For this review, I used MassDrop’s VAST for two weeks as a daily driver. It has a MSRP of $549, lower than you would typically find for an ultrawide monitor. The VAST features a 3440×1440 VA Panel and operates at up to 100hz. At 35″, it is slightly larger than other 3440 monitors. It is technically overclockable – but don’t expect more than 110hz due to the limitations of DisplayPort 1.2
When I first put together MassDrop’s VAST, the first thing that struck out to me… was how nice the stand included in it was! It titled in every direction – including vertical orientation – and provided adequate height adjustment (which, as a tall person, is appreciated – I don’t like looking “down” on monitors). I was very apprehensive about the curve, I have never seen the point in having one – I’ve been using flat 34″ ultrawides for a long time. While the curve was apparent, it wasn’t annoying nor did it impact my actual usage of the monitor.
As someone who has largely used 1080p monitors over the past few years, the PPI (Pixels per inch) increase was breathtaking. After I went back to 1080p, it was a bit jarring at first as I acclimated to the lower resolution again.
The 100hz refresh rate provided by the VAST made for a smooth gaming experience, and it’s VRR range of 40-100hz insures that VRR works regardless of the framerate. However, there were some titles that I couldn’t run at anywhere near that framerate – and so I created a custom 2560×1080 resolution. Surprisingly, despite it being a non-native resolution – it actually looked decent.
Drop’s marketing claims a 2ms response time for this monitor, but marketing and reality are two different things. That being said, for a VA monitor the VAST’s response times are actually quite good – using it as a daily driver, the response times were acceptable. No transition particularly bugged me, whereas VA monitors I have used in the past I’ve found to be unsuitable for gaming.
The color quality of this unit was subpar. At first it merely looked a bit “washed out”, but after playing Mass Effect 3 in a dimly lit scenario – the blacks were so crushed I literally could not see where I was going. After a lot of tinkering and adjustments, I was finally able to get it to acceptable settings – but at the cost of washing out the most bright colors . While in gaming this was mostly fine, one some websites it was not: One forum I visit uses light grey vs white to differentiate between “read” replies and “unread” replies – as a result, I was unable to distinguish between a read and an unread message on that forum while using the VAST.
My biggest complaint? FreeSync flickering. In most games, there were no flickering issues. In some games, like Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, there was occasional flickering – but nothing “gamebreaking”.
In a few titles, however, the flickering was so bad it literally ruined the gameplay experience. This was the case in Mad Max, despite being able to push the full refresh rate of 100 in this title.
You literally cannot beat Drop’s VAST 35″ for the price. Similarly specced monitors cost $900+, sometimes more. Having such a deeply discounted price vs its competition, it’s obviously going to have some compromises.
For those who can’t stand the thought of a 34″ 2560×1080 monitor, but don’t want to pay out nearly $1000 – I absolutely recommend this monitor, just be aware of it’s compromises.