LG 29WK600 ultrawide HDR monitor

Hi I'm Gidon from thetechnologyman.

Com There are two versions of this new ultrawidemonitor from LG, the 29WK500 and the 29WK600 that I'm reviewing here.

They are both 29"IPS displays with a resolution of 2560 by 1080 pixels.

They both come with 2 HDMI portsbut the 600 variant adds a DisplayPort.

And also has HDR10 support, for gaming and streamingwith High Dynamic Range or HDR.

*Why Ultrawide?* Dual and triple monitor setups have been popularfor a long while, but ultrawide monitors with their 21:9 aspect ratio offer a versatilesingle screen alternative.

And without any screen bezels in the way, which is real boon,particularly for gaming.

With this 2560 by 1080 pixel screen, you're not getting as muchresolution as even a dual full HD monitor setup, but it could well be enough.

I'll coverthis in more detail shortly.

*Getting started* It's a simple procedure to attach the curvedstand to the monitor.

The support arm screws in the back with two Philips screws, and thestand itself is attached with a thumbscrew.

The stand has an elegant design, as does themonitor itself.

Everything is made of plastic and it does feel very slightly flimsy, butonce in position it's not noticeable.

The matte white back panel may not be to everyone'staste, but at least the finish doesn't attract finger prints.

The stand has no height adjustment – you'llhave to move up to the 34", 34WK650 for that.

There is some minimal tilt adjustment, just5 degrees back and 15 degrees forward.

If you want more adjustment, the monitor hasstandard 100mm by 100mm VESA mounting holes for any display mount of your choosing.

I'm connecting via the included white HDMIcable to a nVidia GTX 970 graphics card.

But it's worth checking your computer has an HDMI(or DisplayPort) to connect to.

Most recent computers will, but if it's a slightly olderdesktop computer without, you could always upgrade with a cheap graphics card.

The monitor uses an external power supply,which is in fact a standard 19V, 3.

4A laptop power supply, so should be easy to replaceif the need ever arises.

*First impressions* Switching on for the first time, the displaylooks impressive.

There is a 1cm bezel around the screen, but this doesn't detract fromthe design.

The matte display does a very good job of limiting any glare coming in froma large window to my side, and a bright light bulb above.

The monitor has a very easy to use OSD, oron screen display joystick, to navigate through the menu system – the best I've used.

Althoughinitially the only thing you'll probably want to adjust is the brightness, which defaultsto an eye-straining 100%.

To access the menu system, press the joystick and move rightto settings.

There are 10 picture modes, with the defaultcustom colour mode being the only one that allows colour calibration which I'll discussshortly.

It also has the most accurate colours, so I'd suggest leaving it as is in most cases.

 Unfortunately,although the monitor will remember your settings in each mode, there's no way to save themas a preset.

The monitor has audio built in, but don'texpect too much from the small integrated speakers.

The audio sounds quite clear, butthere is no bass.

It's passable for watching a spoken YouTube video for example, but notmuch else.

More usefully, there's also a headphone port to attach headphones or some speakers,for much improved sound.

The OSD joystick controls the volume independent of the Windowscontrols.

*LG's screen split software* One of the main reasons to get an ultrawidescreen is for productivity.

Just using the Windows snap assist feature, lets you dividethe screen into up to 4 areas.

Drag the title bar of a window to the left or right of thescreen to snap a 50% sized window to either side.

Or use the Windows Key + the left orright arrow.

Drag to a corner of the screen to snap a windows to a quadrant of the screen.

Or use the Windows Key and the up or down arrow after snapping to the left or rightof the screen.

With this wide aspect display, you can comfortably work with a side by sidesplit – a document on the left, and a web browser on the right hand side for example.

In this case, each window will be 1280 by 1080 pixels, which I find enough in most cases.

If you want more control, LG provide theirOnScreen Control software, which lets you customise your display with options for 2,3 and 4 screen splits and a Picture in Picture split that keeps the window on top – for examplefor a YouTube video continuing to play in the background.

You then drag a window tothe predefined split area.

You can even configure specific applications to load on Windows startup,in a predetermined screen zone.

The LG software also allows you to controlthe monitor without using its joystick.

And you can configure specific applications touse specific picture modes.

The software works very well, although thebuilt in snap assist features of Windows may be enough.

And if you want even more controlover your screen space, you can use DisplayFusion which provides the ultimate Windows managementcontrols and customisation, albeit at a cost.

Picture quality and colour accuracyThe monitor has an IPS panel, which is superior to most cheaper TN displays for colour accuracyand viewing angles.

Viewing angles are particularly important for widescreen displays like andin general use and viewing test images, I did find the viewing angles to be very good.

The maximum brightness is quoted as 300cd/m²,which whilst not as bright as some monitors is plenty bright enough for a desktop monitorin most cases.

Unlike your phone, or laptop screen, it's not being used outdoors, andunless you're in a very bright room, it's recommended to reduce to the brightness toaround 120 to reduce eye strain.

On this monitor, that's around 40% brightness in Custom picturemode.

Using an X-Rite i1Display Pro monitor calibrator,I measured the maximum brightness in the default Custom mode as 265 candelas per square metre.

The brightest picture mode was HDR Effect, which pushed the brightness to 380 candelasper square metre.

The monitor is also claimed to display 99%of the sRGB colour space, which is the spectrum of colours that most devices conform to, fromphones, to TVs to monitors.

Again using the i1Display Pro, I calibratedthe monitor for the most accurate colours possible.

I achieved a value of 97.

4% of sRGB,so close enough within the accuracy of my testing and a good result.

More importantly, I also measured the colouraccuracy or Delta E (ΔE) of the monitor.

Delta E is a metric for understanding howthe human eye perceives colour difference with a value of less than 1 being not perceptibleto the human eye.

And a value between 1 and 2 being barely perceptible.

I measured an average Delta E of 0.

52 whichis very impressive.

An average Delta E of less than 2 is considered very good.

Eventhe maximum Delta E was only 1.

53.

*High Dynamic Range (HDR)* High Dynamic Range is a relatively new featureof monitors, that expands the contrast and colours of the image, with the intention ofproviding more realism.

The term comes from photography, where multiple photos are takenat different exposures and combined to create an image with an increased dynamic range.

So for a high contrast image of a landscape for instance, an HDR photo could reveal lotsof details in the foreground, yet still have the correct exposure for the sky.

There are various HDR standards includingHDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG, with HDR10 being the most widely supported currently.

Thismonitor is listed as supporting HDR10, although if you look into this more closely, it appearsto support more a subset of the HDR10 standard.

There is a new display compliance standardcalled DisplayHDR from VESA, which defines minimum criteria for various levels of compliance.

This monitor doesn't appear to even meet their minimum standard: DisplayHDR 400.

Whetherthis is of real concern for most users is not really clear, but it's worth mentioning.

To actually experience HDR, you also needHDR content: either HDR enabled games or HDR video content.

There aren't that many games that have HDRsupport, although I'm sure that will change.

Battlefield 1 supports both HDR10 and DolbyVision so I was able to try it out.

Loading the game automatically recognised the HDRcapabilities of the monitor, and the monitor OSD showed "HDR".

It's then possible to chooseone of four HDR picture modes, with the default being HDR Vivid.

The game does look very good, with incrediblyvibrant colours, perhaps too vibrant for a game like Battlefield 1, but impressive nonetheless.

Playing HDR content within Windows is morecomplex.

Firstly you need to enable HDR mode in Windows from Settings | Display and switchingon HDR and WCG.

You'll again see the monitor OSD display HDR.

Since most content you'llbe viewing will still be standard dynamic range (SDR), and may look a little dark, youcan adjust the Brightness for SDR content slider, under HDR and WCG Settings.

I had an issue with the Google Chrome browserlooking dark and grey which I fixed by turning off hardware acceleration under Settings inChrome.

I thought this was an issue with my nVidia GTX 970 graphics card, but I also triedwith another computer which had an AMD RX470, and again had to turn off hardware acceleration.

This issue does highlight how HDR support is still in its infancy within Windows.

The easiest way to view some HDR footage isin YouTube.

It's mostly demo clips, but the HDR Channel has various promotional clipsand when it's all working, they really do look very vibrant, almost jumping out thescreen at you.

YouTube will automatically switch to the HDR version of the clip whichyou can see under the quality settings, although I only got this to work in Chrome.

MicrosoftEdge wouldn't play the HDR versions, with both the GTX 970 and the RX 470.

EnablingStream HDR Video in Settings | HDR and WCG settings | Video playback settings, didn'thelp.

Amazon Prime and Netflix both have HDR content,but neither will work, on my setup at least.

Amazon Prime HDR content is only availableon a very limited supported hardware list.

And Netflix have a help article hidden away,that states you'll need at least a latest generation, nVidia GTX 1050 or above discretegraphics card or a very recent 7th generation Intel i3, i5 or i7 processor.

If the situation improves, and you want toswitch to Windows 10 HDR mode, I'd recommend disabling any colour profiles you may haveenabled and also changing the picture mode to HDR Standard for best results.

*Gaming and FreeSync* I only dabble in gaming, but for games thatsupport the 21:9 format of this monitor, it is very immersive.

The resolution jump to2560 by 1080 from full HD is not a big challenge for most graphics cards, which also meansyou shouldn't need an upgrade for games that already play smoothly at the lower resolution.

I did feel a little sick playing very fastFPS games like Doom – I'd recommend paying close attention to the the "field of viewoptions" and increasing the angle slightly to a value that suits you.

If you're into cycling and have ever triedthe virtual cycling game Zwift, the extra screen space is also very welcome.

It looksless cluttered and also provides more immersion.

The monitor supports FreeSync, which onlyworks with AMD graphics cards, but reduces any screen tearing and stuttering in game,where the graphics card can't keep up with the refresh rate of the monitor.

It only operates from 40Hz to the monitor'smaximum refresh rate of 75Hz, which makes its use a little limited.

My main gaming computerhas a nVidia card so had to try the feature out with my children's gaming PC that hasan AMD RX 470.

I can't say I noticed a huge difference in the games I tried, but it'sa nice feature to have nonetheless, if you already own an AMD graphics card.

*Conclusions* There are some huge benefits of an ultrawidemonitor, mainly for productivity but also for gaming.

 The LG 29WK600 monitor representsa very good value proposition, with excellent colour accuracy, good connectivity, genuinelyuseful screen organisation software and a clean, elegant design.

The slightly cheaper LG 29WK500, doesn't haveHDR support, and loses the DisplayPort connection.

It is probably the better option, unless theprices are very close.

 HDR support, particularly in Windows, has a long way to go, *but* doesfuture proof the monitor somewhat, and games that support it do look impressive.

Overall,I'd not hessiate to recommend either monitor.

I hope you found the video useful.

Pleasedo like and subscribe if you did, and take a look at thetechnologyman.

Com for the writtenreview which includes a summary of the pros and cons of the monitor.

Thanks for watching!.

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