I am not at all a stranger to using multiple monitors for enhanced productivity, I’ve used three connected side by side during one of my 3D modeling activities and it was quite challenging to find the mouse pointer at times. However, using a single panel ultra widescreen is a completely new experience which had the finest introduction with the Asus Designo MX38VC. Not only is this monitor wide enough to fill out nearly a full meter of table space it also runs with a native QHD resolution of 3840×1600 in a cinematic 21:9 aspect which guarantees content at its ‘crispiest’ (if that’s even a word).
Asus’ Designo monitor lineup is all about the unbridled premium experience. From the moment you open the box, immediately that feeling is reinforced.
One side drops which would prompt you to pull the monitor out from the packaging laterally instead of the usual vertical approach I was almost expecting. At least one cable for each of the available connection types that the monitor supports greet you making certain that you won’t need anything else and are able to use the monitor the moment you have it set-up.
It is powered by a pretty big brick which you’ll likely want to hide because it’s the only non-premium-looking component present within the lot.
Only a shroud, which would cover the connection ports, comes separate from the monitor and it’s stand. There’s no assembly necessary – you pull it out of the box, position it on your desk, remove the final protective cover, and that’s it, you got the MX38VC ready for action.
The operation is unbelievably simple: once connected to power, there is a 4-way button/knob with one button each on either side located at the mid-bottom part of the monitor.
Pressing on the knob (or buttons) turns the monitor on and in standby waiting for the pre-selected input. The entire menu system that drives how the MX38VC performs can be accessed via this simple set of switches;
All this means is that the MX38VC should be within arms reach at all times especially if you plan on using the integrated harman/kardon speakers (and generally toggling any of the available settings for the device which includes several calibration presets as well as blue light filter control to name a few).
These speakers sound great TBH. At first I thought they were unimpressive but I found out that by default they were only set to 50%.
Once I had that sorted out… let’s just say keeping it at max can get extremely loud wake up the entire household which is probably why it is also being marketed as an audio streaming device.
The MX38VC also works with bluetooth and allows for an independent connection to the speakers beyond just the data that is being transmitted thru HDMI. It can work on standby which means even at idle, music can be had with excellent clarity and enough bass depth for a truly immersive aural environment.
But sound isn’t what a monitor like this was built for, that’s just gravy really. Speaking of gravy, the center of the stand doubles as a 15W high-speed Qi wireless charger, it’s a pity I don’t have a compatible device to have tested it with as I have this sneaking suspicion that when in use, the platform lights up to let you know that something is happening right around that area.
This ultrawide panel has a slight but noticable arch coming in at 2300R (this means that you can draw a circle with a radius of 2.3 meters and the monitor’s arch would match the resulting illustration) it certainly can be grouped together and not feel like the set is crowding you – if you deem it necessary, a single unit however is already quite plenty. Having technically the span of two side-by-side standard displays, the distance that the mouse needs to travel to get to a function is quite significant. Fully mapped to an Intuos, the pen to screen motion feels a tad bit off which is understandable as pen tablets are designed with 16:9 aspect in mind. This is a note to users that some settings need to be changed with the input device presented.
In this regard, the cinematic aspect of 21:9 is fantastic for… you guessed it – watching movies.
In fact, that’s the very first thing I did with it once I had it set-up and let me tell you, the MX38VC made fullHD videos look like they were lacking in pixel data which they actually were… 4K content is imperative to capitalize on all the pixels made available to us.
Productivity applications in full screen appear massive, the ultra-wide presentation gives the user access to so much data at a glance whatever the process might be. Just look at this example with 5 applications running at once with practically no loss to functionality.
If you wanted to extend that even further, you could actually connect two devices into the MX38VC and they would be shown to you in picture by picture mode and if one of those runs off USB-C power, there’s actually 60W running through the type-c port which allows for simultaneous charging and data transfer saving not only precious AC outlet allocation but also keeping the top of the table tidy with one less cable to mess around with.
The MX38VC is undoubtedly a looker. No matter who came through our doors, each and every visitor immediately takes note of the prominently curved display atop the desk… even though they’re only, initially, just seeing it from the back! All this interest, garnered even though there isn’t any flashy RGB going on, means that the elegance inherent from the device transcends any sort of visual fanfare (though I’m fairly certain something like that would definitely help direct the viewers eyes without fail). Just imagine their disbelief once they see the actual panel and content on it.
Not a single setup that I’ve ever tried before (at length) can compare to the few memorable weeks that I had with the MX38VC. The experience is not perfect, especially the travel between left and right docked menu buttons when using a single application in full screen… that takes a little getting used to, but past that, and a little bit of red tint bias I consistently notice, playing and working with the MX38VC is an elevated experience from everything else… now much more mundane than ever before.