MSI MAG401QR Review: 3440×1440 155Hz IPS UltraWide Gaming Monitor With USB-C

The MSI MAG401QR is a 40" 3440x1440 155Hz flat-screen ultrawide IPS gaming monitor with USB-C (65W PD), KVM, VRR and more!

Bottom Line

The MSI MAG401QR is an excellent value 40″ ultrawide monitor for mixed use.

Design:
(3.5)
Display:
(4.5)
Performance:
(4.4)
Price/Value:
(4.5)
4.2

The MSI MAG401QR offers a unique form factor – it’s a 40″ 3440×1440 ultrawide monitor with a flat-screen panel.

It has a USB-C port with 65W Power Delivery, an integrated KVM switch and an IPS panel, which makes it great for productivity work and photo/video editing, while its high 155Hz refresh rate and response time make it suitable for gaming as well!

Image Quality

Some users might be worried that the 3440×1440 resolution is too low for a 40″ screen, but we find it to be perfectly usable. You get a pixel density of 93.23 PPI (pixels per inch), which is the same as that of 24″ 1920×1080 or 32″ 2560×1440 displays.

In fact, you can think of the MSI MAG401QR as a 32″ 2560×1440 display that’s just ~32% wider! Due to its big screen size, you’ll be sitting a bit further from the monitor, so the individual pixels won’t be that noticeable. At a distance of 94cm (~37″), the pixels of the MAG401QR won’t be distinguishable to the human eye.

Another concern users might have is that the screen is flat, not curved, which would’ve been preferred with this form factor. However, at a normal viewing distance and some time getting used to, it’s not an issue.

Overall, you get decent text and detail sharpness with plenty of screen real estate and no scaling necessary. The ultrawide format provides you with extra horizontal screen space that’s especially useful for productivity work and audio/video editing.

You also get an extended field of view in compatible games. Most titles support 21:9 ultrawide resolutions either natively or via mods, but there are a few competitive titles that will limit you to 16:9 or crop the image to fill the screen. These mostly include Blizzard games (Overwatch, Starcraft and Diablo) and Valorant.

Movies shot at ~21:9 aspect ratios will also be displayed without the black bars at the top/bottom of the image as you would get on 16:9 displays, making for a more immersive viewing experience.

Moving on, the MSI MAG401QR uses an IPS panel with 178° wide viewing angles, meaning that the image won’t degrade in quality at different angles.

It also has a wide 94% DCI-P3 gamut coverage for vibrant colors (~130% sRGB gamut volume) and there’s an sRGB emulation mode (one of the presets under the Pro Mode options in the OSD menu) if you wish to clamp the gamut down to ~100% sRGB for better SDR accuracy.

Related:What Is sRGB Emulation Mode And Why Is It Important?

Thanks to its accurate and consistent colors, the monitor is also suited for color-critical work.

Further, the MSI MAG401QR monitor has a strong 400-nit peak brightness, meaning that it can get more than bright enough even in well-lit rooms.

The contrast ratio amounts of 1,000:1, as expected from an IPS display, so you won’t get quite as deep blacks as that of VA panels, but there are no 40″ VA ultrawide monitors available. IPS monitors also suffer from IPS glow, which varies from unit to unit, but it’s manageable in all but most extreme cases.

It also supports HDR (High Dynamic Range), but without a full-array local dimming backlight or an OLED panel, you won’t get proper HDR support. Still, some HDR content can look better thanks to the wide color gamut mapping and dithered 10-bit color depth for smoother gradients.

Performance

amd freesync logo

The MSI MAG401QR has a 144Hz native refresh rate, but you can overclock it to 155Hz by enabling the DP OverClocking option in the OSD menu under ‘Setting.’

Next, there are three response time overdrive modes: Normal, Fast and Fastest. We recommend sticking with the Fast option since Fastest can introduce pixel overshoot.

The response time speed performance is excellent as there’s no particularly noticeable trailing behind fast-moving objects. Further, the monitor has low input latency of ~4ms, which makes for imperceptible delay.

Variable refresh rate (VRR) is supported with AMD FreeSync Premium certification for tear-free gameplay up to 155FPS. While the MSI MAG401QR doesn’t have official G-SYNC Compatible certification by NVIDIA, VRR works without issues with GeForce GPUs over DisplayPort.

Alternatively, you can enable the 1ms MPRT mode, which uses backlight strobing to reduce perceived motion blur at the cost of picture brightness, but it can’t be active at the same time as VRR since it requires a fixed refresh rate of at least 85Hz.

MPRT also introduces screen flickering that’s invisible to the human eye, but can cause headaches after prolonged use to sensitive users.

The backlight of the monitor is otherwise flicker-free and there’s an integrated low-blue light filter mode available.

Features

MSI MAG401QR OSD Menu

At the rear of the monitor, there’s a directional joystick for quick and easy navigation through the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu.

Besides the standard image adjustment tools (brightness, contrast, color temperature, input source, etc.), there are also a few advanced settings, including sharpness, automatic input source selection, Image Enhancement (enhances low-resolution images) and display scaling (auto, 4:3, 16:9, 21:9 and 1:1), but there are no gamma or color saturation options.

Useful gaming features include Night Vision (improves visibility in dark scenes by lowering the gamma), a refresh rate tracker, on-screen timers, crosshair overlays and Optix scope (zooms in the area around your crosshair).

The MSI MAG401QR also supports Picture in Picture and Picture by Picture, and has an integrated KVM functionality, which allows you to connect two PCs to the screen and control both via one set of keyboard/mouse. You can assign the KVM function to up, down, left or right joystick key for quick and easy access.

Design & Connectivity

MSI MAG401QR Design

The stand of the monitor is sturdy, but it’s tilt-only by -5°/20°. Luckily, you can detach the base and mount the screen to a third-party stand via the 100x100mm VESA pattern.

Further, the screen has a light matte anti-glare coating that prevents reflections without making the image too grainy. There’s also a Mystic Light RGB LED strip at the back of the monitor.

Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports (limited to 100Hz), DisplayPort 1.4, a USB-C port with DisplayPort 1.4 Alternate Mode and 65W Power Delivery, a headphone jack and a dual-USB 2.0 (2 downstream + 1 upstream) hub.

HDMI CEC is supported as well, so if you connect a console to HDMI, the monitor will automatically power on with the console, and when the console enters the power saving mode, the monitor will turn off.

The MSI MAG401QR also supports 4K 60Hz, 1920×1080 120Hz and 2560×1440 120Hz modes, but keep in mind that since consoles don’t support ultrawide formats, you will have black bars at the sides of the screen.

Price & Similar Monitors

The MSI MAG401QR price ranges from ~$350 to $430, which is excellent value for the price considering the image quality, performance and features.

The popular Gigabyte M34WQ with a 34″ 3440×1440 144Hz IPS flat-screen ultrawide panel and KVM goes for over $400, yet its USB-C port only has 18W PD.

If you want a curved IPS ultrawide monitor, we recommend the Acer XR343CKP. For more options, check out our best gaming monitor buyer’s guide.

Conclusion

Overall, the MSI MAG401QR is an exceptional monitor for the price. It’s great for gaming and general content consumption as well as productivity work and content creation!

Specifications

Screen Size40-inch
Resolution3440×1440 (UWQHD)
Panel TypeIPS
Aspect Ratio21:9 (UltraWide)
Refresh Rate144Hz (155Hz OC)
Response Time (GtG)Not specified
Motion Blur Reduction1ms MPRT
Adaptive-SyncFreeSync Premium (48-155Hz)
PortsDisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0,
USB-C (DP Alt Mode, 65W PD)
Other PortsHeadphone Jack, 2x USB 2.0
Brightness400 cd/m²
Brightness (HDR)400 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
94% DCI-P3
HDRVESA DisplayHDR 400
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • Big 40″ ultrawide panel offers immersive viewing experience
  • Wide color gamut
  • Quick response time, low input lag
  • Plenty of features, including VRR and MBR up to 155Hz
  • Rich connectivity options, including USB-C with 65W PD and KVM

The Cons:

  • Tilt-only stand
  • IPS glow and mediocre contrast ratio (as expected from this panel technology)
  • Screen is not curved

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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.