The HP X34 is a relatively inexpensive ultrawide that’s designed for gaming just like Gigabyte’s popular G34WQC. However, what sets this model apart is it uses a flat IPS panel like the M34WQ instead of the curved VA panel the other model uses. Let’s see if the HP X34 is a competitive offering in a category where affordability is rapidly becoming the standard.
HP X34 Specifications
- Screen Size: 34 Inches
- Resolution: 3440 x 1440 UW-QHD
- Aspect Ratio: 21:9
- Panel Technology: In-Plane Switching (IPS)
- Refresh Rate:165Hz
- Response Time: 1ms MPRT
- Contrast Ratio: 1000:1 (Static)
- Brightness: 400 cd/m²
- Built-in Speakers: No
- Stand: Height – Yes
- Stand: Tilt – Yes
- Stand: Swivel – No
- Stand: Pivot – No
- VESA Compatibility: Yes (100 x 100)
- Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.4 x 1, HDMI 2.0 x 1, 3.5mm Audio Jack x 1
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 32. 15″ x 14.5″ x 2.11
- Weight: 17.6 lbs
Design and Features
The HP X34 looks like a business or office ultrawide with its simplified appearance and its flat screen. the monitor has a matte black chassis which is virtually scratch and smudge resistant, plus it won’t clash with most setups. The display is bezel-free on three sides so you can enjoy more of the large screen.
You have to get ready for the size of an ultrawide if you are upgrading from a typical monitor which is usually at 24 inches. The extra width may interfere with your speakers or if you have a narrow desk and a lot of peripherals. it is not too heavy at 17.6 pounds, but it’s still easy to get unbalanced and drop it if you aren’t holding it properly.
Its build quality is also quite decent so you aren’t getting a flimsy product even if you are paying less. The plastic panels feel a bit thin, but they won’t easily crack or flex with just a moderate amount of force. The included stand does a good job of keeping the monitor upright, although the screen slightly wobbles if you nudge it accidentally.
The HP X34 has awkward OSD buttons at the back towards the right-hand side if you are facing the display. It is still easy to reach them, but the positioning can be numbing if you are applying several tweaks. However, this is still forgivable because of the low price, although many brands have made the controls more forgiving for their budget to premium offerings.
The stand included offers tilt and height adjustments for your convenience and comfort. It’s easy to get a good viewing angle for work and play, although we feel that it could use swivel as well since it’s not a curved display. You can use VESA mounts but we don’t recommend spending the extra unless your desk space is limited or if you have multiple screens.
Another aspect of the HP X34 that took a hit to lower the price is its connectivity layout. It’s limited to having a slot each for DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 2.0, plus a 3.5mm analog audio jack for headphones. USB ports, especially the Type-C ones are quite handy in expanding a monitor’s suitability, but we also recognize the fact that adding them will affect the pricing.
Speakers aren’t part of the package as well to help with the price and presumably, to reduce the thickness of the cabinet. That’s okay since gamers often prefer headsets for gaming since they are better for focus and immersion.
Display and Performance
The HP X34 boasts a 34-inch IPS panel with a 3440 x 1440 resolution, a 165Hz refresh rate, and a 1ms boosted response time. The backlight has a 400 cd/m2 maximum while the contrast ratio is listed at 1000:1 like most IPS monitors. This model doesn’t promise HDR performance even if it has HDR 400-level specifications.
1440p ultrawides are great for gaming and productivity so they are still quite popular even if 4K monitors are the trend these days. You get a decently crisp screen with plenty of space that’s perfect for games and document processing, reading, or browsing. You need a more powerful GPU to reach its maximum refresh, but it still won’t be as demanding as a 4K screen.
The HP X34 renders 100% sRGB and around 87% DCI-P3 for superb vibrancy in games, movies, and daily use. Its accuracy isn’t perfect with a deltaE average of 2.67, but it is still close to the ideal point so color errors aren’t as noticeable. Most users will be happy with it after a few minor tweaks such as setting the brightness to a comfortable level.
Calibrating the monitor reduced its deltaE average to 1.09 which is excellent and decent enough for editing work. however, you need a colorimeter to achieve improvements like this, and those don’t come cheap. We can only recommend buying one to refine the color quality if you are into professional editing or content creation.
Its backlight reached 392 cd/m2 at 100% so it has plenty to fight off glare in a well-lit room. Its contrast ratio peaked at 1022:1 at 50% brightness, so it can’t produce deep blacks like VA panels or those premium IPS monitors with special backlights. The screen looks grayish or washed out when showing black or dark images, but that’s expected from an IPS-based model.
The test sample’s panel uniformity had some flaws due to backlight leaks on the top and bottom edges of the screen. These showed up as clouding issues that are noticeable in dark scenes, and they can be annoying while playing or watching movies. Thankfully, this is permanent on every monitor so there will be better units out there.
The IPS panel’s response time barely shows any blurring, showing us how much the panel tech has improved. This aspect is its biggest advantage over its VA counterparts which have slower transitions. You don’t need to set the overdrive to its maximum level, but feel free to test out which setting works best for you.
The HP X34 is compatible with both FreeSync and G-Sync so you don’t have to worry about losing VRR support if you have one GPU brand or the other. This duality is a must-have now since GPUs aren’t easy to come by and they aren’t very cheap. Input lag sits at 4ms at 165Hz, so there is no need to worry about delays while gaming.
Thoughts on the HP X34
The HP X34 is a great pick if you want a fast ultrawide monitor with the benefits of IPS technology at a low price. The budget ultrawide is responsive and it is decently accurate so most users will be satisfied with it. However, its best characteristic is its meager price, sometimes cheaper than VA options such as the Gigabyte G34WQC.
However, it has limitations such as the lack of extra features and it doesn’t offer much in the connectivity department. The IPS panel also showed noticeable leaks and clouding, but we know that it will vary between every unit made. It is not the best ultrawide monitor out there, but you get great value and performance if you consider its price.
- Good Color Coverage and Accuracy
- Simple and Reliable Design
- FreeSync and G-Sync Compatible
- Very Affordable for an IPS Ultrawide
- Limited Connectivity Options
- Backlight Bleeding
About the Author: Paolo is a gaming veteran since the golden days of Doom and Warcraft and has been building gaming systems for family, friends, and colleagues since junior high. High-performance monitors are one of his fixations and he believes that it’s every citizen’s right to enjoy one. He has gone through several pieces of hardware in pursuit of every bit of performance gain, much to the dismay of his wallet. He now works with Monitornerds to scrutinize the latest gear to create reviews that accentuate the seldom explained aspects of a PC monitor.
Sometimes blacks look dark but then it goes brighter, i mean watching movies, and viewing angles are bad, must be eye level
Paolo Reva says
Hi, Jouni! Thanks for sharing your experience. We hope that you will share how you fixed your issues so our readers can use them as tips. Cheers!