Ultrawide monitors are generally expensive, but the LG 34UC79G sits at a competitive price point
- 144Hz refresh rate
- Responsive monitor
- An affordable ultrawide monitor
- Colour accuracy
- Low brightness levels
Ultrawide gaming monitors often come with a steep price tag, making them inaccessible to those on a tight budget. The LG 34UC79G is still more expensive than regular monitors, but on the gaming-monitor spectrum this 34in, 144Hz 1080p screen is actually pretty reasonable, especially considering the specifications.
LG 34UC79G review: Tl;dr
The 34UC79G is a fantastic gaming monitor. Its 144Hz refresh rate coupled with a low perceived input lag and fast response time make it ideal for both competitive and casual gamers.
The price tag is attractive, too, making it one of the cheapest curved ultrawide gaming monitors on the market. Despite slightly sub-par colour accuracy, somewhat flimsy build quality and limited peak brightness, this LG monitor is one to consider if you’re in the market for a 1080p ultrawide screen and can’t afford the best of the best.
LG 34UC79G review: Price and competition
The LG 34UC79G can be found for £480 in the UK and around $600 in the US. At that price, the monitor has very little competition; I certainly wasn’t able to find anything like it for around £500. In fact, the only direct competition comes from monitors much higher up the price scale: the AOC AG352QCX at £600, the Acer Predator Z35 at £635, and the BenQ XR3501 at £615, for example. In short, the LG 34UC79G is one of the most affordable 34in ultrawide monitors you can buy today.
LG 34UC79G review: Design, features and build quality
Is it any good? In some ways yes, on other ways, not so much. First, the bad stuff, and build quality is top of my list of complaints. When I extracted it from the box, the first thing I noticed was a plastic, flimsy stand, which is surprising to find on a monitor this large.
It isn’t all that flexible, either. The stand allows you to tilt the screen by -5 to 20 degrees and adjust its height by up to 120mm. But its inability to pivot is frustrating when you want to quickly adjust it. Fortunately, you can replace the stand with one of your own since it’s 100 x 100mm VESA compatible, but I’d still expect better than this no matter what the price.
Around the back of the stand is a clip-on cable holder, which is handy for cable routing, but there’s no headphone arm for your PC headset to sit on.
The LG 34UC79G has no bezels at the side or the top of the monitor, which lends the screen a pleasingly minimalist look. The monitor also has a subtle curvature, which provides a slightly more cinematic, immersive viewing experience than a regular flat monitor would. However, this isn’t the dramatic 1500R curvature you’ll find on the Samsung CF791.
To connect the monitor there are DisplayPort 1.2 and a pair of HDMI 2 ports situated on the left-hand side of the rear panel. Two USB 3 ports, a headphone jack and audio-out jacks can also be found here.
The monitor’s onscreen display (OSD) is accessed via a set of physical buttons found on the bottom-right-hand side of the screen. Through it, you can adjust the brightness, contrast, enable Super Resolution+ (used for upscaling), DFC (Digital Fine Contrast for dynamic contrast), Response Time, enable FreeSync, adjust RGB colour values, gamma and enable 1ms Motion Blur Reduction, which I’ll explain more below.
The LG 34UC79G also has support for AMD FreeSync (50~144Hz range over DisplayPort), meaning if you have an AMD graphics card you get tear-free gaming. Nvidia G-sync is not supported.
LG 34UC79G review: Image quality
The 34UC79G employs a 2,560 x 1,080 IPS panel that runs natively at 144Hz. Unfortunately, the monitor doesn’t come with an sRGB mode, which means that its colour accuracy out of the box for image and video editing leave much to be desired. In our technical tests we found that it only covers 85.2% of the sRGB colour gamut in Custom mode and has a high average Delta E of 4.65 – where a score of 0 is perfect and 1 is nearly there, this is pretty poor.
It isn’t the brightest screen at maximum settings, reaching a mere 251cd/m2, and this is further reduced when you switch on the 1ms Motion Blur Reduction option through the OSD, limiting maximum brightness to around 130cd/m2. That’s too dark for gaming or watching movies in anything other than a darkened room.
On the plus side, its low 0.19cd/m² black level (measured at full brightness) and 1,269:1 contrast ratio are impressive, and subjectively I found the monitor’s ability to display a deep black and vibrant colours impressive. And despite colour accuracy being visibly far from perfect, gamers like myself won’t be overly concerned about the measured figures. We are just concerned that it can produce a vibrant, non-washed-out image, and the LG achieves just that.
The LG 34UC79G even keeps a lid on backlight bleed, and that’s something I’ve seen cause significant problems on other ultrawide monitors.
LG 34UC79G review: Gaming performance
Running at 1080p at 144Hz the LG 34UC79G is a fast monitor, meaning you can enjoy ultra-smooth gameplay, especially if you have a compatible AMD graphics card with FreeSync technology.
I found the monitor’s response time to be positively affected when I enabled the “Fast” Response Time setting through the OSD. There’s minimal inverse ghosting, either, meaning no more distracting purple trails.
Perceived input lag is low for a monitor of its size, too. Playing competitive games won’t be a problem on the 34UC79G, which is not something I can say for all curved gaming monitors.
As I mentioned previously, when you switch on the ‘1ms Motion Blur Reduction’ mode, the monitor’s maximum brightness drops significantly. On the plus side, this does completely eliminate blurring, but it’s not a sacrifice I’m willing to make.
LG 34UC79G review: Verdict
At £480, the LG 34UC79G is the most affordable ultrawide gaming monitor I’ve come across. It provides unparalleled gaming performance for the money, and its colour presentation is vibrant and pleasing to the eye.
Granted, build quality isn’t great, it doesn’t have the most accurate panel, nor does it have highest brightness levels, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that there’s an awful lot of gaming monitor here for not a huge amount of money.
If you’re a casual or competitive gamer looking to spend less than £500 on an ultrawide monitor, I don’t think you’ll find many that compete with the LG 34UC79G. I recommend it.