LG have never let me down with their monitors of late. Being able to get some decent gaming performance out of an IPS display has been up for debate for a long time now. Have LG finally cracked it with their new 27UK650 monitor? Let’s take a look.
The LG 27UK650 is built pretty well, and feels very sturdy on the desk. It does however have a wobble if knocked, which stems from the connection between the backplate and the monitor itself. The stand is curved, with a width of around 18 inches, but there is enough space underneath to house a small form factor keyboard or even a small set of speakers. Overall, it’s a very clean looking monitor for your setup.
The bezels of the screen measure at well under an inch, with the bottom bezel measuring at one inch as it houses the control stick to navigate the menus. The side and top bezels are actually flush with the screen, giving an elegant finish. There is a bit of an edge though but that can’t really be seen when looking at the monitor head on. Branding is very plain with a small LG logo at the bottom in the middle. The entire back is white, which for now looks fresh, but I can see it getting a bit grubby if this monitor is regularly handled, though you won’t be able to see it as chances are it’ll be back against a wall anyway.
What is unfortunate is the monitor can’t swivel on its stand, so if you want to angle it on your desk, you’re going to have to move the entire thing. It does however move up and down and tilts backwards with a range of 17.5° to 2.5°. There is also a chance to use this monitor in portrait mode too. The stand is made entirely from plastic which cheapens its design somewhat, but it still doesn’t look bad.
Inputs here are a little lackluster, but it still retains the essential. It has one DisplayPort, two HDMI ports, a power input and a 3.5mm auxiliary output for sound. There are no built-in speakers that I can see in this monitor despite it getting a little fatter towards the bottom. I plug my speakers into the monitor when playing my PS4 or Xbox One for sound. The only thing included for cable management is a ring which attaches to the stand, though this wasn’t included in our review unit.
The panel uses IPS technology so you can expect from lovely vivid colours and a wide viewing angle. The monitor has a peak brightness of 450nits for HDR which increases from 350nits, it’s not enough for HDR to have any real impact on your image. The contrast ratio sits at 1000:1, a little disappointing, and it means the black levels won’t be as deep as some VA panels on the market. However, colour accuracy is a lot better. You will get much more vibrant and accurate colours with this IPS display than you will over a comparable VA panel. There is a black stabilizer that you can mess around with when inside of games to really hone in those shadowy areas.
From the box and looking over the OSD, I landed on the SMPTE-C picture mode, which unfortunately locks you out of pretty much all other picture options except for brightness. If you are fussy with your colours, you can set the picture mode to custom which will unlock an array of colour correction tools to change things like the temperature and hues of each colour. There is also an array of picture profiles you can set from ‘Reader’ to ‘Rec.709.
While gaming, everything looked very sharp and clear. Blurring is reduced thanks to its 5ms grey to grey response time which is very good for an IPS panel. The panel also has a flicker-free backlight and there is no option to turn flicker back on which could disappoint some users, especially when motion is concerned. The monitor does offer AMD Freesync, but only has a refresh rate of 60Hz, so again, this may not benefit gamers involved in heavy eSports titles like CS: GO. My response time because I was using the SMPTE-C picture mode, my response time was set to fast. As a casual gamer who has recently played The Division 2 and God Of War, this wasn’t an issue. Again, climbing into the ‘Custom’ or ‘Custom (Game)’ profile will allow you to change this to your desired option.
The LG 27UK650 Freesync Gaming Monitor is a very capable panel, with enough options to keep even the most fussiest of gamers happy, although for PC gaming, you may want to take a look at the cheaper LG 27UK500/550 as the benefits are very small for the newer model. However, console gamers would definitely benefit from the updated panel, especially if you’re gaming on an Xbox One X or Playstation 4 Pro. It’s a little disappointing that the HDR is so lackluster here, and it feels like it comes down to you get what you pay for. But for those filthy casuals out there, I cannot see you being disappointed with the LG 27UK650. For more information on the LG 27UK650, then head over to the LG website.