LG 34UM95 ultra-wide 34-inch QHD monitor review

34UM95 topIf you’re looking at saving some desk real estate but don’t want to miss out on multi-monitor workspace then is the way to go Ultra-wide with the LG 34UM95?

A while ago there were a few 21:9 aspect ratio displays popping up. These were primarily aimed at designers. Those 29-inch screens were released with a 2560 x 1080 resolution but, since then, the market seems to have been focused on 16:9 format screens and additions such as NVIDIA’s G-Sync.

Now it looks like 21:9 might make a bit of a resurgence. I have to say that the huge 34-inch QHD (Quad HD – 4 times the resolution of full HD) screen that landed on my desk certainly appears to demand a thorough testing.

The LG 34UM95 is the World’s first 34-inch Ultra-Wide monitor and pushes out a resolution of 3440 x 1440. This larger working area is the equivalent of running two 20-inch monitors side-by-side with resolutions of 1720 x 1440 (6:5).

The UM3495’s working area really is huge and running at 109ppi all the text and UI elements should be nice and sharp but does it all make sense as a package?


As soon as you get the monitor out of the box you realise just how long this screen is. I have to admit that, once it was sat on my desk, it took me a while to get used to its 21:9 aspect ratio. The thing is, although it is obviously plenty wide, the 34UM95 doesn’t make you feel hemmed it. I think that is partly because it’s only 173mm tall which means that you can still peer over it should you have a window to look of or some art on the wall or, perhaps, someone good looking on the next desk facing you.

34UM95Talking about good looking, the 34UM95 really is in its swish black and silver outfit. The glossy bezel and edges to the screen are black and this is all wrapped together by a shiny silver trim around the edge. Save for an LG logo in the middle of the bottom bezel there’s no other text such as model name, etc to clutter this rather classy looking display. The silver trim around the edge of the screen gives it a premium feel and you could be forgiven for assuming that this was a widescreen smart TV.

Because the 11mm bezel is nice and shiny it picks up fingerprints pretty easily. Thankfully the monitor’s menu controls are operated using a menu stick on the underside so, once you have the ultra-wide LG in situ, you shouldn’t be leaving too many marks on it. Getting the 34UM95 in to position is nice and easy as it only weights 7.7Kg.

The panel rests on what LG calls a “crystal floating stand”, which is made of a see-through perspex material. It’s attractive and could have come straight from Apple’s design school.  The idea of the clear stand is so that the screen appears to be floating in mid-air. There is a silver/grey plastic trim section provided to cover up the screw connections and this features a cable clip to try and steer the cables out the way which is handy when you have a see-through stand.

The stand has two height positions which are selected depending on which holes you use to screw the stand in to the back of the monitor. There’s not a heap of difference between the two heights and neither of them will raise the screen very high. I generally have my monitor stood on top of my TC Electronics Impact Twin and the LG, at its highest setting, sat on top of the audio interface was perfect for me.

LG 34UM95 rearNip around to the rear of the 34UM95 and you’ll find a headphone jack, HDMI, DisplayPort, two Thunderbolt ports, four USB ports and a Kensington security lock. As far as I am aware, this is the first non-Apple monitor to feature Thunderbolt 2 and so will also support the new Mac Pro. If you are running a Mac, you’ll need to update to at least Mavericks 10.9.3 to run it at native resolution over DisplayPort.

There is no DVI or D-sub offered here. The DisplayPort and Thunderbolt connections can support the full 3440 x 1440 resolution at 60Hz refresh rate, while the HDMI port can only support the native resolution at 50Hz. You could, of course, use the HDMI ports in order to connect external devices, consoles, Blu Ray players etc as, with this aspect ratio, it is perfect for movies. The monitor I received to test came bundled with a HDMI cable.

LG ultrawide monitor edge viewThere are also a pair of 7W speakers built into the display which should be adequate for the occasional tune or YouTube video but more so for general PC alerts. I dare say that most people would use external speakers or headphones plugged in to their computer’s audio card. From the side the screen offers an attractively thin profile.


As mentioned earlier, the OSD (on screen display) menu is accessed and controlled through a single joystick controller located on the middle of the bottom edge of the screen. This joystick is pressable/clickable so as to enter your selection well and controls the whole menu.

Pressing the joystick left or right pops up a quick access menu for the volume control. Pressing the joystick forward or backward, or pressing the button in pops up the launch menu shown below. From here you have quick access to the Reader modes and PbP (Picture by Picture) menu (which just takes you to that section in the main OSD menu). You can also enter the main menu by pressing left.

LG 34UM95 OSD The first ‘Easy control’ section gives you access to the brightness and contrast settings, and also you can change the aspect ratio in this section. There are options here for Wide, original, Cinema 1, Cinema 2 and 1:1 pixel mapping.

Scrolling down to the ‘Function’ section gives you access to the preset energy saving modes, an option to enable or disable the hardware calibration if you’ve done one, and also choose from a few preset picture modes.

The third section is the Picture By Picture menu for when you have more than one device connected and want to make the most of split screen working on the large 34-inch screen.

The fourth ‘Screen’ section gives you two options, one for ‘Picture’ and one for ‘Colour’. In the ‘Picture’ sub-section there are a couple of options, perhaps most importantly the ‘Response Time’ option to control the level of overdrive being used.

The ‘Colour’ subsection of the ‘Screen’ part of the menu gives you a wide range of options. You can change the preset gamma and colour temperature modes here and also change the RGB levels for manual calibration.

The joystick is fairly intuitive to use but remember to save settings such as when the monitor automatically powers off. I was in the middle of a Grid 2 marathon when a warning popped up to tell me that the screen will switch off if I didn’t click the monitor’s joystick – this happened when I was in mid-drift trying to protect my position. That wasn’t helpful.

Screen performance

The light anti-glare coating of the IPS panel doesn’t produce any graininess to the image like some of the more aggressive AG solutions and the 34UM95’s wide viewing angles provides stable images from different angles. This makes the monitor pretty handy if you’re working with images, video or colour critical designs.

The brightness range of the screen is excellent and offers a range of between a high 293 and a nice and low 54 cd/m2. This should mean the screen is perfectly useable in a wide variety of ambient light conditions, including darkened rooms. The flicker free screen is great news for those such as myself who can find themselves reading from the display for long periods of time. Regarding document proofing the screen offers two ‘Reader’ modes from the OSD menu which provide a couple of preset brightness/temperatures which some people might find useful for extended text work. The screen remains cool even during prolonged use for gaming and such.

LG 34UM95 specsOn a black image there is a characteristic white glow when viewed from an angle, commonly referred to as IPS glow. This occurs when you view dark content from a normal head-on viewing position and as your eyes get drawn to the edge of the screen you can actually see a glow. Some people may find this problematic if they are working with a lot of dark content or solid colour patterns but, in my opinion, for general use such as office work, movies and games I don’t see this as being a huge problem unless you favour darker content.

The screen is designed to run at its native resolution of 3440 x 1440 and at a 60Hz recommended refresh rate. However, if you want you are able to run the screen outside of this resolution. Flicking it over to the lower 2560 x 1080 resolution, but keeping its native aspect ratio, text remains pretty sharp with low levels of blurring.


The key selling points of the 34UM95 is it’s high resolution and large screen size. With a pixel area about 1.8 times larger than an UltraWide Full HD 21:9 monitor, and about 2.4 times larger than a Full HD 16:9 monitor (my current monitor spec), it provides an excellent Microsoft Office environment – when using Excel, for example, you can view 47 columns and 63 rows all at once.

With the 34UM95 you get a wider desktop to work on with a similar font size to a 27-inch unit. If you’re coming from a lower resolution/larger pixel pitch you may still find the fonts look quite small to start with, but like the 27-inch 1440p models out there, you’ll soon get used to it.

The screen size makes editing, whether video, audio or photo, a breeze as your main work window can be comfortably large even with a multitude of toolboxes and editing windows open at the same time, as shown below using Lightworks.

Lightworks video editing on 34UM95Side by side multi-tasking on this screen is excellent. Splitting the screen in half maybe not quite enough for some but, thankfully, LG have included a handy solution. You can multitask with 4 programs on one screen at the same time. This is where having 34-inches of ultra-wide desktop comes in to its own.

LG 34UM95 4-Screen-SplitThis 4-Screen Split feature (software provided by LG) conveniently divides your screen from 2 to 4 customisable sub-screens of your preferred size, without any overlapping of windows. Compatible with Mac, it provides 8 different screen ratios, changeable by a single click, and increases not only your convenience but also productivity. 4-Screen Split software requires DisplayPort or HDMI connection with Windows XP/Vista/7/8 or Mac OS X 10.9(Mavericks).


The 34UM95 has very low input lag which makes it suitable for gamers looking to play at high resolutions. The monitor will also support 60Hz refresh rates over DisplayPort set to its native resolution (HDMI on this monitor is 1.4a and so is limited to 30Hz).

The 5ms G2G (grey to grey) response time indicates that the panel uses overdrive / response time compensation (RTC) technology to boost pixel transitions across grey to grey changes. The overall gaming performance of the LG 34UM95, I found, was really good.

Drift 2 video on 34UM95LG offers a range of Response Time settings on the 34UM95 with the ‘Middle’ setting returning the best balance between response times and overshoot to my eyes. At this setting, the average 9.5ms G2G response time was respectable but the lack of any real overshoot (when images get colour trailing due to the intervening state that the pixel is forced to make which can sometimes result in a pale or dark halo behind moving objects) was the bigger pro in this mode.

Granted, there are quicker IPS models out there, going by their claimed response times, but this still isn’t far off. Obviously gamer-orientated TN Film models are quite a bit faster, and their additional extras like blur reduction modes, 120Hz+ refresh rates, G-Sync, etc make them far more suited to serious gaming if that’s your single focus.

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At the moment though, the new 34-inch ultra-wide aspect ratio is only available in IPS panels like this and, for me, having tested both first person shooters (FPS) and a couple of driving games, I found the LG brought the games life. The other benefit of having the one ultra-wide monitor instead of a two-or-three screen set up is that there is no ‘join’ to ruin the view. This just serves to make the experience even more immersive and you feel more involved as a result.


It took a few hours to get used to the size and shape of the LG 34UM95 but once you do it is a nice screen to work and play on. It really does take your desk up a notch and it looked good even when switched off.

Regarding the styling – the silver trim, thin bezel design and rounded back casing all worked together well. I think people looking at monitors in this price range may feel a bit short-changed by the lack of adjustment options given by the stand though.

Connectivity options, on the other-hand, are plentiful as are the customisations available through the On Screen Display menu.

The contrast is great and the use of a flicker free backlight also puts the 34UM95 in my good books – as does the reasonable response time.

The ultra-wide format certainly lends itself admirably to a lot of uses. Multi-tasking is great and LG’s 4 screen split software was very usable. Games feel immersive and having such a wide field of view is excellent, especially when FPS gaming. Movies, of course, benefited from the cinema style format and the colours are vibrant and detailed.

Moving back to my 23-inch 16:9 full HD monitor does feel quite a come-down after living with the LG 34UM95 ultra-wide monitor. If I had £850 handy I’d be straight over to Amazon.co.uk!

More tech specs and information is available on the LG website.