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Samsung C34J79 review: A staggering curved monitor

Christopher Minasians
29 Jan 2021
Expert Reviews Recommended Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
800
inc VAT

Another fantastic quantum dot curved monitor from Samsung – expensive, but well worth it

Pros 
Good colour accuracy and contrast ratio
Dramatic 1500R curvature
Impressive integrated speakers
Cons 
Expensive
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UPDATE: The Samsung CF791 has now been superseded by the C34J79. The monitors share near-identical specs and perform in the same way; however, the newer C34J79 has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, which are essential if you're plugging it into a modern-day laptop. For example, if you have a new Dell XPS or a MacBook, you'll have a Thunderbolt 3 port.

The ports support a 15W and 85W output, meaning it's enough to power for your peripherals and laptop, all through one port. Of course, the monitor itself needs to be powered from a mains jack.

The new monitor is, therefore, better suited for newer devices. However, if you're not interested in the Thunderbolt 3 standard, you're better off saving yourself a few bucks by getting the older, near-identical CF791 instead, which can now be found for a lot less.

In light of the C34J79 coming to market, I've altered the original review of the CF791 (pictured below). Both were tested and performed near-identically. 

Samsung C34J79 review: What you need to know

There are two main categories for curved monitors: those built for gamers, and those designed with business professionals in mind. But what if you want the best of both worlds? A monitor with a fast refresh rate, low input lag, fast response time, good viewing angles and fantastic colour reproduction? Step forward the C34J79, a 100Hz curved gaming monitor that combines Samsung’s quantum dot technology with gamer-friendly VA panel technology.

The price isn’t for the faint-hearted, however, costing around £800. Even at this high price, there’s plenty of competition, though, with the likes of the Acer Predator Z35 (£850) and Dell U3417W (£678) and much cheaper non-curved ultrawide 3,440 x 1440 monitors such as the LG 34UM88C (£570); all contenders for your monitor money.

READ NEXT: Best monitors – our pick of the best

Samsung C34J79 review: Design, features and build quality

Televisions, let alone monitors with a silver finish aren’t a common site, but I’m glad to see Samsung has opted for the colour here. The C34J79 has a white backplate and low-profile silver bezels and it looks fantastic.

The stand is beautifully engineered and provides both height and tilt adjustments, plus if you want to wall mount it you can use the VESA mounting kit included in the box. You might want to do that, as well, since in addition to its wide, 21:9 aspect ratio it’s a jolly big screen, measuring a substantial 34in across the diagonal; Samsung also introduces a dramatic 1500R curvature here, the idea being to provide a more immersive viewing experience than a flat monitor.

As for connectivity, that’s pretty good. The monitor has DisplayPort, a pair of HDMI 2.0 inputs, a 3.5mm headphone jack and two USB ports. Of course, not forgetting those two Thunderbolt 3 ports (USB Type-C ports), which provide 15+85W of power; these can be used for file transfers and as a video source, too. The monitor also has two integrated 7W speakers, which produced incredibly good sound for a monitor, and I’d be happy to listen to music and streaming TV audio through the C34J79’s speakers. Coming from someone who typically listens to music via headphones and a discrete DAC/headphone amp, that’s quite some praise.

If you’re looking to keep your cable connections neat and tidy, you’ll be able to route those through the monitor’s stand and if you route it carefully, you’ll be able to clip on the plastic cover at the back to keep it all hidden away.

It’s also good to see Samsung avoiding the use of touch buttons, instead choosing to implement a clickable joystick, located at the back of the monitor in the bottom right-hand corner. Through the OSD you’ll be able to adjust the gamma, colours, and response time of the monitor.

Lastly, the monitor also supports AMD FreeSync, meaning if you own a compatible AMD-GPU, you can enjoy tear-free gaming. There’s no Nvidia G-sync variant available of the C34J79.

READ NEXT: Nvidia G-Sync vs AMD FreeSync

Samsung C34J79 review: Image quality

Samsung’s quantum dot technology impressed me in the Samsung C24FG70, and the C34J79 is no different. Colour accuracy is impressive. An average Delta E of 1.5 means this screen is ideal for colour critical work such as professional-level photo editing, and gamut coverage is just as good, with sRGB coverage hitting an impressive 98.3% sRGB, Adobe RGB coverage at 74.8% and DCI P3 gamut coverage is 80.5%.

READ NEXT: Samsung C24FG70 review

And because the C34J79 uses VA panel technology, its contrast ratio is much higher than your average IPS display. Indeed, in my testing I measured it at 2,250:1 contrast ratio, which translates to incredibly lifelike imagery. The 34in curved monitor doesn’t disappoint when it comes to its brightness levels either, reaching an impressive 317cd/m2; that’s fine for use indoors, even in bright, sunlit rooms.

The monitor fared well in the brightness uniformity tests, too, and I found only very slight backlight bleed at the bottom-edge of the monitor. It’s barely noticeable, though, and in general, the panel is impressively evenly lit. It should also be noted that I didn’t experience any problems with viewing angles either, whereas with other ultrawide panels, such as the Philips BDM3470UP where the display tails-off if you view it off-axis, resulting in text and icons mysteriously disappearing.

And then there’s the resolution, which hits the heights at a gloriously sharp 3,440 x 1,440 resolution, delivering an unquestionable advantage over cheaper 2,560 x 1,080 screens.

Samsung C34J79 review: Gaming performance

When Samsung went through the features of this monitor with me, it outlined how the C24FG70 was aimed at competitive gamers, while the C34J79 on review here was more aimed at more casual gamers. To me, that suggested the C34J79 might suffer from ghosting, motion blur and high input lag, something that’s a VA panel trait.

That couldn’t be further from the truth. Firing up Counter Strike: Global Offensive, I found the monitor perfectly acceptable for use at a competitive level. It might not hit the 1ms MPRT heights seen on its smaller Samsung C24FG70 sibling, but the C34J79 is still a monitor that will satisfy even the most demanding gamer.

There was an very slight difference when cycling through the ‘Response Time’ options in the onscreen menu, with ‘Standard’ offering a slightly slower response than ‘Faster’ and ‘Fastest’, but there was no perceived overshoot ghosting in any modes, so I was able to use the monitor set to ‘Fastest’ without having to worry about ruining the visuals. I should also point out that, unlike the Samsung C24FG70, there’s no brightness cap in Faster and Fastest modes; the C34J79’s brightness remained untouched at 317cd/m2.

Despite not having a 144Hz refresh rate, the C34J79’s native 1440p resolution at 100Hz provides a great gaming experience.

READ NEXT: Best gaming monitor – our pick of the best

Samsung C34J79 review: Verdict

The Samsung C34J79 might be expensive, but there’s a reason behind its price tag. It’s simply a fantastic all-rounder. Its dramatically curved 21:9 ultrawide panel provides an immersive, cinematic experience whether you’re working, playing or watching TV.

Its 3,440 x 1440 resolution provides ultra-crisp visuals and, coupled with great colour accuracy and a surprising lack of ghosting and motion blur, it’s suitable for not just the photo editor but also the competitive gamer. In short, Samsung has produced yet another great monitor here; if you can afford it, don’t hesitate to splash out.

If you're not bothered about the two Thunderbolt 3 ports, it's worth looking at the near-identical CF791 that can be found for around £650.