Review of Microboard M340CLZ
There is no doubt that 4K monitors are the kings of the most wanted products for most gamers due to the high level of detail and expansive environments and field of views its native resolution can offer. But up until before Asus announced the ROG PG27UQ, a 144Hz 4K beast, most UHD products only went up to 60Hz. Until DisplayPort 1.3 or higher becomes the norm and when pricing stabilizes, and when GPU power catches up to 4K, we think ultra-wides such as 3440 x 1440 screens will still be the best option if you want a premium gaming experience which is worlds apart when compared to typical 16:9 setups. But the disappointing thing is, these products often have prices as massive as their screen’s real estate. Top offerings like the Asus ROG Swift PG348Q and the Acer XR341CK cost more or less a thousand dollars, a price which most of us mortals cannot compute. Of course, if you can afford these products, then, by all means, we highly recommend you to get one and experience the advantages the other peripheral views can provide. 21:9 offers additional views of the sky when you are dogfighting in Battlefield 1, or you can notice your opponents coming from the corner of what you can see in Rainbow Six. The curvature of the panel also wraps itself around you, immersing your vision and mind into the virtual world. One way to explore these advantages is to purchase Korean monitors. In this review, we will give the Microboard M340CLZ, a more or less $700 VA gaming display with 100Hz refresh rates, and a sassy 34-inch diagonal screen with an 1800r curvature, and 3440 x 1440 eye candy.
Microboard M340CLZ Specifications
- Screen Size: 34 Inches
- Resolution: 3440 x 1440 UWQHD
- Aspect Ratio: 21:9
- Panel Technology: Vertical Alignment (VA)
- Refresh Rate: 100Hz
- Response Time: 8ms
- Contrast Ratio: 3000:1
- Brightness: 300 cd/m²
- Built-in Speakers: Yes
- Stand: Height – No
- Stand: Tilt – Yes
- Stand: Swivel – No
- Stand: Pivot – No
- VESA Compatibility: Yes (100 x 100)
- Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.2 x 1, HDMI x 1, DVI x 1
Design and Performance
The Microboard M340CLZ is a cheap ultrawide gaming monitor at its current price point, but the exterior design encasing the Samsung VA panel is exquisite. Although the cabinet’s material feels plasticky, the glossy texture and the neatness of the color gives this product a sophisticated appearance. The beautiful screen has a three-sided bezel-free design which is strangely similar to what the upcoming Samsung quantum dot monitors will have. Only the bottom strip of the M340CLZ’s face is thick, but we found the brilliant color and the discrete but embossed Microboard logo in the middle to be attractive and neat as well. The chrome accents on the sides of the cabinet and the stand accentuates the whole look of this product, making it appear like a high-end or expensive offering that could fit into your home’s high-end décor.
The metallic stand has relatively full arms and also has enough heft to it to keep the big screen stable on your desktop, but the mechanism only offers tilt for ergonomics. We did not find this as a limitation which could affect your usage heavily since you merely have to sit in the middle to enjoy the benefits of the curved screen. The connectivity options on the m340CLZ are plenty enough for most applications since the I/O layout includes both DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 2.0 ports which are both fine for the maximum capabilities of the panel. There is also a DVI port for your prior connectors, but we would suggest that you use DisplayPort plus a high-quality cable to avoid screen complications. The sellers on Ebay claim that this product is VESA compatible, but the holes on the back are slightly skewed so you might need to make modifications to your mounting plate if you want to use an adjustable arm or wall mount solution.
There are five buttons you can use to access the OSD, which has a likable enough layout despite the lacking depth in options. There are full sRGB and limited sRGB modes you can choose for your purposes, but we liked how the full sRGB mode applied its technicalities to produce the excellent colors and contrasts this product can provide. There is also an Overdrive function included which according to the manufacturer accelerates the response time from 8ms to 4ms, but we did not notice any improvements when selecting between intensities in this option.
Display and Performance
The Microboard M340CLZ has a 34-inch diagonal, curved screen with a native 3440 x 1440 resolution that can go up to 100Hz refresh rate for extreme gaming smoothness. This model has a VA (Vertical Alignment) panel from Samsung. It is peculiar that the Korean screen giant does not have a product that utilizes this particular panel, or a product that has at least similar specs. Although Samsung is about to release the long-awaited CF791, the enthusiast communities and our sources, suggest this product is using a newer version of the panel which has identical characteristics and specs, instead of 1800r, the more modern iteration will have a tighter 1500r curvature. We honestly have no way of confirming these facts at the moment, but we think that the M340CLZ offers fantastic value if you consider its performance and Samsung’s absolute quality in panel making against the affordable price tag.
Microboard M340CLZ is capable of great colors and contrast due to its high-quality VA panel. We all know VAs to have two to three times as much contrast depths, and in our gaming tests, blacks and shadows did appear to be satisfying. Colors did appear vibrant and adequately saturated, with some colors appearing darker than they do when comparing to IPS models. Although this advantage comes with a price, since VA panels suffer from slower gray to gray response times. This model only has 8ms which are rather slow, but in the games we tested, the richness of the color did seem to make up for impending flaws such as blurring. We did not notice any ghosting, input delays or image trails during our Battlefield 1 sessions with the M340CLZ.
What we love about this product are its downscaling capabilities. 100Hz may feel slow or sluggish for highly-sensitive gamers, and 3440 x 1440 might push your GPU to its limits. You can downscale the resolution to 2560 x 1080, and in doing so, you can get speeds up to 144Hz. This product is ideal for gamers who like playing immersive titles at UWQHD to take advantage of the level of detail which can enhance immersion but on the other hand, also plays competitive titles such as Overwatch or CS: GO. To alleviate stutters and tears, the M340CLZ also has Freesync with a 43Hz to 100Hz range. In our tests, the VRR tech did wonders for the smoothness of the screen while we played Battlefield 1, but we did notice some flickering when the frames jump frequently. Adjusting your graphics settings to stabilize your FPS alleviates this, so sacrificing eye-candy for smoother performance is heavily ideal if you want to game with this excellent product.
Ultra-wide monitors are luxury items most of us with limited funds cannot afford. We often give huge chunks of a budget for other parts critical to a beastly gaming rig such as a meatier graphics card, a higher-tiered CPU or more RAM. For users who are looking for upgrades, constraints usually exist when choosing the next best thing your peepers can ogle at since step ups are always treated as a new money leak. Justifying the exorbitant price tags of exotic offerings such as the Acer XR341CK and the PG348Q are sometimes unfathomable, but luckily we have access to great products like the Microboard M340CLZ which has all the crucial features serious gamers need in a high-performance product but at a reduced cost. Despite the somewhat shady background this model has, the results we witnessed and the feedback from users justifies every dollar it commands. From the lightning fast 100Hz performances to the excellent color vibrancy and depth, there is little to complain about if ever you get this product. Although, you should be aware that the lottery concept in getting display products applies here. If you do decide to get the Microboard M340CLZ from overseas and you end up getting a unit plagued with defects, it might cost you time and more cash to get a replacement. But if you have a trusted source, this is an excellent gaming screen.