HP X34 Review: 3440×1440 165Hz UltraWide FreeSync Gaming Monitor

The HP X34 is an affordable 34" 3440x1440 165Hz 1ms ultrawide gaming monitor with a flat-screen IPS panel.

Bottom Line

The HP X34 is an excellent 34″ 3440×1440 165Hz IPS ultrawide monitor for gaming, work and everyday use. There are better alternatives, but for some users, its more affordable price will make up for its lack of certain features.

Design:
(4.0)
Display:
(4.4)
Performance:
(4.3)
Price/Value:
(3.5)
4.1

The HP X34 is the cheapest 34″ 3440×1440 high refresh rate IPS gaming monitor you can buy. Let’s see how it performs and compares to its alternatives!

Image Quality

Based on an IPS panel, the HP X34 monitor provides you with 178° wide viewing angles, ensuring that the image quality will remain consistent regardless of the angle you’re looking at the screen.

While its factory calibration is excellent in terms of gamma and color temperature, it has a wide ~115% sRGB color gamut (80% DCI-P3), which causes minor over-saturation when viewing regular sRGB content, mainly when it comes to red colors.

Since the over-saturation is mild, it won’t bother most users. There’s no sRGB emulation mode that could clamp the gamut down to ~100% sRGB, but if you have an AMD GPU, you can do so in the Radeon drivers. In case you have an NVIDIA GPU, you can try this third-party tool.

Moving on, the monitor has a strong 400-nit peak brightness, so it can get more than bright enough even in well-lit rooms.

The static contrast ratio amounts to 1,000:1, which is standard for IPS monitors; blacks won’t be as deep as that of VA panels with a ~3,000:1 contrast ratio, but VA monitors have other flaws at this price range.

Another weakness of IPS technology is IPS glow, which is characterized as visible glowing around the corners of the screen. It’s an expected drawback of this panel type and its intensity varies between units, however, it’s manageable in all but most extreme cases.

HDR is supported with VESA’s entry-level DisplayHDR 400 certification, which is essentially meaningless. Due to the lack of a proper localized dimming solution and wide color gamut, among other things, HDR should be disabled as you won’t be getting the true HDR viewing experience – as expected at this price range.

The 3440×1440 resolution has a high pixel density of roughly 110 PPI (pixels per inch), resulting in plenty of screen space with sharp and crisp text.

Further, the ultrawide format provides you with extra horizontal screen space, which is particularly great for productivity work, audio/video editing and enjoying compatible games and videos.

You can think of the HP X34 as a 27″ 2560×1440 monitor that’s ~33% wider.

Performance

freesync and gsync

The monitor has four response time overdrive modes: from Level 1 to Level 4.

Level 1 is too slow, while Level 4 has too much overshoot. Level 2 has a tiny bit of ghosting, while Level 3 replaces that with a bit of inverse ghosting. So, you can pick according to what you personally find better.

If you’re using a variable refresh rate and your FPS fluctuates, we recommend sticking with Level 2. Overall, there’s no particularly noticeable trialing and no dark level smearing at all, so you’ll get smooth motion clarity in fast-paced games.

Input lag performance is great as well with around 4ms of delay, which is imperceptible.

The HP X34 also supports MBR (Motion Blur Reduction), which uses backlight strobing to reduce perceived motion blur at the cost of picture brightness.

There are five MBR modes, ranging from MPRT Level 1 to Level 5 with different trade-offs between motion clarity and brightness.

Variable refresh rate (VRR) is supported with a 60-165Hz dynamic range over DisplayPort and 48-100Hz over HDMI at 2560×1440. It has AMD FreeSync Premium certification, but no official G-SYNC Compatible validation.

However, VRR performance is smooth with all compatible GPUs as there’s no stuttering, tearing or any other artifacts.

Features

At the rear of the monitor, you’ll find a power button and four hotkeys for OSD (On-Screen Display) navigation.

While the buttons are a bit clunky, the OSD menu is well organized and you can use HP’s Omen Gaming Hub desktop application for quick and easy adjustments of most settings/features.

Noteworthy features include various picture presets and crosshair overlays, a refresh rate tracker and Black Stretch, which improves visibility in dark scenes by manipulating the gamma curvature.

You’ll find all the standard image adjustment tools, such as brightness, contrast, color temperature, input source selection, aspect ratio, etc. You also get access to the sharpness setting, but there is no color vibrance (hue/saturation) or gamma settings. Picture in Picture/Picture by Picture are also not supported.

The backlight of the monitor is flicker-free (unless MPRT is enabled) and there’s an integrated low-blue light filter (‘Night’ picture mode preset).

Design & Connectivity

HP X34 Monitor Design

The stand of the monitor is sturdy and offers height adjustment up to 100mm, tilt by -5°/20° and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility, while the screen has a 25% low-haze anti-glare coating that’s not too grainy yet great against reflections.

Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0 and a headphone jack.

Price & Similar Monitors

The HP X34 price ranges from $350 to $500.

We also recommend checking out the Sceptre E345B-QUN168W. It’s based on the same panel but also has integrated speakers and a USB hub for $300.

In case you want a model with a curved screen, the cheapest IPS models start at ~$500, such as the Acer XR343CKP. Curved VA models, on the other hand, can be found for as low as $250, such as the MSI MAG342CQR and the KTC H34S18S. They offer a higher contrast ratio for deeper blacks but don’t have as fast response time or as smooth VRR performance.

To learn more about monitors and ensure you’re getting the model most suited for your personal preference, visit our comprehensive and always up-to-date best gaming monitor buyer’s guide.

Conclusion

All in all, the HP X34 is an excellent value monitor for gaming, everyday use and basic content creation or productivity work!

Specifications

Screen Size34-inch
Resolution3440×1440 (UWQHD)
Panel TypeIPS
Aspect Ratio21:9 (UltraWide)
Refresh Rate165Hz
Response Time1ms (GtG)
Motion Blur Reduction1ms (MPRT)
Adaptive-SyncFreeSync (60-165Hz)
PortsDisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0
Other PortsHeadphone Jack
Brightness400 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
HDRDisplayHDR 400
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • High pixel density, wide color gamut, consistent colors
  • Plenty of gaming features including MBR and FreeSync up to 165Hz
  • Height-adjustable stand

The Cons:

  • IPS glow and mediocre contrast ratio (as expected from this panel technology)
  • No sRGB mode (there are software workarounds)

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Rob Shafer

Rob is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time managing DisplayNinja while coding his own projects on the side.