Massive curved widescreens with high resolutions might not quite be right for gaming just yet, since most graphics hardware can't accelerate 3D in the very latest games at these resolutions yet. But that doesn't mean they're not desirable, and with the 349X7FJEW, Philips hopes to win you over to a wider, more curvaceous world of viewing.
The 349X7JEW is a 34in screen, but with a 21:9 aspect ratio rather than 16:9, so it's proportionately narrower in the horizontal direction. The resolution also isn't quite 21:9. The native resolution is 3,440 x 1,440, which is actually 21.5:9, so the physical pixels won't be exactly square, but slightly narrower horizontally, although you are highly unlikely to spot such a subtle difference.
Since this isn't a panel solely aimed at gaming, the emphasis is on quality. The display technology used is VA, providing a fairly average brightness of 300cd/m2 and a run-of-the-mill 4ms grey-to-grey response time, but a high 3,000:1 contrast ratio. At the native resolution, the optimum refresh is 60Hz, although FreeSync is on offer and 100Hz refresh is also available.
The curvature is 1800R, which is more rounded than some screens on the market. The semi-glossy white finish and shiny chrome stand give a classy appearance. You get a reasonable range of connectivity, with a couple of HDMI connections and a single DisplayPort, plus a four-port USB 3.0 hub. A pair of 5W speakers are included, and there are minijacks for feeding analog audio into the screen, plus attaching headphones. You can tilt and raise the panel a sizeable 150mm up from its lowest position.
However, all this comes at a fairly hefty price. Costing a little over £800, the Philips 349X7FJEW has a fair bit to live up to. Let's find out if it does.
Screen size: 34-inch, 21:9 aspect, curved (1800R)
Native resolution: 3,440 x 1,440
Refresh rate: 100Hz
Panel type: VA
Contrast ratio: 3,000:1 (typical)
Response time: 4ms Grey-to-Grey
Display inputs: 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x HDMI 1.4, 1 x DisplayPort 1.2
USB hub: Yes, 4-port USB 3.0 with fast charging
Other: Headphone jack, audio input, built-in 5-watt speakers.
Retail Price: £815.99 (inc. VAT)
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