It’s a monitor for the discerning gamer
I’ve been a hardcore PC gamer for most of my life, but I can honestly say that I’ve not been digging the gamer aesthetic lately. Honestly speaking, I’m not a fan of today’s PC gaming aesthetic of LED lights everywhere. I’m one of the few people who want elegant looking pieces of gear to game on, not a discoteque of lights.
Whiel ASUS’ Designo Curve MX34V isn’t explicitly marketed as a gaming monitor, it has all the hallmarks of one: 100Hz refresh rate, Adaptive Sync capability and respectible refresh rates for a VA panel. Its elegant aesthetic and awesome gaming performance makes it one of my favorite monitors to game on these past few months.
Awesome design is elegant and not garish
The MX34VQ’s distinct aesthetic style caught our eye the minute we finished setting it up. With a black and silver finish, skinny bezels and a mostly transparent base, the MX34VQ feels right at home in a minimalist home setting. Everything about the design speaks understated elegance, which is a stark departure from the company’s own ROG line of monitors.
You’ll have to look for the manual controls right below the monitor, since ASUS hid it so it wouldn’t break up the smooth, elegant aesthetic of the design. Also built into the bottom of the cabinet is a pair of downward firing Harman/Kardon speakers. The connectors are all downward facing as well to keep the monitor’s smooth, flowing lines intact.
A display that’s good enough for gaming
The MX34VQ uses a 34-inch VA panel that has a 1800R curve to it. While the display isn’t necessarily being marketed as a gaming-grade panel, it’s good enough for gaming use: it has a resolution of 3440×1440, 178 degree viewing angle, as well as a response time of 4ms. It doesn’t have FreeSync or G-sync that’s specifically made for gaming monitors, though it has Adaptive Sync capabilities.
The panel itself can be tilted up and down by 20 degrees, but there’s no swivel or height adjustments to speak of – a shame since the monitor sits a bit too low for my taste. The base of the monitor has a 5-watt/1A Qi charging pad which works just as advertised. The pad glows blue when there’s a device on it that’s charging, or amber when there’s an error.
Aside from the normal color, temperature and brightness settings, MX34VQ also has a blue light filter, and eight picture presets which include Standard, sRGB, Dark Room, Scenery, Theater, Game, Night View, and Reading modes. ASUS also includes a few features that’s in their gaming monitors, specifically the GamePlus crosshair, timer, and frame-counter.
Color isn’t accurate enough for professional use OOB, but can be tweaked
How’s the MX34VQ in actual use? Well, it’s pretty good. We did notice that the color temperature was too cool for our liking, though it’s not a major issue unless you’re planning to use the monitor for serious work like photo and video editing. In that case you’ll need to have it calibrated professionally, which is pretty much the norm for the industry anyway.
As far as gaming performance is concerned, the monitor worked just fine. If you have a powerful enough rig you can enjoy widescreen gaming, and the MX34VQ kept up with us while we were playing Squad, Battletech and Battlefield 1. No apparent screen tearing was observed, nor were there stuttering or ghosting.
The most surprising part of the monitor was the two downward firing, 8-watt Harman/Kardon speakers. They were sufficiently loud – louder than we were expecting at least, and had good definition overall.
Verdict: An alternative to garish gaming monitors for the aesthetically inclined
The MX34VQ feels like a breath of fresh air after the glut of gaming monitors we’ve been reviewing from ASUS lately. Its pleasing aesthetics and gaming performance as well as its surprising sound quality make it one of our favorite gaming monitors available today. It’s a bit spendy though, priced at Php 56,230/$1090 but for the discerning gamer, the price is more than worth it.