LG 27UL500 Review: Budget 4K IPS FreeSync Gaming Monitor

Thanks to its IPS panel, FreeSync and affordable price, the LG 27UL500 is the perfect budget monitor for gaming, work and everything else.

Bottom Line

The LG 27UL500 is an excellent yet affordable 4K IPS monitor. Thanks to its smooth performance and immersive image quality, it’s awesome for gaming, work and everything in-between.

Design:
(3.0)
Display:
(4.6)
Performance:
(4.5)
Price/Value:
(4.0)
4.0

The LG 27UL500 is an affordable 4K monitor with an IPS panel for vibrant colors, FreeSync for smooth performance and many additional useful features.

Image Quality

Based on an IPS panel with dithered 10-bit color depth support (8-bit + FRC for 1.07 billion colors), 98% sRGB color gamut and wide 178° viewing angles, the LG 27UL500 monitor delivers gorgeous, accurate and consistent colors.

But it gets better: the monitor is factory-calibrated, so you’ll be able to enjoy the monitor straight out of the box and even do some basic content creation.

However, for professional color-critical work, calibration via a dedicated calibrator will be necessary. For more-precisely calibrated displays, check out the best photo editing monitor buyer’s guide.

Other panel-related specifications include a decent 300-nit peak brightness and a static contrast ratio of 700:1 – 1,000:1 depending on the particular unit of the monitor.

Now, the LG 27UL500 also supports HDR (High Dynamic Range). Nevertheless, due to the lack of wide color gamut, higher brightness capability and localized dimming for deeper blacks and better contrast performance, the HDR viewing experience will be underwhelming.

But that’s not all, some HDR-compatible content will look better (mainly console games), but most of the time, you’ll just get either over-saturated or washed-out colors. This is expected at this price range as proper 4K HDR monitors cost a lot more due to the more expensive wide color gamut backlights and local dimming implementations.

Regardless, thanks to the vibrant and precise colors provided by the IPS panel and crystal-clear details ensured by the 4K UHD resolution, the image quality of the LG 27UL500 display is brilliant considering the price.

Keep in mind that you will need to use scaling for small items such as text to become readable. Scaling will also make everything sharper and more precise, but it will lower the amount of available screen space.

1080p monitor vs 4K (Scaling)

Performance

The LG 27UL500 input lag amounts to only ~8ms while the pixel response time speed measures 5ms (gray to gray pixel transition), which is very good as there won’t be any noticeable delays or prominent trailing behind fast-moving objects.

Note that PC gaming is quite demanding at 4K UHD, which is why recommend 1440p 144Hz monitors for a more responsive gaming experience unless you need 4K for work or prefer better detail clarity over everything else.

But here’s the kicker: the monitor also supports AMD FreeSync, which provides a variable refresh rate (VRR) if you have a compatible graphics card. VRR can remove all screen tearing and stuttering with minimal input lag penalty (~1ms).

The LG 27UL500 FreeSync range is 40-60Hz/FPS (Frames Per Second) in the ‘Extended’ mode, so as long as your FPS is within that range, there will be no tearing or stuttering.

Moving on, the LG 27UL500 has a flicker-free backlight and a ‘Reader’ mode, which filters out the harmful low-blue lights. Together, these two features ensure a comfortable viewing experience and prevent eye strain and headaches caused by prolonged use of the monitor.

Another thing to keep in mind is IPS glow, which is a common drawback of all IPS panel displays. When watching particularly dark scenes in a dark room, you will be able to notice some ‘glowing’ around the corners of the screen.

This is caused due to the excess light passing through the panel, and it’s entirely tolerable. You can reduce its visibility by lowering the monitor’s brightness or by adding more light to your room.

Features

Lg 27ul500 Buy

Further, the LG 27UL500 offers plenty of useful features, including On-Screen Control, which allows you to adjust all essential monitor settings in a desktop application using your mouse/keyboard, as well as ‘Screen Split’ which can divide your desktop into different layouts for easier multitasking when using multiple windows.

Gaming-related features include Black Stabilizer, which can improve the visibility of objects hiding shadows. There is also pre-calibrated picture presets for FPS and RTS game genres.

The OSD (On-Screen Display) menu is nicely organized, and it’s very easy to work with thanks to the 5-way joystick placed beneath the bottom bezel of the screen.

In the menu, you will find all the standard adjustments as well as advanced picture adjustment tools such as 6-axis hue/saturation, four gamma presets and manual color temperature configuration.

Design & Connectivity

Lg 27ul500 monitor back

The stand of the monitor is tilt-only by -5°/15°, and it’s prone to wobbling. Luckily, you can detach the stand and mount the screen on a third-party stand using the 100x100mm VESA pattern.

The dark-gray matte bezels of the monitor are reasonably thick while the screen is coated with a matte 3H anti-glare coating, which effectively prevents reflections.

Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.4 and a headphone jack. All display connectors support AMD FreeSync up to 60Hz at 4K, as well as HDCP 2.2 and HDR.

Price & Similar Monitors

The LG 27UL500 price ranges from $300 to $350. At this price range, we recommend the ASUS VG289Q instead. It has a slightly larger screen and a wider color gamut.

If you prefer the 27″ screen size, LG’s design and want only the standard sRGB gamut coverage, make sure to check all of LG’s models with similar specifications. You should also check out the Dell S2721QS.

MonitorYear ModelErgonomic StandBrightness
(
cd/m2)
Gamut
LG 27UK5002018No30098% sRGB
LG 27UK6002018No35099% sRGB
LG 27UK6502018Yes35099% sRGB
LG 27UL5002019No30098% sRGB
LG 27UL5502019Yes30098% sRGB
LG 27UL6002019No40099% sRGB
LG 27UL6502019Yes40099% sRGB
LG 27UP6002021No40095% DCI-P3
LG 27UP6502021Yes40095% DCI-P3

To learn more about monitors and ensure you’re getting the model most suited for your personal preference, visit our comprehensive and always up-to-date best gaming monitor buyer’s guide.

Conclusion

What are our final thoughts on this monitor?

Overall, if you want a simple and affordable 27″ 4K monitor with natural colors, the LG 27UL500 will suit you well. Because LG offers a bunch of similar models with small differences, make sure to check the prices of all variants mentioned above in order to pick the most cost-effective one as some models often go on sale.

Specifications

Screen Size27-inch
Resolution3840×2160 (Ultra HD)
Panel TypeIPS
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate60Hz
Response Time5ms (GtG)
Adaptive SyncFreeSync (40Hz-60Hz)
PortsDisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0
Other PortsHeadphone Jack
Brightness300 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
HDRHDR10
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • Accurate and vibrant colors
  • Plenty of gaming features including AMD FreeSync
  • Low input lag and quick response time

The Cons:

  • Tilt-only stand
  • IPS glow and mediocre contrast ratio (as expected from this panel technology)

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Rob Shafer

Rob is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time managing DisplayNinja while coding his own projects on the side.