I saw LG’s 27-inch OLED, the future of gaming monitors
The LG 27-inch UltraGear OLED QHD gaming monitor may appear as your standard display at first glance, albeit with an extremely impressive display. After spending some time with it, I can now more fully appreciate the continued introduction of OLED to the gaming monitor market in recent years.
At 27 inches, the UltraGear OLED QHD is finally an OLED gaming monitor with a general size for desktops. After having some hands-on time with the screen at LG’s campus in New Jersey, I understood the brand’s effort to provide total gaming solutions for all types of gamers, not only in terms of display size, but also in terms of accessibility.
In recent years, various brands have brought more OLED screens from the TV market to the gaming monitor market, while at the same time TVs have been flooded with many gaming features. Still, as a leader in the OLED display market, LG has reached a milestone by releasing its own high-quality OLED gaming monitors. The brand is already working with other companies to use its 27-inch OLED panel on new products.
Crowd-funded brand Dough (formerly known as Eve) recently announced its own Spectrum ES07E2D gaming monitor, featuring a 27-inch 240Hz OLED panel manufactured by LG. Meanwhile, Asus teased plans to announce its 27-inch ROG OLED Gaming Monitor at CES 2023. Suffice it to say – LG is far from the only player in the game.
Compared to the 45-inch UltraGear OLED curved WQHD gaming monitor, which was also showcased, the 27-inch UltraGear OLED may not have the dazzle of the 800R curved screen. But when it comes to a familiar size that the average player will be comfortable with, it’s the more attractive offering.
|Screen size||27 inches|
|Resolution||2560 x 1440 (QHD)|
|Peak brightness||800 nits|
|HDR||Yes (HDR 10)|
|Refresh rate||240 Hz|
|Inputs||HDMI x 2, DisplayPort x 1, Headphone out 4-pin (audio+microphone), SPDIF out|
|USB ports||USB 3.0 upstream x1, USB 3.0 downstream x2|
|Adjustments||Tilt -5 ~ 15 degrees, Rotate -10 ~ 10 degrees, Height range 110 millimeters, Rotate counter-clockwise|
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||23.8 x 13.8 x 1.8 inches (without stand|
There’s only so much that can be done in terms of design by a company that isn’t game specific. It’s clear that LG has put a lot more effort into the display quality of the UltraGear OLED QHD; however, if you have to describe the design, it will be sleek and simple. The 27-inch screen is mounted on an adjustable and detachable base that is also 100 x 100 millimeter VESA compatible, so you can mount it on a wall.
However, it has tilt, height, pivot and pivot adjustments and a height range of 110 millimeters. The adjustment mechanism is circular, which makes it easy to move; however, it is manual. The monitor comes in a simple dark color option, but it does include an RGB hexagonal lighting pattern on the back for some gaming flare.
An interesting feature of the 27-inch UltraGear OLED QHD is that it comes with a stand-alone dedicated remote control, which leads you to a gaming dashboard. This accessory allows you to see which features are turned on or off during gameplay, and you can also adjust settings as you like.
Specifications such as frame rate and refresh rate are easily displayed, and you can also see the variable refresh rate change in real time. There are a number of different built-in features such as different care for the OLED screen, a game mode, game customization, input settings and other common features.
The UltraGear OLED QHD features a solid input setup, including two HDMI ports, one DisplayPort 1.4 port, one 4-pin headphone-out audio and microphone port, one USB 3.0 streaming port, two USB 3.0 downstream- ports and an SPDIF-out port. Most of the ports are located on the back under the adjustment mechanism, while the headphone jack is located on the right side of the monitor.
While the monitor doesn’t include built-in speakers, LG showed off its own UltraGear gaming speakers during the demo, which include a number of settings such as USB, Bluetooth, fps, RTS, EQ, 3D game audio and DTS. The UltraGear OLED QHD supports DTS HP:X audio for headphones and microphones, as well as SPDIF out for speaker connections.
This setup probably helped with the overall thin and near-borderless design of the LG UltraGear OLED QHD, but also makes audio accessories a necessity for this peripheral.
In comparison, the Dough Spectrum ES07E2D has a dedicated audio amplifier, despite an overall slim frame.
One thing I can say is that the images really don’t do the LG UltraGear OLED QHD justice in terms of screen quality. The monitor uses the same OLED panels already seen on LG OLED TVs, and we’ve all seen good gaming on those screens. LG noted that the inclusion of DisplayPort 1.4 is one of the primary differences between its OLED gaming TVs and its new OLED gaming monitors.
Overall, I found that the blue of the water shown on the screens really demonstrated the color depth and accuracy. Demos showed many seaward game scenarios, which have very similar color tones. Still, the clear contrast between the blue of the water, and the gray and metals of the ships and fighter planes was clear.
The racing game demos showed the brightness and color range. Reds were sharp and race car blacks were clear. Even the details about neighboring cars were not lost while focusing on what would be the main player.
Compared to the laptop connected to the monitor, which gave off a glare, and the LG UltraGear OLED QHD, which stayed in a deep black, the color further demonstrated when switching to the all-black screen with the LG UltraGear brand. accuracy of the display.
Even though gaming is the primary use case for a high refresh rate, it also allows for more productivity-focused tasks, such as fluid web browsing. LG said the LG UltraGear OLED QHD response time is much faster than its LG OLED TVs and 100 times faster than the average LCD TV. This feature also helps drastically reduce input lag and motion blur compared to LCD monitors.
The exact specifications for the display include a 26.5-inch flat 2560x 1440 resolution OLED panel with a 240Hz refresh rate, a 16:9 aspect ratio and a 0.03ms GtG response time. It also has a color gamut of DCI-P3 98.5%, a contrast ratio of 1,500,000:1, a color depth of 1.07 billion colors, a pixel density of 110.8 pixels per inch (PPI), in addition up to a typical brightness of 200 nits and a peak brightness of 800 nits at HDR 10.
HDR is of course a huge benefit of moving to OLED and is a great example of something that conventional IPS just can’t replicate. With a peak brightness of 800 nits and the fantastic contrast of OLED, you’re sure to get a good HDR performance out of this thing, even if it doesn’t get quite as bright as the Alienware 34 QD-OLED. Gaming in HDR is something most PC gamers haven’t experienced, and it makes a huge difference to the visual quality of games that support it.
Viewing angles on the UltraGear OLED meanwhile range from 178 degrees left to right and 178 degrees up and down. The screen is also coated with anti-glare and low-reflection treatments to reduce the blue light beam allowing for reduced eye strain and discomfort and longer gaming.
However, the typical brightness of 200 nits seems a bit low, especially if your computer is set up near a window. However, we’ll have to wait to test it ourselves to get a feel for it.
While I wasn’t able to test hands-on gameplay on the UltraGear OLED QHD myself, LG had members of their partner esports team Evil Geniuses on hand to show off their gaming skills and share their experiences playing on screens. They demonstrated play Brave on the 27-inch and 45-inch curved models respectively, giving their opinions on the gaming performance.
I found it very interesting that the players could easily locate each other in the game while being fully immersed in the game and not having to move their heads around too much. The Evil Geniuses members echoed a similar sentiment, explaining that the displays solve common problems where high refresh rates or frame rates on a display can equate to reduced resolution and vice versa. They found that the new LG UltraGear OLED models helped them stay more focused on their game without worrying about imperfections on the screens.
LG also noted that the latest high-end graphics cards such as the Nvidia RTX 4090 is expected to pair well with the UltraGear OLED QHD, supporting features such as its high resolution and fast frame rate simultaneously. This will allow players to maintain image quality and game performance at the same time.
Who is the 27 UltraGear OLED QHD for?
Clearly, the LG 27-inch UltraGear OLED QHD is for gamers or even gaming enthusiasts. Its HDR performance and numerous gaming features make it quite stacked as one of the best options for 2023. Even still, the $1,000 price is a good value proposition for those who plan to multitask and use the peripherals for not only games but also for professionals work or school work too.
I would have liked to see some additional features included, such as built-in speakers and more USB ports, but many of these challenges can be addressed with accessories that PC gamers already own.
The LG UltraGear OLED gaming monitor range consists of 27-inch flat and 45-inch curved models, which are currently available for pre-order ahead of CES 2023 in January exclusively at LG.com. The gaming monitors offer two-day expedited shipping, and a free gaming pad valued at $200.