In this review we will talk about Hannspree HG342PCB, a curved 21: 9 format gaming monitor that enjoys a series of features that make it suitable for professional use as well. Let’s see what it is and if it will meet our expectations.
21: 9 gaming monitors are a particular format. We usually find it coupled to a curvature that makes the gaming experience engaging because it covers the human visual field in a wider way, completely immersing the player in the scene. However, sometimes they are not fully appreciated. The first impact can be a bit difficult because you are not used to it. And then the size is not indifferent. But beyond this, in our review we want to understand the goodness – objective – of Hannspree HG342PCB which was born as a gaming monitor, but it also winks at the professional world.
Hannspree HG342PCB: main features | Review
- Dimensions: 34” 21:9 LED Backlight Monitor
- Resolution: 3440 x 1440 UWQHD
- Viewing angle: 178° / 178°
- Curvature: 1500R
- Response time: 1 msec (MPRT)
- Refresh Rate: 144Hz
- Connectivity: HDMI x 2 + Display Port x 2
- Brightness: 350 cd/m² (Typ), HDR: 400 cd/m²
- Functionality: Picture in Picture, Picture by Picture, Flicker Free / Low Blue Light Mode
- Built-In Stereo Speakers
- Stand and assembly: Tilt and Wall-Mountable (VESA), Height-adjustable multifunctional stand
- Gaming Mouse Pad (700 x 300 x 3 mm)
Hannspree HG342PCB: design and build quality | Review
Despite being popular due to the 21: 9 aspect ratio, this gaming monitor won’t be too difficult to fit on your desk. However, before you buy, give it a measured one. The mounting the monitor is very simple: with two steps as soon as you have the working monitor. The back is rounded due to the curvature and protrudes a little. Hannspree HG342PCB has a really nice “B side”. A cover – a bit woody to remove – covers the connectors and the red LED lighting gives elegance and depth. Really beautiful. Even in front, however, we have a nice design, with reduced frames. It certainly looks good on your desk!
The monitor is mostly made of plastic, apart from the stand because it has to hold a considerable weight. We didn’t particularly like the stand. Very sturdy, but a little hard to adjust and the freedom of movement a little too limited. Build quality is good in general, adjustability a little less. But this is to be expected because after all this is a nice big monitor and a nice heavy one, so the joints have to be strong.
Hannspree HG342PCB: general usability | Review
The OSD menu is a little bit hateful. It’s not intuitive and after about 2 weeks of use we struggled to find the right key combination on the first try. This wouldn’t be a big deal in general, except that all the interesting additional features of the monitor such as the PIP have to be activated from the OSD menu. We have also found that sometimes, when the monitor goes into stand-by, when the connected PC is awakened, the monitor no longer reacts and we are forced to disconnect the power supply to make it recover. A little annoying behavior.
The connection equipment is good and allows you to connect any display thanks to HDMI 2.0 (not 2.1 unfortunately even if some features are backwards compatible in some cases) and DisplayPort 1.4. There is also the headphone jack. Perhaps easy-to-access USB ports would have been welcome, but not essential.
Hannspree HG342PCB: image quality | Review
First of all we evaluate the image quality objectively. We have subjected the monitor to some routine tests. First of all theuniformity of blacks. Being a TFT LCD screen we cannot expect miracles and in fact the black screen has a clearly visible clouding effect and we are very far from a very pure black. Despite this, the contrast measured on the board is very high, we are close to the values declared in the specifications with approx 2500: 1 measured at 50% brightness. This is achieved thanks to the high peak luminosity – which also allows you to see in HDR – which allows you to mask the contrast problem from view.
On the color side, Hannspree HG342PCB uses a display 6 bit + FRC to reach 8 bit. So the results are acceptable, but not excellent. In our tests the monitor failed to reproduce the most delicate color shades well several times. However, in daily use this is not noticeable. Then we come to the input lag, essential for gaming. In our tests we have measured times almost always less than or equal to 1 ms delay, with sporadic increases up to 20 ms. On the other hand, the viewing angle is good, which allows excellent visibility from any angle. Even the ghosting is really reduced and the movement is always displayed very sharply.
Hannspree HG342PCB: gaming and multimedia experience | Review
In gaming this Hannspree HG342PCB it is a real pleasure. The wrap-around large display really allows you to immerse yourself in the action and get lost too. A good GPU will be needed because the 21: 9 resolution is between QHD and 4K UHD. However, it is really worth it. Furthermore, the 144 Hz frequency and reduced input lag make the experience always snappy – it is true that 240 Hz or 360 Hz monitors are now spreading, but as we know many times it is an exercise in style. The gaming experience is still fluid and snappy, with movements always well reproduced and precise. If we go to heart, this Hannspree HG342PCB is definitely recommended for gaming.
If we move instead to movies and TV series, the effect is still interesting. However, not being typically optimized for these kinds of curved screens, the content sometimes feels a little weird to look at. After a while you get used to it, but the impact is highly dependent on the type of content: if we are faced with a video with many wide shots such as large landscapes or salons then the effect is very engaging. If, on the other hand, the registre prefers close-ups and narrow framing, it will make us turn up our noses a little more.
A separate paragraph for the integrated audio which unfortunately is really bad: low volume and very artificial metallic sound. Absolutely to be avoided. But certainly Hannspree HG342PCB is not a monitor you buy for integrated speakers. Indeed, in general, you should always choose an external audio device.
Hannspree HG342PCB: professional use | Review
Having such a large display can be useful in many work environments. In software that has a horizontal setting such as video editing, having a lot of horizontal space is really very useful. But also for programmers who sleep open and tile 3 or 4 windows together. In short, there is a lot of space. And it’s not quite the same as having 2 monitors. In fact, having continuity allows you to move more quickly between the windows, on the other hand – in my opinion at least – it tends to make work less organized than the two screens.
But Hannspree HG342PCB has an extra gear: it allows you to view two different sources on the same screen via PIP or Split-Screen. An interesting feature if you use multiple devices, perhaps a laptop and a desktop. Also I have to tell the truth on very rare occasions I have found it really useful. An important flaw that could make you turn up your nose is the glossy display and not opaque: it tends to reflect easily and therefore to work many hours in a row is not the best. We also have the color reproduction not at the top that make it unsuitable for editing photos (even the slight distortion due to the curvature can actually be annoying) and 3D modeling. It also lacks useful USB ports.
In short, do we recommend this Hannspree HG342PCB or not? With a price that fluctuates around 450 euros on the web, is placed in the mid-range of the segment and the placement seems correct to us. If you are looking for a gaming monitor, you will not be disappointed. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a monitor for professional use, it is not the model for you, there are more suitable ones. For a mixed use it depends a lot on personal needs, even if basically we see it more as a pure gaming monitor. That’s all from the hardware section, keep following us!
Points in favor
- Great for gaming …
- Fast and fluid in busy scenes
- High brightness
- … less for the rest
- Color management not at the top
- Don’t celebrate
- OSD menu a little’ complex