I think it is really great that we’ve finally come to a point where good 4K monitors are being priced within a reasonable reach. There have been attempts at the so called ‘budget 4K monitor’, but they have always been with some significant compromises. Like bad TN panels, or lack of uniformity in colors.
The LG 27UD68-P 4K IPS Monitor is the sweet spot between quality and price. It really does check all the boxes for a modern monitor, and it has all the ports and technologies which one might expect. Though it does not have some extra ease of life features, like USB type C input, lightning input and swivel adjustment.
So if you just want a decently sized 4K monitor with good colors, I think that this one has to be it, because I don’t think that any other monitor comes close its quality and specs in its price range.
So the design of this monitor is pretty basic, almost too basic as it doesn’t even have a button on its front. The bezels are thin and accented with a silver border which gives it a modern and professional look. And I didn’t think I would like the unusual shape of the stand, but I think that it really is an efficient design and takes up very less space on your desk while providing adequate support for the monitor. Though in a dual monitor set-up, it looks a little awkward. The monitor also offers a 90 degree of pivot, so if you are someone who deals with really long webpages or spreadsheets, it can be extremely useful.
Installation is easy, you just have to screw the VESA compatible stand at the back of the monitor, which is really great if you are into custom stand awesomeness. They also provide a little holder for cable management. You’ll find both a Display Port, and an HDMI cable into the box along with a reasonably sized power brick.
The only interactive button is a joystick which is located at the bottom, and it controls everything about this monitor, from menu navigation and adjustments, to turning it on and off, and it even has the status LED built into it, so I think it is a really clever and efficient design by LG. Touch buttons are still my favorite though for many reasons, but this implementation is also great.
So for inputs, it has 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, and a DisplayPort 1.2, so that means you can also input 4K 60FPS by HDMI, which is great. You also have audio output if you want to connect your speakers or headphones, and the built in DAC is actually pretty good, and better than what I expected have in a monitor.
There aren’t any speakers though, which I think is a good move, unless you are one of the people who use built-in speakers in their monitors. So the I/O is pretty basic, but sensibly selected.
This is an IPS panel from LG, and LG is known for making very good IPS panels, and I think that this one is no exception. The colors are very natural and neutral, and it comes color calibrated from the factory. Its color range of over 99% of sRGB good for content creation, unless you’re doing pro level cinema work in which case you might want 100% of Adobe RGB or DCI-P3 color space.
The panel gets very dim without losing color accuracy, and it turns very bright when needed too. The contrast is good (average) for an IPS monitor (1000:1), and I did not notice any IPS glow issues in both of my units.
The response time of 5ms is also very good for an IPS monitor, so the gaming experience is really good. Another great news for gamers is that it also supports AMD Freesync, so if you’re on the red team, then you won’t have to pay the premium of a G-Sync monitor.
The viewing angles aren’t perfect, a yellowish shift in color can be observed when moving to the sides, which isn’t a big problem, but it still is a little odd for an IPS panel. Another issue many people seem to have with this monitor that the matte coating on the monitor is too thick and gives the whites a rainbow effect. I think that it’s true to some extent, but only if you get really close to the monitor, and look at the screen at an angle, otherwise, this issue is non-existent.
I really think that display quality of this monitor is really good, and it is up to the standards LG is known for, and its high resolution of it makes everything better.
Speaking of the resolution, I think that for most people, this will be their first 4K monitor, and if you’re wondering whether 4K is worth it or not, I think it definitely is. We have become used to using highly pixel dense devices in the last 4 or 5 years, and after being used to that, it is difficult to not observe that 1080p on a 24 inch screen is too low. The text becomes really sharp and easy to read, the images and videos are on the next level, and if your GPU can handle it, gaming experience is also amazing, and of course, all the professional applications benefit a lot from the extra resolution.
If you watch videos shot on a high end 4K camera, then it almost looks like the person or the object that you are seeing is actually there. So I was thinking that the quality I’d pay the most attention to is that everything would be super crisp, and while that is true, another effect of that crispiness is that everything on the screen just feels much more natural.
It also has some extra gaming features like brightening of blacks to make things easier to see in games, and artificially enhancing the response time. But I did not find them to be useful, as they take away the pure and accurate presentation of this display.
Windows 10 has come a long way in scaling the user interface on high resolution displays, and even though it still isn’t perfect, you won’t have a problem 90% of the times.
Ironically though, LG’s own On Screen Control software doesn’t scale well with the monitor (UPDATE: after a software update, it does scale properly on Windows 10, and has become more polished than earlier), but what it provides is a very easy way to control most of the settings on the monitor. It is very responsive provides some extra useful features like dividing the screen into multiple zones for easy multi-tasking with multiple windows open.
I think that this monitor is really the best in its price range, there is no flaw that would make a semi-professional or a gamer consider any other monitor. The color accuracy, contrast, response time, everything is great, and all of this comes at a very reasonable price.
If you’ve been planning to get a 4K monitor, and you haven’t been able to find ‘the one’ for your requirements and your budget.