Curved ultra-wide monitors are still a premium purchase, and you’ll likely spend at least $1000 to acquire one. A couple of models have crept below that point, most notably AOC’s C3583FQ. But if you want all the features and high resolution, a four-figure price-tag is difficult to avoid. Then again, you’ll never regret buying the best, and if $1500 is doable, it’s hard to imagine a better display than the 38UC99.
We were initially concerned about its 52Hz lower FreeSync limit. But that proved to be a non-issue. Even when framerates drop below 52 FPS, there aren’t significant issues to report. Our gaming system isn’t quite up to task of extracting the 38UC99’s maximum potential, but we still had a blast playing on it. With a more capable graphics board, something more on the level of our G-Sync system’s GTX Titan X, there’s little doubt that we’d be playing a ton of games and taking a lot longer to complete our monitor reviews!
$1500 is a lot of money to spend on any monitor, but this one can truly do it all. When the games are put away in favor of actual work, it delivers superb color, grayscale, and gamma performance. Even without calibration, we can’t imagine any buyer not being impressed with its bright image and natural, accurate hues. The only thing we wish for is a little more contrast. Perhaps we’ve been spoiled by the smattering of VA screens coming through our labs. There’s a killer display still to be built that includes all the performance of the 38UC99 with a VA panel. Adding 2000:1 contrast to a monitor this good would be worth almost any amount of money — or we think so, at least.
We can’t wrap this up without a final note about audio quality. Most monitors’ built-in speakers are an afterthought at best. But LG has clearly made a superior effort. With 10W op-amps and larger physical size, they deliver rich sound at fairly high volumes with no audible distortion. And bass is superior to just about anything else we’ve heard. Our gaming experience was enhanced by them, and that’s saying a lot.
As much as we laud it for gaming prowess, the 38UC99 proves itself to be a great display for any task. It’ll take up a large amount of desk space for sure, but if you have the room, there’s a serious amount of screen real estate to be had here. Size-wise it’s about 1.5" taller than a 27" QHD panel and nearly a foot wider. For those accustomed to multi-monitor desktops, it represents a compelling alternative. How great would it be to have that spacious view without an annoying black line down the middle?
No display is perfect, but this one only misses that adjective by a hair. With a little more contrast and a wider FreeSync range, it would be hard to fault in any way. The LG 38UC99 is at the pinnacle of the curved ultra-wide category and easily earns our Tom’s Hardware Editor Recommended Award.
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