The marketplace for ultra-wide shows is evolving, as people who play simulations and FPS video games on PC and console are in search of a aggressive edge and extra immersive expertise.
Following up my overview of the Philips Brilliance 346P1CRH, comes the LG UltraGear 34GN850. A design that’s much more closely gamer-focused with exceptionally low latency and help for each Nvidia and AMD variable refresh charges.
On paper, this seems like a gamer’s dream, till they catch sight of the fee, so does the LG UltraGear 34GN850 justify its elevated price ticket?
Design & Options
There’s a characteristic of the LG UltraGear 34GN850 that wants a point out from the outset, and that’s how light-weight it’s.
Sometimes it could be thought-about a adverse characteristic to be light-weight because it may infer that LG used extra plastic on this product than metallic. However belief me in saying that having pushed my again muscle groups past their sensible limits extracting ultrawide screens from packaging and positioning them on a desk, the modest 5.6kg that this panel weighs is an efficient factor.
The slim ‘V’ foot connects to the vertical pillar utilizing captured thumbscrews, and the panel attaches to the submit with spring-loaded tangs. It’s all amazingly easy, tool-free, and inside a few minutes, you have to be able to plug your gaming PC or console into it.
Nonetheless, one of many ways in which the designers diminished the burden was to make use of an exterior energy block, and that’s extra cable litter to cope with.
However the place I began to love this design was after I obtained to cable it to the pc, as a result of LG engineers didn’t make the evident errors that others have made repeatedly.
Cabling on ultrawide screens is commonly difficult as a result of you’ll be able to’t rotate the display into portrait mode to get easy accessibility to all of the ports. This design has no rotation or twist, solely tilt and a few vertical adjustment.
To assist resolve this drawback, designers didn’t place the inputs on the underside fringe of the panel. As a substitute, they’re grouped in a circle to the precise aspect of the help mount, they usually all face outward. Turning the display 90 levels is sufficient to have full entry to the cabling, and with the burden of the unit, doing that is simple.
For these questioning if the crimson circle illuminates, which may have been the plan at one level, but it surely doesn’t. There aren’t any color LEDs on this design just like the MSI Optix MAG272CQR.
There’s a token nod to cable administration in a notch positioned within the help arm which may keep away from cables hanging down, but it surely’s a gesture moderately than an actual resolution.
Whereas the help arm isn’t lengthy sufficient to permit for portrait mode, VESA 1000 mounting is feasible, and the setting menu permits for vertical orientation.
The vast majority of ultrawide designs use VA know-how panels as a result of these are comparatively cheap, and there are a number of good high quality panel choices for producers to make use of.
The LG UltraGear 34GN850 makes use of another strategy, a Nano IPS panel that guarantees the color gamut of IPS know-how with the latency of TN know-how screens. And, for essentially the most half, these aren’t simply advertising aspirations.
This show manages, someway, to ship on these guarantees, admittedly with a couple of caveats.
One weak point of IPS know-how is distinction, and even with the LG Nano twist to reinforce IPS the inferior distinction to VA know-how does manifest in some conditions.
What it lacks is localised backlighting as seen on OLED TV know-how. The backlight is on the edge, and this tends to generate a backlight bloom and reduces the affect of HDR.
However conversely, color illustration is superb and may very well be useable for design purposes if precisely calibrated. The one snag is that as a result of this can be a gamer oriented design, the settings menu doesn’t provide particular color temperatures or numerical Gamma settings.
The utmost refresh is 160Hz, though that is restricted to DisplayPort connection and the place 144Hz is a full 10-bit illustration, 160Hz makes use of both 8-bit or 10-bit with 10-bit with 4:2:2 compression.
These limitations are enforced by the bandwidth accessible to DisplayPort 1.4, and never something that LG selected to do.
The curve on this panel is a comparatively mild 1900R, the place the focus of the curve is 1.9 metres (6ft 2in) from the display. That’s a good distance again to realize the phantasm of a flat picture, and it lacks the immersion that some extra aggressively curved panels can obtain.
I’ve already described how simple to assemble and cable this display is, and the pondering behind different elements are typically well-considered.
The OSD is accessible from a joystick that’s mounted simply behind the LG brand within the centre of the underside edge. It’s a simple to navigate interface and makes enter choice or altering to one in all a variety of presets extraordinarily simple.
One slight oddity is that the top-level menu seems immediately above the centralised button, and from right here there are 5 sub picks. These choices embody exiting the menu and powering off the monitor.
Many of the choices result in a menu that seems in the identical place, backside centre, but the one with essentially the most on it ‘settings’ seems on the intense proper.
That appears foolish, since you’re looking at a particular a part of the display, after which the sub-menu pops up 17 inches to the precise from the place you’re at the moment centered.
Nonetheless, it’s value noting that LG has created a software program menu system for each PC and Mac that has the whole lot on it that the inbuilt menu affords, and a few further choices.
One trick that software program menu can do is to alter preset primarily based on the applying getting used, enabling video games to make use of the perfects settings for them, after which change again to a distinct mode when exited.
This mechanism is considerably extra user-friendly than manually selectable choices and makes it extra probably that customers will use presets. The primary two presets, Gamer 1 and Gamer 2 have extra customisation accessible than the opposite decisions, however there isn’t a potential to create totally new presets from scratch.
That’s barely annoying for people who need the most effective color accuracy. As a result of that comes with the sRGB preset, and but that has minimal controls.
This software program may predefine splitting of the show and picture-in-picture for the simultaneous presentation of a number of inputs.
A few of the options require that the monitor is related by USB to the controlling PC, like updating the monitor firmware, however many work solely with a DisplayPort cable connection.
For our testing, we use a DataColor Spyder5 Elite calibration software and the evaluation provided by its software program.
In accordance with LG, this Nano IPS panel has a typical brightness of 400 nits, a static distinction ratio of 700:1 and DCI-P3 color gamut of 98%. And, our assessments obtained near these brightness and distinction numbers with the exception being the DCI-P3 rating, the place we recorded 100% protection.
That was utilizing the default Gamer 1 preset, however you will get additional brightness from HDR mode and enhanced colors from sRGB.
The monitor additionally works effectively with each G-Sync and FreeSync graphics playing cards for variable sync, though to get the 160Hz the monitor must be configured for ‘overdrive’. For those who don’t use overdrive mode, the utmost is 144Hz.
The panel is HDR400 licensed, which isn’t the most effective HDR degree accessible, but it surely’s higher than utilizing the HDR impact mode on content material that doesn’t have the additional HDR knowledge embedded.
To make use of HDR absolutely and variable sync modes, this monitor should be related by DisplayPort, as HDMI on this implementation doesn’t have these capabilities.
The weakest characteristic of this panel is the effectiveness of the backlighting mannequin, and its limitations are revealed in a scarcity of distinction in low mild circumstances. It will possibly’t generate a convincing black, and also you see a darkish gray at finest.
Turning the brightness down, as indicated by a calibration helps, however with out localised backlighting IPS know-how can’t emulate the blacks of an OLED panel nonetheless it’s tweaked.
From a specification standpoint, the opposite adverse I observed was that at a typical 72W, this monitor attracts loads of energy, and it could possibly demand as much as 80W in some circumstances – for those who’re nervous about your electrical energy invoice.
As a reviewer for some appreciable time, I’ve seen some failures of execution. However the 34GN850 included one so wonderful that it begs a point out.
Together with the myriad of cables positioned in a field marked ‘equipment’ was a DVD emblazoned with the phrases ‘Homeowners Handbook’. The disc wasn’t in a plastic bag or paper sleeve to guard it from injury, however a minimum of it was included!
Sadly, this disc doesn’t include the proprietor’s guide!
It has Acrobat Reader and two PDFs of the regulatory and security precautions, however no guide. That somebody may have the disc duplicated and overprinted with the phrases ‘house owners guide’, realizing that it doesn’t include that exact doc is bewildering.
Homeowners can go to the LG web site and get the precise guide, and it accommodates loads of helpful info for anybody establishing this display.
My recommendation to LG is that it ought to cease together with optical discs and use low cost USB keys as a substitute, and descriptions of contents ought to higher mirror the information on it.
And, possibly placing the software program show controls and drivers on wouldn’t be a foul concept.
Possibly you need to put that espresso down earlier than studying that the LG UltraGear 34GN850 prices an eye-watering £949.99 within the UK, and US$996.64 within the USA by way of Amazon. That could be a greater deal for American consumers, but it surely hardly makes this product inexpensive.
It is also accessible from Overclockers.
That compares poorly from a worth perspective with the very related AOC CU34G2X, that entered the market at an identical worth and now might be discovered for lower than £550 or US$550.
It additionally prices greater than the Acer Predator Z35P, a barely bigger 35-inch ultrawide design that has an MSRP of £899, however it may be purchased for lower than £800.
The one mainstream possibility that’s dearer is the Alienware AW3418DW, that Dell optimistically is asking US$1,049.99 or £967 for in a display that may solely handle a 4ms response time and a disappointing 120Hz refresh price.
Try our chart of the most effective gaming screens to see what different choices you will have.
Briefly, the LG UltraGear 34GN850 is a outstanding piece of substances. It takes away the compromises that dogged gaming shows by way of color illustration and delivers an answer that works effectively for each play and productiveness purposes.
It’s mild, it is shiny, the colors are punchy, and the refresh is quick. It additionally helps G-Sync and FreeSync, HDR10 and Vesa DisplayHDR 400 help. I may very well be improper, however this could be the one ultrawide monitor with G-Sync certification. Or, it’s one on a very shortlist.
So the place may or not it’s higher? Properly, it might be good if it supported 160Hz with out the necessity to activate overclocking, however 144Hz isn’t a lot of a downgrade utilizing variable sync, and it’s absolutely 10-bit at that refresh price. And, the distinction at low brightness generates darkish greys and never black.
The ‘letterbox’ side of this ratio takes some adjustment and doesn’t match some titles effectively, however on others, it provides wonderful situational consciousness of threats from the aspect. And, in very darkish screens, a level of bloom or glow across the edges of the panel is detectable.
However these are principally minor factors, the most important drawback right here is the worth. As spectacular as this display is, a value that’s virtually double that of the Philips Brilliance 346P1CRH is unrealistic for a lot of. Provided that it’s competing with some designs costing a lot much less, this can be a vital monetary dedication for many avid gamers to justify.
And, for these with this a lot disposable revenue, they could wish to spend much more when, and if, LG makes a 38in variant of this design
LG UltraGear 34GN850: Specs
Panel Measurement: 34.0in (86.7cm)
Decision: 3440 × 1440
Show Expertise: Nano IPS
Side Ratio: 21:9
Response Time (MPRT): 1ms
Viewing Angle: 178°(H)/178°(V)
Most Refresh: 160Hz (with adaptive sync and overdrive)
HDR: HDR10, VESA DisplayHDR 400
Brightness: 400 cd/m2
Static Distinction: 1000:1
Video Ports: 2x HDMI 2.0, 1x DisplayPort 1.4
USB ports: 2× USB 3.Zero Kind-A connectors, 1 x USB-B(upstream)
Different Ports: 1x 3.5mm headphone jack
Variable Sync: NVIDIA G-Sync, AMD FreeSync
Weight: 7.6kg (with stand), 5.5kg (with out stand)