LG 34WK650 Ultra-Wide Monitor Review
It’s been a while since we last looked at an ultra-wide monitor, and that one looking back was an LG too. But then, I was looking through starry eyes, my first ever experience with ultra-wide resolutions. Now I’m a little more used to the fact, I feel there are some definite pros and cons to the whole ultra-wide hype.
The LG 34WK650 is a 34″ ultra-wide monitor with an aspect ratio of 21:9. Bare in mind that a standard widescreen monitor is 16:9, so think of that and stretch it out a bit horizontally. It also has support for HDR10 too, so you can expect some deeper looking blacks against brighter highlights here.
The screen actually stands at just under 33″ wide too, which makes it a pretty big monster for a desk area. You’re going to need a bit of space to fit this monitor in. It stands at 18.5″ tall too on a very minimalistic stand. The desk stand and rear arm is made from metal and can extend up to 22.5″ tall, depending on your eye level at your desk.
The rear is fully white which is a drastic difference from the black bezels, but it does still look quite good. Inputs too are very minimal, with only one Display Port, two HDMI inputs, an audio auxiliary port and power. There are no USB ports on the monitor for powering and charging devices or even passthrough from your desktop.
Image quality though is what’s going to make their audience decide to invest into ultra wide. Well, it has its ups and downs for sure. The LG 34WK650 has a resolution of 2560 x 1080 with a pixel density of 81ppi. This can cause smaller items to render blurry, especially text on a website. LG use an IPS panel here so you can expect great colours and viewing angles. Refresh rates aren’t as fast as traditional gaming monitors, though it does sport AMD Freesync for people using supported Radeon graphics cards.
Games did, I must admit look quite good, even when playing faster moving titles such as Doom. Slower titles like Sea of Thieves and Total War: Warhammer II look absolutely great. Bright, vivid and colourful thanks to its 99% sRGB colour spectrum coverage. The 75Hz refresh rate is also present to keep games looking as smooth as possible. The inclusion of Freesync lets AMD graphics cards users as well as Xbox One players the chance to have a variable frame rate, cutting out screen tearing all together.
A big let down was the performance of HDR on this monitor. It can support signals for HDR10, but for an image to actually produce true HDR10 imagery, it needs to hit a minimum of 600 nits peak brightness. The LG 34WK650 can only hit a maximum of 300 nits, rendering the HDR10 content almost mute. Sure, some HDR rendered games and online content looks slightly better, but the fact that once switched on, non-HDR content looks over-saturated, made me eventually not turn it on at all. It’s not a huge deal I found as LG has shaved a chunk of money off compared to proper HDR monitors.
The menu system, like other LG monitors we’ve looked at is very nicely laid out, with options within only a couple of clicks and movements from the under-screen analogue stick. The number of features to suit different needs too comes in waves. For you gamers out there, you’d be pleased to know that there is several pre-set game modes for you to sink your teeth into. Modes include a couple of first-person shooter settings and another for real time strategy titles. Even those who want to customise your experience further can with the inclusion of a black stabiliser, and an adjustable response time. There’s even a fixed crosshair you can fit in place in the centre of your screen so you don’t need to aim down sights during first person shooters.
However, there is a picture mode option which switches between modes including reader, cinema, HDR Effect which produces a false type HDR look to your content as well as colour adjustment sliders for red, green and blue. You can also use the presets if you prefer. For those content creators out there, you’re missing out on colour schemes like DCP for your colour correction needs, but the screen offers decent amount of real estate to comfortably stretch a Premiere Pro timeline across it while having several of your important tiles active. It certainly beats my old LG 27MP47 that I was using to create our social media video content.
This monitor is by no means perfect. I would really recommend it for people looking for a nice all round ultra wide monitor who also don’t want to break the bank. For what it’s worth, using this monitor was a pleasant experience. The HDR could be better, but you’re not going to find an ultra-wide monitor like this for this money with that kind of feature included properly. For any more information, make sure you head over to the LG website.