will also need DPI scaling on it which can lead to some OS or Application appearance issues, but those should work out over time. The main thing is you're still in the 16:9 aspect ratio, so running two apps side-by-side isn't as easy as it is with the 21:9 ratio. Dual 27" monitors will provide more space for even less money than the LG 34UM95, but they also take up far more of your desk.

If I sound like I've come away liking the LG 34UM95 a lot, I really have. It has surprised me at what a difference the extra vertical resolution makes with 21:9. It does a wonderful job as a single monitor while not impacting my ability to multitask at all. Even though I don't play many games that would utilize the extra field-of-view I would still strongly consider the LG 34UM95 as my only monitor. It performs very well on the bench, it looks very good in use, and most importantly it helps me get things done. If you've previously discarded 21:9 as a niche, obscure format, you should try out the 34UM95. It has managed to convince me that 21:9 isn't so much of a niche anymore.

Input Lag, Gaming and Gamut
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  • blackmagnum - Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - link

    The Koreans are on a roll with product diversity!
  • SulianJeo - Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - link

    I've always felt that the Korean companies seem to push for innovation the most. There are certainly some redundant releases (GS 5), but so many products are really game changing.
  • weiran - Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - link

    This is a nice idea using existing hardware and manufacturing with a very niche market.

    I fail to see where the innovation is.
  • darwinosx - Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - link

    You should read the article you are commenting on then. Also it's hardly a niche market. That is an uninformed and laughable comment.
  • chophshiy - Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - link

    "Innovation" is becoming a meaningless word, thanks to marketing-speak. I agree with weiran; Making an obvious evolutionary step with tech that is easily available and understood should not be referred to as 'innovation'.
  • inighthawki - Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - link

    Sorry, these displays are definitely niche. Very few people see benefit of ultra widescreen displays. There are more people out there that want to go back to 4:3 than those who want to go to 21:9.
  • FlyBri - Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - link

    @inighthawki I would have to disagree that this monitor is "niche". Based on the form factor and resolution, it's actually quite versatile, and a better option than a 4K monitor at the moment (due to the current state of graphics cards). Many reviewers are saying how versatile this monitor is for both productivity and gaming. For instance, you can even use this monitor as a regular 1440p 27" monitor (with black bars, of course) if you so choose. One review I watched had the reviewer stating that he already had negative preconceived notions about this monitor and form factor, and ended up realizing how absolutely amazing it is and how he couldn't be without it now.

    I don't think it's niche because I think it genuinely could be a better alternative to a dual monitor setup, and I don't believe those to be niche. Not as prevalent? Yes. Niche? No. I would would say 4K monitors are more niche than this monitor.
  • fokka - Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - link

    what you say makes sense, but i'd still call a 21:9 monitor with a unique resolution "niche". 4k is the future and will be the mainstream in a couple years. this? not so much.
  • marcosears - Thursday, October 9, 2014 - link

    I agree... Most people will want to get one of the top monitors at a more reasonable price range. /Marco at http://www.consumertop.com/best-monitor-guide
  • Marthisdil - Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - link

    It's niche because it's $1000

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