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LG 34GK950F Curved Gaming Monitor Review: 144Hz Ultrawide With HDR

Editor's Choice

HDR Performance

The 34GK950F conforms to the VESA DisplayHDR 400 standard, meaning it can produce over 400 nits peak white output. Since LCD monitors are limited in how low their black levels can be, the only way for them to increase contrast is to up their brightness quotient. Further enhancements come from full-array backlights and effective dynamic contrast algorithms. This LG provides passable HDR commensurate with its price point. If you want the ultimate presentation, it will come at a very high cost.

HDR Brightness and Contrast

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The 34GK950F comfortably exceeded the VESA 400-nit spec with a score of 431 (first graph).

HDR black levels (second graph) were a bit disappointing, however, as they are the same as what we measured in SDR mode.

HDR contrast (third graph) is slightly higher at 1,175.5:1. We could see a small difference with HDR signals, but it was subtle at best. It’s obvious that LG has not employed an aggressive dynamic algorithm like the Philips or AOC monitors, which are both edge-lit and virtual kings in the black level contest.

Grayscale, EOTF and Color

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There are no adjustments available for HDR signals, but you can still select from multiple picture modes. All presented a somewhat-cool grayscale, but the errors aren’t too high. The clip point is 65 percent, and rather than a hard transition, LG chose a softer clip. This approach dulls highlights a little and takes the edge off the HDR effect. We’d rather see the trace follow the yellow line more closely.

Something you’re guaranteed to see in HDR mode is vividly saturated color. Not only does the 34GK950F cover more of DCI-P3 than most monitors, it pushes the saturation levels as brightness rises. When playing games or watching movies, color was vibrant and bold. Whites looked a little blue, but reds and greens popped in a way few monitors can match. While overall HDR accuracy is just OK, the effect has a solid impact.

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Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.