Versatile 4K monitor with broad appeal

The LG 27UD88 is ideal for gamers and perfect for office workers. The monitor also has a split-screen feature that shows the displays from multiple connected devices, such as two computers.
The LG 27UD88 is ideal for gamers and perfect for office workers. The monitor also has a split-screen feature that shows the displays from multiple connected devices, such as two computers. PHOTO: LG

After a week of trying out the LG 27UD88 4K monitor, I still cannot decide if it was designed for gamers or professionals.

It has gaming-centric features like AMD FreeSync, which reduces stutter in games with a compatible AMD graphics card, as well as a number of preset display modes for first-person shooter and real-time strategy games.

There is also a feature, dubbed Black Stabilizer, that detects dark scenes and automatically makes it brighter so it is easier to spot in-game opponents.

Yet, this 27-inch display does not have the usual brash and flashy looks of a gaming monitor.

Instead, it looks elegant and professional. Its plastic body is white with silver edges and sits on a curved base. Its separate power adapter is also in white.

The 27UD88 has more than 99 per cent coverage of the sRGB colour space, making it suitable for photographers and graphics designers. It also has colour presets optimised for videos, such as the Rec. 709 standard used for HDTV broadcasts and the SMPTE-C broadcast standard used in the United States.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $999

    RESOLUTION: 3,840 x 2,160 pixels

    ASPECT RATIO: 16:9

    BRIGHTNESS: 350 cd/m2

    RESPONSE TIME: 5ms

    PANEL TYPE: In-plane switching (IPS)

    CONNECTIVITY: DisplayPort, 2 x HDMI, 1 x USB-C, 2 x USB 3.0 downstream, headphone jack

    RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 2/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

With its IPS display, it looks vibrant, with a high degree of colour accuracy when tested with a colourimeter.

Perhaps the most apt description for the LG 27UD88 is versatile.

Its 3,840 x 2,160-pixel screen resolution is ideal for gamers looking to get into 4K gaming. It is also perfect for office workers because of its ample real-estate space and sharp images.

The monitor has a split-screen feature that shows the displays from multiple connected devices, such as two computers. While useful, this feature is limited by the fact that there is no way of controlling multiple computers with a single mouse and keyboard.

The 27UD88 can pivot between landscape and portrait orientation, but the monitor cannot swivel and you can tilt it only slightly (about 20 degrees) forward.

There are no built-in speakers, but the monitor has a headphone jack. Its other ports are easily accessible in the middle of the back panel.

The 27UD88 is the first monitor I have seen with a USB Type-C port. This port can be used to display video from a compatible device like the 12-inch Apple MacBook, while charging it at the same time. Although few devices currently support this port compared with the HDMI or the DisplayPort, I expect most computers to switch to USB Type-C over the next few years.

The monitor's circular on-screen menu is a natural fit for the joystick (found at the bottom edge) that you use to navigate the monitor settings. I find the joystick more usable than the multiple buttons on other models.

At $999, the 27UD88 is expensive, but this pricing is reasonable for a 4K display. Dell has a cheaper 28-inch 4K display (the Dell S2817Q, at $719), but the Dell is not an IPS screen and does not have as many features as the 27UD88.

Vincent Chang

• Verdict: A versatile monitor with broad appeal, but the LG 27UD88 does not come cheap.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 24, 2016, with the headline 'Versatile 4K monitor with broad appeal'. Print Edition | Subscribe