The MSI MEG 342C enters the QD OLED race with a unique design and a guarantee of premium-grade imaging performance. It’s facing tough competitors like the Alienware AW3423DW, but it has a few add-ons that might make you want to reconsider. Of course, it isn’t cheap, so let’s take a closer look to know if it’s a solid investment.
MSI MEG 342C Specifications
- Screen Size: 34 Inches
- Resolution: 3440 x 1440 UW-QHD
- Aspect Ratio: 21:9
- Panel Technology: QD-OLED
- Refresh Rate: 175Hz
- Response Time: 0.1ms
- Contrast Ratio: 1000000:1
- Brightness: 250 cd/m² (1000 cd/m² Peak)
- 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 2.1 x 2, USB-C PD65W x 1, USB 3.2 x 5, 3.5mm Audio Jack x 2
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 32.04” x 14.64” x 11.54”
- Weight: 20.50 lbs
Design and Features
The MSI MEG 342C sports a unique, aggressive aesthetic that matches the company’s gaming product lines. The monitor has a matte black finish with gold accents instead of the usual red that’s associated with gamers. The display is bezel-free, but it has a thick bottom border with a discrete RGB LED strip below it.
Its not gigantic by today’s standards, but you will need to make way for most ultrawides due to their unique form factor. It’s 32 inches wide and almost 12 inches deep, so some peripherals might be displaced if you have a small desk. It doesn’t weigh a lot at 20.5 pounds, but it will still be wise to ask for help setting it up.
MSI has drastically improved its monitors, particularly its upper-class models, regarding build quality. The materials used are thick and sturdy, and no cosmetic defects like uneven gaps or flimsiness on any of its parts existed. The included stand is firm and stable, so the screen won’t sag or shake while you are deep into your games.
The MSI MEG 342C has an OSD joystick and some macro keys for convenient access to its features. They are located at the back near the right-hand side of the screen while facing it, so you won’t have trouble reaching them. Other premium models even include remotes, but that’s not always necessary, especially if it will affect the price.
The stand included in the package looks cool, but it only offers tilt and height adjustments. That’s usually enough for most users, but those with multiple screens will need more. You can still use VESA mounts, but they are only necessary for specific circumstances, so you can avoid buying them.
One of the main highlights of this product is its connectivity layout which one-ups the AW3423DW’s offering. You get DisplayPort 1.4 as the primary, but there is also a pair of HDMI 2.1 ports and a 65-watt USB-C slot. These make the monitor more flexible for various devices, although we wish the USB-C connector offered more charging power.
You will also find Four USB 3.2 ports, the upstream slot, along with 3.5mm inputs for speakers and microphones. However, it doesn’t have built-in speakers with upgraded drivers like other high-end displays. That’s fine since headsets will always be better for ultrawides.
Display and Performance
The MSI MEG 342C boasts a 34-inch QD-OLED panel with a 3440 x 1440 resolution, a 175Hz refresh rate, and a near-instantaneous pixel response time. It has a 250 cd/m2 typical brightness and a 1000 cd/m2 peak, plus a 1000000:1 contrast ratio. This model is certified for HDR 400 True Black, even if its maximum output exceeds the standard’s specifications.
1440p ultrawides are still very popular because of their extra space over regular widescreen variants. You can enjoy wider FOVs in games for better immersion or use the more expansive screen area for multiple tasks and programs simultaneously. It is versatile and very enjoyable, so they are great buys for both gamers and professionals.
The MSI MEG 342C covers 100% of the sRGB gamut and 99% of the DCI-P3 color space. Its default accuracy isn’t on-par with the brand’s claims since its deltaE average is at 2.29. However, that’s still quite good for a gaming display, so we don’t have complaints here
Calibrating the monitor reduced the dE average to a respectable 1.03, making it usable for editing and content creation. The downside is that you must get a colorimeter to tune it properly and maintain the resulting accuracy. The extra purchase isn’t necessary most of the time, and we only recommend it if you use the monitor for color-critical work.
The MSI MEG 342C’s brightness reached 245 cd/m2 in SDR and a 995 cd/m2 peak in HDR. Its contrast was incalculable, telling us that its capable of deep blacks and excellent range in any scene. Not even the best mini-LED monitors can match this model in this regard, so go with QD-OLEDs if you want significantly better HDR experiences.
We didn’t see any panel uniformities on this monitor since it also doesn’t have a regular backlight. There were no signs of light leaks or massive clouding, so dark scenes always look convincing. There was some haloing in very select instances, but it is not as common as it would be on a mini-LED alternative.
Another strength you can enjoy from a QD-OLED monitor like this model is its near instantaneous pixel response time. The MSI MEG 342C barely shows any blurring, so it’s great for fast-paced games and action scenes. Some fringing can happen on static objects like letters, but it’s a natural flaw of the panel type.
The MSI MEG 342C is compatible with both FreeSync and G-Sync, so you will be protected from tearing and stuttering. It’s nice to have dual compatibility since both brands have suitable cards for this monitor. Input lag sits at 4ms at 175Hz, so there is no need to worry about delays or a sluggish feel while playing.
Thoughts on the MSI MEG 342C
The MSI MEG 342C is an excellent choice for users who want fantastic HDR performance with rich colors and endless contrast. It’s not cheap, but it’s a more practical choice over the mini-LED variants that are starting to appear, like the ViewSonic XG341C-2K. It’s also loaded with features like HDMI 2.1, USB-C, and KVM, so it’s more than just a gaming display.
The MSI MEG 342C’s aesthetic is unique, but it can be polarizing for many, especially those who do not have matching MSI gear. But overall, it is an excellent pick for both gaming and productivity setups based on its performance and slightly better price than the Alienware and Samsung representatives.
- Excellent Color and HDR Performance
- Lower Price than Competitors
- USB-C and HDMI 2.1 Connectivity
- Polarizing Aesthetic
- Limited Availability
About the Author: Paolo has been 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; he believes that 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.
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