LG 32GK850G Gaming Monitor Review
LG have never really been at the forefront of gaming monitors. Sure, they make pretty decent panels, but none that I would really think was aimed at gamers. Until now. They’ve just released the LG 32GK850 gaming monitor, which packs a punch with its specification like nVidia G-Sync, 144Hz refresh rate and a decent 2560 x 1440 resolution. Can it hold its own when playing AAA titles?
Of course it can, the LG 32GK850 is a special monitor, not just due to its 32″ size, but the fact that the screen technology is rather impressive too, producing some really wonderful colours and some very deep blacks. Technology is important here. In the past, LG have seemingly favoured IPS panels. Not sure why, it’s just the way it is. But their decision to switch to a VA panel instead for this gaming beast is all welcome.
VA panels are known for their superior contrast ratios however their viewing angles are far worse than their IPS counterparts. But, for gamers, this isn’t a bad thing as you’ll generally be sitting in front of a screen anyway. Secondly, VA panels tend to perform better in darker rooms, which in turn will make a screen feel brighter anyway. So all in all, good choice LG I say.
A nice feature about this monitor is the fact that it comes with a bias light on the back. The light has been designed to reduce eye strain in a darkened room. The light has been designed so it doesn’t shine directly into your eyes, instead choosing to bounce off of the wall behind it to give the monitor a glow. The lights come in several solid colours like red, blue, green, or you can choose to have a soft glow between all colours. Great for you RGB fanboys out there.
The lights are controlled by a scroll wheel in the bottom centre, giving users the ability to adjust colour and brightness with the wheel. The only downfall here is that I wish it could have been able to detect what you are playing. Sea of Thieves for example can be very blue. It would have been great if the light could have reflected that, very similar to the Philips Ambilight televisions from a few years ago.
But, for what it’s worth, it’s definitely going to scratch that RGB itch you may be having if you’re missing quirky lights from your desk. What’s nice about the monitor is the fact it’s got pretty skinny 1cm bezels around the edge of the screen, all bar the bottom. The monitor is mostly black with some very subtle red stripes on the legs. The monitor can also tilt five degrees forward or 15 degrees back depending on how high you have your monitor.
The monitor can rise tall enough too for you to be able to swivel the monitor so you can have it vertical if you’re on a multi-monitor setup, which is relatively rare on monitors bigger than around 24 – 27 inches. It can also swivel up to 20 degrees to the left and right if the stand isn’t placed right in front of you. The whole thing stands just over 70 inches wide and 19.1 inches tall.
Underneath the screen is also a joystick, which is used to navigate the extremely well laid out menu system. My biggest gripe however is switching between game modes, and the game mode changeable options being in a different menu. If they had brought these two together, then the menu would be nigh on perfect. What was interesting was the fact you can put a false crosshair in the middle of your screen, created by the monitor. Makes those 360° no scopes even easier, and saves you precious time not aiming down the sights in an FPS. There are also options included to adjust black level sensitivity, the refresh rate which is set to fast as standard and also basic brightness, contrast and gamma controls. These can all be saved inside profiles, for easy switching when changing games.
Quality wise the LG 32GK850 gaming monitor is actually very, very good. Colours are hugely strong thanks to the larger contrast ratios VA panels are able to produce, and using my GTX 980TI with G-Sync enabled. There is a 165Hz overclock if using a display port connection, but I used HDMI which capped the refresh rate at 144Hz. That’s still plenty for most gamers out there though, so don’t worry. The monitor has just under 100 pixels per inch, which is similar to most 24″ monitors out there, so if you’re coming from a 1080p comparable 24″ monitor, you’re not going to notice much difference except screen size. But saying that, I came from an LG 27″ 1080p monitor and still had no complaints from this. It’s wonderful screen and would suit even the more hardcore gamers among us, except those who prefer to game on tiny 17″ monitors. I’m looking at you eSports lads.
One thing I want to mention about the LG 32GK850 is the fact that ir runs so hot. My home PC is set up in the bedroom, so there’s not a huge amount of ventilation anyway with a small window to cool the room, but sitting in front of this I felt uncomfortable. The heat came from the vents on the bottom I’m sure at that’s where most of the heat built up. It’s not a faulty unit, I’m sure of that too, but because of its size, being 32″ with giant backlights, it is just something to consider if you’re going to be sitting in front of it for long periods at a time.
So with all that in mind, it’s very hard not to recommend this monitor if you’re someone who isn’t after anything as high as 4K. It has some wonderful colours, especially when gamed on in a darkened room, the RGB bias light on the back which looks great when reflecting off of a white wall and some blisteringly fast refresh rates for nVidia Geforce users. The biggest shame is that it’s still quite pricey, although I did find it for as little as £611 from the likes of Newegg. For more information on this monitor though, make sure you head over to the LG website.