Here at Catrachadas, we focus on PC games and the productivity of power users. We want you to have the best possible experience within your budget. This also includes the recommendation of high-quality monitors.
Obviously, game-oriented monitors aren't the only ones pushing the envelope, although for some time they have been the main drivers for higher refresh rates and other advanced features. Still, you can have a great experience for less by venturing outside of well-known gaming sub-brands like Asus ROG and Acer Predator.
So today we're going to take a look at the Asus Designo MX34VQ. It may come as a surprise, but the MX34VQ is the cheapest 3440 x 1440 Ultrawide display that you can get with a refresh rate of 100 Hz. And there is no shortage of functions to achieve this price: the monitor has a wireless Qi charging station, decent Harmon Kardon speakers and support for FreeSync.
Before we get to the impressions and design, let's talk about the monitor specifications. The MX34VQ uses a 34-inch VA panel with a resolution of 3440 x 1440, which for a maximum brightness of 300 nits, a contrast ratio of 3,000: 1, a viewing angle of 178 degrees and a response time of 4 ms from gray to gray is designed. It has a 1800R curvature, which is the most aggressive curved option used in today's monitors, and a 48 to 100 Hz FreeSync window with support for low frame rate compensation.
Asus has clearly opted for an office-compatible design for this monitor. The round metal stand and silver highlights look pretty good. I definitely prefer this type of elegant design to Asus' gamer style of the ROG line. A combination of textured and non-textured plastic is used on the back, which looks neat and tidy again, just as you would like for an office setup where the back of the monitor may be visible. The monitor is not slim, although the curve hides some fat so it doesn't look outrageous.
Unfortunately, the attractiveness of the design has limited its flexibility, as the monitor only supports tilt adjustments. I think the right height setting is a big gap: the display is fairly low down, much lower than I would normally use a monitor, which can be a problem for some users.
A unique feature of the MX34VQ is the support for wireless Qi charging, which is provided via a disc in the middle of the glass base. The charger is not particularly powerful and only supports 5W of power. Although this is typical of most Qi wireless chargers, some modern devices support Qi wireless charging, which increases the power output to 10W.
Wireless charging at your monitor's booth is surprisingly convenient because you can charge your phone wirelessly while your phone is on your desk. The base of the stand lights up when the Qi charger is activated. This is a nice touch to let you know that the charger is working. I tested it with my completely broken Galaxy S7 Edge and it worked perfectly.
With the monitor's Harman Kardon speakers, I was surprised at how decent they sound to built-in monitor speakers. The two 8W speakers facing down produce a sound that corresponds to an entry-level stereo speaker setup. While this is not particularly surprising, there is more depth and bass here than I expected.
The MX34VQ has good connectivity: 3x HDMI 2.0 ports and a single DisplayPort 1.2 port, as well as a 3.5mm audio input for the speakers (although audio is available via HDMI and DisplayPort). There is no USB hub on this monitor.
If you are a fan of slim bezels, this monitor will make you reasonably happy with a 9mm bezel on the sides. If for some reason you want to pair multiple MX34VQs you should have a very nice experience.
The screen display is controlled by a direction switch, which remains the best way to control an OSD. Here you will find a number of typical controls, e.g. B. Settings for color matching, blue light filter, input selection, volume control and picture-in-picture modes.
As already mentioned, it is an adaptive synchronization window with 48 to 100 Hz, although the monitor supports LFC (Low Frame Rate Compensation), so the effective variable update range is between 0 and 100 Hz. This is important to note as many other 1440p FreeSync Ultrarawides do not support LFC as they have more limited update windows such as 40 to 75 Hz. I would not buy a monitor with such a high update rate that does not support LFC, but this is not a problem with the MX34VQ.
So let's first look at how the MX34VQ looks like straight out of the box without any changes.
The first impression is not particularly good. The white values are 233 nits with a contrast ratio of only 2148: 1, which is significantly below the value of 3,000: 1 that Asus specifies for this monitor. If you set the monitor to maximum brightness, only 277 nits of brightness are generated, which in turn is below the 300 nits of the monitor.
The grayscale performance is average. This is because Asus defaults to using the wrong color temperature. A temperature average of 7592 is too cold for proper sRGB standards, resulting in a dE2000 average of 4.49 in our grayscale sweeps. A gamma of 2.2 is good as an average, although a look at a gamma chart shows that performance isn't ideal across the range.
After a mediocre grayscale performance, the saturation performance with a dE2000 value of 3.21 and an sRGB coverage of 99.9% is not particularly good. Green and red go beyond the sRGB spectrum, but the blues don't quite reach the same values. The custom ColorChecker dE2000 average of 3.377 is also not ideal.
|Color temperature.||User: R, G, B = 100||Users: R = 100, G = 90, B = 85|
Using the OSD to change some settings according to the table above can lead to better results. By calibrating to sRGB and 200 nits brightness with these settings, the color temperature was reset to a better value of 6419 K, although this was at the expense of contrast, which decreased to 1871: 1. It is also important to note that while some grayscale values are improved, 50 to 80% white values are noticeably tinted red, resulting in an average dE2000 value of 2.10. You can correct the shade of red, but this affects the accuracy of full white and other areas.
The saturation results show that the red tone affects saturation accuracy, although other colors have improved to give an average dE2000 of 2.07. ColorChecker results also improve to 2,293. These values are improved, but not good enough for me to recommend this monitor for color-accurate work. To get better results, you need a calibration tool.
Using the i1Display Pro calibration tool, I was able to create a display profile that delivers significantly better results. Grayscale improves to a dE2000 average of 0.64 with a CCT average of 6431, which is a great result that removes the red hue. This gives a saturation average of 0.86 and a ColorChecker average of 1.22.
These results are very solid, especially grayscale and saturation. So if you have a calibration tool, the MX34VQ isn't the worst choice for those who need sRGB accuracy. However, you need a calibration tool to get these results.
It is also worth considering the uniformity of the display. Curved displays tend to have some uniformity problems than flat displays, and this seems to be the case with this monitor. The upper left side of the monitor deviates the most from the center, with a relative dE2000 in the range of 4.0. Not the best performance in this regard, if not entirely surprising.
What to like
The Asus MX34VQ is a decent 3440 x 1440 ultrawide option with a strong feature list. At $ 720, it's the cheapest ultrawide of its kind with a refresh rate of 100 Hz. An important specification for those who want to use it as a gaming monitor.
In contrast to aggressive gaming monitor designs, the more office-oriented appearance of Asus is a welcome change. The stand and the silver highlights are attractive, and although the monitor lacks crucial height adjustability, it looks good from both the front and the back. Qi wireless charging is a great feature if you can use it (we hope most smartphones will support it soon), and I was quite impressed with the Harmon Kardon speakers.
By default, the standard calibration is not suitable for color-accurate work. Given the positive user feedback the monitor receives from Amazon buyers, this is clearly not a problem for most users. At the same time, those who want a really accurate panel and calibration with appropriate tools can solve most color performance problems.
Apart from the color performance, the VA panel used in this monitor has some inherent advantages, especially the viewing angle and the contrast ratio. The uniformity is only average, which is not surprising given the 1800R curve, although the curve is helpful when looking at the edges of this wide display.
FreeSync support with low frame rate compensation is appreciated, although you may have to wait for AMD Vega to arrive as no current Radeon GPU is able to get the most out of a 3440 x 1440, 100 Hz display. Still, it's always nice to have a more productivity-oriented display that includes game features like high refresh rates and support for adaptive synchronization, as these features increase flexibility and suitability for a wide range of users.
Unless you need G-Sync, the MX34VQ is a good choice for users after a 1440p Ultrawide, especially because of its competitive price.
Advantages: Affordable 1440p ultrawide with 100Hz refresh rate. Attractive design with wireless Qi charging and decent speakers. FreeSync support with LFC.
Disadvantage: The stand only supports tilt settings. Requires extensive calibration for color accurate work.