The LG 27UN850-W is a surprisingly affordable 4K monitor with premium specs such as USB-C connectivity and HDR. Its price has come a long way from older models like the LG 27UK850, which used to cost north of 700 bucks. Let’s examine if the brand was consistent with this series of monitors, particularly in the imaging department.
LG 27UN850-W Specifications
- Screen Size: 27Inches
- Resolution: 3840 x 2160 4K UHD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Panel Technology: In-Plane Switching (IPS)
- Refresh Rate: 60Hz
- Response Time: 5ms
- Contrast Ratio: 1000:1 (Static)
- Brightness: 350 cd/m²
- Speakers: Yes (2 x 5 Watts)
- Stand: Height – Yes
- Stand: Tilt – Yes
- Stand: Swivel – No
- Stand: Pivot – Yes
- VESA Compatibility: Yes
- Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.2 x 1, HDMI 2.0 x 2, USB-C PD60W x 1, USB 3.0 x 2, 3.5mm Jack
- Dimensions with Stand(WxHxD): 24.1” x 22” x 9.2″
- Weight: 13.5 lbs
Design and Features
The LG 27UN850-W closely resembles its predecessors, so the design changes are mostly minor and unnoticeable. It uses a familiar white chassis that’s mated to the silver ArcLine design stand. The display has thin bezels on each side, but they sit almost flush with the screen, so they are less distracting while using the device.
27-inch monitors are fairly common and aren’t terribly gigantic by today’s standards. This model only needs 9 inches of depth when fully assembled, so your peripherals, such as keyboards, are safe from going overboard if the desk is narrow. It only weighs 13.5 pounds, so it’s rather easy to move around when needed.
The LG 27UN850-W’s build quality can be tricky since it’s so light, but seeing and touching it in person will prove otherwise. The plastic panels are thick and sturdy, and no cosmetic defects exist on any of its parts. The stand is firm and stable, so there is no need to worry about wobbling or sagging while using it.
The LG 27UN850-W has an OSD joystick and the brand’s OnScreen display which lets you access settings and features conveniently. The former is located in the logo on the bottom bezel, so you don’t have to reach in to use it. Other monitors in the same price range have to make do with buttons, so this is a big plus in our books.
The included stand offers tilt, pivot, and height adjustments for your comfort and convenience. You can also use the monitor as a portrait display, but it’s impossible to angle it if you want it on the side. You can use VESA mounts for more flexibility, but the added cost will offset your savings with this monitor.
The LG 27UN850-W’s connectivity layout isn’t the most equipped in the market, but it does have a bit more options than those in the same price range. You get DisplayPort 1.2 and two HDMI 2.0 slots, along with a USB-C slot that supports DP Alt Mode and only 60 Watts of charging power.
You also get two USB 3.0 ports from peripherals and a pair of 5-watt built-in speakers I the monitor. The latter sounds louder and slightly better than most 2-watt built-ins, but they are still limited when it comes to audio range. However, it’s to have an upgrade set to use for conference calls or basic entertainment.
Display and Performance
The LG 27UN850-W sports a 27-inch IPS panel with 3840 x 2160 resolution, a 60Hz refresh rate, and a 5ms response time. The backlight has a 350 cd/m2 typical output, while the contrast is listed at 1000:1. This model is certified for HDR 400, but we all know how limited that is when it comes to HDR performance.
27-inch 4K monitors are extra sharp, so they are great for any use that involves images or graphics. Office work or reading can be difficult, but scaling can solve that. Getting stable framerates in 4K is harder, but 60Hz is doable for much modern hardware like the latest consoles.
The LG 27UN850-W renders 99% of the sRGB gamut and around 79% of the DCI-P3 gamut. That’s decent for a budget monitor, but we’ve seen better saturation from other modern options. Its default accuracy has a deltaE average of 2.31, so most users won’t have to calibrate it right away.
Using a colorimeter improved the dE average to 1.03, which is fantastic if you consider its affordability. The downside is that you will need a colorimeter, which will, again, offset your savings with this monitor. We recommend getting it only if you are into color-critical work, but it’s impractical.
Its backlight reached 341 cd/m2 in SDR but peaked at 405 cd/m2 when its HDR mode was activated. Its contrast peaked at 1077:1 at 50% brightness, showing us that the panel is incapable of deep blacks like its VA and OLED counterparts. This metric also means that its HDR performance will be severely limited.
Panel uniformity for the test sample had some small backlight leaks at the top edge of the screen. They aren’t immediately noticeable unless you put a black background on. Note that this can vary between every monitor due to tolerances, so there are worse and better units out there.
Its pixel response time isn’t the best by today’s standards, so it’s not ideal for fast-paced or competitive gaming. However, you can mitigate the persistence using its overdrive’s Fast setting. It can’t altogether remove the minor ghosting, but at least it will become less noticeable.
The LG 27UN850-W is a FreeSync monitor, but G-Sync compatibility can also be forced via Nvidia’s Control Panel. This capability is handy for users who also plan to use the monitor for gaming. Its input lag sits at 9ms at 60Hz, so it’s still snappy for any type of use.
Thoughts on the LG 27UN850-W
The LG 27UN850-W is a fantastic buy since it’s so affordable while keeping decent specs. Its IPS panel is great, especially when it’s calibrated, so it can be used for more than just browsing or office work. It also includes USB-C and has a timeless aesthetic, so it doesn’t seem like it’s a budget model.
Our main gripe with the LG 27UN850-W is its USB-C slot which only goes up to 60 watts. That can only charge notebooks and anything with higher specs, like discrete GPUs. We wish LG modernized this part, but we understand that these limitations help in lowering the current MSRP.
- Excellent Color Quality
- Premium Build Quality
- USB-C Included
- Dismal HDR Performance
- USB-C Limited to 60W
About the Author: Paolo has been a gaming veteran since the golden days of Doom and Warcraft and has been building gaming systems for family, friends, and colleagues since junior high. High-performance monitors are one of his fixations; he believes that every citizen’s right to enjoy one. He has gone through several pieces of hardware in pursuit of every bit of performance gain, much to the dismay of his wallet. He now works with Monitornerds to scrutinize the latest gear to create reviews that accentuate the seldom explained aspects of a PC monitor.