In a Nutshell
In addition to being one of the best 27-inch gaming monitors on the market, the UltraGear 27GP850-B is capable of performing much more serious tasks.
Since its first release in 2019, the LG UltraGear 27GL850 has been widely regarded as on of the best 27-inch gaming monitors on the market. That title is now being taken over by its direct successor, whose name is UltraGear 27GP850. Yes, you read that correctly. The new monitor has the almost the same name as the old one (except for one letter), however, the differences between the two of them are much more pronounced than their model label may suggest. In short, the UltraGear 27GP850-B gives the impression of a purposeful and welcome upgrade, and as such really impressed us. Here is our full review.
LG UltraGear 27GP850-B Specifications
|Panel Size (diagonal)||27” Nano IPS|
|True Resolution||2,560 x 1,440 (QHD)|
|Brightness||400 cd/m2 (TYP)|
|Response Time||1 ms (GtG)|
|Refresh Rate||180 Hz|
|Signal Input||1 x DisplayPort 1.4|
2 x HDMI 2.0
|USB port(s)||2 x USB 3.0|
1 x USB 3.0 (upstream)
1 x 3.5 mm audio jack
The UltraGear 27GP850-B is equipped with a 27-inch screen, 10-bit Nano IPS panel, and native resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels. The screen supports a maximum refresh rate of 180 Hz and is able to deliver a maximum brightness of 400 cd/m2 and 98% DCI-P3 color space coverage. The monitor officially supports AMD FreeSync Premium adaptive sync technology, and is also branded as G-SYNC Compatible, ensuring fully functional and correct adaptive sync with NVIDIA graphics cards.
Stroboscopic backlight mode is supported, which improves the sharpness of moving objects (at the expense of image brightness), but in practice you won’t really need to use it. Namely, the LG UltraGear 27GP850-B boasts an excellent implementation of Overdrive technology, which increases the pixel voltage in order to accelerate their transitions. After setting Overdrive to the Fast setting (Settings menu > Game Adjust > Response Time in the OSD), you will get almost flawless sharpness of moving objects, which is one of the best we have seen on the IPS panel.
The LG UltraGear 27GP850-B is a gaming monitor of a higher tier. This is something that we really want to emphasize, as this monitor rises well above the endless forest of cheap models with VA panels, especially in terms of image quality and sharpness of moving objects. Of course, that makes it comparatively more expensive. While a 27-inch VA monitor with the same native resolution and refresh rate of 165 Hz can be purchased for around $300, the LG UltraGear 27GP850-B will cost you around $400. However, if you are not in the mood for qualitative compromises, it is certainly not a difference in price that cannot be swallowed.
Designed for Gaming
If you read this review to find out if the UltraGear 27GP850-B is a good choice for gaming, we’ll save you the time: it’s a great gaming monitor. In addition to the aforementioned excellent sharpness of moving objects, it is characterized by extremely low input lag, which averages about eight milliseconds, which means it’s at a level where even professional eSports gamers won’t feel it. There are also some useful “aids” for playing, such as virtual sights (conspicuous red and green dot or plus), and the ability to increase the brightness of black, to make it easier to distinguish enemies in the shadows (Settings > Game Adjust > Black Stabilizer).
Of course, the adaptive sync technology ensures perfectly smooth game performance, without a hint of twitching or tearing of the screen, and the ability to raise the refresh rate to 180 Hz only completes the outstanding overall impression. It is interesting that monitor natively works at 165 Hz refresh rate, but it is enough to activate adaptive synchronization (Settings > Game Adjust > Adaptive-Sync > Extended) and then go to the Settings menu > Game Adjust > Overclock and select the “On” setting. Only then you will be able to select a screen refresh rate of 180 Hz in your operating system.
By the way, all the menus mentioned so far can be reached quickly and easily, thanks to the proverbial excellent performance of controls. Instead of strenuous horizontally aligned keys, LG has implemented a four-way joystick in the middle of the lower edge of the screen, which can be pressed like a key. Combining that with a well-organized OSD interface, a pleasant experience of adjusting all relevant settings is achieved, as well as quick management of things like picture brightness, volume in connected headphones, input selection and changing factory picture profiles.
In terms of design and construction, the LG UltraGear 27GP850-B offers everything we would expect from a modern monitor. The large, redesigned screen stand has a cable management slot and clip on its rear edge. At the bottom it is connected to a stable base in the shape of the letter “V”, and in the upper part it is fixed to the screen itself. The stand on the work surface takes up about 43 centimeters in width and about 30 centimeters in “depth”.
The stand is designed to allow the screen to be tilted, pivoted by 90° (clockwise) and adjusted in height. In the lowest position, the lower edge of the screen is 10.5 centimeters above the surface of the desk, and in the upper slightly less than 22 centimeters. With this in mind, finding the optimal working position is easy, regardless of the height and specific design of the desk. Of course, the very wide viewing angles, characteristic of LG’s Nano IPS panels, also contribute to this. The only maneuver that is not feasible is to rotate the screen to the left and right. Of course, the monitor can be mounted on a VESA mount as needed, with its own mount removed first.
You can find a few red, “gaming” details on the back of the screen. LG decided not to experiment with RGB lighting and associated effects this time around. All connectors are located next to the place where the stand connects to the screen. There is a DisplayPort 1.4, two HDMI 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 3.0 upstream port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and power connector. An external adapter is used, which is compact enough not to take up two adjacent connectors on the extension bar. Interestingly, all of the listed connectors are placed parallel to the desk surface. This can make cable connection difficult in the case of mounting the monitor on the wall, but in all other situations it simplifies the use of available connectors.
At the factory settings, the LG UltraGear 27GP850-B delivers a pleasing image, with rich, contrasting colors, smooth tonal transitions and no visible backlight penetration points. The colorimeter showed us that the device is factory set to a brightness of 191.4 cd/m2 , a white temperature of 6,308 K and a static contrast ratio of 807:1.
The color temperature can be brought closer to the desired value of 6,500 K by small interventions within the OSD. Just go to Settings > Picture Adjust > Color Temp and select “Custom” and then to Settings > Picture Adjust > R/G/B and correct the Green channel to 49. The Red and Blue channels can be left at 50. If you then raise the brightness to 57 (Settings > Picture Adjust > Brightness), you get an image with a brightness of 250 cd/m2 and a white temperature of 6,476 K. Of course, if you prefer an even brighter display, feel free to increase it. The brightness of the built-in Nano IPS panels can go up to 455 cd/m2 .
Testing the color accuracy showed that their factory calibration was only average. Grayscales are perfectly set, so in their case ΔE regularly stays below 1.5. However, we noticed significant deviations in red and green tones, with ΔE ranging from 4.12 to 5.38. All of this resulted in an average measured ΔE of 2.66. Red and green tones are emphatically oversaturated, probably due to putting the focus on the visual attractiveness of the colors, and to the detriment of their technical accuracy.
Things change drastically after the hardware calibration, which we did using X-Rite’s i1Display Pro calibrator. Absolutely all colors and tones were immediately put in order. The average ΔE fell to 0.4, with a maximum measured deviation of ΔE of 1.47, recorded for a light gray tone. In such a calibrated state, the LG UltraGear 27GP850-B can be used for serious photo processing, color grading for video and all other professional tasks. If you plan to use it primarily for gaming, surfing and similar activities, then you do not have to bother with calibration – the image will probably look more beautiful without it, due to the already mentioned (over)saturation of certain colors.
The uniformity of colors and contrasts are excellent, and the colorimeter did not show any noticeable deviations in the brightness of the display on various parts of the panel. All this indicates a quality implementation of backlighting.
Let’s also mention that the LG UltraGear 27GP850-B is VESA-certified DisplayHDR 400, which means that it can recognize the incoming HDR signal and is capable of displaying a brightness of at least 400 cd/m2 . However, don’t expect a top-notch HDR gaming experience, as it lacks backlight with local dimming technology (FALD) for such a thing.
The LG UltraGear 27GP850-B is one of the very few monitors without notable flaws, equally suitable for hardcore gaming and more serious tasks, which, after calibration, can be performed without any issues. While there are certainly cheaper 27-inch gaming monitors on the market with a native resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels, none of them represent such a well-rounded package, nor do they offer completely comparable performance.