Big thanks to Asus Singapore for lending me the unit for this review.
The ASUS PA34V is a 34.1-inch IPS ultra-wide curved monitor that supports a resolution of 3440 x 1440.
This is an interesting monitor because it's an ultra-wide curved monitor which is supposed to target gamers but it also belongs to the ProArt series of monitor which means colour accuracy is quite good and it is. I measured 100% sRGB, 81% AdobeRGB, 77% NTSC and 83% P3. So it seems like this is a monitor targeted at creatives who also game. The monitor supports adaptive sync up to 100Hz so it should be able to handle PC games at higher frame rates compared to typical 60Hz monitors. Unfortunately I don't game so I can't say how good it is at gaming.
Design of the monitor looks good. There are thin bezels on the sides except the bottom which is thicker. The display has a matte surface with anti-glare which isn't too aggressive. I measured a maximum of 270 nits of brightness which is adequate for indoor use – I'm only using 50% brightness.
The curvature is 1900R. The curvature looks very obvious. After using the monitor for three weeks, I still haven't gotten used to the curvature yet. I guess I still prefer a flat design for the type of work I do, which is visual content creation, eg. graphic design, photo and video editing.
The stand is big but doesn't take up a lot of space because it uses a narrow profile to balance the monitor. Overall build quality of the monitor and stand is solid. There is adjustment for height, till and swivel, but not for rotation obviously.
OSD buttons are on the right side in a vertical row. The press buttons are shortcuts while the toggle button is for navigating through the menu.
There's a good amount of control over the colours. You can adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, hue, colour temperature, gamma and black level. Having so many controls can make colour calibration challenging.
Thankfully the monitor is already calibrated in the factory with a calibration report provided. So when I did my calibration using the Spyder5Pro, it was easy as I don't have to mess with the default settings. Color Accuracy ΔE is said to be less than 2.
There's this featured called Dynamic Dimming which is on by default. It needs to be turned off because it's auto-brightness based on the content that appears on screen.
Other useful features included Picture-in-Picture, Picture-beside-Picture. And the monitor will auto-detect the video signal and switch accordingly.
The side is quite thin but...
It becomes thicker towards the middle at the back. VESA mount dimension is 10 x 10cm.
Ports on the back include one for the power, and there's a physical power switch just beside.
2x HDMI v2.0b, a full-size DisplayPort, 3.5mm audio jack. There are 2W stereo speakers on the back by the way and the audio quality is hollow and well, the sound's coming from the back.
2x Thunderbolt 3 ports. One's upstream, the other downstream. One has 60W power delivery so that could be useful for charging devices. The Thunderbolt 3 is compatible with USB-3 Type C.
And there are 3 USB Type-A downstream. Only things missing would be USB ports and card reader on the side of the monitor.
My main monitor is the BenQ SW2700PT which supports a resolution of 2560 x 1440. Switching over to using this ultra-wide resolution of 3440 x 1440 provided more desktop space. The extra desktop space and resolution allows me to place more palettes on screen in Photoshop and Illustrator without blocking the work I'm working on.
The curvature doesn't really affect my work but I still feel more comfortable working on a flat display. With Illustrator, my muscle memory, even after three weeks, kept pressing the Tab button to hide the palettes even though that's no longer necessary with this much resolution.
The resolution is definitely not as high compared to 4K's 3840 x 2160. Due to the pixel density, there is pixelation if you look close, but it's a perfectly usable and good amount of resolution for a 34.1-inch display.
The display is huge. Actual horizontal display width is about 80cm while vertical height is 33cm. That's bigger than A3. When doing graphic design for print, if you're working at same or less than A3 size, you will be able to view the fonts at 100% size, the same size as they will be printed.
Photo editing doesn't make full use of the aspect ratio. There's bound to be unused space on the left and right unless the photos you shoot are ultra wide.
This monitor is excellent for editing videos because of the aspect ratio. I use Final Cut Pro and I was able to show the projects, files, timeline together with a huge viewport for the video I'm working on. And since the display is so wide, more of the timeline can be seen which means there's lesser need to zoom in and out. This improved my productivity significantly.
While I don't game, I do watch movies. Watching movies with wide aspect ratio on this monitor is really enjoyable and feels very immersive. Just that when you watch 16:9 movies or Youtube videos, expect black bars on the left and right.The monitor is said to support HDR-10 but that really means it can play HDR movies. The maximum stated brightness of 300 nits is not enough to show true HDR.
Gaming should feel immersive as well.
You can click the images below for a larger view.
There's some backlight bleeding at the top right, bottom left and right for my review unit. I won't say it's not obvious but more importantly it's not distracting. The photo above has been edited to what I see in real life, and this is what you can probably expect with backlight bleeding.
And since this is an IPS panel, there's also the characteristic IPS glow depending on the angle you're viewing the screen from. For the photo above, I pointed the camera to the left. The glow at the top left is IPS glow, the bottom is a combination of IPS glow and backlight.
And this is how the backlight looks when the exposure of the photo is increased to the maximum. The glow on the top left is IPS glow. The rest are backlight bleeding. There are also some wavy patterns created at the bottom which wasn't visible to my eye in real life.
Anyway, you'll only see these issues when your room is totally dark and you have a dark image on screen. You may notice backlight bleeding when watching a movie at night, and if the movie has black bars on the sides. But with typical usage, backlight bleeding should not show up.
The ASUS PA34V is a monitor for creatives who also game or watch movies. So you can say this is a monitor for work and play. Overall, I'm quite pleased with the performance of the monitor. I don't really have any major complaints.
After using the monitor for three weeks intensively for my work, I've got to say that I still prefer flat display over curved ones.
At the time of this review, the monitor is less than US $1200 on Amazon.
Pros and cons at a glance
+ Solid build quality
+ Good colour accuracy: 100% sRGB
+ Lots of display controls via OSD
+ HDMI 2.0b x 2, 3x USB A, DisplayPort 1.2
+ 2x Thunderbolt 3 USB-C
+ Good matte anti-glare
+ Good size and resolution
+ VESA mount support
+ 3 years warranty
- No card slot on the side
- Low quality built in speakers
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