Gaming

LG 34UC89G a serious gaming monitor contender

The 34UC89G ultra-wide gaming monitor is LG's first display to support Nvidia's G-Sync technology.
The 34UC89G ultra-wide gaming monitor is LG's first display to support Nvidia's G-Sync technology.PHOTO: LG

LG is playing catch-up in the gaming-monitor segment with the 34UC89G, its first display to support Nvidia's G-Sync technology.

This feature works with compatible Nvidia graphics cards to synchronise the monitor's variable refresh rate with a game's frame rates for a smooth, tear-free experience.

G-Sync and the competing AMD FreeSync technology have been around for a few years, especially in premium gaming monitors. And the 34UC89G is right up there with the best of them, with a 144Hz refresh rate that can be overclocked to 166Hz.

Its screen resolution is relatively modest, at 1080p on the vertical axis. Text looks less crisp and more fuzzy. But the upside is that you will not need a powerful computer to achieve high frame rates in your games, compared with a higherresolution screen.

The display itself looks great, thanks to its use of an in-plane switching (IPS) panel. Viewing angles are excellent, with little colour shift when looking at it off-centre. Its colour accuracy, too, is excellent, and its 5ms response time, while higher than the 1ms on TN (twisted nematic) gaming monitors, is competitive for an IPS screen.

Because of its ultra-wide 21:9 aspect ratio, the 34UC89G lets you see more of your surroundings in games. This creates a cinematic feel that is augmented by the monitor's gentle curvature. Some gamers even believe there is a slight competitive advantage, especially in first-person shooter games, with being able to glimpse more of the periphery.

Its size meant I had to shift further back to fully take in its entire screen. It has a fixed stand with height adjustment, but no swivel. You can tilt it upwards by around 20 degrees, though I did not find this useful.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $1,399

    RESOLUTION: 2,560 x 1,080 pixels

    ASPECT RATIO: 21:9

    BRIGHTNESS: 300 cd/m2

    RESPONSE TIME: 5ms

    PANEL TYPE: In-plane switching

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


    RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    VALUE: 3/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

The gaming slant is evident from its design - red accents on a black plastic body. It looks similar to gaming monitors from Acer and Asus, but more restrained - there are no flashy, pulsing LEDs.

I like that the ports are very accessible, being just off-centre at the back of the monitor. But the selection of display outputs is miserly, with just one HDMI and one DisplayPort. The two USB 3.0 ports here are useful, but they could be more conveniently placed at the side of the display. The 34UC89G also lacks a slot in the stand for cable management.

Both LG and Samsung seem to have a similar style for its on-screen display settings (OSD). Basically, the top of the menu has key gaming information, such as refresh rate and whether G-Sync is enabled, which is convenient. I am also a fan of the navigation joystick on the 34UC89G because it is really easy to use.

Like other gaming monitors, it comes with gaming features such as a crosshair overlay to help gamers with their aim. However, it could do with a custom display setting profile on top of the default gaming profiles for first-person shooters and real-time strategy games.

Despite its $1,399 price tag, the 34UC89G is actually reasonably priced. This is because G-Sync gaming monitors with its specifications cost around this much, if not more. For instance, the Alienware AW3418DW costs $1,799, albeit with a higher screen resolution.

• Verdict: LG's first Nvidia G-Sync gaming monitor gets it mostly right, especially in terms of performance and price.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 03, 2018, with the headline 'LG 34UC89G a serious gaming monitor contender'. Print Edition | Subscribe