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To say that the Samsung 49-inch Curved QLED Gaming Monitor is one of a kind would be an understatement. It is literally the only 32:9 widescreen monitor on the market and when Samsung says it is ultra-wide, they mean it. This beast of a monitor boasts a 3840×1080 display which means that most games that support 21:9 will have extra space even after maxed out to the highest resolution.
The monitor is not just a pretty face as it uses the new QLED technology seen in the QLED TVs that I covered over the past few weeks. While the backlighting is not even close to the TV’s standard, the monitor does a great job in bringing to life colours and bright and darks like I have never seen before. 144HZ, HDR, 3840×1080 and a curve that wraps around your eyes do come at a steep asking price. This beast retails for R24,999.
You can pick up a 4K TV at the same price or even less today, which makes the QLED Curved Monitor a hard sell. I just bought the 65-inch Q7C QLED TV and it was R29,999. While this is a fact, the tech specs of this monitor and the fact that it is built for gaming makes it any hardcore gamer’s dream. Yes, it is a full HD display which is a questionable decision on Samsung’s part given their push for 4K QLEDs but again it is made for that gamer who wants 144HZ refresh rate, or a gorgeous HDR experience in Destiny 2 that is more immersive than ever thanks to every corner of the massive display being filled with imagery.
The only monitor I think that can come close to this Samsung one would be the Acer Z35 that boasts a 35-inch curved widescreen display with a 144Hz refresh rate. Again, this is not a 32:9, rather just a standard 21:9 monitor. It will also set you back R18,999 so it is kind of in the market of the Samsung one too. Both of these monitors looks awesome but the Samsung QLED Curved Display takes the cake when it comes to the impact and overall design of the screen.
This display is truly a vision when in use as its giant 47-inch screen travelled across my table from one end to the other like nothing I have ever used before. it took up the entire desk and I had to even move my PC to the floor to accommodate the display. The bezels of the side make up an extra inch or so giving the screen more needed space than you think. The stand is also huge, which is a given, as it needs to support the screen. The stand also keeps things neat thanks to its hidden compartment with all its plugs and the hollow arm that lets you run all your cables down the back without them being seen. This design is similar to the QLED TVs that is also working on making the most minimalistic cable management setup for your desk. The stand also works as a lift as you can move the screen up and down quite smoothly as if it has a hydraulic machine. It also rotates at a 45-degree angle up and down to suit all setups.
When it comes to the performance of the display it was just as expected, fantastic. The QLED display delivers rich colours, deep blacks and a smooth image with no flicker, dull gradients or jittering. When it comes to the 144Hz, of course, the display was flawless and games like Overwatch and Battlefield ran like a dream. While Overwatch only supports 21:9 the game was fun to play on the larger display. Where the screen shines the most is when games that fully support the 32:9 are played. Destiny 2 is a perfect example of this and the game wrapped around my eyes as every corner of the screen was used. While the sides are blurred out a bit, this is done to create greater immersion in games. When the game supports the full display the edges are used to extend the game to its fullest and Destiny 2, being an FPS, was a great game to test out. Your eyes are drawn to the middle of the screen and the sides are in view at all times too. It is a remarkable use of screen space, one which I hope more games support in the future.
With all these features there are some decisions you will have to make when it comes to connectivity. The QLED monitor has a DisplayPort and two HDMI slots so what you want to use is up to you. The only issue I had is that the DisplayPort is only 1.4 which means it does not support HDR, and while the monitor does, you will not be able to benefit from the HDR if you are using this connection method. Only when making use of the HDMI port will HDR kick in when playing supported games. This all means that you will need to decide to either use a DisplayPort for the 144Hz or HDMI for the HDR. It all depends on the game and the type of gamer you are as I am sure most people will opt for the DisplayPort at 144Hz.
In the end, the 49-inch QLED Monitor is no doubt one of the best displays on the market. It does come at a pretty steep price tag and the support for the 32:9 is a bit limited at the moment to a few games but I am sure this list will grow over time. You will need a powerful graphics card to hit the highest settings here as even my 980 Ti struggles to keep 120FPS at 3840×1080 on Destiny 2. It capped at 60FPS with no problem though. As for working on it, my production levels at least doubled as I was able to have at least 4 windows open at a time and for those who think that your neck gets sore with this, it does not. You use your eyes to look around not your neck.
I loved my time with the monitor and while it is expensive, I am sure there are many gamers out there that will want this on their wish list. Is this something you would use? let us know in the comments below.
This review was based off a demo unit given to us on loan for a few days.