HP 34f Ultrawide Monitor Test: Premium for less
"The HP 34f has features that you can only expect from a more expensive monitor."
Support for large color spaces
Clean, modern design
Excellent contrast with color accuracy
Large, extremely wide and curved screen
No built-in speakers
Limited ergonomic adjustments
No USB-C connection
Among the screens available today, the HP 34f has no cross-border features that make it stand out. But don't let it go so quickly.
At a modest price of $ 649 – you can find the 34f at discounted prices – the HP 34f offers precise, punchy colors, although the 60 Hz refresh rate will be somewhat limiting for gamers. Still with one ultra-wide 34-inch curve With screen and UWQHD resolution, the 34f is versatile enough to do most tasks at home and in the office. In addition, this panel can also process basic games with AMD FreeSync technology and ready for quick creative edits with support for large color spaces.
Compared to similarly sized offers, the value of the HP 34f becomes clearer. Although HP doesn't break records with the 34f, this monitor is more than the sum of its parts and has features that most consumers will appreciate at an affordable price.
Minimal, but not easy
As an affordable mid-range monitor, HP kept the design of the 34f very simple, which gives this panel its minimalist aesthetic.
The silver accents in combination with black on the back give the 34f a very heightened feeling – from a distance it can almost be considered a processed metal monitor – and the choice of the color of the panel makes it a great companion for aluminum-coated laptop designs like HP's Envy -Product range or Apple's MacBook Air.
A rectangular ring made of silver metal forms the basis of the 34f, and the ring design firmly anchors the entire setup on your desk. A short silver plastic mounting arm is attached to the base with a knurled screw for tool-free mounting. The screen itself snaps into place.
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At first, I was a little concerned that the plastic mounting mechanism wasn't as strong as a metal bracket, but once the entire setup was assembled, durability was not an issue even when the display was tilted.
The IPS screen itself is flanked by very small bezels and has an anti-glare coating that reduces reflections when working under ambient office lighting.
The slim bezels gave the 34f a modern look on my desk. The screen has tiny bezels on the top and side edges and a slightly larger lower chin rounds off the front of the setup. And in contrast to the LG UltraFine 4KThe panel itself is rather slim. The ports, USB hubs and electronics are located in a slightly thicker housing behind the screen, making it ideal for confined spaces such as dormitories.
Keys that can press your keys
Compared to downward ports on monitors like the Alienware 34 Curved displaythe rear-facing connections are easier to access and more convenient. You will find three USB-A 3.0 ports, a USB-B port that connects to the USB-A port on your PC and converts the monitor into a USB hub, as well as a power port, two HDMI ports and a DisplayPort .
Unfortunately, USB-C is particularly lacking, so newer computers like Apple's MacBook Pro or even HP’s EliteBook laptops require a separate USB-C to HDMI adapter to connect. This rather blatant omission means that you can't rely on a single cable setup to connect a laptop for display output, USB hub connectivity, and power to this panel.
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In contrast to the bulky display of the 24-inch UltraFine 4K from LG, the slim screen of the HP 34f gives this monitor a supermodel-like profile. If the 34f is not enough compared to more expensive monitors, the power supply is not built in, so you have a dangling power supply module that you have to hide if you want a neat desk setup that brings Marie Kondo's nod. Since this is a consumer monitor, the 34f surprisingly has no built-in speakers. You must therefore provide your own for multimedia playback.
A series of buttons at the bottom right of the control panel are used to switch the screen on and off and to navigate in the various menus. Although the buttons are responsive and easy to press, navigating between the different menu trees on the screen can be cumbersome and less intuitive than a single joystick, like on the back of the new 2019 Alienware Curved 34 monitor from Dell or the AOPEN 32HC1.
The buttons allow you to adjust the screen brightness and contrast in detail, switch between display sources or call up one of the preset modes that are optimized for reducing blue light emissions or for specific content such as photos, videos and games.
With a spacious 34-inch screen and a resolution of 3,440 x 1,440 pixels, using an Ultrawide display like the HP 34f is like a dual monitor setup that gives you enough screen space to move between your browser windows, Word -Documents and Excel to juggle spreadsheets and PDF files conveniently.
The subtle curvature of the 34f helps you dive into your content. If you've never used an ultra-wide panel, it's a pleasure to have enough desk depth to take full advantage of the screen without feeling like your face is too close to the monitor.
If you appreciate the productivity aspect of the Ultrawide aspect ratio, a single Ultrawide panel offers more convenience than placing two FHD monitors side by side – you get the full screen area without cable clutter or the seam where the picture is located. Otherwise displays would connect.
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HP rates the 34f display at 300 nits of brightness, which is the brightness of most ultrabooks on the market today. Although it does not peak with retinal glare of 1,600 nits Apples Per display XDR or the latest ProArt monitors from AsusI had no problems with the brightness levels of the 34f in normal ambient lighting. I was in a home office on a desk next to a window that let in lots of natural light, and I found that the 34f's display is best at about 60 percent brightness.
Even though this panel cannot compete with more color-accurate panels, the HP 34f can assert itself for quick creative edits when you need to take projects home.
Our Datacolor display analysis, performed with the SpyderX Elite calibration tool, showed that the 34f can display 99 percent of the sRGB color space, 80 percent of the Adobe RGB color space or 82 percent of the wide P3 color space. The first two points with which this panel was brought into the company of devices such as the MacBook Air and Dell Ultrasharp U3818 are, with the panel's Adobe RGB score, about 10 points behind more professional panels such as LG's UltraFine 5K.
The color accuracy and uniformity of the display are also rated well with a Delta E value of just under 2 points. This makes the 34f more accurate than Samsung's CF791 and equates it to LG's 34UC89G. For comparison: Apple's 5K iMacThe display has a better Delta E value of 0.98. The screen of the 34f was slightly calibrated after unpacking and a little cooler with lighter skin tones. After calibration, the screen tones appeared a bit warmer, but overall the color rendering remained constant in other areas. Due to the good color rendering of the panel, this panel can be used for video and photo editing for home users without access to a professional screen.
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The contrast was similarly good for the 34f with a ratio of 1020: 1 at 100 percent brightness. In use, my only major complaint with this panel is the even brightness of the screen, which illuminates the screen brighter along with the bottom left and right edges. You will probably not even notice this for most tasks, but the problem becomes more apparent when you display content against a black background, e.g. B. darker scenes in a movie or video game.
Given that the 34f peaks at 60 Hz, serious gamers may not want to consider the slower refresh rate on this panel. With integrated AMD FreeSync supportthe panel is still a decent casual game monitor.
The screen in this area can be tilted up or down, but cannot be raised or lowered.
Most modern games played with lower game settings performed well, although stuttering and screen tears were noticeable on more demanding titles with higher graphics settings. With a resolution of 1080p or QHD and low to medium settings, the monitor does a good job.
Another problem is that the ergonomic settings of the 34f are rather limited, but it is a problem that occurs frequently with consumer monitors. Like the budget-oriented AOPEN 32HC1and even HP’s Envy 34 Curved All-in-One desktopThe screen in this area can be tilted up or down, but it cannot be raised or lowered. Another limitation is that you cannot rotate the screen from landscape to portrait.
Multitaskers who run out of screen space should consider either a multi-monitor setup or a single Ultrawide display. While connecting multiple monitors can cause clutter and leave seams where the panels are joined together, the latter solution can be an expensive alternative. If your needs are limited to basic office tasks and simple creative projects, the HP 34f offers an impressive experience thanks to its curved, extremely wide 34-inch QHD resolution at a cheaper price of $ 649.
Is there a better alternative?
The lack of bells and whistles for many of the competitors helps to keep the HP 34f cheaper. For comparison: HP's EliteOne 1000 34-inch curved comes with the same screen size and resolution in a curved form factor, but the panel comes with an extended three-year business class guarantee along with a popup webcam. Although the basic functions of the 34f are similar, the EliteOne 1000 costs almost $ 900 more.
Dell's UltraSharp 34 Curved U3415W, priced at $ 749, is more like HP's 34f. Like the EliteOne, this monitor shares the 34f's screen size, curved experience, and screen resolution. However, the UltraSharp is currently priced at $ 100 and the monitor's down-facing connectors make it less convenient than the HP model. While both the Dell 34f and HPf are cheaper than Samsung's highly priced $ 799 Ultra CF791, the latter covers 125 percent of the sRGB color space and comes with built-in speakers. Creatives who have the means can upgrade to BenQ's $ 900 ex3501r, which comes with a color-accurate 35-inch HDR panel. The refresh rate of this screen of 100 Hz makes it ideal for creative tasks and games.
How long it will take?
The HP 34f comes with HP's one-year standard warranty, making it comparable to other consumer displays in its class. This is shorter than the standard three-year warranty available on some premium gaming monitors or on professional displays like the HP Elite line. Given the panel's relatively high UWQHD resolution, this should be relevant for at least a few years – or at least until a higher UHD resolution in broader formats becomes the norm. You may want to add an extended warranty if you want to leave the 34f on your desk for a while.
Should you buy it
Yes, the HP 34f is a multi-function monitor that most home users or office workers will like, and offers all of this at a modest price.