LG 34 "IPS LED UltraWide HD monitor (34WK95U-W)
"The 34WK95U-W from LG sets the new standard for ultrawide monitors."
Attractive, minimalist design
Practical port location
Easy to use menus
Class leading image quality
My god, it's full of pixels
Far more expensive than the competition
No improved refresh rate or adaptive synchronization
The guarantee should be longer
After a decade in which lukewarm, device-like devices have emerged, monitor manufacturers have exploded with creativity in recent years. New monitors come in all shapes and sizes with resolutions between 1080p and 5K – and refresh rates that are in the hundreds.
There is even an urge to redefine the core LCD technology that monitors have defined since the end of the CRT. The 34WK95U-W from LG is one such example. It has many impressive specs, including 5,120 x 2,160 resolution, HDR and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity. Then there is the "Nano-IPS" panel, which according to LG contains "improved phosphors" to improve the color gamut.
This 34-inch Ultrawide is indisputably impressive on paper and better at a retail price of $ 1,500. Can this monitor set a new standard for picture quality?
Delicate yet robust
The LG 34WK95U-W, like other newer monitors from the company, offers a striking and unusual profile. The housing made of robust white plastic looks bright and modern. Most competitors still choose faux metal silver or a stale, harmless black. The LG also has remarkably slim bezels. Other competitors offer the same thing, but LGs are among the thinnest.
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A delicate U-shaped metal stand holds the monitor in place. Because of its thin profile, we were concerned about the stability of the monitor, but the stand didn't disappoint. The screen rarely wobbled and felt as firm as the Dell U3415DW, a 34-inch Ultrawide with a larger, thicker base.
The status of the LG is functional, but not versatile. It adapts to the slope and height, while most of the competitors also pan. However, a VESA mount is available, so you can replace the stand if you need more freedom of movement.
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There are numerous connection options. These include two HDMI, DisplayPort, USB-C, a headphone jack, a USB-A upstream and two USB-A downstream jacks. There's also a Thunderbolt 3 port, so you can use the LG 34WK95U as a single-cable dock for most laptops that support the same. The monitor mounts can be charged like an 85 watt power supply.
Almost every competitor in this area uses down-facing connectors, which are often hidden under a lip on the back of the monitor. Instead, LG uses backward forces that are grouped in a rectangle. This makes it easier to connect devices. We like the connector positions, although they complicate things if you want to mount the display on the wall.
A joystick that is a pleasure to use
You control the LG 34WK95U-W with a joystick, which is hidden in the middle of the display. This design can often be frustrating if the menu doesn't respond quickly, but here the answer is quick and accurate. We were able to glide easily through the well-organized menus. We still like the simple tactile buttons on Dell Ultrasharp monitors the best, but LG's solution isn't bad. It is superior to the strangely arranged controls on the Samsung CF791.
The resolution of the LG 34WK95U-W of 5,120 x 2,160 is the highest that we have seen from an Ultrawide screen.
There is also a lot to optimize. You will find a variety of image modes, various gamma presets, manual color temperature controls and the setting of hue and saturation for six colors. This adjustment means that the LG 34WK95U-W should work for you even if you have special requirements for monitor image quality. Nevertheless, the LG monitor cannot claim a great advantage here. Most high-end monitors offer similar options.
A breathtaking display
The first thing you'll notice about the LG 34WK95U-W is something you wouldn't notice when you looked at the specs. It is flat.
It's a little bit weird. Ultrawide monitors are almost always curved to provide a more dramatic and intense experience. However, LG markets this Ultrawide as a professional tool, so the curve no longer works. It is not broad to offer the best experience in games and films, but to provide professionals with additional space for work.
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And there is a lot of space. The 34-inch 21: 9 display is far from the biggest – this honor goes to 49-inch 32: 9 monsters like the Samsung CHG90 – but its 5,120 x 2,160 resolution is the highest we have from one Have seen Ultrawide screen. Pixels mean not only sharpness, but also usable screen area. You can open and use hordes of apps at the same time.
"But wait! What about Nano-IPS?" There is a reason why it was downgraded to the third feature mentioned. The name sounds unusual, but it amounts to “nanometer-sized particles” that “absorb excess light wavelengths and deliver breathtaking image quality”. You might think by the name that LG somehow miniaturized an aspect of LCD technology, but it's more of a competitor to Samsung's Quantum Dot displays. The focus is then not on the number or size of pixels, but on the color scale and accuracy.
But in that it delivers.
It is difficult to find a mistake in the numbers. The worst result is probably the contrast, which with a ratio of 770: 1 neither surpasses the Samsung CF791 or the BenQ EX3501R. Even this number surpasses several competitors, including the Dell Ultrasharp U3818DW, the Dell Ultrasharp U3415W and the LG 38UC99.
Elsewhere, the LG 34WK95U-W delivers excellent results. It hits 90 percent of the AdobeRGB color gamut with an average color error of just 1.1. This is superior to all competitors of the monitor. The BenQ EX3501R and the Samsung CF791 are close together, but lose in both tests. The LG even has an excellent gamma curve result of 2.2, which means that the images displayed don't look lighter or darker than intended.
And it gets better. The screen supports HDR and has a maximum brightness of 409 nits. This is one of the higher results we've seen for any monitor, and defeats other HDR-capable monitors we've reviewed. HDR-enabled movies and games like Battlefield V look fantastic on this screen.
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All this in addition to the resolution of 5,120 x 2,160, which delivers 163 pixels per inch. This is extremely high for a desktop display and again defeats all competitors. If you want the sharpest Ultrawide you can sit on your desk, you've found it.
Disadvantage? As I said, the display is not curved, so it is not that impressive in games. Frame sync technology like AMD's FreeSync is also not supported, and the refresh rate is 60 Hz by default. This will disappoint the player in you too, although you may forgive this oversight if you see the display with HDR on.
It is difficult to improve out-of-box quality
We knew it would be hard for us to improve the LG 34WK95-U when we saw the out-of-the-box quality and we were right. Our calibration attempts did not move the needle. Color accuracy and gamma remained the same, although our screen looked a bit warmer after calibration.
The LG 34WK95-U is one of the best looking monitors we have ever tested.
That doesn't mean you can't adjust the image quality, but it is excellent with the default settings. The changes you make to the image settings can help meet your needs. However, there are no obvious shortcomings that need to be addressed by simply changing the contrast, color saturation, or gamma.
What is good. Most people don't want to mess with calibration.
The LG 34WK95-U comes with two five-watt speakers. They sound fine, but the result is useful rather than exciting. Although loudspeakers are loud enough for everyday use, they have a muddy quality that does little to make films and music sound optimal. You want to pair the monitor with external speakers or headphones.
The LG 34WK95-U is one of the best looking monitors we have ever tested. It is large, has excellent picture quality and looks good on your desk. We can't help but moan about the $ 1,500 price tag. This is far more than most people want to spend – and not in competition with other 34-inch Ultrawide monitors.
Is there a better alternative?
The LG 34WK95-U is a leader in ultrawide image quality. If you need the best, look no further.
However, the price is important, and this is where the aging Samsung CF791 comes in. It does not match the image quality of the LG, but is very close. It even has some features that the LG doesn't offer, including a curved screen and AMD FreeSync support.
Considering the price, you could also consider larger monitors. The Ultrasharp 49 from Dell is also aimed at professional and workstation owners, and its 49-inch screen outshines the LG 34WK95-U.
How long it will take?
Monitors are usually reliable, so we doubt that the LG 34WK95-U will break before you want to throw it away. This will also take a long time, as the future-oriented functions are impressive. This monitor will look great in a decade.
However, we have issues with the warranty that only covers the monitor for one year. Most UltraSharp monitors come with a three-year warranty.
Should you buy it
Yes – if you need an almost flawless Ultrawide display. The LG 34WK95-U is too expensive for occasional purchases, but sets a new standard in picture quality.