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LG 34UC87C Curved Monitor Review

AkG

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
5,270
Disclosure: The sample in this review was provided free of charge by LG. All opinions expressed herein are solely those of HWC.

In the monitor and HDTV markets, curved screens are being pushed and pimped from all directions. To some viewers, these displays enhance the immersion factor exponentially while others feel they actually distort images. Regardless of the controversy surrounding them, curved monitors have actually become a relatively hot commodity in the PC market and LG’s new 34UC87C is looking to capitalize on that popularity.

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For many consumers, one standard size screen is simply not enough real-estate for maximizing efficiency or adding visibility in games and yet purchasing one mega-sized monitor is simply cost prohibitive. This is why multi monitor setups are so popular; they grant the ability to utilize several relatively large yet inexpensive screens and get the real-estate needed for a wide variety of tasks. On the flip side of that equation we have the 34UC87C, a monitor that is putting a titanic amount of real estate into play in an effort to effectively replace some multi monitor setups with a 34” curved display.

To keep the footprint within the realm of possibility, LG has opted for an ultra wide 21:9 form factor alongside its curvy frame. As an added benefit this allows viewers to actually sit closer to screen without having its edges blur past your peripheral vision.

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While large, the LG 34UC87C does not sacrifice clarity on the altar of expediency and while it can’t boast 4K capabilities it is also not your typical 1440P monitor either. Instead LG has given their latest creation a rather oddball 3440x1440 resolution which is keeping with its 21:9 aspect ratio. To visualize this, LG has taken a typical 2560x1440 panel, and added an additional 880 pixels to one end of it. While certainly an odd setup, users with dual-monitor configurations are also more than happy to implement odd resolutions so this won’t be a jump into the dark for them.

More importantly by using this 3440 pixel width LG has not only been able to keep the price fairly reasonable at $1040 while still including a fully factory calibrated IPS display. That IPS display alone will likely cause some professionals to give this product a second glance since it gives typical dual 24” screen users more pixels for about the same money. As an added benefit this resolution allows the LG 34UC87C to only require a single HDMI input instead of two, though DisplayPort is still the preferable interface of choice.

While LG’s large monitor may cost surprisingly little (for its market niche of course) there weren’t any corners cut on panel technology. While IPS has certainly come down in price for the 8-bit variety, the 34UC87C uses a 10-bit panel, virtually guaranteeing awesome color fidelity. We also can’t help but mention once again that LG provides every one of these monitors with complete factory calibration and includes a certificate with all of their adjustment details.

On paper at least the LG 34UC87C certainly appears to be a logical answer to the age old problem of screen size versus price. However, this is a highly competitive segment and with a price of over $1000USD this monitor will have to be superlative to justify its existence.

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AkG

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5,270
A Closer Look at the LG 34UC87C

A Closer Look at the LG 34UC87C


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On the surface a 34” monitor seems like a non-starter for PC users as this size is firmly in lower end HDTV territory and would seem to be rather unwieldy at standard viewing distances. The same can be said of using a 1440P resolution as that would seemingly cause the LG 34UC87C to have a dot pitch that you could drive a Mac truck through. However this is not your typical monitor.

Instead of a 16:9 or 16:10 form factor LG has opted for the newer 21:9 standard that allows a professional orientated monitor to be much wider than it is tall. This twist in conjunction with the curved panel allows the LG 34UC87C to have a footprint that may be large, but is not that much bigger than the typical 1600P monitors of yesteryear.

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standard (16:9) 2560x1440 monitor has 3,686,400 pixels that are usually stretched across 27”. This results in a dot pitch of 108.79DPI. The LG 34UC87C has a resolution of 3440 x 1440 and has 4,953,600 (or 34.4% more) pixels stretched across 34”, granting it a dot pitch of 109.7DPI. For those keeping track at home, that means LG is offering 19.4% more pixels than a pair of 1080P monitors can offer.

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In the overall aesthetics department this thing is no slouch. The monitor’s front zone uses an 'edge to edge glass' design, but the panel itself does have a good half inch bezel which lies below the glass on every side.

The 34UC87C may not be nearly as thick as what we have come to expect from professional-grade IPS monitors, but no one will accuse it of being waifish either. To be fair, since it does curve inwards the whole design does tend to appear thicker than it really is, and it will take a bit of trial and error to find the proper viewing distance for your particular setup.

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Speaking of the curvature, this feature is one you will either grow to love, or loathe. We honestly doubt anyone will be ambivalent over the curve. This is because nothing being displayed is straight on the panel. As we will go over later in the review having a gently curved panel may be a great boon to PC gaming and movie enthusiasts, but will drive you to distraction if you use programs that rely upon drawing straight lines.

In addition to the love / hate relationship everyone will have with the unique design, thanks to the rather glossy anti-glare coating adjusting it is rather difficult when trying to insure there are no distracting reflections are noticeable.

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One area that will almost certainly annoy everyone is the lack of buttons. We do not mean this monitor lacks mechanical buttons and just relies upon sensors, no we mean it lacks any sort of straightforward menu process. Period. Full stop. In grand total LG includes one small joystick / random frustration generator that pulls triple duty as the power on/off button, the OSD navigation buttons, and the select button. We have nothing against minimalism per se, but this is taking things to the extreme and does make using the 34UC87C harder.

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Input options are also a touch on the minimalist side as well, but they do cover the basics more than adequately. There’s a USB 3.0 IN port and two USB 3.1 ports via a small hub. You also get a power input for the external power brick, a 3.5mm headphone out jack, a single DisplayPort and two HDMI ports. The second HDMI port opens up the possibility of using the 34UC87C on two systems at the same time, albeit you will have to navigate the kludge of an interface to switch between systems.

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The base which accompanies this rather large monitor is quite impressive. Not only does it give the LG 34UC87C a nice two-tone appearance but its capabilities are actually quite wide-ranging. On the one hand this stand allows for 20° tilt adjustment (-5 to +15) and 140mm of height adjustment. On the other it lacks portrait mode (of course!), and swivel abilities. What is not as easily excused is the lack of swivel abilities. Basically if you want to turn this monitor so that is more directly facing you, you will have to physically rotate the whole thing.
 
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AkG

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Joined
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Messages
5,270
Menu Layout & Observations

Menu Layout & Observations


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If there is one area that the LG 34UC87C fails and fails miserably it is within its On Screen Display. While the OSD may not be something accessed all that often on this monitor, if you ever do need to navigate through its confines, expect a lesson in frustration. The maddening process is all due to one small piece of technology: the joystick. In this case, it is the one and only way to interact with the panel’s settings manager.

To actually get the OSD onto the screen you have to quickly press the single button…which is in actuality a four way mini-joystick. It has to be a short press because a long press converts this it into the power button. This thing is hidden behind the centerline of the bottom bezel, even finding it can be tedious, and LG's definition of a long press leaves a lot to be desired. There were numerous times we had the monitor turn off instead of enter the OSD. Meanwhile, any minor shift to the left or right brings up the volume control…and you need to exit out of it and start again if you want to get to the actual OSD.

Would a few more buttons have added that much to the cost of this expensive monitor? We think not, but obviously LG’s designers thought otherwise. The easiest way we found to consistently enter the OSD was to simply pull the joystick directly towards ourselves and wait for the popup to occur. This usually resulted in the proper command being entered.

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In any case, once you do manage to master the secret handshake that this monitor demands you will be first greeted with a shortcut menu. Usually including a shortcut menu with all the most used features before entering the actual main menu would be a good thing. Sadly this monitor is the exception. Unlike Dell’s UltraSharp series, this section does not have a list of the most used features but instead it consists of: Turning off the screen (yes even the designers realized how hard this function would be), enter the main menu, adjust the volume of the integrated speakers, adjust the picture in picture settings and that’s it. Oh and as an added bonus the default keypress is to turn the monitor off rather than enter the main menu.

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For some users, adjusting the volume will be important and changing from input from one system to the second is a good idea, but where are the shortcuts for adjusting brightness, R/G/B settings, or even switching between the custom included presets? Completely MIA in this case.

The main menu is where the second train runs over whatever is left of your patience since it is sorely lacking in depth. To say it appears as if features were randomly scattered amongst these main sections is an understatement as there is no seemingly rhyme nor reason to their location.

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The main menu is broken down into six sections. Easy Control, Function, PBP, Screen, Settings and Reset. Easy control consists of a whopping five sub-sections: Brightness, Contrast, Volume, Input, and ratio. Brightness, contrast, volume and even Input are self-evident. The last, called "Ratio" allows you to change the aspect ratio of the incoming video stream before it reaches the pixels on the screen. 'Wide' allows you to hard set the aspect ratio to 21:9 regardless of the video signal and simply stretch it across the screen. Original is best described as auto as the monitor will respect the video signal and display it faithfully. Cinema 1 enlarges 1080P to full screen 3440x1440, while Cinema 2 enlarges 1080P letter box to full screen 3440x1440 while removing the black bars. 1:1 does as it says and faithfully maps pixel to pixel.

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The Function setting is a grab-bag for various features that don’t easily fit into any of the other sections. These vary from adjusting the MaxxAudio settings (think Dobly but from a different company) to turning on Reader Mode which just messes with the default colors of the screen, to Picture Mode, to Smart Energy settings.

The only one of any interest is Picture Mode, which is where you will find the four official color profile presets. These presets are Custom, Cinema, Photo, and Game.

menu6.jpg

The PBP section allows you to set up and switch between two systems on one monitor. It acts very much like an internal KVM switch for the two HDMI ports.

menu7.jpg

The Screen subsection is actually the advanced features section of the 34UC87C. These features included sharpness, black level, response time, gamma, and color temp. There’s also the ability to color calibrate not only via 3-axis 'Red, Green, Blue' but the much more professionally orientated 6 color axis. This allows for finer grain control over the color profile, but since this monitor comes factory color calibrated it will not be needed for years - and only when the colors drift with age.

Sadly, the gamma correction abilities are limited to three presets. This means as the panel drifts with time correcting the gamma will require off-screen adjustment.

menu8.jpg


The Settings is another grab bag of various features, but unlike Function, these various items deal with controlling how the monitor acts. For example if you want to turn of the ultra-annoying four hour timeout and make the monitor not turn itself off this is where you find it. Similarly, if you want to change the default language this is where you would have to navigate.
 
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AkG

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Image Quality (Uniformity / Panel & Gamma Performance)

Image Quality (Uniformity / Panel & Gamma Performance)


Calibrated Settings
Please remember that the settings below have been calibrated for our specific environment and your viewing conditions may differ from ours.
Mode Used: "Custom"

Notes:
- All tests done at default settings at 120 cd/m2.
- Unless otherwise noted, the tests were carried out via DisplayPort or HDMI


Panel Uniformity


In a perfect world a screen’s brightness output would be equal throughout the entire panel. This is not a perfect world, but the lower the variation the less chances you will notice overly bright or dark sections on the screen. For the consumer LCD marketplace a variance of 10% is our gold standard but anything below 15% can be considered excellent as we doubt anyone will notice a -7.5 to +7.5 variation. A variation above 15% but below 24% can be considered adequate, but anything above this does not meet our basic minimum standards.

uni.jpg

Due to the curvature of this panel we were actually expecting the uniformity to be worse than 18%. However, thanks to the clever LED backlighting LG has removed a lot of the dead-zones. Unfortunately most is not the same as "all", and the upper left corner was noticeably darker than the rest of the screen and that was even before we used our colorimeter to measure the light intensity. Overall these results could be better but for a 34" monitor they are adequate. We just don't know if we like the idea of using terms like 'adequate' with such an expensive product.


Panel Performance


In a perfect world a screen’s real world response rate would be so high that motion blur, ‘ghosting’, ‘reverse-ghosting’ would be a thing of the past. No matter how fast the action on screen all images would be represented in pristine condition similar in quality to a static image. This is not a perfect world, but the less amounts of blurring which occurs the less chances you will notice the issue in real world scenarios. While the panels response rate (ms) and and frame rate (Hz) can give a fairly rough idea of how much blurring to expect it is not the end all and be all.

To this end we have taken PRAD’s Pixel Persistence Analyzer ‘Streaky Pictures’ program and using a high speed camera captured exactly how much and what kind of motion blur you can expect from a given monitor.


blurr.jpg

For an IPS panel this level of distortion is not too shabby at all. Of course, it does need to be pointed out that this is the worst case scenario and in most cases you will not notice the loss of image fidelity.


Gamma Performance


Gamma correction is one of the hardest terms to explain. However, for our purposes the gamma correction of any electronics device is how bright or dark an image will be displayed on a screen.

All PC devices now use 2.20 gamma as the default. Any variance from this will result in an image being either underexposed which will create black crush and underexposed shadow detail or washed out with too little black level detail (aka being over-exposed).

While 2.20 is the gold standard, a minor deviation of 0.10 will in all likelihood never be noticed by anyone other than professional photographers. Higher levels of deflection however will be noticed by just about everyone.


gam.jpg

As this is a factory calibrated panel it came as no surprise to have the 'out of the box' gamma be a perfect 2.20. Anything else would have been disappointing.
 
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AkG

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Colour Saturation Levels / Default RGB Levels

Colour Saturation Levels


While there are numerous colors the human eye can’t “see”, the human color space confined to three primary colors and combinations thereof. To make things easier for manufactures (and not waste resources displaying colors we can’t see) a color space was mathematically described and while various models do exist, the CIE RGB color space is the de facto standard.

In the below image, the dark triangle which isn’t highlighted is the sRGB color space while the overall CIE color space is displayed as the background colors. Meanwhile, the white triangle with highlighted color represents the results of what a given monitor can display. No monitor can display the entire CIE color spectrum but a good monitor should be able to display the sRGB spectrum of possible colors as this is usually used as the standard for image encoding.

A monitor which uses the “wide color gamut” moniker can display more than the sRGB spectrum and is considered primarily for professional use. If a monitor cannot cover off the entire sRGB triangle, the resulting image will appear “off” to an observer. The end result is a picture displayed on the panel which won’t be as rich, vibrant or as correct as it should be.


CIE.jpg

With its 10 bit panel it comes as no surprise to see the LG 34UC87C post a fairly wide color gamut. By the same token it is not the largest we have ever seen, not by a long stretch.


Default RGB Levels


An LCD or LCD LED backlit panel relies on accurately blending Red, Green and Blue pixel clusters to create an overall image so closer to each of these colours is to a “perfect” 100 output, the better and more accurate the default colors will be.

In this case, we have a low tolerance for anything less than perfection since any color shift can be noticeable even to untrained eyes and will require a color correction be applied at the software level to overcome a monitor’s stock output. We do however consider a minor variation of only a few points per color to be acceptable.


rgb.jpg

Once again we were presented with near perfection- and so close the variance could easily be in our testing apparatus versus the factory calibration device.
 
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AkG

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Viewing Angles / Contrast Ratio / Power Consumption

Viewing Angles


Unlike CRT displays, the manner in which LCD panels create an image can result in one large weakness: the image can lose contrast when viewed off angle. While we do not recommend watching an LCD at anything besides perfectly straight on, the reality is this cannot always be done.

To help give you a glimpse of what a panel will look like when seen from either above the horizontal or vertical plane we have taken pictures at fairly extreme angles.


ang_front.jpg

Front

ang_ang.jpg

Off-Horizontal

ang_top.jpg

Off Vertical


Usually IPS based screens offer some of the widest viewing angles possible. Sadly the LG 34UC87C is the exception to this rule. The simple fact of the matter is even when sitting directly in front of it a good portion of the monitor will be at an angle to you. The end result is with off-horizontal axis viewing, half the screen will be noticeably brighter, and clearer than the other half. Vertical viewing suffers a similar fate as the panel is simply not uniform when looking down upon it and color fidelity noticeably shifts. Basically this monitor is meant to be viewed head-on and anything other than sitting directly in front of it will result in less than optimal image quality.


Maximum Contrast Ratio


While manufactures love to throw around “maximum” contrast ratios in the millions, the fact of the matter is that to get these high numbers they have to use "dynamic contrast" which—at best—results in overly optimistic specs. With DC turned off, the number of shades between purest white and blackest black a given monitor can display is usually in the low hundreds rather than the thousands.

The higher the contrast ratio, the better the monitor will display shades of dark and light. For IPS monitors, anything below 450:1 is unacceptable, with 500:1 or above considered optimal. For TN anything above 120:1 will be considered “good enough” for most consumers.


cont.jpg

While it does not boast the absolute best maximum contrast ratio we have ever come across the LG 34UC87C is still a darn fine monitor in this regard. Unless you absolutely need the highest contrast possible these results will be more than good enough. B


Power Consumption


To obtain the maximum number we set the monitors brightness to 100% and the contrast to 100%. The Calibrated results are taken at 120 cd/m2 with the contrast set to the default level.

power.jpg

It came as no surprise to see that the LG 34UC87C consumes more power than most smaller monitors we have looked at. In other words the sky is blue, water is wet, and a bigger monitor consumes more power than a smaller one. What did surprise us was how power efficient it was at a calibrated 120cd/m2.
 
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AkG

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Gaming Perforamnce

Gaming Performance


<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/LG_34/g6.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

At the center of the LG 34UC87C beats the heart of a gaming champion, one which will envelop you with visual goodness provided you have the graphics horsepower to push it along. While one may assume a GTX 970, R9 390X or even GTX 980 will be enough to provide playable framerates, be prepared to see even the best setups beggared by this monitor. Remember, it is a good thousand pixels wider than a standard 1440P screen and rendering that extra onscreen space takes a copious amount processing power.

Past the obvious challenges posed by the 34UC87C’s sheer size, when you do end up finding that optimal combination of visual settings and framerates it will provide a superlative gaming experience. Provided you understand and accept its limitations that is….

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/LG_34/g3.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

At this point it’s important to remember that regardless of how good LG’s massive monitor may look and how well its IPS panel handles the visuals within today’s high intensity games (more on this below), there are some tradeoffs. Despite retailing for just over a grand, it doesn’t incorporate any of the technologies normally associated with such expensive monitors. For the gaming crowd that means key features like FreeSync, G-SYNC and ULMB have been left on the cutting room floor.

Will the omission of these items kill all the appeal of LG’s 34UC87C for gaming scenarios? We don’t think so since it is still several hundred less than competitors like Acer’s awesome Predator X and Z series. However, when someone is shopping monitors priced at the very limits of sanity, a 20% premium for G-SYNC may not be all that much to ask for a drastically more adaptable experience.

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/LG_34/g2.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

With the price and features pushed aside, the 34UC87C is a shockingly capable gaming monitor. Provided you are sitting smack dab in the middle of that panoramic screen, the immersion factor is off the chart. Ultimately, a monitor lives and dies in the gaming world by its capabilities to project the user into another world and allow them to forget –for a time at least- about the daily grind of real life. Be it with ultra smooth motion rendition, accurate colors or an ultra high resolution, how a product accomplishes that can vary but the 34UC87C accomplishes that goal with its gracious curve. You have to experience it to believe it.

This isn’t to say that the curve will be the end-all of gaming since it does tend to exhibit image artifacts in certain areas. Any game with a large horizontal menu system like Total War, Company of Heroes, Homeworld Remastered or a Civ title will exhibit some visual warping of normally straight lines. It isn’t the end of the world and doesn’t outright kill gameplay but it is still notable.

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/LG_34/g5.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

Past its ability to draw gamers into the action within driving and FPS games, this monitor also provides a deep and rich color pallet that makes games simply <i>pop</i>. A huge amount of black and grey level detail also shines while superior contrast highlights key detail areas. For survival horror games, this is the monitor to own.

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/LG_34/g4.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

For some users, there will be one nagging issue though: not all games support the oddball 3440x1440 resolution. Newer titles shouldn’t have any problems and both NVIDIA and AMD drivers support custom resolutions but we encountered some slightly older games that didn’t want to play nice.

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/LG_34/g1.jpg" border="0" alt="" />
</div>
 
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AkG

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Movie Perforamnce

Movie Performance


<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/LG_34/m1.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

Using the LG 34UC87C for multimedia related tasks does pose certain unique challenges that most consumers will probably have never encountered before. So before you purchase this monitor understand it is not a plug and play investment. This is not because of any adjustments you have to make but rather it requires adjustments to your normal movie watching setup.

On the one hand a 2.33:1 form factor sounds like a match made in heaven, as many movies are filmed in this ultra-wide format. Combine this with a size that is more suited to televisions and consumers may think that the LG 34UC87C is tailor made for movies. Sadly, finding movies that are available in this monitor’s native resolution and aspect ratio will be nearly impossible as Blu-Ray and direct digital downloads all 1920x1080P.

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/LG_34/m6.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

As time goes by this issue will become less critical as 4K movies become available but picture quality will always boil down aspect ratio. The answer to this issue is to either use a good converter program that can upconvert and stretch the 16:9 content to 21:9, or conversely simply live with black bars on each side of the image. Neither solution is perfect, and both have their own negatives (odd looking images or a smaller picture) but whichever option you choose be assured that the LG 34UC87C is sure to satisfy.

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/LG_34/m5.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

We must admit to not being overly enthused about using a curved monitor for movie watching but the experience did grow on us. As long as you are sitting directly in front of it (off angle viewing will be less than optimal) you will love what it can do. The combination of a curved screen, ultra-rich colors and a deep color pallet makes immersion quite easy. There’s no need to mess with gamma correction, no need to mess with a 'warm' or 'cool' color pallet… just sit back with your adult beverage of choice and be prepared to be wowed.

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/LG_34/m3.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

The reason you will so quickly be immersed into you movies is the same as it is for games: the curved panel. Usually at normal monitor viewing distance having a 34" monitor would be simply too much to take all in at once and you would find yourself unconsciously concentrating in on only one portion of the image at a time. This does not occur with the curved LG 34UC87C. Instead it wraps around and into your peripheral vision and makes it seem almost like you are <i>living</i> the movie.

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/LG_34/m4.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>
 
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AkG

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Non-Colorimeter Tweaking and Results

Non-Colorimeter Tweaking and Results


<i>In a perfect world either every monitor would come factory calibrated to perfection or every single consumer would own a decent colorimeter. We don’t live in such a world and as such most consumers simply use the old Mark 1 Mod 0 eyeball to fix any imperfections with the stock colors of their new monitor.

In order to gauge how easy this is to do for a given monitor we have included a new set of tests. These tests will be carried out before any of our standard tests and will consist of us using a combination of the free online LCD Monitor Test Images (found here LCD monitor test images) and then if necessary the free Hex2Bit Monitor Calibration Wizard (found here Hex2Bit - Software by Mike Walters). The goal of these tests is to not only gauge how easy it is to accurately calibrate a given monitor using only the onboard monitor tools, but to see how closely we can come to what a Spyder3 Elite can do. </i>


To obtain these results we did the following

- used “custom" mode
- adjusted the brightness to 50 and contrast to 50 (which resulted in a 120.9 cd/m2)
- All other settings left to default levels

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/LG_34/rgb.jpg" border="0" alt="" />
</div>
<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/LG_34/gam.jpg" border="0" alt="" />
</div>

Let's be clear here: this monitor factory calibrated and about all anyone will really need to do is turn down the default brightness level….and that is a godsend as this is easily the most frustrating, infuriating, and almost unbearable monitor we have ever had the (dis)pleasure of using. That joystick makes the OSD literally impossible to navigate.
 
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AkG

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Conclusion

Conclusion


Not since the days of Intel vs Apple have we seen a new technology create such an emotional response from the entire PC community. While there are a few who will not hold a strong opinion on 21:9 monitors in general for the most part this new form-factor is a love/hate binary solution. Unfortunately, adding in a new twist - curved panel - will only further divide consumers on the merits of the all new LG 34UC87C. That is a bloody shame as we quickly grew to like this monitor and its quirky nature - even if the OSD leaves a lot to be desired. That is not to say that it is perfect for all scenarios but what it does do well it does very well.

As serious PC enthusiasts who play as hard as they work, this monitor was extremely complimentary and before long we got past the -pardon the pun - learning curve that <i>always</i> comes with such a radical change in form-factor. We still would not recommend it for serious photographers, CAD/CAM designers, architects, or anyone who works with <i>straight lines</i> on a regular basis - as the physical curve <i>and</i> learning curve it demands will drive you around the twist; but for all other work related tasks its massive pixel count allowed for two programs to comfortably run side by side, making getting 'serious' work done even faster than on our usual single large monitor setup. This was most telling in Excel and quite honestly if you work with spreadsheets as often as we do, you will consider the LG 34UC87C to be pure Excel Nirvana.

Conversely its curved format provided for a very immersive gaming experience that allowed the images to wrap around us, similar to that of what a three monitor 'gaming' setup would - but without the need for three monitors. Its curved and massive format did take getting used to in movies, but once again created a very immersive experience once we opted for a good upscaling program. Overall, we quickly forgot about its exotic form-factor and started to enjoy it for what it is: a mega-sized IPS based monitor.

This is not to say the LG 34UC87C is going to be right for everyone. Not everyone will simply have <i>room</i> to fit a massive 34-inch monitor on their desk - even a curved 21:9 monitor. Not everyone will have the video card horsepower to run a non-GSYNC enabled 3440 x 1440 monitor to tolerable frames per second. More importantly even of those who can afford will be able to justify the thousand dollar price tag. That is a bloody shame as nearly everyone however will love the color fidelity, clarity, and perfect out of the box colors this monitor offers.

Sadly, if LG had just simply include real menu buttons and made it GSYNC - or even FreeSync - capable a lot of issues with justifying its price would have evaporated faster than deep fried bacon wrapped bacon strips at the Calgary Stampede. In such a world the 34UC87C would have been <i>the</i> monitor to own, one that could replace most 10bit IPS monitors for 'work' and 144Hz TN monitors for play - and do so without requiring three Titan X video cards. Sadly it is not GSYNC enabled, and if LG's intent was to make the perfect all round mega-monitor, then the 34UC87C just slightly misses its mark. We do however foresee this monitor putting a lot of pressure on the older 16:9 form-factor in the dual screen and high end PC gaming system market niches.

In the end it may not be perfect, but the LG 34UC87C is still a very, very good monitor that has a lot to offer. For consumers who can afford and justify its asking price, and have the video card horsepower to properly drive it, this monitor needs to be seen in action. Once you do you will in all likelihood fall in love with it - warts and all.
 

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