ASUS Designo MX34VQ
The ASUS MX34VQ is part of the ‘Designo’-series of the brand, and whatever you think of the design, it is definitely not bad looking. The round base that sort of resembles a droplet looks elegant, at least in our opinion, and feels solid as well. The combination of glass and metal is luxurious. The thin edges of the panel on the left, right and above it certainly contribute to the appearance, the silver coloured wide edge at the bottom makes the design complete. We can imagine you would place this monitor in your living room, although it is too big to be in the background (unless you have a very big living room, of course). On the desk of an employee whose function abbreviation starts with a ‘C’, the MX34VQ could also come into its own.
Somewhere that you might not think of, is as part of a ‘battlestation’ of an enthusiast gamer. The famed PG348Q that we covered before might seem more suited for this, and in some ways it is. Nevertheless the MX34Q is not to be underestimated, because the used va-panel offers two more attractive characteristics for gamers, aside from the uwqhd-resolution of 3440x1440 pixels. These are an above average contrast, inherent to this technique, and a refresh rate of 100Hz which is quite a bit more than the regular 60Hz and about the maximum achievable refresh rate for this resolution with DisplayPort 1.2. Previous va-models that we tested, manufactured by Samsung and HP, did not surpass 60Hz. The Republic of Gamers P348Q also does not surpass 100Hz, but does offer G-sync.
G-sync support is absent on the MX34VQ, which in part is the reason for the lower price. ASUS did equip the monitor with Freesync, with a range of 48-100Hz. We would have preferred a slightly lower limit, but with a decent graphics card 48 fps should be achievable (you need about 5/8th of the power required for 4K/uhd).
The monitor has three hdmi 2.0-inputs and a single displayport 1.2-connector. We also find a 3.5mm audio-input and two speakers, that have slightly more power than usual. ASUS states they worked with Harman Kardon and used their own SonicMaster alghoritms. They probably sound better than the average monitor speakers, but we would still strongly recommend standalone speakers.
At the back all cables are removed from eyesight as much as possible, although we do miss real cable guidance in the base. What we also miss is extensive adjustability. The panel, that has a radius of 1800 mm (1800R), can tilt 15 degrees backwards or 5 degrees forwards and that is all it can do. Turn, pivot, rotate or height adjustability are all absent. With the absence of a vesa-mount it is impossible to add an alternative base later; you are limited to using the standard base. This is probably also due to the built-in qi-charger. We are also missing a usb hub, which is pretty standard on monitors in this (price)range and not unnecessary for users that want a clean desk. ASUS presumably thinks that you are working with wireless devices if you choose to use a ‘design’ monitor, and they are probably right.
Also worth mentioning is the game mode, in which the colours are emphasized and the contrast increases (a lot), thanks to a higher black value. In our opinion this results in an improved experience.
In terms of features the MX34VQ offers more in one category, while offering less in another. The big question is how the va-panel compares to the competition. Unfortunately we have not tested a lot of models with our new test method, but at least we have enough comparison material in terms of the response time.