I have a confession to make: I am not a hardcore PC gamer but I am so into LG’s new 27-inch 4K 144Hz monitor ever since I received the review unit. You might wonder why I am singing praises for a monitor that is squarely aimed at pro PC gamers when I am not even the core user LG wants to target. Maybe you are right, but after using LG’s 4K 144Hz monitor for a week, I realised that it has become a centerpiece of my work-from-home setup. I know it’s a pricey device and I am also aware this product targets a different league of users but for the rest of us, the LG UltraGear 27GN950 4K monitor is an aspirational device.
LG UltraGear 27GN950 price in India: Rs 59,990
LG UltraGear 27GN950 specifications: Screen size: 27-inch | Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160p | Aspect ratio: 16:9 |Panel type: IPS FreeSync Premium Pro, G-Sync Compatible | HDR compatibility: HDR10, DisplayHDR 600 | Brightness: 600cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 144Hz | Response time: 1ms | Viewing angle: 178(H)/178(V) | Contrast ratio: 1,000:1 | Colour support: 1.07B, 10-bit (8-bit + FRC) | Connectivity inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DisplayPort 1.4
LG UltraGear 27GN950 review: What’s new?
While the market is full of 32-inch 4K monitors, it is refreshing to see a 27-inch gaming monitor from LG. As quite evident in the images, the LG 27GN950 looks similar to other monitors in the company’s UltraGear lineup. It doesn’t have a curved screen, and I am pretty much okay with it.
Despite its high price tag, the monitor isn’t made of premium materials. It’s still made of plastic, though the build quality is solid. The LG 27GN950 is virtually bezel-less, with a very thin screen border. Because of the thin bezels and the screen aspect ratio of 16:9, the display adds a noticeable bit of extra screen real estate. For a digital journalist like me, the narrow border screen promises a more immersive experience, whether I am reading an e-edition of The Indian Express, watching a Netflix show, or playing a game.
The back of the monitor has typical gamer aesthetics with red accents, and thankfully they don’t look obnoxious. You will find an RGB ring near the vents that lights up with adjustable colours.
The V-shaped stand holds the monitor and while you can rotate it into portrait mode, it doesn’t offer any swivel range. Setting the monitor takes hardly 10 minutes. It is easy to remove the screen from the stand with the help of a quick-release button.
LG’s on-screen display control panel is simple and easy to understand, and can be controlled using a directional toggle and a dial underneath the center of the monitor. Upon pressing the toggle, you can control the display’s brightness, check inputs, turn off the monitor, change the settings, or jump into the game mode. The on-screen display control panel is further divided into five sub-menus that include Game Mode and Game Adjust with several advanced options such as Adaptive-Sync.
LG UltraGear 27GN950 review: What’s good?
Unsurprisingly, the LG 27GN950 supports a number of connectivity inputs. Since the monitor is designed for a person who has a full-decked gaming PC, a single DisplayPort 1.4 should be perfect for high-end gaming. More and more top-end gaming monitors support DisplayPort with DSC (Display Stream Compression). As in the case of the LG 27GN950, gaming monitors like these are equipped to deliver enhanced refresh rate support for higher resolutions and HDR. This model, for instance, supports a full 4K resolution at 144Hz with 10-bit colour. Plus, the monitor is also capable of supporting synchronisation technology offered by NVIDIA and AMD — G-Sync or FreeSync.
The monitor also includes two HDMI inputs, but sadly, there is no HDMI 2.1 support. That means if I pair a mid-range gaming laptop over an HDMI connection, I will only get a 4K @ 60Hz refresh rate. With both the PS5 and Xbox Series X use the HDMI 2.1 connection standard, it is a bit odd on the part of LG to ship a premium gaming monitor with the standard HDMI 2.0. Though you can plug in a PS5 or Xbox Series X with the LG 27GN950 you have to live with a compromised refresh rate. Besides two HDMI inputs and one DisplayPort 1.4a port, you will also get two standard USB 3.0 hubs and a headphone jack but no built-in speakers.
Now, about the image quality. The screen gets bright (up to 600 nits). I watched The Sex and the City 2, and the movie looked great with deep and vivid colours. Even though this is primarily a gaming monitor, a casual user like me would be extremely happy using the LG 27GN950 for watching movies, playing AAA games occasionally, or browsing the web the entire day. What makes this LG-made Nano IPS monitor exceptionally good is how the text looks a bit sharper and easier to read. I think a lot of creative users such as graphic designers and game developers would want the LG 27GN950, thanks to the right size, outstanding resolution, and low input lag.
I haven’t been able to test running games in 4K, but playing games like Forza Horizon 4, Call of the Sea, and Among Us in 1080p 60Hz looked good enough that anyone who has not to access to the best hardware can still consider the LG 27GN950 with enough cash in the hand.
LG UltraGear 27GN950 review: What’s not good?
The only real negatives about the LG 27GN950 is a mediocre contrast ratio. While the monitor has an impressive peak brightness and wide viewing angles, the only weak point is that blacks appear gray in a dark room. But this isn’t a particular problem with the LG 27GN950. Every IPS monitor suffers from the same issue.
LG UltraGear 27GN950 review: Should you buy it?
Oh yes, absolutely. The LG UltraGear 27GN950 packs in a lot of power and performance, but not everyone will get the benefit of full 4K resolution and a high 144Hz refresh rate. Ideally, the LG 27GN950 should be great for pro PC gamers and content creators. Look, anyone can use the LG 27GN950 for work and play – but to take advantage of the monitor’s capabilities, I would recommend using a machine with a powerful graphics card in the league of AMD Radeon RX 6800 or Nvidia RTX 3070. For the rest of us, the LG UltraGear 27GN950 is pure luxury.