Science

Best LG monitors of 2022

LG is best known for home appliances and OLED TVs, but it also makes some of the best PC monitors out there right now. We closely looked at the company’s current monitor lineup and found several good options available in various sizes, shapes, and prices. There are ultrawide monitors if you’re looking to boost your productivity and high-end UltraFine displays that promise the best color accuracy, sharpness, and detail for editing photos and video. Whether you’re upgrading your home setup or need something for the office, the best LG monitor will bring your PC to life with sharp contrast and bright colors.

How we chose the best LG monitors

I’ve spent the past 10 years testing and reviewing consumer electronics for TechnoBuffalo, XDA Developers, and iMore. In that time I’ve evaluated several monitors, taking a close look at display quality, color accuracy, and other essential metrics. When I’m not evaluating monitors for a review, I’m using one to watch movies, play video games, and edit photos. The time I’ve spent using various monitors has given me valuable insight into what specs to look for before making a purchase.

To make our selections, I drew on my prior testing and experience, as well as individual reviews from critics, consumer comments, and conversations on forums. Whether you’re looking for a monitor that fits a specific need or need one for general use, we’ve got you covered.

Things to consider before buying a new monitor

Monitors have especially dense and obtuse spec sheets that can overwhelm even tech-savvy customers. To help you make the right decision for your home and setup, let’s walk through the key differentiators that will help you pick between two potentially very similar screens.

Resolution and size

Your screen’s resolution refers to the number of pixels your monitor uses to create an image. There are three common screen resolutions: 1920 x 1080, also called 1080p or Full HD; 2560 x 1440 pixels, which we shorten 1440p or Quad HD (QHD). Lastly, 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) is available among high-end gaming and creative-focused monitors. 

We find that a 1080p monitor looks great for everyday computing—web browsing, Netflix and YouTube, word processing, and spreadsheets. If you’re gaming, especially on a mid-range or high-powered gaming PC, 1440p is a sharp-looking sweet spot. Considering the high price and limitations on refresh rate, we primarily recommend 4K displays for professionals in creative fields like photography and video editing. There are variations that deviate from these three core resolutions, like LG’s Apple-approved 5K Display. More often than not, though, they’re often just a smidge higher than the standards, offering you a minor upgrade if you want a little more detail.

When picking a display, it helps to keep in mind that the size of your screen will impact how sharp your display looks at any given resolution. A 24-inch 4K display and 32-inch 4K display both show the same amount of pixels, but spread them across areas. 

Currently, most displays come in 24-, 27-, or 32-inch sizes. In general, we think you should scale your desired resolution with your screen size to ensure the sharpest possible picture without overpaying for pixels you don’t need. Stick with 1080p on a 24-inch monitor. Go for 1440 if possible with 27 inches. And splurge on 4K if you want a 32-inch display. These are not hard and fast rules—we’ve recommended 27-inch 4K displays in the past, for example, but they can help you set expectations and narrow down your options.

Refresh rate

Your monitor’s refresh rate, expressed in Hertz (Hz), refers to the number of times your monitor draws and redraws what you see on your screen each second. The faster the image refreshes, the smoother and more fluid animated elements will look, from your mouse scrolling across the screen, to a wildly detailed video game.

Modern monitors offer a wide range of refresh rates, most of which were conceived with gaming in mind. The basic refresh rate you’ll find on most productivity-focused monitors falls between 60Hz-75Hz. This is more than enough to make Windows or macOS look smooth, along with the Microsoft Office suite and other common apps.

For gamers and anyone who wants smoother animations, we recommend prioritizing a 144Hz refresh rate, which allows players to run most games with uncapped frame rates on a powerful PC. In theory, the higher refresh rate will give you the opportunity to react more quickly than someone who owns a 60Hz monitor, giving you a slight advantage.

On top of that, there’s a growing number of esports-grade monitors that offer higher refresh rates—240Hz, 300Hz, and 360Hz. Most players don’t need such a high frame rate, but competitive players may find themselves drawn to them all the same.

If you’re thinking about getting a gaming monitor, you’ll also want to consider whether your monitor supports variable refresh rate technology, which scales your monitor’s target refresh rate to match your PC’s performance. Most modern displays support either Nvidia G–Sync or AMD FreeSync, but it helps to know what you’re getting.

Connectivity

Most modern computers send video and audio to your monitor using an HDMI, DisplayPort, or USB-C connection. They’re essential for displaying video on your monitor of choice, and each method has its strengths and weaknesses.

High-Definition Multimedia Interface, or HDMI, is the most familiar port. You’re probably familiar with the HDMI cable, since it’s been the standard connection for TVs since it was conceived in 2002 and has been a staple on monitors for many years. Most monitors feature HDMI 2.0, which is not quite the newest version. Some monitors made with console gaming in mind may feature HDMI 2.1, the newest standard. You may also find some older and/or cheaper monitors that use older HDMI connections. (For more on the differences between the many iterations of HDMI, check out our explainer on HDMI 2.1.)

Unlike HDMI, you probably won’t find DisplayPort in too many places aside from PCs and monitors. HDMI hasn’t physically changed since its introduction, but DisplayPort comes in a few different forms. There are multiple versions of DisplayPort, including 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, and 2.0. Each version supports different resolutions and refresh rates. We recommend looking out for monitors that support DisplayPort 1.4 (and above), which ensures support for up to 8K with HDR at 60Hz. You can get by with DisplayPort 1.3, which supports up to 4K at 120Hz or 8K at 30Hz, but it doesn’t feature HDR, which limits high-end visual fidelity for gaming. 

USB-C is the new kid on the monitor connection block, but it’s an increasingly appealing option, especially if you’re using a modern laptop. USB-C monitors connections can transfer data, video, and power through a single cable, so your monitor cable can also charge your laptop. It’s especially helpful for Mac users, as many modern MacBooks have USB-C ports, but no HDMI or other ports.

Speaking of USB-C, monitors can also augment your PC’s array of ports with a few extra connections on the bottom or sides for connecting computer peripherals, such as keyboards, mice, and external hard drives. We think of extra ports as icing on the cake, though, rather than a good reason to buy or abstain from buying any particular display.

If your monitor lacks ports but has a USB-C connection, you might be able to use a powered USB hub to connect different peripherals, including an SD card to transfer photos and videos.

Panel type

The actual screens in most monitors are Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) panels lit by LED backlights. There are three panel types used in most modern monitors, and our LG picks focus on two of them: Vertical alignment, or VA, and in-plane switching, or IPS.

IPS panels are great if you are a photo or video editor because they offer excellent color performance, often providing 95% or higher of the Digital Cinema Initiatives – Protocol 3 (DCI-P3) standard, a more expansive color space used by the film industry. IPS is often the go-to for gaming displays as it offers a strong balance between great color, at the expense of getting the darkest possible blacks.

VA panels offer excellent contrast ratios, so shadows and dark scenes are rich and detailed. They also provide great image quality, color reproduction, and refresh rate. However, some VA panels have poor viewing angles, so you’ll need to sit directly in front of them for the best experience. This makes them a strong pick for curved and ultrawide displays, as well as creative production monitors where accuracy is paramount.

High dynamic range (HDR)

High dynamic range, or HDR, is a display technology that shows greater detail in scenes with higher contrast. Imagine watching a scene in a movie with dim and bright light. It’s a challenging scenario, but with HDR, a monitor or TV can accurately show details while displaying rich, vibrant colors.

HDR is now all-but-standard in TVs, but counts as a gaming-focused luxury among monitors. Even when monitors support it, their limited brightness prevents them from achieving the same visual effect that you see on a TV. A dim screen can have difficulty differentiating between high- and low-light situations, so if you want the best HDR performance, you’ll need to find a display with a high peak brightness. When picking out a gaming monitor, we generally recommend looking for VESA DisplayHDR 600 rating or higher, or HDR10. If you’re planning on playing games, HDR 400 or higher is a nice value add, but not worth fretting over.

The best LG monitors: Reviews & Recommendations

Now that you know what to look for, let’s talk about the best LG monitors you buy right now. We’ve highlighted all kinds of monitors for different use cases, so every type of LG-loving PC user should find something that meets their needs.

Best overall: LG 27GP950-B 27-inch UltraGear Gaming Monitor

Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: A rare 4K IPS display that can hit 144Hz, the LG 27GP950-B offers the best of everything.

Specs

  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160
  • Refresh rate: 144Hz
  • Size: 27-inch
  • Ports: 2 x HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort 1.4, 2 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, USB-B
  • Panel type: IPS
  • HDR: VESA DisplayHDR 600

Pros

  • 4K display
  • VESA DisplayHDR 600
  • HDMI 2.1

Cons

Equipped with a 4K IPS panel, the LG 27GP950-B perfectly blends luxury features and practical upgrades for gamers and creatives. Its 27-inch, 144Hz screen is big enough to comfortably run several apps at once but not so big that it will overwhelm your workspace. 

It provides vibrant colors—98 percent of the DCI-P3 wide color gamut—and incredible brightness for HDR, earning it a VESA DisplayHDR 600 rating. Throw in a 1ms response time, as well as G-Sync compatibility and FreeSync Pro support, and you’ve got a finely tuned display for photo and video editors, as well as gamers with top-of-the-line hardware.

The LG 27GP950-B features two HDMI 2.1 ports, DisplayPort 1.4, and two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports with upstream support. An upstream port can connect a monitor to a computer, while downstream can connect a monitor to peripherals.

Best for gaming: LG 27GN950-B 27-inch UltraGear Gaming Monitor

Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: The LG 27GN950-B has a sharp 4K display, excellent HDR, and a fast refresh rate.

Specs

  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160
  • Refresh rate: 144Hz
  • Size: 27-inch
  • Ports: 2 x HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, 2 x USB-A 3.0
  • Panel type: IPS
  • HDR: VESA DisplayHDR 600

Pros

  • Excellent 4K picture
  • VESA DisplayHDR 600
  • 98 percent of DCI-P3 color gamut

Cons

  • Monitor stand unable to swivel left or right
  • No HDMI 2.1

The LG 27GN950-B, part of LG’s UltraGear series, offers sharp picture quality and a high refresh rate. The 27-inch IPS 4K monitor features a 144Hz refresh rate, complete with G-Sync and FreeSync support. It’s no slouch on color accuracy either, covering 98 percent DCI-P3 wide color gamut.

The LG 27GN950-B also has plenty of connection options, including 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.4, and 2 USB-A 3.0 ports. It also meets our coveted VESA DisplayHDR 600 standard, so you’ll enjoy rich color reproduction and contrast. That means gamers can enjoy a picture that’s color-accurate, bright and vibrant.

Best for Mac: LG UltraFine 27-inch OLED Pro Display

Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: The LG UltraFine for Mac features spectacular performance and a high contrast ratio, making it the perfect choice for creatives.

Specs

  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz
  • Size: 27-inch
  • Ports: USB-C 3.1, 3 x USB-A 3.1, USB-B, HDMI 2.0, 2 x DisplayPort 1.4
  • Panel type: OLED
  • HDR: VESA DisplayHDR 400

Pros

  • 4K OLED display
  • High contrast ratio
  • 99 percent of Adobe RGB and DCI-P3

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Low refresh rate

At the top of LG’s monitor portfolio, the LG UltraFine OLED Pro Display delivers professional-grade color accuracy on an incredibly sharp OLED panel. The 27-inch 4K display packs support for 10-bit color, 99-percent Adobe RGB and DCI-P3, VESA DisplayHDR 400, and a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. It’s an impeccably accurate screen for video and image production work. It even offers a detachable calibrator and monitor hood, so you can easily maintain the monitor’s color accuracy over time. 

It also offers a nice helping of ports, including an HDMI 2.0 port, two DisplayPort 1.4, and a USB-C port. A USB hub also features three USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports and a USB-B 3.2 Gen 1 port. That should allow you to plug in your computer and other peripherals. LG’s display is an excellent alternative to Apple’s Pro Display XDR if you own a Mac, offering similar color accuracy and performance.

Best 4K: LG UltraFine 32-inch OLED Pro Display

Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: LG’s UltraFine 32-inch OLED Pro Display’s 4K screen will help creatives get the most out of their images and videos.

Specs

  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz
  • Size: 32-inch
  • Ports: USB-C 3.1, 3 x USB-A 3.1, USB-B, HDMI 2.0, 2 x DisplayPort 1.4
  • Panel type: OLED
  • HDR: VESA DisplayHDR 400

Pros

  • 4K OLED Display
  • High contrast ratio
  • 99 percent of Adobe RGB and DCI-P3

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Low refresh rate

Okay, so we’re kind of cheating. LG also makes a 32-inch version of the UltraFine OLED Pro Display and it’s definitely the best LG monitor if 4K resolution is a professional priority. Both the 27-inch and 32-inch UltraFine OLED Pro Displays are great for content creation, but the extra screen real estate of the 32-inch gives you more room to appreciate all those pixels.

You can’t do much better in LG’s lineup for the sharpest, most accurate picture. If you edit photos or videos for a living, this is the monitor you need. If you’re looking for a 4K gaming display, our top pick, the LG 27GP950-B UltraGear, will be a better fit.

Best 34-inch: LG 34GP83A UltraGear Gaming Monitor

Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: The LG 34GP83A features an expansive 34-inch display, 98-percent coverage of DCI-P3, and VESA DisplayHDR 400.

Specs

  • Resolution: 3440 x 1440
  • Refresh rate: 144Hz
  • Size: 34-inch
  • Ports: 2 x HDMI 3.0, 2 x USB-A 3.0, USB-B 3.0, DisplayPort 1.4
  • Panel type: IPS
  • HDR: VESA DisplayHDR 400

Pros

  • Ultra-wide screen
  • 98-percent coverage of DCI-P3
  • Decent port selection

Cons

  • Curved ultrawide displays aren’t for everyone

A curved ultrawide display is excellent for multitasking, and the LG 34GP83A is our favorite in LG’s lineup. The 34-inch IPS display offers a resolution of 3440 x 1400 at a 21:9 wider-than-widescreen aspect ratio. With a 21:9 display, You get about 30-percent more horizontal screen space than a conventional 16:9 monitor, providing plenty of room to keep an eye on many apps at once.

The wider screen is also great for immersive gaming. The 34GP83A has a 144Hz refresh rate that can be overclocked to 160Hz, a 1ms response time, and G-Sync compatibility. The display also features 98 percent coverage of DCI-P3 and VESA DisplayHDR 400, so it’s not a bad option for editing photos and videos. Finally, there are two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.4, USB-B 3.0, and two USB-A 3.0 ports. If you want to cram all the functionality and screen real estate of a multi-monitor setup into one screen, the LG 34GP83A can do that for you.

Best for photo editing: LG UltraFine 32-inch 4K Monitor

Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: The LG 32UL950-W features a color-accurate 32-inch display, 98-percent DCI-P3 coverage, and a VESA DisplayHDR 600 rating.

Specs

  • Resolution: 3840×2160
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz
  • Size: 32-inch
  • Ports: HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, 2 x USB-A 3.0, 2 x Thunderbolt 3.0
  • Panel type: IPS
  • HDR: VESA DisplayHDR 600

Pros

  • Thunderbolt 3 for fast data transfer
  • 98-percent coverage of DCI-P3
  • Decent port selection

Cons

  • 32-inch display may feel too big for some

Another selection from LG’s UltraFine line for creative professionals, the LG 32UL950-W is a terrific choice for photo editors who need a big display with the best possible color accuracy. The 32-inch IPS 4K panel boasts a 1,300:1 contrast ratio, 98-percent DCI-P3 coverage, so you’ll be able to color-grade your images to look as close to real life as possible. The monitor also supports HDR10 and 600-Nit brightness, so your photos will look bright and vibrant on-screen.

Other features offered by the LG 32UL950-W include AMD FreeSync and plenty of ports, including HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, and a few USB-A 3.0 ports. The monitor offers two Thunderbolt 3.0 connectors, one of which can be used for quickly transferring images to your computer.

Best budget: LG 27MP450-B

Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: The LG 27MP450-B isn’t as advanced as our other picks, but it nails the basics at an affordable price.

Specs

  • Resolution: 1920×1080
  • Refresh rate: 75Hz
  • Size: 27-inch
  • Ports: HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4
  • Panel type: IPS
  • HDR: None

Pros

  • Affordable
  • FreeSync support
  • Sleek design

Cons

LG’s top monitors skew expensive but the company also makes plenty of great budget and mid-range monitors. The LG 27MP450-B features a 27-inch Full HD display, 75Hz refresh rate, and FreeSync support, which is good enough for most people who perform basic office tasks like word processing and web browsing. It also features a few extra features like Reader Mode, which reduces blue light, and a Flicker Safe mode, which puts less strain on your eyes during extended viewing. The monitor lacks a few luxuries that you’d expect to find based on our other top picks, including HDR10 and a USB hub, but it’s an affordable display that’s a good fit for most home offices.

FAQs

Q: What is LG UltraFine?

LG created its UltraFine series of monitors for Mac in partnership with Apple, designing them for professional photographers, video editors, and artists looking for top-of-the-line resolution and color accuracy. Since launching in 2016, LG has expanded the line with UltraFine 4K and 5K, displays including a 27-inch 4K OLED display that retails for a whopping $3,000.

Given the partnership, many of them are made to work with Macs, offering USB-C connectivity, plus impeccable color accuracy to match the Retina Display of modern MacBooks. The first UltraFine display, a 5K IPS monitor, was introduced in 2016 after Apple discontinued its Thunderbolt Display.

Q: Do LG monitors have speakers?

Some LG monitors feature built-in speakers, including the 24-inch UltraFine 4K. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll want to use them to listen to music or for audio production. In general, we don’t recommend solely relying on your monitor’s built-in speakers. They’ll do fine in a pinch, especially for video calls, but they typically provide below-average sound quality compared to a nice pair of Bluetooth headphones. If you want your PC setup to sound the way your LG monitor looks, we recommend getting some desktop speakers, bookshelf speakers, studio monitors, or even a gaming headset.

Q: Do LG monitors work well with Mac?

As we mentioned, LG’s entire UltraFine series of monitors work with Macs with a USB-C port or Thunderbolt 3 port. That includes the latest Mac Studio, MacBook Pros, and MacBook Airs introduced in 2018 or later. To get a better idea of what’s supported, Apple provides a list of Macs that can output 4K at 60Hz on the LG UltraFine 4K display. That said, you can also connect an iPad Pro or iPad Air (5th generation).

Final thoughts about the best LG monitors

Whether you’re a gamer, creator, or someone who simply cares deeply about display quality, LG’s lineup of monitors is worth checking out. They produce bright, accurate colors and sharp, high-resolution pictures, just like you find in its top-of-the-line OLED TVs.



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