LG 29WK600 ultrawide monitor review

Discussion in 'Displays' started by euskalzabe, Oct 19, 2018.

  1. euskalzabe

    euskalzabe [H]ard|Gawd

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    Recently I got this nice little LG 29 WK600 monitor for $200 and thought I'd make a brief review on it, as I've found it is quite good value for the amount I paid. If you're looking for an ultrawide display that's easy for a midrange GPU to drive, and don't want a monstruous 34" display on your desk, consider checking this one out.

    Specifications
    You can check LG's website for more details, but the important stuff is: IPS (so, contrast ~1000:1), 2560x1080 (95 ppi at 29"), HDR10 signal support (not the same as being able to display it in its full glory), and 40-75 Freesync via HDMI or Displayport.

    Design and Ergonomics
    The "frameless" (aka thin borders all around) looks quite nice, since the frame is under the glass it does blend away and you kind of forget about it. The stand is wide but pretty "empty", so you still have space to put a few things around it on your desk (personally I hate wide/bulky bases where I can't put objects I need on my table).

    DSC_2618_zpsbqv7dcln.jpg

    Panel uniformity
    Being an IPS, color reproduction is good (%99 RGB). The backlight is also quite well distributed. Subjectively, it's a uniform panel, but there is some moderate backlight bleed on the sides. This is not something that bothers me, but if you're sensitive to it you should take it into account. You can't really hold this against the panel at $200, considering there's many $600, $800 and up models that have this same issue.

    Exaggerated bleed:
    DSC_2702_zpskooh3u8h.jpg

    How it looks in real life:
    DSC_2705_zps14dokdvd.jpg

    Brightness and Contrast
    It ships setup at %100 brightness - that's WAY too much for your eyes. I immediately took it down to %50 and that's great during the day, but keep in mind my desk is between two giant windows. If you're in a closed room, you may want to take it even lower. As for contrast, my previous VA definitely had inkier blacks, but you know what you're getting into if you buy IPS vs VA. Comparing to other IPS panels I've had, the black levels on this 29WK600 are quite good

    Calibration
    Colors were somewhat cold and bluish out of the gate, which is typical in most monitors that don't come color calibrated as blue light looks brighter than warm light. Once calibrated, greens became a bit muter, blues a bit better in their gradients, and reds a bit deeper. Overall the image is now warmer, in a good way - colors are more real-life like, which is the goal. I'm attaching my calibration profile in case that helps any other buyers (though keep in mind each monitor is a universe on its own, and my calibration may not be precise or accurate on your sample).

    DSC_2707_zpsr8sdeznr.jpg

    DSC_2706_zpsreuzbos4.jpg

    DSC_2708_zps5zsywlxy.jpg

    DSC_2709_zpscjzyuwso.jpg

    SRGB spectrum:
    DSC_2699_zpsfyqztfpx.jpg

    Viewing Angles
    They're good, as it's an IPS panel. The only drawback I notice is on dark/mostly black screens, where looking at the display from the side creates a white/blue sheen. This is unlikely to be a problem as you don't normally view the monitor from an extreme angle, but it happens so you should know it. Colors themselves don't change, but that sheen is noticeable - it's most likely the anti-reflective coating picking light from the side and kind of bleeding through the panel. When it's off, sometimes I've thought it was actually on because the light from the other iMac in the room and from the windows was diffused through the panel, and it gave it that sheen. Again, not a problem in general use, just a quirk that I've noticed.

    Left:
    DSC_2745_zpszm77bnjm.jpg

    Right:
    DSC_2746_zpsnr9i8cwe.jpg

    General use
    Well, it's a 29" 1080p panel, so you know how much desktop space you have. I was using a 40" 4K TV before it, and at %150 scaling, I still had a bit more space to use the desktop. However, the ppi is enough to look detailed and crisp without looking pixelated, so it's fine - I don't think I'd like to go 34" 1080p, while workable, it'd be quite blocky (also there's no point on paying $100 more for the exact same panel just a bit bigger... if the panel doesn't improve, you shouldn't pay more for it). I mostly work on Excel, Word and Acrobat: Excel is great because you see many more columns. Word also works well because I zoom into the document when I'm working on something specific, but at %100 zoom I can view 3 full pages at once, giving me a more panoramic view of the document (keep in mind, I'm in the process of writing a 200+ page book... so this way of "mapping" the document without fully zooming out is very useful - you can see where you are in the document, while still being able to read the text). As for Acrobat, I enjoyed having the extra vertical space on 16:9 monitors to view scanned documents in a bigger size, but with this LG I can comfortably have 2 of them side by side, which was impossible before without the program having to zoom out the document and making it too small to read comfortably. So, in the case of PDFs, you win some and you lose some with this LG.

    Gaming
    It's wonderful, as long as you're looking for the ultrawide aspect ratio. I used to force-res 21:9 on my 16:9 4K TV, but the low response time on the monitor and the 75hz refresh rate make a big, big difference. Smoothness is quite noticeable, even if a small step up from 60hz it's obvious and welcome. I'm using a 1060 3GB to power it, so I haven't been able to enjoy Freesync yet, but I'm planning to get a Navi GPU in the spring, thus improving the value of this purchase.

    ACU
    DSC_2688_zpsze47vu6i.jpg

    DOOM
    DSC_2694_zpsdcjczf9j.jpg

    WD2
    DSC_2695_zps24tflhz0.jpg


    Movies and Video
    16:9 video with black sidebars looks... fine. I thought it would bother me more (I'd rather have upper-lower black bars than sidebars), but you kind of forget about it. When watching Netflix/Hulu/Youtube I prefer this to my secondary, older 16:9 IPS because the LG's contrast and colors are much, much better. 21:9 video looks amazing, obviously, as you get the full size that would be letterboxed in a 16:9. Obvious thing is obvious :) but buttom line is - colors, motion and lack of blur make this a decent display for video. Even playing PS4 on HDR, or Youtube HDR videos, the image looks fantastic. Fantastic, for $200. It's nowhere near the color gamut, contrast ratio and punch of my Vizio P55-F1, but that's a $1000 HDR1000 TV and this is a puny 300nit $200 monitor. For what it can display and what it costs, HDR on this thing looks good (certainly better than my "older" Samsung KU6290 4K TV that could process HDR10 but couldn't display it fully, that never looked good in HDR, unlike this LG).

    Youtube HDR:
    DSC_2711_zps9zwannno.jpg

    DSC_2714_zps7ekb913p.jpg

    DSC_2722_zpsmujttzia.jpg

    DSC_2717_zpscpwgie1y.jpg

    DSC_2724_zpsbg43y5nr.jpg

    And here's are a couple videos while gaming:



    And, while not ideal, still doable multi-monitor:



    Overall, positive, but of course I'm keeping the $200 price tag constantly in mind. You can get bigger, better displays, but you'll also be paying double or triple the money. At that point, you're certainly getting diminishing returns. Personally, my goal was to get an HDR600 monitor in 2019, but as we're seeing the first of those models come out, the prices are a bit obnoxious ($700 for a 27"? $1000+ for a 32"? No thanks). Seeing that I'm going to have to wait a few years until HDR600 displays go down to around $500, this LG 29WK600 seemed like a good compromise: decent ppi, good refresh rate, useful for productivity and immersive for gaming; all while costing just $200 and doing all the monitor "basics" (brightness, contrast, color, response, adaptive sync) perfectly well. If that's what you're looking for, something to hold out until actual technological innovation becomes affordable, this is one good option. I was tempted by 34" ultrawides but I prefer to have a dual monitor setup, with a 16:9 screen that can work independently for other things without affecting the main ultrawide display (usually, the 16:9 displays my weekly calendar most of the day). Frankly, until 10bit panels with 1billion colors and 600nits go under $500, there's really NO point on paying more for panels like this LG that haven't really changed or improved much in the past 10 years. Pay little, get some good use out of it, and wait until actual advances become affordable. That's my 2 cents!
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
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  2. Spun Ducky

    Spun Ducky Gawd

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    I have been looking at this monitor as a side screen and I wanted to check if you have confirmed whether or not nvidia cards can actually run 75hz without frame skipping? My Omen 32 is 75hz freesync but with my nvidia card frame skips over 60hz. My understanding is this can be a common problem with these 75hz freesync screens mixed with nvidia.
     
  3. euskalzabe

    euskalzabe [H]ard|Gawd

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    Is there any way for me to check that for you? All I can tell you is, subjectively, it's definitely running at 75hz because it looks smoother than 60fps. Although I don't know how to give you proof of it.
     
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  4. Spun Ducky

    Spun Ducky Gawd

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  5. euskalzabe

    euskalzabe [H]ard|Gawd

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    Cool, I didn't now I could test that. Allow me to give you some happy news:

    upload_2018-10-19_19-57-53.png
    No frame skipping present. I can post the high-res images if you want, but I figured this would be enough. Otherwise, let me know. Currently using 75hz 2560x1080 via HDMI.
     
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  6. Spun Ducky

    Spun Ducky Gawd

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    Thank you, that is very good news for the monitor.
     
  7. cybereality

    cybereality [H]ardness Supreme

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    Awesome! Looks like a nice display and $200 is a nice price.
     
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  8. cybereality

    cybereality [H]ardness Supreme

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    Have you tried any HDR games? Far Cry 5 and Resident Evil 7 should support it.
     
  9. euskalzabe

    euskalzabe [H]ard|Gawd

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    I have, and it works really well. I don't own FC5 or RE7, but I've played many hours of Destiny 2 in this monitor and support is excellent. Of course, there's no extended color gamut, amazing contrast ratio or 1000nit brightness, but it does work flawlessly. I open the game and it switches do HDR correctly. I set it to mid-level HDR because vivid HDR was just too bright. Colors definitely pop way more, and even knowing the panel's limitations, I'm seeing some scenes with blues, greens and reds that are very saturated and punchy, to points I've never seen in IPS panels before. Colors don't get as deep as my Vizio P55-F1 that does support 1 billion colors, but still the LG looks fantastic. I just started playing Shadow of War a couple days ago, and I can tell you I miss HDR immensely. It really does make Destiny 2 pop like it's nobody's business. Same thing with ME: Andromeda, although that game's HDR implementation is garbage and quite problematic during use. Destiny 2 has definitely changed my mind about HDR on PC, as it can clearly be done well. I hope more games from now on will implement it properly, because for the meager $200 I spent on this LG panel, it really delivers excellent picture quality despite not providing the full benefit of HDR.
     
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  10. Castilho

    Castilho n00b

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    Thanks for the review. My 29wk600 just arrived and I was looking forward to trying out you calibration profile since I am pretty much a potato when doing it myself. Could you please either upload or send it to me?

    Thanks a bunch. (And sorry if you somehow did upload it already and I ended up missing it...)
     
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  11. euskalzabe

    euskalzabe [H]ard|Gawd

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    No problem, you can download it from this link. Keep in mind, though, that each monitor is different so the profile for mine may not be exactly accurate for yours. Glad you're enjoying the monitor!
     
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  12. Castilho

    Castilho n00b

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    I will keep that in mind. Thank you so much!
     
  13. esthertje93

    esthertje93 n00b

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    Could you please upload the profile again? Thanks in advance.

    Onedrive says its no longer there and my monitor is pissing me off big time (especially with a white background). Brightness (luminousity) cannot be reduced enough without it turning to grey and text seems unclear even with vleartype enabled in Win10...
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
  14. euskalzabe

    euskalzabe [H]ard|Gawd

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    No problem, here you go, I hope it helps: https://1drv.ms/u/s!Al0wGKLyk00Noa8uwxHTbygEiaYiIA?e=KC6XT1
     
  15. esthertje93

    esthertje93 n00b

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    Thanks and sorry. I thought it would be a text document with the color, contrast and brightness settings. No idea how a icm file works. I see no options on the monitor OSD settings to upload a icm file (using the power button and settings). But thanks anyway!
     
  16. euskalzabe

    euskalzabe [H]ard|Gawd

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    No problem. It's actually really easy to force your on custom color profile. It's just a few - stupid and illogical - steps, but follow this short guide and you should be done in less than 5 minutes. Eventually you learn it by heart and now it's just muscle memory for me to do it whenever I reinstall Windows from scratch.
     
  17. esthertje93

    esthertje93 n00b

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    Thank you very much, I mnaged it. My cold hard colourse instantly went to a warmer tone. Nice. I am using this monitor a lot for photo editing, so needed a good colour profile. I will have to learn how to calibrate my screen myself, but for the moment, this works great. Thanks!
     
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  18. Padonsk

    Padonsk n00b

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  19. sosab

    sosab n00b

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    Awesome review! I might step up to this later on. I’m still enjoying the 25” UW. From the looks of it the only differences is this one is slightly bigger with a more modern housing.

    LG would kill the game if they could refresh these panels to have 100 hz.

    I wrote them an email regarding these lines.

    the 25UM58 has been selling for almost 5 years now. There’s a reason for it
     
  20. euskalzabe

    euskalzabe [H]ard|Gawd

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    Default settings except brightness at %30.

    I wish they would. I'm on a QHD 32" and I always play 2560x1080 custom res. I did the same at 4K. I'd pay for a 29" 1080p 120hz!
     
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