ViewSonic XG350R-C 35″ Curved Gaming Monitor Overview

The XG350R-C is ViewSonic's latest ultrawide monitor, which is intended exclusively for the gaming market. A 35-inch MVA display (3440 x 1440) with a maximum refresh rate of 100 Hz, a 1800R curvature and FreeSync. It costs $ 700, so it's a bit high quality, but we'll see how it works and whether it can compete with other popular monitors in this category.

ViewSonic has added several gamer features in addition to the specifications just mentioned, including RGB lighting, something that ViewSonic calls "ClearMotion" (backlighting), and black stabilization. This is combined with a low input delay and basic support for HDR10 content.

After unpacking, we found that the XG350R-C is a kind of chunky monitor, not only in terms of volume, but also in terms of bezels. Many monitors tend to be slimmer in design, but it appears that ViewSonic didn't understand the news, as it is larger than even the Acer Predator X34, which was released in 2015.

The base is also quite massive, although we know that some people prefer these designs to the wide three-pronged stands, but this thing really takes up a lot of space on a desk. The good news is that this adjustable stand supports pan, tilt, and height adjustability. With more budget offers, height adjustment is rare. Therefore, this is a welcome addition to an otherwise robust construction.

On the back we move with RGB LED lighting and some "player patterns" in the field of players. This isn't as outrageous as an Asus ROG design, for example, but it also lacks the sleek and subtle aesthetic that I personally like. There's also LED lighting in the base of the stand that glows forward and a headphone pad that pops out of the stand on the back.

The build quality is rather inconspicuous. Not bad, but the heavy use of standard black plastic doesn't give the XG350R-C a premium look. If you combine this with the general clunkiness, you'd be more likely to assume that this is a budget ad than a price close to $ 700.

The choice of connections is good, two HDMI 2.0 connections, a DisplayPort input, a simple USB hub with three connections and a 3.5 mm audio output socket. You get internal speakers for basic audio output.

The screen display is both good and bad. We like the inclusion of a direction switch, but ViewSonic has somehow made it difficult to navigate by constantly changing which buttons perform which actions depending on the area of ​​the menu you are in. A fool, but we found it annoying enough to mention him. The color scheme of the menu is difficult to read even on certain backgrounds. So I often had to put a white window behind the menu so I could see what was going on.

We found some useful functions here. ClearMotion, ViewSonic's brand name for backlighting or inserting a black frame, provides additional clarity for movement in some game environments. I personally am not a fan as the backlight brightness decreases and you cannot use it alongside FreeSync, but some people love this type of function. There are also a variety of game modes, color settings, etc. I was surprised at the lack of cheat crosshairs, although this feature is ubiquitous among other brands.

One thing we should mention is that our device comes with two dead pixels in the bottom right hand corner in close proximity to each other. This happens from time to time, it's not really something everyone will experience, we just had bad luck with our unit.

performance

Let’s talk about the update rate before moving on to other performance metrics. This is a 3440 x 1440 panel at 100 Hz, which we believe is still considered a high update today, although 144 and even 200 Hz are available at this resolution. It's a smoother experience than 60 Hz, the step to 144 Hz is noticeable, but we believe that this refresh rate is very good for many players, especially for those who don't have a high-end GPU.

The resolution is 1440p, which is perfect for gaming and productivity tasks, and the aspect ratio of 21: 9 gives your gameplay a little immersion. As someone who plays on an ultrawide, I definitely recommend it. ViewSonic offers adaptive synchronization with low frame rate compensation, which is a must. It works perfectly on AMD and Nvidia GPUs and certainly no problems with flickering.

1440p Ultrawide high refresh monitors have matured so much in recent years that even VA offers, unlike some non-Ultrawide displays with similar specifications, have a decent refresh rate. With the setting for the ultra-fast overdrive, we recorded an average response time of 5.13 ms from gray to gray. As you can see, this is one of the fastest VA response time averages we've measured. Usually these panels are around 7 to 9 ms long for a 16: 9 monitor, but for some reason these ultrawides are only much faster.

The XG350R-C is about 0.7 ms faster than the 34-inch VA equivalent of this panel, which you can see in budget deals like the Kogan 34-inch Ultrawide. The difference is that 34-inch panels are made by Samsung, while AU Optronics makes the 35-inch models. With this resolution, this ViewSonic monitor is also somewhat faster than the best LG IPS panels, as the LG 34GK950F and its transition time of 6.1 ms show. Nevertheless, in this 5-6 ms bracket there is a small cluster with not much difference between the individual options.

In terms of input delay, another decent result for the XG350R-C with less than 4 ms latency, which is within the usual bracket of gaming monitors. The LG 34GK950F is the fastest Ultrawide that we tested with a latency of 2.4 ms, but we're talking about a slight difference of 1 ms.

The brightness is good, 330 nits are too bright for most users, and there's no need to worry without real HDR support. However, the contrast ratio is a weak point for AU Optronics' Ultrawide panel: it is only 1900: 1 for the XG350R-C, and about 3000: 1 for monitors with Samsung.

The XG350R-C is a standard gamut monitor that focuses on sRGB. In my tests, it slightly exceeds the sRGB spectrum, but it is not enough to be DCI-P3 compatible. Not that this matters, sRGB is most important today for PC use, regardless of whether it is a game or an application.

Colour reproduction

This monitor is surprisingly decent in terms of its calibration. A white point of 6554 K is excellent, and if there were no inaccuracy in the dark area of ​​the gamma curve, we would consider a DeltaE average below 2.0. When it comes to displaying the saturation performance, we reach the DeltaE average below 2.0, which is great and is massively supported by the exact white point. And then we also get an above-average result when displaying ColorChecker numbers.

Given that most gaming quality monitors have very little calibration, we are pleased that the ViewSonic XG350R-C delivers almost accurate results immediately. With a few small changes and changes to the color controls on the on-screen display, I was able to further exacerbate the situation, with the DeltaE average values ​​below 2.0 being very strong across the board.

And of course we can go a step further with a full calibration, the results of which you can see below:

OSD calibration results (1 – 2 – 3) | Fully calibrated results (1 – 2 – 3)

While this monitor delivers strong color results, excellent response times and a good input delay, there is one aspect that really disappointed him: the plate coating. This is usually not discussed because it is not a problem. With the XG350R-C, however, we immediately noticed something strange about the way text is displayed.

It's a subtle effect, but this monitor seems a little "smeared". The text lacks the sharpness and clarity of other 3440 x 1440 monitors that we recently reviewed. When I look at the display through a magnifying glass, I attribute this to something strange on the coating that scatters the light slightly and causes the stain problem.

The subtle lack of sharpness is almost like running the monitor at a subnative resolution, except that it works as intended. It is strange because we would have no problems with the screen coating. With this problem alone, we find it difficult to recommend this monitor if there are similar options that offer more clarity.

On the way to uniformity, these are again good results for an Ultrawide. We get a typical drop along the outside edges, but the central zone is pretty accurate, definitely more accurate than some curved Ultrarawides that we tested.

Wrap up

After all the tests, data, and comparisons we've done, we consider the ViewSonic XG350R-C to be one of the rare monitors that we can't recommend. We found four main issues: the dirty screen coating is a rare problem, but a total deal breaker that reduces the clarity of an otherwise decent high-resolution panel. The design is bulky and not very appealing. The on-screen menu is faulty in its navigation and color scheme, which makes it difficult to use. The contrast ratio is lower than that of comparable monitors that opt ​​for the VA panel from Samsung over that from AU Optronics.

There are also some positive aspects here. Response time and input delay performance are great. Not exceptionally better than equivalent monitors, but still very good. Ready-to-use color performance is better than expected and better than average. And it comes with features like a height-adjustable stand, backlight strobe modes and RGB lighting.

Unfortunately, these disadvantages are exacerbated by a price that is not competitive. At $ 700, an 3440 x 1440 resolution Ultrawide must offer a refresh rate higher than 100 Hz to justify its price. For just $ 100 more, you can buy the Acer Predator X34P or LG 34GK950G, both better monitors with a refresh rate of 120 Hz and G-Sync.

Then cheaper monitors like the $ 450 Viotek GN34C or the MSI MAG341CQ won't offer features like a height-adjustable stand or strobe backlighting, but there's no way to spend an additional $ 250 on those features. To make matters worse, these cheaper options provide better image quality. The response time and the results of the input delay are similar, but the contrast to the cheaper VA panel from Samsung is higher, and you don't have the strange problem with coating this ViewSonic monitor.

The bottom line is the ViewSonic XG350R-C is a hard pass with too many mistakes for our taste and better options. Viewsonic manufactures one of our favorite productivity monitors (see ViewSonic ColorPro 32 "VP3268-4K). The data shows good color rendering and technical data for gamers on this curved XG350R-C, but need to further adjust the formula before it can be executed with the Top gaming competitors compete.

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