Looking for the best gaming monitor under 400 USD? The LG 34WK650 might be just for you.
It’s a gorgeous 34-inch 21:9 ultra-wide display with HDR10 and AMD FreeSync up to 75Hz.
However, keep in mind that its screen resolution is only 2560×1080 which makes it unsuitable for work that involves a lot of reading and typing.
For gaming, watching movies, and occasional web surfing, it’s simply awesome considering its price.
The monitor also goes by the name LG 34BK650-W.
The LG 34WK650 gaming monitor is based on LG’s AH-IPS panel which is factory-calibrated to cover over 99% of the sRGB color gamut using 8-bit color depth via dithering (6-bit + FRC). This ensures accurate, consistent, and vibrant colors.
Other panel-related specifications include a 1,000:1 contrast ratio, a 300-nit peak brightness, wide 178-degree viewing angles, and a 5ms response time speed.
The monitor’s screen resolution will most likely be the deciding factor for most people.
Due to its huge 34-inch size, the 2560×1080 UWHD resolution provides you with only 81 PPI (Pixels Per Inch). Consequently, individual pixels become easily distinguishable from a close distance which makes tiny items such as text smudgy and blurry.
This is why most people avoid monitors with a low pixel density. In video games, however, this isn’t an issue, especially if you’re sitting a bit further from the screen which you’ll certainly need to do since the monitor is quite big.
In short, if you intended on mainly playing PC and/or console games, watching movies, and web-surfing, the LG 34WK650 monitor is a great bang for the money.
In case you also do a lot of reading and typing, consider the smaller 29-inch version instead – the LG 29WK600 which offers the identical specs as the 34WK650, but since it’s smaller, it has a higher pixel density and therefore a much clearer and sharper image. Plus, it’s cheaper!
HDR (High Dynamic Range)
Furthermore, the monitor offers the HDR10 support which can make the image quality of HDR10-compatible content more lifelike by increasing its brightness, contrast, and color range.
Alas, the HDR support of the LG 34WK650 is software-enabled only or as some would refer to it – pseudo-HDR.
So, what does it mean?
It means that while the LG 34WK650 can accept the HDR10 signal and display an HDR picture, it won’t be nearly as bright and vibrant as it’s on displays with the “true” HDR support.
In other words, for HDR content to really stand out, a monitor should at least have a peak brightness of 600 nits and some coverage of the DCI-P3 color space whereas the LG 34WK650 has only a mediocre 300-nit maximum luminance and only the standard sRGB color gamut.
So, while enabling HDR for compatible video games and movies can make the image look a bit better, some content will just have oversaturated colors.
When all things are considered, some games/movies will look better with HDR and some will not, which is acceptable as the monitor doesn’t add a premium price for its HDR capabilities. Just don’t expect an amazing HDR viewing experience.
Gameplay performance is where the LG 34WK650 IPS display really shines. The response time of 5ms eliminates ghosting and trailing of fast-moving objects while the 75Hz refresh rate adds a noticeable boost in motion clarity in comparison to the standard 60Hz monitors.
Additionally, if you connect the monitor to a FreeSync-compatible AMD graphics card or an Xbox One/S/X console, you get a variable refresh rate. By synchronizing the frame rate and refresh rate between the GPU and the monitor, the dynamic refresh rate eliminates all screen tearing and stuttering for good.
The LG 34WK650 FreeSync range is 40-75Hz via both DisplayPort and HDMI.
Update: FreeSync also works without any issues when using a compatible NVIDIA G-SYNC graphics card.
The combination of HDR and FreeSync makes the monitor great for Xbox as well. Even though consoles don’t support 21:9, some games look great with a stretched-out picture. You can check all PC games that support 21:9 here.
The LG 34WK650 75Hz monitor offers plenty of useful features for both gaming and everyday use.
For gaming, there’s ‘Black Stabilizer’ which increases visibility in dark areas of games by altering the gamma curve. Next, ‘Dynamic Action Sync’ ensures responsive gameplay and low input lag.
You will also find pre-calibrated picture presets for FPS and RTS genres as well as a customizable profile. Lastly, you can place a custom crosshair on the screen for better precision in FPS games.
The OSD (On-Screen Display) menu is user-friendly and easily navigated using the joystick placed beneath the screen.
Moving on, the LG 34WK650 also has a feature called ‘HDR Effect’ which stimulates HDR for non-HDR content. There are also a few different HDR presets for HDR content such as HDR Game, HDR Cinema, etc.
Other exclusive features include ‘On-Screen Control’ which allows you to adjust most of the OSD settings in a desktop application and ‘Screen Split’ for simplified multi-tasking.
Design & Connectivity
The LG 34WK650-W boasts a modern design with thin bezels at the sides and at the top. The ‘-W’ suffix stands for the white color of the monitor. At the back of the monitor, you will find 100 x 100mm holes for VESA mount. You can also tilt the screen by -5, 15 degrees and height adjust it up to 110mm.
Connectivity includes two HDMI ports and a DisplayPort as well as two 5W built-in MaxxAudio speakers and a headphones jack. Lastly, the screen is coated with an anti-glare 3H treatment to eliminate light reflections.
Price & Similar Monitors
The LG 34WK650 price amounts to around $400 which is definitely an alluring price for a 34-inch ultrawide monitor. Its smaller version, the LG 29WK600-W goes for $299 which is also a great deal.
If you want a 34-inch ultrawide with a higher 3440×1440 resolution, check out the LG 34UC80.
You may also be interested in a 2560×1080 ultrawide display with a higher refresh rate, such as the LG 34UC89G.
Finally, you can get both the 3440×1440 resolution and a high refresh rate with the BenQ EX3501R.
All in all, the LG 34WK650 offers an amazing value for the price. Its biggest downside is its low resolution but that is negligible if you’ll be using the monitor mostly for gaming and watching movies.
In fact, a lot of gamers will prefer the lower resolution over the higher 3440×1440 ultrawide alternative since it’s significantly less demanding on the GPU and CPU.
LG 34WK650 Specifications
|Aspect Ratio||21:9 (UltraWide)|
|Response Time||5ms (GtG)|
|Adaptive Sync||FreeSync (40Hz-75Hz)|
|Ports||DisplayPort, 2x HDMI 2.0|
|Other Ports||Headphone Jack|
|Contrast Ratio||1000:1 (static)|
|Colors||16.7 million (6-bit + FRC)|
What We Loved
- Great value for the money
- AMD FreeSync up to 75Hz
- Gorgeous height-adjustable stand
- Plenty of extra features
What We Didn’t Like
- Low pixel density
- HDR is software-enabled only
Rob is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time on writing for DisplayNinja while coding his own projects on the side.