The Philips 343E2E is the cheapest ultrawide monitor with USB-C that supports DisplayPort Alternate Mode and Power Delivery of 65W.
While it’s not perfect due to the somewhat low pixel density, it offers exceptional value for the price thanks to its wide color gamut, FreeSync up to 75Hz, and height-adjustable stand.
If you have a laptop that supports DP Alt Mode and Power Delivery over USB-C, the Philips 343E2E is an excellent budget ultrawide monitor for you! It offers vibrant colors, smooth performance, and plenty of features.
The Philips 343E2E is based on a 34″ 2560×1080 IPS panel with a 300-nit peak brightness, a 1,000:1 contrast ratio, 178° wide viewing angles, and true 8-bit color depth support.
Under normal lighting conditions, the monitor gets more than bright enough; The contrast ratio is not as high as that of VA panel monitors (~3,000:1), so blacks won’t be as deep, but you get wider viewing angles that prevent gamma/saturation shifts and image degradation when looking at the screen at an angle.
Right off the bat, many users might be repulsed by the relatively low resolution for a screen of this size. You get 82 PPI (pixels per inch), which is the same pixel density as that of a 27″ 1920×1080 monitor.
So, the picture may appear somewhat pixely to some, but for casual everyday use, it won’t bother most users. In fact, if you sit a bit further from the screen (3.5 ft, ~107cm), the individual pixels won’t be distinguishable at all.
In video games, this issue can be further alleviated by applying anti-aliasing.
When it comes to content consumption and creation, the ultra-wide format does make up for the lack of pixel density a bit.
Movies natively shot at the 21:9 aspect ratio are displayed without the black bars at the top and bottom of the screen, which results in an immersive viewing experience.
For audio/video editing and productivity work, the extra horizontal screen space does wonders as you get more screen real estate and a wider view of your timelines.
Content that doesn’t support the 21:9 aspect ratio, on the other hand, will be displayed with black bars at the sides of the screen. Alternatively, you can choose to zoom-in or stretch the picture to fill the screen.
Moving on, the Philips 343E2E monitor has a wide 123.1% sRGB color gamut. As a result, you get more saturated and vibrant colors with improved shade variety.
There’s also an sRGB emulation mode that can restrict the color output to ~100% sRGB for better accuracy if needed. However, just how accurately this mode is calibrated will vary across different units of the monitor. Further, you can’t adjust the brightness in this mode.
The monitor has a maximum refresh rate of 75Hz, which provides a small but noticeable boost in motion clarity in fast-paced games as opposed to 60Hz, however, it’s not even close to the fluidity of ~144Hz.
Still, thanks to the monitor’s wide color gamut, ultrawide aspect ratio, 75Hz, quick response time, and low ~10ms input lag, the gaming experience is quite enjoyable without any perceptible delays or prominent smearing of fast-moving objects.
There are four response time overdrive modes, labeled as ‘SmartResponse’: Off, Fast, Faster, and Fastest. ‘Fastest’ adds a lot of overshoot, so we recommend using the ‘Faster’ mode.
The Philips 343E2E also supports AMD FreeSync with a 48-75Hz variable refresh rate (VRR) range, which prevents screen tearing and stuttering as long as your frame rate is within the supported range.
Since the VRR range is rather narrow, you might want to use CRU (Custom Resolution Utility) to try and extended it, preferably to ~40-75Hz.
Whether or not you’ll be able to extend the range, and by how much, will vary across different units of the monitor due to panel variance; the same applies to IPS glow, backlight bleeding, dead/stuck pixels, overclocking, etc.
FreeSync is supported over both HDMI and DisplayPort if you have a compatible AMD graphics card. With NVIDIA cards (GTX 10-series or newer), it’s only supported over DisplayPort via the ‘G-SYNC Compatible’ mode. Even though the monitor is not officially certified by NVIDIA, FreeSync works without issues with GeForce cards.
As an alternative to FreeSync, there’s MPRT (Moving Picture Response Time). These two features can’t work at the same time, so to activate MPRT, you must first disable FreeSync and set the monitor to 75Hz.
MPRT is an MBR (Motion Blur Reduction) technology that uses backlight strobing to reduce perceived motion blur. However, it introduces flickering in the process, which is invisible to the human eye, but can cause headaches or eye strain to those sensitive to it.
Further, the maximum brightness is reduced while MPRT is active. By adjusting the ‘MPRT Level’ setting, you can configure the trade-off between image brightness and motion clarity on a scale from 1 to 20, in increments of 1.
The OSD (On-Screen Display) menu is well-organized and easy to work with thanks to the directional joystick at the rear of the monitor. You can also download SmartControl Software and make your adjustments in a desktop application instead.
Besides the standard image settings, such as brightness, contrast, etc., you also get access to advanced tools, including sharpness, five gamma modes (from 1.8 to 2.6), and seven color temperature presets.
There are also various picture modes available: FPS, RTS, Racing, two customizable Gamer profiles, and LowBlue Mode (4 levels) which filters out the harmful low-blue lights.
The backlight of the monitor is flicker-free, while the screen has an anti-glare coating that eliminates reflections. These two features in combination with LowBlue Mode ensure a comfortable viewing experience even after prolonged use and prevent eye fatigue.
The Picture in Picture and Picture by Picture modes are supported as well.
Design & Connectivity
The stand of the monitor is sturdy, there’s a cable management bracket, and you can adjust its height by up to 100mm, tilt it by -5°/20°, or mount it via the 100x100mm VESA pattern.
Note that unlike most 34″ ultrawide monitors with curved screens, the Philips 343E2E has a flat screen panel. Some users might prefer this, others not so much.
Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.2, two HDMI 1.4 ports, a headphones jack, and a USB type C port with DP 1.2 Alternate Mode and 65W Power Delivery 3.0.
So, if your laptop has a USB-C input that supports DP Alt Mode and PD, you can charge it with 65W and transfer the audio and video signal with just one cable!
Price & Similar Monitors
The Philips 343E2E price amounts to ~$320, which is excellent value for the price. There’s also the 29″ version, the Philips 292E2E, for ~$240.
In case you don’t need a USB-C port, but you’re interested in an ultrawide monitor, be sure to visit our comprehensive and always up-to-date best ultrawide monitor buyer’s guide.
We also have a dedicated best USB-C monitors buyer’s guide.
All in all, the Philips 343E2E is an excellent monitor for the money. If you want an ultrawide display with a USB-C port, it’s the only model you’ll find under $400.
In case you need something better with a higher ultrawide resolution and USB-C, you’ll need to invest $100 extra for the Philips 346E2 or ~$200 for the LG 34WN80C.
|Aspect Ratio||21:9 (UltraWide)|
|Response Time (GtG)||4ms (GtG)|
|Response Time (MPRT)||1ms (MPRT)|
|Ports||DisplayPort 1.2, 2x HDMI 1.4,|
USB-C (DP 1.2 Alt Mode, 65W PD)
|Other Ports||Headphone Jack|
|Contrast Ratio||1000:1 (static)|
|Colors||16.7 million (true 8-bit)|
- Wide color gamut
- Wide viewing angles, consistent colors
- Plenty of features including FreeSync and MBR up to 75Hz
- Height-adjustable stand
- USB-C with DP Alt Mode and 65W PD
- Low pixel density
- IPS glow and low contrast ratio in comparison to VA panels
- Can’t swivel the screen to left/right