Worth It? The LG UltraGear QHD 27″ 27GL850-B

Photo from: Amazon

Key Points

  • 1440p monitors are a mid-tier visual experience, but that isn’t a bad thing.

  • The LG UltraGear 27GL850-B has smooth gameplay performance with a 144Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time, and NVIDIA G-SYNC compatibility.

  • The visuals on this display are in a stunning QHD resolution and included Nano IPS for superior color accuracy.

  • It’s up in the air whether that Nano IPS is worth the price tag.

  • You definitely can find a true 4K monitor with comparable color tech for the same price. 

Gaming monitor” is a bit of a buzzword. You could still play Skyrim on a CRT and it would be fine. However, what about games released in this decade? I’ve played on many different displays; CRT on my early console days, HDTVs, and eventually graduated to the 1080p monitors and now finally on glorious 4K.

What I’ve found to be the most important is whether the monitor is easy on the eyes or not. The LG UltraGear QHD 27" Gaming Monitor 27GL850-B is a premium 1440p monitor with a high refresh rate you’d expect but fails to stand out from the competition, except for the exorbitant price tag. Let’s get into why. 

It’s a Saturated Market

I’m a bit of an elder statesman when it comes to games. I’m approaching my thirties, which means I grew up with Donkey Kong Country, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and the Halo series. When it comes to monitors like this, the market demands the best visuals and performance, and these older games didn't have to struggle with the hyperrealistic standards quite like they would today. The LG UltraGear fulfills those modern visual standards, but you can easily find the same basic specs for considerably less.

When you’re shopping for a gaming monitor, the biggest aspects are resolution and screen size, refresh rate, and response time. Higher resolutions, such as the LG UltraGear’s QHD or 4K, provide sharper images, while larger screen sizes enhance the immersive experience. If you want an even more immersive experience, try out the latest haptic gaming vest for Assassin's Creed Mirage that allows you to feel jumping and punches.

Monitors with higher refresh rates (ideally 144Hz or above) and faster response times (1ms or lower) are necessary for a monitor at the highest cut of the market. 

In terms of panel technology, IPS panels generally offer superior color accuracy and wider viewing angles, while TN panels have faster response times with lower costs. VA panels balance these two aspects but may generally don’t excel in either. Another important factor is adaptive sync technology, such as NVIDIA G-SYNC or AMD FreeSync, which reduces screen tearing and enhances the overall playing experience. 

If you’re considering the LG UltraGear QHD 27" Gaming Monitor 27GL850-B, you’re probably shopping for a 4K upgrade with a high-refresh-rate and extensive color variation. The good news is that this monitor fulfills all of these standards, but there are drawbacks that keep coming to mind for me. 

I get the frustrations that come with subpar monitor performance. I feel that in this instance the price tag is a bit too much for the 1440p class. While this monitor is an upgrade from a standard 1080p it might not be worth the price tag this one asks for. Let’s talk about why.

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What the LG UltraGear QHD 27" Offers

As stated, this monitor’s main appeal is its QHD 1440p resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time, and standard Nvidia G-SYNC compatibility. It provides the visuals I expect and runs incredibly smoothly. QHD resolution combined with Nano IPS technology makes for a wide range of colors (an advertised 1.07 billion) and a 144Hz refresh rate allow for seamless gaming sessions without any screen tearing. The ergonomic range is impressive, providing height, tilt, swivel, and pivot motion that caters to all sorts of necks and eyelines. I especially appreciate this as I’m close to six-and-a-half feet tall. I’ve had some monitors do a number on my neck, so I appreciate a good tilt on my monitors.

The Nano IPS display technology does distinguish it from other monitors in the market. The high pixel density ensures a sharp and immersive experience, while accurate color reproduction ensures your games and other content look their best. For professionals working with visual content, this monitor offers a significant advantage in terms of color fidelity and detail.

Where It Struggles

While Nano IPS technology in gaming monitors like the LG UltraGear 27GL850-B offers superior color accuracy and wider viewing angles, it simply isn’t worth the price tag, at least with this monitor. Monitors with Nano IPS panels are an excuse for retailers to jack up the price, especially when compared to TN and VA panels. If you’re like me, who doesn’t solely use their monitor for playing, the color reproduction isn’t nearly as noticeable or relevant in other use cases, whether streaming or 3 a.m. YouTube wormholes. 

Ultimately, whether Nano IPS is worth it depends on you. It offers enhanced color accuracy and wider viewing angles but you can find it elsewhere for cheaper.

Another area where the LG UltraGear QHD 27" Gaming Monitor 27GL850-B fell a bit short was the need to manually create custom color profiles to fully take advantage of those billion colors. If you’re a graphic designer or an artist, this time to set up might be more than it's worth, and especially a grievance if you’re just trying to plug in and play. Lori Grugin from Cnet describes this frustration best: The LG UltraGear QHD "screens have the highest contrast you can find in a display thanks to their true blacks, and their naturally wide color gamut makes them excellent for TV screens. But because monitors are used for so many different types of tasks, [UltraGear's] strengths can occasionally become weaknesses"

That said, once I got the settings adjusted, the image I got was as advertised and worthwhile. 

I don’t want my complaints to completely deter you from this monitor. It packs a punch visually, but in my experience with the 1440p class, something like Nano IPS isn’t worth the extra $150 they’re marking it up. For a similar price, you could go true 4K and experience a more full array of performance-enhancing features, impressive color accuracy, and ergonomic design.

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UltraGearheads Unite!

This monitor brings everything to the table that a gaming monitor needs. Whether you think color variance is terribly important or not determines your decision to purchase. It’s enjoyable to use, performs at a high level, and feels, for the most part, friendly to be as a user. Serious-minded players and visual professionals get a lot of this display and spare themselves some neck pain while they do. However, in my experience, you can get a better deal elsewhere. 

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