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Viotek GNV34DBE Gaming Monitor Review: Ultra-Wide Value King | Tom's Hardware

(Image: © Viotek)

OUR VERDICT

The Viotek GNV34BDE is one of the best ultra-wide displays we’ve seen for the money. It delivers everything gamers on a budget could ask for, making it the current king of bang-for-your buck gaming monitors.

FOR

  • Contrast
  • 144 Hz
  • Effective overdrive
  • HDR
  • Extended color

AGAINST

  • Needs calibration for best results
  • Wobbly stand
  • Low, with no height adjustment
  • No sRGB mode

In the land of the best gaming monitors, is performance truly king? Some would argue that price is king. Every category of computer component has a sweet spot where the price to performance ratio peaks and buying a little more performance comes at a much higher price.

Today, we’re checking out a 34-inch ultra-wide gaming monitor that takes a run at that sweet spot, the Viotek GNV34DBE ultra-wide. It boasts a 1500R curvature, 3440 x 1440 resolution, a  144 Hz refresh rate, AMD FreeSync and HDR for just $450. Even with its bargain pricing, the GNV34DBE still measures up to its more-expensive competition.

Viotek GNV34DBE Specs

Panel Type / Backlight VA / W-LED, edge array
Screen Size / Aspect Ratio 34 inches / 21:9, Curve radius: 1500mm
Max Resolution & Refresh Rate 3440 x 1440 @ 144 Hz, FreeSync 48-144 Hz with LFC
Native Color Depth / Gamut 8-bit / DCI-P3, HDR10
Response Time (GTG) 4ms
Brightness SDR: 300 nits, HDR: 350 nits
Contrast 3,000:1
Speakers None
Video Inputs 2x DisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0
Audio 3.5mm headphone output
USB 3.0 None
Power Consumption 33w, brightness @ 200 nits
Panel Dimensions 31.8 x 17.8 x 9.5 inches
WxHxD w/base (808 x 452 x 241mm)
Panel Thickness 4.7 inches (119mm)
Bezel Width Top/sides: 0.4 inch (9mm), Bottom: 0.7 inch(19mm)
Weight 16 pounds (7.3kg)
Warranty 3 years

On paper, the GNV34DBE ticks all the important boxes. The monitor supports FreeSync from 48-144 Hz, and below 48 frames per second (fps), Low Framerate Compensation (LFC) takes over to prevent tearing artifacts. VA technology delivers a 3,000:1 static contrast ratio, and the color gamut goes beyond sRGB, (all of which we’ll confirm in testing).

The surprise bonus is HDR support, which Viotek doesn’t mention in its marketing (because it’s not certified). During our initial exploration of the settings menu, we came across an HDR option. Further investigation with a signal generator proved that the GNV34DBE does indeed accept HDR10 signals. This worked smoothly with FreeSync and even G-Sync, too. That’s right — even though Nvidia hasn’t certified the GNV34DBE as being G-Sync Compatible, we confirmed the display’s ability to run G-Sync just fine.

At $450, the GNV34BDE is one of the least-expensive 1440p ultra-wides available. It certainly has the specs of a premium display, so all that’s left to do is fire it up and see how it drives.

Unpacking and Accessories

The GNV34BDE’s panel and stand arrive detached, so you’ll have to assemble the display using the included Phillips-head screwdriver. You also get hardware for both 100mm and 75mm VESA mounts. The only bundled cables are an IEC power cord and DisplayPort. A little red plastic hook attaches to the upright and acts as a hanger for headphones or your best gaming headsets.

Metal tubing forms the stand and base, and both feel fairly solid. There is a weakness where it attaches to the panel, though. The fulcrum is quite small, and there is some wobble. The only adjustment is 15 degrees of tilt. There is no height or swivel function. The screen sits a bit low on the average desktop, so some users might want to consider a small riser to get the screen up higher.

When first turned on, the GNV34DBE’s image was sharp and free of artifacts from the anti-glare layer, which is a 3H hardness type. The 1500R curvature provided a tangible wraparound effect without creating distortion. That means that in addition to gaming, you could use this display for regular work tasks without the curve calling attention to itself.

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The bezel is a thin 9mm around the top and sides with a 19mm trim strip at the bottom. Only Viotek’s logo breaks up the black satin finish. Control buttons are under the bottom right and click firmly.

The menu system is somewhat generic and navigation is a bit clunky, but I could easily find important options and tweak the picture.

Surrounding the stand’s attachment point is a lozenge-shaped light ring. Your only options are steady, flicker or off, and the only color is red. Meanwhile, the power LED also glows blue on the desktop, which is an easy way to see that the power’s on.

The side profile is expectedly chunky, like any curved display and does not include any USB ports. I/O is on the bottom center and includes two each of DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0 (to see which is best for gaming, see our DisplayPort vs. HDMI article). You can plug headphones or powered speakers into a 3.5mm audio port. Though we found volume controls in the on-screen display (OSD), there are no internal speakers.

OSD Features

The OSD is basic in style but includes everything needed for picture adjustment and gaming. There are nine sub-menus that cover input selection, luminance, color adjustments, audio, PIP/PBP, OSD options and toggles for Adaptive-Sync and HDR.

The luminance menu has a dynamic contrast option that worked reasonably well but only with SDR signals. However, it clipped some highlight and shadow detail.

Brightness controls the backlight level like any computer monitor, but the GNV34BDE also has a Black Level slider that changes the gamma in the darkest parts of the image. You can increase it to make shadow details more visible or reduce it to make blacks deeper.

Color Setting has all the controls needed for calibration. There are six picture modes: default Standard, modes for different game types, Cinema or Photo. Standard leaves all the image controls available and looked okay out of the box, but the GNV34DBE benefits from calibration. Also here are five gamma presets (1.8-2.6) and two color temp options, plus a user mode. The RGB sliders start at center range and allow for a reasonably accurate grayscale adjustment. If you’re concerned with eye fatigue, you can engage a Low Blue Light feature with four strengths. Each one warms the color temp a little more. You can also adjust the color saturation and hue if desired.

The Other menu is where you’ll find the Adaptive-Sync and HDR options. You’ll need to turn the former on, since it’s off by default. We had no problem running HDR with FreeSync on an AMD-equipped system. Even though the monitor isn’t Nvidia-certified, when we turned on Adaptive-Sync with the monitor connected to a PC with an Nvidia graphics card, the GNV34BDE ran G-Sync, including with HDR, without issue.

Aiming points, a dot or cross in red or green at the center of the screen, are available in this little quick menu, which appears when you press any key.

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