LG 27UK650 Review: 4K HDR IPS FreeSync Gaming Monitor

Introduction

The LG 27UK650 is an affordable 27″ 4K IPS monitor that supports AMD FreeSync and entry-level HDR (High Dynamic Range) which makes it a great choice for 4K PC/console gaming, content creation, and other multimedia use.

Image Quality

Just like most 4K IPS monitors at this price range, the LG 27UK650-W is based on an IPS panel with 10-bit color depth (8-bit + FRC), 99% sRGB color gamut,  a 1,000:1 static contrast ratio, and a 350-nit peak brightness.

These specs along with 4K UHD resolution ensure a stunning image quality and while the contrast ratio isn’t as high as that of the VA panel alternatives, you do get more accurate and consistent colors.

This means that you won’t get as vivid black tones as you would on a VA panel display with a static contrast ratio of ~3,000:1, but you will get more vibrant and lively colors.

Furthermore, IPS panels also offer wide 178-degree viewing angles and a quick response time speed of 5ms (GtG) which is sufficient to eliminate all trailing of fast-moving objects at 60Hz.

On a 27″ screen of the LG 27UK650 monitor, 4K resolution results in a high pixel-per-inch ratio of 163 PPI which makes for plenty of screen real estate and sharp details.

Lg 27uk650 Hdr

Because everything (text, icons, etc) will be tiny at 4K on this monitor, you will need to use scaling which will decrease the amount of available screen space, but increase detail clarity.

Performance

While the LG 27UK650 4K monitor supports HDR, besides the boost in peak brightness from 350-nits to 450-nits, you won’t get a notable improvement in HDR picture quality as the display lacks a wide color gamut and local dimming which would increase the contrast ratio.

In fact, the monitor doesn’t even have VESA’s entry-level HDR400 certification.

Overall, enabling HDR for compatible content might make some video games (mostly X1X and PS4 Pro console games) or movies look a bit better, but most of the time you will just get either oversaturated or washed out colors.

For a good HDR viewing experience, we recommend a monitor that has at least VESA’s HDR600 certification though these displays are, naturally, also more expensive.

Other than that, the LG 27UK650 performs quite well. It has low input lag of ~9ms which ensures no noticeable delay between your actions and the result on the screen.

Features

Lg 27uk650 Buy

Moving on, the LG 27UK650 display supports AMD FreeSync which provides a variable refresh rate (VRR) for compatible graphics cards.

This technology removes all screen tearing and stuttering with minimal input lag penalty (~1ms) within the VRR range. The monitor has two VRR modes: Basic (48-60Hz range) and Extended (40-60Hz) range.

While AMD GPUs and the Xbox One consoles work without issues in Extended Mode, compatible NVIDIA cards only worked in Basic Mode and though the 48-60Hz range may seem too narrow, it’s better than nothing.

Other available features include On-Screen Control, Screen Split, and Black Stabilizer (increases visibility in darker games).

There’s also HDR Effect (simulates HDR for non-compatible content) and pre-calibrated picture presets (FPS 1, FPS 2, RTS, Reader, Photo, Cinema, Dark Room, Color Weakness, Custom, EBU, Rec.709, SMPTE-C, HDR Vivid, HDR Standard, HDR Game, and HDR Cinema).

Design & Connectivity

Lg 27uk650 W Review

The LG 27UK650 has a fairly ergonomic stand with up to 110mm height adjustment, -5°/15° tilt, 90° pivot, and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility. You cannot swivel the screen to the left/right.

Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.2, and a headphones jack. FreeSync and HDR are supported over both HDMI and DP. Note that you can use FreeSync and HDR simultaneously.

Price & Similar Monitors

LG offers plenty of similar monitors with slight differences, so we’ll break them down in the table below.

2018 Models (UK Series)

2019 Models (UL Series)

Monitor27UK60027UK65027UK85027UL50027UL55027UL60027UL65027UL850
Ergonomic StandNoYesYesNoYesNoYesYes
Integrated SpeakersNoNoYesNoNoNoNoYes
USB-C PDNoNoYes (60W)NoNoNoNoYes (60W)
USB HubNoNoYesNoNoNoNoYes
VESA HDR CertificateNoneNoneNoneNoneNoneHDR400HDR400HDR400
Peak Brightness450 cd/m2450 cd/m2450 cd/m2300 cd/m2300 cd/m2400 cd/m2400 cd/m2400 cd/m2

As you can see, the LG UL600, UL650, and UL850 models do have VESA’s HDR 400 certification.

However, keep in mind that their color gamut is increased just barely (~5%), probably just to fit VESA’s requirements for the certification. They still don’t even cover 90% of the DCI-P3 color gamut which is the desirable minimum for HDR.

So, you won’t notice a big difference in image quality between the UL650 and UK650. Therefore, go for whichever is cheaper.

If you want the best value for the price, we recommend just going for the LG 27UL500 or UL550 as they offer everything important (IPS, 4K, 10-bit color, and FreeSync) at a much lower price. Plus, they have software-emulated HDR.

In truth, none of these displays will provide you with a mind-blowing HDR viewing experience. In case you want a good HDR screen, have a look at our dedicated buyer’s guide for 4K gaming monitors.

Conclusion

Since most of the compatible console games look better with HDR enabled on the LG 27UK650, it’s an overall great gaming display for Xbox One X and PS4 Pro for the money.

For PC use, we recommend the LG 27UL500 or the LG 27UL550 instead as it offers nearly just as good SDR image quality for significantly less money.

LG 27UK650 Specifications

Screen Size27-inch
Resolution3840×2160 (Ultra HD)
Panel TypeIPS
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate60Hz
Response Time5ms (GtG)
Adaptive SyncFreeSync (40Hz-60Hz)
PortsDisplayPort 1.2, 2x HDMI 2.0
Other PortsHeadphone Jack
Brightness350 cd/m2
Brightness (HDR)450 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
VESAYes (100x100mm)

What We Loved

  • Vibrant and consistent colors
  • Sharp and vivid details
  • Low input lag and quick response time
  • AMD FreeSync

What We Didn’t Like

  • Stand lacks swivel option
  • No wide color gamut
LG 27UK650 Review
  • 9.5/10
    Design - 9.5/10
  • 9.2/10
    Display - 9.2/10
  • 8.9/10
    Performance - 8.9/10
  • 9/10
    Price/Value - 9/10
9.2/10

Summary

The LG 27UK650 offers an excellent image quality and a smooth performance. When it comes to HDR, console games tend to benefit more with HDR enabled whereas PC content mostly looks either washed out or oversaturated. We recommend the 27UK650 for console gamers, for PC use, go with the LG 27UL500/550 instead.

Related Reads