Even though we believe the tech world is not slowing down, the short supply of new consoles this year is proof enough that we’re still not away from the clutches of the pandemic. So when LG announced its flagship gaming monitor back in CES, the inevitable Indian launch was destined to be delayed. Or at least I thought it would, just before LG sent us this 144Hz monitor with 4K and HDR certification.
The LG 27in UltraGear gaming monitor is shaping up to be one of the best gaming monitors for PC gamers. However, if you’re a console gamer, you might feel unloved by its HDMI 2.0 port.
For ₹60K, the monitor doesn’t bend in captivating ways like the Samsung Odyssey series but it uses its flat-screen nature to the best of its ability. In fact, on the spec sheet alone, this LG gaming monitor ticks all the right boxes. It has a 4K display with 144Hz refresh rate. It also uses an IPS panel but pulls down the response time to 1ms. And if you’ve not paid attention, it comes with HDR too.
As is with all UltraGear monitors, aesthetically its the mullet-equivalent of gaming monitors. Business in the front and party at the back. The round ring at the back houses an RGB ring which even comes with its own dedicated scroll wheel for brightness control. The use of RGB at the back is open to personal preference but the monitor does a fantastic job of throwing the light behind the monitor and your table, similar to the Panasonic tellies. And like the Panasonic Ambilight feature, LG’s RGB Sphere Lighting 2.0 can throw the colours that sync with your video or music on screen.
The only way to do so is through LG’s overlay software which can be a pain point. There are three different types of software. The first is LG OnScreen control software which lets you split screen in a myriad of good ways, the second is LG Calibration Studio which can be used by professionals to calibrate the colours and the third is the LG UltraGear Control Center that is used to control the RGB Sphere Lighting. We wish there was just one software for all this.
You can control the response time and resolution settings from the hardware button but it’s a bit limited. Colour calibration and RGB Sphere Lighting 2.0 can only be done from the software. Another caveat is that you’ll need to use the USB Type-A to B cable that comes in the box to control the software from your PC.
Once you’re done with the calibration, the LG starts to stretch its legs, come gaming or content wizardry. It costs ₹59,990 and to make full use of its 144Hz on 4K, you’ll need an equally expensive GPU. Doom Eternal on 4K at 144Hz is just the best. Albeit, our RTX GPU could only dish out up to 90 frames per second in this game but anything above 60Hz feels buttery smooth on the LG.
This monitor only does 4K at 144Hz on DisplayPort and not HDMI, so if you’re planning to connect an Xbox Series X or PS5 you’ll be stuck with 4K at 60Hz. Although, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy Dirt 5 on the Series X on 2K with 120Hz. It’s a sweet spot which works on a 27in monitor.
The 1ms response time isn’t exactly etched in stone either. According to LG, it uses three response time modes (Faster, Fast and Normal). The Faster mode is where the LG monitor does 1ms but comes with caveats. On Faster mode, anything lower than 144Hz is going to create artefacts and ghost images. So playing Dirt 5 on the Xbox Series X is not going to look very eye-pleasing. We kept the response time off or on Normal in our use. The slight increase in input latency is fine by us. Even while playing Valorant for competitive rounds, it’s not going to significantly change your life or gameplay. So take the 1ms with a pinch of salt and sweep it under the ‘marketing gimmick’ rug, alright?
It’s the same story with the VESA-approved HDR 600 too. With 400nits of brightness, the display isn’t exactly equipped for HDR videos and videogames. Although the DCI-P3 98% colour gamut is fine, mighty fine for creators and anyone dealing with colour precision. Our magazine work was fruitful on this monitor.
In comparison, the BenQ EX2780Q 2K gaming monitor is equally good for almost half the price. LG’s colour calibration is probably one of the best in the market but you cannot shake the feeling that this 27in is padded with marketing gimmicks. Even the blacks and contrast could’ve been better for this price.
There are height, tilt and rotation adjustment and pretty much anything you stare at is a pixel. The monitor is nearly bezel-less.
That said, this is one of the best gaming monitors for 4K PC gaming. If you’ve got the system in place to make use of all 144Hz at 4K, then this could be the best monitor to complement your beefy system. Don’t jump into it for HDR or console gaming, or even for the 1ms response time. And if you’re rocking an Apple Mac-device for content/work duties then you’ll need a USB Type-C to HDMI or DisplayPort adapter because the monitor doesn’t have a USB Type-C port.
It’s also G-Sync and FreeSync compatible. So whether you’re rocking an AMD or Nvidia GPU, this monitor can safely eliminate screen tearing.