LG 27UK850 Monitor Review: IPS Versatility

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The LG 27UK850 can be viewed as a gaming monitor for professionals, or to a lesser degree, a professional monitor for gamers. For enthusiasts, it carries all the credibility we’ve seen in the best Ultra HD panels. IPS means excellent viewing angles and a sharp, bright picture. FreeSync brings adaptive refresh to the party without the added cost of Nvidia’s G-Sync technology. And gaming modes make it easy to adapt the image to all popular game types. In this regard, it competes favorably with the best Ultra HD gaming screens we’ve reviewed.

As a professional monitor, it checks most of the necessary boxes, like Ultra HD resolution and proper handling of HDR10 signals and 24p film cadence. Though it won’t render those images with amazing contrast, the 27UK850 does a respectable job at improving the perception of added dynamic range. For professionals, there are only two things missing here. The obvious one is DCI-P3 color. While no monitor renders 100% of that large gamut, some can muster 85% or more.

This LG makes due with 100% sRGB, which translates to around 75% of DCI. The other issue is out-of-box accuracy. Though a factory data sheet came with the box showing spot-on gamma, grayscale and color, it didn’t specify which mode was tested. And we could not discover it in our tests. The Rec.709 preset isn’t too bad, but it doesn’t fall in the category of pro-grade accuracy. Only after calibration was the 27UK850’s full performance potential unlocked -- and that was excellent.

LG has packaged an excellent gaming monitor and a decent professional display into a single product. The 27UK850 successfully bridges two categories, leaving out very little and selling for a reasonable price. We encourage those needing a more versatile screen to give it a close look.

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Christian Eberle
Contributing Editor

Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors. Christian began his obsession with tech when he built his first PC in 1991, a 286 running DOS 3.0 at a blazing 12MHz. In 2006, he undertook training from the Imaging Science Foundation in video calibration and testing and thus started a passion for precise imaging that persists to this day. He is also a professional musician with a degree from the New England Conservatory as a classical bassoonist which he used to good effect as a performer with the West Point Army Band from 1987 to 2013. He enjoys watching movies and listening to high-end audio in his custom-built home theater and can be seen riding trails near his home on a race-ready ICE VTX recumbent trike. Christian enjoys the endless summer in Florida where he lives with his wife and Chihuahua and plays with orchestras around the state.

  • mlee 2500
    I want my 4K Pixels spread across a ~30" screen.

    Game details tend to scale WAY too small at 4K on a 28" or smaller screen, and 2K isn't ENOUGH pixels on a 30" or 31" screen.

    I have to wait though because I also want it at at least 75Hz (preferably 90...more then enough for me). Hoping we see that (and HDMI 2.1, though DisplayPort 1.4 suffices) sometime in 2019.

    Oh yeah...AND I want a relatively square aspect ratio, not a damn ribbon....4:3 preferably, 16:9 at worst. I don't need to throw my neck out or feel like I'm looking through the slit in some dark ages helmet.

    While I'm stating what should be obvious to manufactures, why not make it TRUE 4K at 1.9:1 (Cinema 4K).