Beautiful screen - be aware there is a newer version
***update: may 6, 2015: lg has recently came out with the newer version of this monitor: lg electronics um65 34um65 34-inch screen led-lit monitor***we sure have come a long way since the days of computer monitors. First, we started with those crt tube monitors that resembled old tube tvs. Then, we progressed to flat-screen, and then lcd flat-screen. But those were still in the 4:3 ratio, and with the adoption of hd, we moved on to the popular 16:9 ratio of today's most popular monitors. Now we have these ultra-wide 21:9 monitors, and the future is 4k/wqhd 16:9 and 21:9 monitors. But that technology is still new enough to be charged at a premium, so that's why i say these are the best value if you still want to go ultra-wide, but don't want to pay $800+ for this lg's 1440p bigger & badder brethren, lg electronics um95 34um95 34-inch screen led-lit monitor. Still, at $600+, this monitor is no bargain bin item, so it is still a niche for only those who really need or want this screen ratio. Otherwise, i would recommend the excellent samsung 27-inch wide viewing angle led monitor (s27d360h) - it's white, beautiful, with beautiful image quality, that you can have for about $200 if you're lucky. Or, you can take a middle level step-down and get the lg electronics um67 29um67 29-inch screen led-lit monitor. If you want a 21:9 monitor, then this is one of the best values you can find.Before i head into the review proper, a little back-story: i have a 27" samsung aio computer which i absolutely love. But after a moving accident i dropped it and the glass part of the display cracked, so ever since i've been looking for an excuse to find a second monitor for it(the computer still works fine, so there's no use to replace the whole $1,500 computer). I bought that 27" white samsung monitor, and i love it and still use it for my bedroom computer. But i wanted something more, and was going back and forth between this lg and other 1440p 16:9 monitors. Since i don't do a lot of pc gaming(i mainly play games on my ps4 and wii u), i didn't feel the need for a 1440p or 4k monitor. This, meanwhile, will surely stand out in my living room.Here are some things i really like, and some things i don't like, in bullet points for easy reading:- first thing you'll notice when you open the box and take it out is how light it is for a 34" monitor. Having plastic bezels and plastic back shell definite help, although the plastic detracts from a premium look and style of a $600+ monitor.- speaking of bezels, they are tiny, almost imperceptible. The top and sides are only at about 2mm, while the bottom is about 2cm to accommodate the lg logo and the "joystick button" and hardware functions.- the stand is plastic - the vertical half is clear, and the base half is opaque. It gives off a rather cheap feeling, although it does have that space-age/futuristic look. Overall, it is decent, no real complaints.- instead of regular buttons to change the brightness, volume, etc., there is a "joystick button" that controls everything. You click it left and right to control the volume, click it down to turn on the monitor, hold it down to turn it off. While on, click it down to access the menu functions. Overall, it's a good design system - slower than if you were to have dedicated buttons, but on the positive side it adds to the sleek and simple design and eliminates clutter.- it comes with integrated 7w speakers. Having speakers is great for if you want to turn it into a tv and can only input sound from the hdmi cable - like say if you have a secondary connection from a game console that can't directly access your computer's sound system/speakers. So although the monitor speakers themselves output weak and low-quality sound, at least it is there and that is a huge convenience.- finally, the meat of it all, is the image-quality. Having ips technology really adds to the quality, and you can view it from almost any angle and get a good image. And it displays an excellent image. Having almost-invisible edges really add to the immersion factor like the image just pops out of the monitor and right in your face. With the way the stand attaches to the monitor, the effect of this is really awesome. This is one of the few monitors that truly has that in-your-face factor.The final point i want to make is - should you choose this one, or the 1440p version for $200 more? To be honest, if you have a setup for just gaming, then get the 1440p one. Just remember that you need a strong graphics card to effectively run it at those resolutions. If you want something to use everyday, plus some gaming sometimes, then this is the better monitor. Because when you run the 1440p monitor at its native resolution, the text are really small. So either you have to upscale the text, or downscale your resolution, which in turns makes the 1440p less sharp and clear at 1080p resolution than this monitor. With $200 to spare, you can even grab that 27" samsung monitor i mentioned earlier and have 2 monitors for the same price as the 1440p monitor. I hope that helps!Highly recommended!