We know what you're thinking, "This is a gimmick," right? Those were our initial thoughts too, back when LG first revealed its 21:9 QHD monitor we were puzzled as to who would purchase this unusual, first-to-market display. Turns out LG want it to be us – digital content creators.
Just take a glance at the monitor; it's easy to see why LG is targeting creatives first and why it might be onto something with the 21:9 aspect. You don't need to work in VFX to appreciate a display that caters for a cinematic aspect, no matter what 3D package or video-editing software you favour, the amount of tools and windows you need to open during an average session warrants the extra screen estate.
The workflow benefits of greater screen space are obvious, but there are some annoying downsides to a dual monitor setup. Aside from the ugly, intrusive bevel smack-bang in the middle of your field of view, there's also the issue of colour consistency across two (or more) separate displays.
Even if you use identical monitors, daisy-chained and running the same colour profile, when you get down to colour grading those shadows in a scene on monitor One then referring to playback on monitor Two, if there is even the slightest variation frustration is bound to kick in. A large, continuous panel negates this.
It's also worth noting that LG's 34UM95 supports 10-bit colour via DisplayPort, the HDMI cable simply can't deliver full resolution and deep colour support so avoid using it if colour accuracy is key. Also, the LG's panel has a DeltaE of <5, which is OK, but for professional use we would expect a DeltaE of <2.
Screen split software
Consider how this IPS monitor is constructed and how it can be used, it's a 34in panel (at 21:9 ratio) delivering 3440 x 1440 pixels, 34 per cent greater than a 27in Quad HD display like the ASUS PA279Q ProArt monitor. When using the bundled Screen Split software you can chop the screen directly down the middle giving you two 20.5in 1,720 x 1,440 views (using a 5:4 aspect ratio) which might feel a little small at first. In both instances you're getting a superb 110 ppi pixel density.
A fixed-height monitor stand just doesn't make any sense, the 10 degrees of tilt is okay, but we would've also preferred the option to swivel. There's too much tacky plastic in the overall build for our liking. Combine these quibbles with the £890 price point – which is comparable to a decent dual monitor setup – and the 34UM95 is still a compelling display that unfortunately just misses the mark for professionals.
Words: Paul Tysall
Freelance graphic designer and illustrator, and former magazine art editor, Paul Tysall has extensive knowledge of various professional digital art tools – from hardware to software. This article originally appeared in 3D World issue 189.