34" 3440x1440 Ultra Wide (21:9 cinematic aspect ratio) AH-IPS panel with soft AG coating.
5ms response time.
Invisible bezel design.
Hardware LUT for high quality accurate colours over all input sources.
Calibration software included, calibration device must be user supplied though.
Inputs: 2x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort, 2x Thunderbolt 2, audio jack, USB3 hub.
Discreet multifunction joystick OSD control.
Huge. Way bigger than I was expecting. Mine didn't come wrapped in padding on the outside like some other folks did in the USA though, just wrapped in white plastic on the outside then the box.
I got a HDMI lead and Displayport but since I recently bought one and already had it wired up I never unwrapped the bundled cables.
The stand is actually metal, the only plastic bit is the trim panel parts along the top. It's quite heavy too. In videos and pics I've seen online it looks plastic. I threw that back in the box because I wasn't going to use it.
^The VESA mounting area comes with a protective sticker that you place over the casing and then mount the desk arm plate on to. Protects the case from scratches, a nice touch I thought.
It's huge. bigger than I thought it would be in fact and it's heavy. It comes with a little energy star sticker on the bottom glossy plastic bezel bit (the only bit of bezel on the front really) and as I peeled it off it left a residue. I started to wipe off the residue and noticed that the glossy black plastic area was becoming marred/cobwebbed like black plastic does once it ages. I hate that and it's a shame.
Picture of that area below:
Why give you a protective sticker for the VESA mount and then put a sticker on the bezel which leaves residue? Kind of a half-assed oversight in my books. I'll end up brushing the whole strip so it's matte instead of glossy in time though so it won't be an issue again.
^I also noticed the LG logo isn't exactly in the middle in line with the power LED and joystick button, minor nitpick and most people wouldn't even care, I don't either but this is the kind of thing I tend to notice on stuff generally
I really like the rear facing connection ports too. I have always hated the ports facing downwards and this is just nice and it all works especially as I am using a monitor arm.
^The amount of AG coating is lower than on the Dell U2713HM I had. It's not glossy but it's not matte enough to cause snow on solid light colours. The U2713HM was an improvement over previous Dell screens (U2412M which I also had) in terms of AG coating
On my desk it's 2 inches shorter than my mousing surface, the Boogiebug XL - That will give some of you an idea of how much desk width this thing takes up!
The button and OSD
Only 1 button and it's a directional pad joystick thing which I found works really well. It's nice to see you can turn off the power LED too.
Out of the box colours
To my eyes they looked quite warm. I then went into the OSD and noticed the colour was set to custom and each slider was set to 50% for R G and B.
^I plugged in the i1 Display colorimeter and loaded up the LG True Color Finder software. It remains in the system tray and will periodically check to see the monitor is still there to send data to post calibration. This is useful and I'll go into that later.
^I ran a calibration using user specified settings. The software is quite similar to other calibration software but doesn't really go into any deep detail with reporting or trends like Lacie Blue Eye Pro or even Xrite's/Datacolor's own software, no big deal, This monitor has it's own LUT built in and the LG software plugs into that. You specify your desired colour temp, luminance and a few other bits and hit calibrate. The monitor locks out the OSD during this and enables the "Calibration" mode in the OSD (it only becomes selectable once you install the LG software and run a calibration).
What this mode does is locks the OSD settings for brightness and colour and the LG software sitting in the system tray will keep an eye on this and restore if needed. I noticed that the software also creates an icc profile in Windows and assigns it to the screen and disabling it in Windows made no visual difference to the calibration which is expected since the monitor has had the correct settings sent to it directly. I guess the icc profile is applied anyway for those gfx cards/systems not supporting monitor control.
Calibration took about 7 minutes.
I've now changed my workflow in Lightroom and Photoshop a bit as the extra resolution on the wide end means I can mimic dual screens on this one screen and then some. Start menu has gone to the left and my Lightroom/Photoshop layout look one of a few ways depending on what I'm processing:
^Grid 2 max everything, perfect fps with vsync on is locked at 50fps for some reason, seems that game or some games will select a fixed refresh rate, in this case 50 when vsync is in use. Vsync off I get 120fps. TF2 gets 150-200~ fps max everything with 4xmsaa even in heated battles on a full server. Recording in Fraps at half res (1720x720) was perfect, was recording TF2 battles with the game running at 120fps.
My system is a 3770K @ 4.6GHz, 16GB 1600MHz RAM and a single GTX 780.
So far those are the games I've played, been toying with the screen all other times though and I am very very impressed. I have Wolfenstein on pre-order so looking forward to seeing how that runs on this as well as the new Doom 4 beta which comes with it
^ I then fired up the PS3 (I like to play when I feel like a break from photo editing sometimes ) and at 16:9 I set the OSD aspect ratio to "Original" - Setting it to 1:1 puts a tiny screen with black boxes around all fours. In Original it's like picture 1 above. Setting the aspect ratio to one of the cinema modes it pans and zooms in to fill the screen and to the most extent for some games this is just fine where you don't need to see the top and bottom margins.
In either instance of gaming I found no problem with mouse lag. I set the OSD to "High" response time as in Windows I found the Low setting caused too much mouse trailing while the Medium setting was better but High just felt the best. I found no issues with motion though I have been gaming on IPS screens since the Dell 2000FPW days.
Movies & TV
^This is where 21:9 shines. I fired up Tears of Steel which is in 2160P (well, 4096x1714) and it was glorious. So sharp and looked so good. I then played some 1080P movies which were equally impressive. Not quite as sharp but still highly detailed.
TV shows are pretty much exclusively 16:9 so you get windowboxes either side. Not much you can do about that but the good thing is that even still the screen area it takes up is still the same size as a 27" 1440P monitor.
Some movies are 16:9 but letterboxed, those you can zoom in to fill the monitor without losing much (if any) content. You need a media player that allows this though. I know MPC-BE/HC does (numpad buttons).
Pros & Cons
+ Cinematic immersion, amazing for movies & supported PC gaming.
+ Uniform colours with no visible backlight bleed (not to be confused with IPS tinge which there is).
+ Gaming performance for me was just fine. I have never gamed on a 120Hz monitor but my gaming style in FPSes has adapted to the nature of IPS and I have no problem at staying in the top area of scoreboards in online FPS games like TF2.
+ The joystick button is genius, so easy to use and nice.
+ Visibly frameless front apart from the glossy bezel part at the bottom.
+ Can have a large browser window open AND a 1080P video beside it and you can enjoy both at the same time.
+ Hardware calibration means whatever you connect up via the other inputs you will benefit from the calibrated colours too.
+ Does not generate much heat. It's been on several hours and it's cooler than my U2713HM. I would say this is mostly down to the fact that this has a power brick so a lot of heat stays away from inside the monitor. The WLED backlight generates little to no heat.
- Glossy strip at the bottom of the screen is pointless and will only look poor over time as you wipe it. I've learnt this out already!
- Reader mode will disable Calibration mode but when you turn Reader mode off it won't turn Calibration mode back on.
- Enabling DisplayPort 1.2 in the OSD did cause random flickering for me even on the Windows desktop. Disabling it solved it. Visually I can't tell any different so maybe 1.2 mode isn't fully working yet I don't know. many others are reporting the same. Let's see if LG release a firmware update.
- Hardware LUT only usable via the LG software. True Color Finder stays running in the system tray. It uses 18MB of RAM only.
- No USB3 upstream cable supplied. I had to use my own.
- Only 1 USB3 downstream port, the other 2 are USB2 ports.
Will I miss dual screen? Yes and no. Yes because I liked having a 24" in vertical orientation and reading sites and magazines as they're supposed to. No because this looks way nicer and offers much more everywhere else.
Should someone else buy the LG instead of waiting for the Dell version? Interesting question. LG have marketed this display at image and video professionals/enthusiasts and the included hardware features benefit them clearly. I have a feeling Dell may not include some of those features in their version and we can definitely expect to see a higher price (I paid £830 for the LG). One thing is for certain, Dell's stands and RMA processes can't be beat.
I'll remain happy with the 34UM95 as long as nothing breaks on it and LG update us with a firmware to fix the DisplayPort 1.2 flicker
Additional pics + Video
Since writing this review my monitor had developed backlight bleed which I felt was unacceptable. I contacted LG livechat and showed them pictures. They confirmed this was not what they too would call acceptable so initiated an RMA. The monitor was collected on Thursday last week and today have said:
]LG TV, Monitors, AV and IT Support OK it does say repair pending which means it is still being worked on and parts have been ordered. I cannot estimate a delivery date back to you, unfortunately.
Looks like my monitor is getting a new panel. Looking around other forums, people have reported some backlight bleed issues with the 29" models too. Weird how mine was fine for the first couple of weeks then got worse but it does seem early batches may well have been affected and LG held stock back from retailers to investigate the issue which would explain quite a lot about the lack of or delayed global stock.
These things happen with new stuff I guess At least LG has asked no questions about it being imported and are keeping up the 2year warranty.