MSI Mag 34CQP gaming monitor review: Pixel perfect immersion

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sitting in front The size of MSI’s Mag 341CQP gaming monitor is almost intimidating. The 34-inch curved, ultrawide display occupies most of my field of vision, but I didn’t like its size as much as its clarity. The monitor uses a quantum dot OLED panel that’s so clear and vibrant that I couldn’t help but get immersed in the games I was playing.

MSI’s curved gaming monitor is one of the few recent displays to introduce QD-OLED panels into the desktop gaming space. Some of our best displays in our Best TVs guide use this technology, but monitors using it have only recently started dropping below the four-digit price mark. This relatively new display brings some of the benefits of quantum dots to OLED panels – like more accurate colors and less wasted light – by illuminating only the pixels you need, delivering perfect blacks.

Starting at $900, this display from MSI is surprisingly affordable for the value you get (and it’s worth noting that even at the time of writing this review, I was already seeing it on sale for less than $800). In addition to all the benefits of QD-OLED, it also has a 3440×1440 resolution, 175Hz refresh rate, HDR support, and some great features to prevent burn-in that make this a premium monitor.

Pixel perfection

I’ve loved OLED displays ever since I first saw one, but this display from MSI still managed to impress me. Naturally, it has that special perfect black, and in HDR mode, it can reach a maximum brightness of 1,000 nits, which is convenient for me since my desk is right next to a window that gets a lot of sunlight in the afternoon. However, as the evening approaches, the maximum brightness can become almost blinding.

When I was playing these games overwatch 2This contrast helped lend itself to an added level of immersion. The explosions from D.Va.’s bombs feel intense, as the bright flash from the explosion illuminates my face. The vivid red outlines of enemies pop, making it a little easier to identify Widowmaker from across the map.

MSI claims the display reaches 99.3 percent of the DCI-P3 colour space, although in my testing using my trusty Spyder X2 Ultra, it reached closer to 95 percent, leaning a little more towards red. It was also off AdobeRGB, with MSI rating the display at 97.8 percent of this colour space, but my test results showed it to be closer to 86 percent. If you want to use this display for professional photo or video work, this might be a concern for you, but for most people it’s still fine.

In terms of color accuracy, the panel reached an average Delta E level of 1.23. For reference, a Delta E of less than 2.0 is barely perceptible to the human eye if you look closely, and less than 1.0 is difficult for humans to tell the difference at all. Simply put, this MSI monitor reproduces colors incredibly accurately, so unless there is a software issue, you are unlikely to notice any kind of color or tint.

Encircling entertainment

Screenshot of a video game, with gray areas on the left and right showing what appears on a smaller monitor

On a 16:9 monitor, the darker parts of this image aren’t as visible compared to the view on this ultrawide

Photo: Eric Ravenscraft

when i play overwatch 2I often play characters that could benefit from an increased field of view. Whether I’m Mercy looking over my shoulder and spotting a flanker who’s about to kill me, or a Wrecking Ball trying to spot the enemy team before diving in, the more I can see, the better. I’m kicking myself for not playing on an ultrawide monitor sooner.

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