The NEC EX341R is a professional ultrawide monitor equipped with a VA panel to provide meticulous executives with excellent color and contrast. This is the first commercially-available ultrawide monitor from the brand who doesn’t usually sell their products for retail. The NEC EX341R is the culmination of the company’s experience in the prosumer and business market and their desire to enter the 21:9 race. It’s interesting to check and see how this device performs for both the sophisticated and the hardcore.
NEC EX341R Specification
- Screen Size: 34 Inches
- Resolution: 3440 x 1440 UW-QHD
- Aspect Ratio: 21:9
- Panel Technology: Vertical Alignment (VA)
- Refresh Rate: 75Hz
- Contrast Ratio: 3000:1
- Response Time: 5ms
- Brightness: 290 cd/m²
- Built-in Speakers: Yes (2 x 1 Watt)
- Stand: Height –Yes
- Stand: Tilt – Yes
- Stand: Swivel – Yes
- VESA Compatibility: Yes 100 x 100
- Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.2 x 1, DisplayPort 1.2 Out x 1 HDMI x 2, USB 3.0 x 6
- Dimensions with Stand(WxHxD): 31.8” x 21.6” x 9.1”
- Weight: 23.6lbs
Design and Features
The NEC EX341R is a sleek and minimalistic professional monitor with a matte black textured finish and slim flushed bezels. You only see 8mm strips if the screen is on, but the only 1.2mm is visible when powered down. The cabinet curvature is at 1800r, meaning it is a bit tighter than what prominent models employ.
The rear of the NEC EX341R isn’t intrusive as the bulge isn’t as pronounced, although the curvature will still deter flush wall mounting. The power supply is already included internally, so you don’t have to deal with a clunky power brick. The down firing I/O port is also located here, conveniently hidden from plain sight but accessible from the front.
There are quite some options when it comes to video input options in the NEC EX341R. You get a DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0 and 1.2 slots, and a DP Out for daisy-chaining multiple units. There is a USB 3.0 hub at the left side which includes four downstream and two upstream slots. You also get a pair of speakers with 1 watt of power each, but we suggest using a headset or a separate set for a pleasing experience.
Another premium feature of the NEC EX341R is the ergonomic stand which offers flexibility and stability to the massive cabinet. You can raise, tilt, or swivel the screen, so a perfect view angle without extra devices or armatures is achievable. Even if curved monitors aren’t ideal for wall mounting, you can still opt to do so because the NEC EX341R is compatible with 100 x 100 VESA standards.
Display and Performance
The NEC EX341R boasts a 34-inch, Samsung VA panel with a 3440 x 1440 resolution, 75Hz refresh rate, and 5ms response time. These are typical specs for business monitors, but what’s excellent about this model is it offers an additional headroom of 75Hz. This isn’t a gaming monitor nor does NEC market it as such, but the extra 15Hz should provide an improved experience of smoothness.
Since this is a VA-equipped model, high contrast levels can be expected. The brightness can only go up to 290cd/m2, but we found that setting it to 200cd/m2 which is more or less 60 or 70% of the setting to be the most suitable option. The contrast ratio sits at 1600:1 which is half of what NEC claims, but it still is above what we can expect from IPS or TN models.
Gamma at 200cd/m2 sits at an average of 2.31 which is slightly off from the ideal 2.2, but the rich contrast can offset the darker images and still uplift the details and visibility. This model, however, drops the ball in grayscale performance due to a noticeable grayscale error which can be alleviated by realigning the RGB temps.
Another unexpected turn of events is the color accuracy where we expect higher results based on NEC’s reputation in this regard. Gamut error is at 2.7 at default, but tweaking the color temps can correct the skewing in reds and extra warmth of images to an average of up to 1.9. Even the included sRGB mode is noticeably reddish, although the positive side here is the sRGB coverage of 105%.
These results aren’t enough for us to rate this model as dismal for color-critical applications, but the deviances will be noticeable in extremely bright primary colors. In practice, it would be difficult to notice flaws unless you have extra sensitive eyes or while specifically looking out for issues. The over saturation can work for some, but a lot of enthusiasts would want to invest in a 100% accurate product.
It’s a good thing that the NEC EX341R has a high-quality panel which did not have backlight deviations going over 7% from the center to the sides. You can increase white and black luminance by turning the Uniformity Compensation tool in the feature-packed OSD, depending on personal preference.
Finally, the NEC EX341R is a capable product for gaming thanks to its 75Hz refresh rate. The 15 more frames you see have the most substantial improvement potential, and this is immediately apparent even on the OS desktop. Movements and transitions are much faster, although there are some interlacing issues if the motion is too quick. The NEC EX341R is a responsive ultrawide too thanks to its 13ms input lag making it almost suitable even for competitive gaming.
The NEC EX341R is a well-crafted and better-equipped business monitor, although its calibration requirement could put off a lot of customers. But its calibrated state and responsive performance combine to offer users including gamers with an excellent experience in both serious business and entertainment.
One big thing to consider is price since at the time of this review the NEC EX341R is asking for almost a thousand dollars for ownership. The slightly faster Samsung C34F791 is going for more or less the same, but you get a higher refresh rate and FreeSync for the cost. With that in mind, this device could be a hard sell, unless its business-oriented nature appeals more to you.