One of the perks of a blogger is to experience the latest technologies without spending a cent. For that, I also mean the opportunity of trying out products for a short period of time. To me, this is one of the best rewards as a blogger. It is not all about getting sponsors or making money. After all, experience cannot be bought. It is with this mindset that I got to try out the ASUS Designo Curve MX34VQ monitor for a generous period of 3 months.
Let’s say it up-front: the monitor retails at S$1589. It’s not cheap, and you can buy a decent living room LED TV at double the size for the same price. But here are some awesome reasons why, if you use the computer for long hours, you probably should invest in one of these.
Large and Curved
At 34-inch, the Designo is large for a computer monitor, but then it curves inwards giving both the illusion that it’s compact as well as a 3D feel. The immersive effect works better than curved TV screens for living room because as you sit closer to the monitor, it covers your peripheral vision. The non-reflective matt surface which and achieves good visual comfort.
The feature that made me sold to the monitor is the built-in speaker tuned by Harman Kardon. Just connect the monitor to the desktop via HDMI and it will also transmit the digital audio signal without separate cable needed. It’s one of the best monitor speakers I have reviewed, delivering good hi-fi quality even with mid-upper bass to midrange presence. Treble is sparkling but messy, but once I reduce the 8k frequency range manually, it sounds more musical.
I would wish the speakers could go even louder to achieve better impact especially when watching movies, but the volume is sufficient for personal audio enjoyment.
Qi Wireless Charger
The wireless charger is a nice touch to this premium monitor. Place Qi-compatible devices on the glass surface and it emits an aurora-like glow during charging. On the menu, you can configure whether the charger works even when monitor is turned off, and whether to enable the glowing LED.
OSD Navigation Buttons
The Designo has a special way to navigate the on-screen display: through a 5-way rocker located directly below the monitor brand in the centre. Just stick your finger underneath and you can feel the button, then push the rocker around to scroll the selection intuitively.
There are 2 click buttons on each side of the rocker for additional selection options. Overall, this OSD button design is the best I have encountered, against other monitors with so many individual buttons that are really frustrating to navigate.
The Usual Bells and Whistles
Apart from the above features, all of which I love, the ASUS Designo comes with all the usual monitor features, like an amazing list of preset colour modes – Standard, sRGB, Game, Theater, Reading, Night Mode, Darkroom, etc. It supports 4 blue light filter settings, flicker-free technology, high 100 Hz refresh rate for gaming, ultra-high 3000:1 contrast ratio. It supports Picture-in-Picture, Multiframe Management (via software), 3x HDMI v2.0 ports.
I am fully aware of the advantages of multi-displays. At my workplace, I use 2 external displays plus laptop screen all running at the same time. The ASUS Designo keeps things simple with a single immersive curved screen with 3440 x 1440 resolution. A part of me says spending S$1.6K on a monitor is a little excessive, as a 2-monitor set-up is more economical, especially if you use it mainly for multi-window productivity use.
But one very important factor needs consideration: if you are a frequent gamer or often watch videos, a single monitor offers much better visual experience. What’s more, the built-in speakers are fantastic. In short, the ASUS Designo monitors are worth investing for computing entertainment use. They retail at S$1589.
- Contrast Ratio (Max) : 3000:1
- Display Colors : 16.7M
- Curved Panel : 1800R
- ASUS Smart Contrast Ratio (ASCR) : 100000000:1
- Panel Size: Ultra-wide Screen 34” (86.43cm) 21:9
- True Resolution : 3440×1440
- Brightness(Max) : 300 cd/㎡
- Panel Type : VA
- Response Time : 4ms (Gray to Gray)
- Display Surface: Non-glare
- Viewing Angle (CR≧10) : 178°(H)/178°(V)
- Stereo Speakers : with ASUS SonicMaster and Harman Kardon® Technologies 8W x 2 Stereo RMS
- AudioWizard Preset Sound modes : 4 Modes (Gaming mode / Music mode / User mode/ Movie mode)
- Earphone jack : 3.5mm Mini-Jack
- Signal Input : HDMIx3 (v2.0), DisplayPort 1.2
- Tilt : +15°~-5°
- Qi wireless charger: Yes
- Dimension with Stand (WxHxD) : 810.6 x 456.8 x 239.7 mm
- Net Weight: 8.4 kg