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LG 27GL850 Ultragear Nano IPS Gaming Monitor Review

LG 27GL850 Ultragear Nano IPS Gaming Monitor Review LG 27GL850 Ultragear Nano IPS Gaming Monitor Review svg xml charset utf 8 3Csvg xmlns 3D http 3A 2F 2Fwww

LG is one of the biggest names in the display market and has gaming monitors to match every budget. Today, we’re looking at the LG27GL850 Ultragear. Coming in at $499, it’s on the upper end of the company’s range but offers a suite of features to tempt enthusiast gamers looking for a premium display. With a large 27-inch Nano IPS display, the LG27GL850 promises rich colors, HDR, a 1ms response time, and a crisp 1440p, 144Hz picture.
Design and FeaturesThe LG 27GL850 makes an impression right from the start. Setup is easy and took me less than five minutes to unbox and assemble. The stand comes in two parts and the feet attach to the arm with a single thumbscrew. The arm attaches to the monitor itself with a simple snap and can be removed with a button which makes disassembly equally simple.The stand itself is excellent. It offers a bit of extra flair compared to simpler monitors with a red finish on the rear of its two feet and a stylish red ring in the center of its back. It also offers a bit of cable management thanks to a removable clip. You can adjust height up and down four inches, as well as both tilt and pivot into portrait orientation. If you’re planning on a multi-monitor setup, it’s very versatile to position exactly as you would like, especially if you’d like a taller display for monitoring chat while you stream.The video inputs are centered on the back of the monitor, which works out much better for rotation than the standard location along the bottom third. The wires were never torqued rotating into portrait mode and stayed nicely hidden behind the display. The 27GL850 offers two HDMI ports and a single DisplayPort 1.2. There’s also a headphone jack and a pair of USB ports for quickly connecting devices. I liked this, since I could connect my keyboard and mouse right to the display and keep my wires more tidy than if they were running into the back of my PC.The LG27GL850’s 27-inch display feels wide and spacious thanks to its thin bezels. This also makes it a good fit for multi-monitor setups, though as a flat panel you won’t get the same wrap-around effect that multiple curved monitors offer. There’s also the usual internal black border built into the screen itself, but since the actual frame is only a millimeter thick, it doesn’t feel intrusive.Having reviewed dozens of monitors over the years, I’ve found 27 inches to be the sweet spot between size and resolution. That is certainly the case here as the screen feels big without allowing you to see the individual pixels at a normal sitting distance. 1440p resolution offers a crisp and detailed picture with more than 33% more pixels per inch than a 1080p screen of the same size. It’s not as clean as 4K, of course, but most mid-level graphics cards released in the last several years should be able to run 1440p on the Ultragear, which isn’t something I can say for 4K.As an IPS panel, I expected it to offer better colors than a VA or TN monitor, but the LG 27GL850 is downright stunning. The monitor uses LG’s Nano technology, which embeds microscopic particles into the display to absorb excess light and increase the color gamut to 98% of the DCI-P3 spectrum. The real-life effect is absolutely vibrant colors with or without HDR. The panel is HDR10 compatible and supports full 10-bit color without chroma sub-sampling at 144Hz. For gaming and movies, it’s excellent.There are some meaningful limitations, however. The contrast on offer here isn’t impressive at only 700:1. Compared to the IPS panel in Pixio’s PX7 Prime, it’s a noticeable step down in dark areas from the 1000:1 ratio that’s fairly standard in IPS gaming monitors. Likewise, the presentation of high-dynamic range content is also held back by a peak brightness of only 350-nits, which falls below VESA’s guidelines for entry-level HDR certification. That said, at a normal sitting distance, 350-nits is comfortable while still feeling bright. It makes for gaming experiences that won’t strain your eyes and remains a big step up from 250-nit SDR monitors.When I tested the monitor on Lagom’s LCD Test Pages, I was very impressed by how well it performed. I was able to make out every box and pattern in the Black Level and White Saturation tests, which means you won’t lose detail in very bright or dark scenes. Likewise, the gamma was spot on and there was no banding in the Gradient Test.I was most interested in how the display would perform on the Response Time and Ghosting tests. IPS panels are well known for their improved colors and viewing angles but often deliver those benefits at the expense of response time. The LG 27GL850 performed outstandingly. There was no visible color shifting in the Response Time test and absolutely minimal color disparity in the Ghosting test, which is quite an impressive result that even tops the more expensive Acer Predator XB273K. These results prove that LG has done an outstanding job of pushing this panel to its limits for speed – this response is faster than some VA monitors I’ve reviewed.The monitor also offers Nvidia G-Sync compatibility. The 27GL850 is officially certified by Nvidia, part of a small but growing number of FreeSync displays that are guaranteed to offer excellent tear-free performance on Nvidia GPUs. Gaming with G-Sync makes fast-paced games feel distinctly smoother as the frames produced by the GPU are synced with the monitor’s refresh, eliminating screen tearing.PerformanceSynthetic tests are one thing, but what really matters is how it handles high intensity games. I’m happy to report that it’s excellent. Seeing those rich colors, I couldn’t help but spend hours lost in Overwatch with its saturated color palette. The Nano IPS screen made the game look better than I’ve ever seen it, though I do wish the contrast were better to make blacks actually look black instead of dark grey.At 1440p, my RTX 2080 Ti was able to push the FPS in Overwatch and Apex Legends to the limit, really allowing me to see its potential. Before this review, I spent a good amount of time playing on my 4K 60Hz monitor to see if I could feel the change in refresh rate and resolution even as a gamer already used to high refresh rate gameplay. The answer is yes to both, but the dramatic improvement in smoothness and responsiveness that comes with the jump to 144Hz vastly outweighs the slight drop in detail from 4K to 1440p, especially with the massive bump in performance that the Ultragear offered.Playing through the new maps in Battlefield V was an absolute pleasure on the monitor. Playing in HDR wasn’t as impressive as my big 4K TV with local dimming, however, but it still offered an excellent, vivid picture thanks to the 10-bit color depth and Nano IPS screen.The only glitch I experienced was when I tried to load Overwatch in fullscreen mode. Oddly, it would randomly kick the monitor out of HDR mode until I played in Windowed Borderless. I also discovered an odd quirk where the Vivid picture mode caused halos around text. The color enhancement was great for gaming but made reading email and social media difficult.Purchasing GuideThe LG 27GL850 Ultragear is available on Amazon, B&H, and Best Buy with an MSRP of $499.VerdictEven with its limitations and few odd quirks, the LG 27GL850 is an excellent and impressive monitor. It offers the hands-down best IPS screen I’ve seen to date and a level of responsiveness that makes it a good fit for casual and competitive games alike. LG has a definite winner on its hands.

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Written by Mohit

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