A unique display that is well worth the money, but has limited options for non-gamers
One of the very few screens with a VA panel at this size, refresh rate and resolution
Freesync greatly smooths motion
Affordable for what it offers
Smearing at high refresh rates may limit the display to 120Hz
Vignetting has been reported by some users
Non-gamers should look elsewhere
£ 500 (inc VAT)
Resolution: 2560 x 1440
Brightness: 400 cd/m²
Response time: 5ms (GTG) / 1ms with Motion Blur Reduction
Viewing angles: 178°
Inputs: DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0 (x2), USB 3.0 (x2), USB-B, audio out
High-res screens with a decent refresh rate are becoming more common as panel makers step up to the challenge of proving that LCD can do anything that OLED can. We've got 2560 x 1440 monitors with 144Hz refresh rates from Samsung, AOC, Asus and others, but in a market where 27" is normally the upper limit, LG pushed higher with the 31.5" 32GK850G - and it will release a Freesync version in July. We were sent a review sample.
High resolution and refresh rate are crucial for LG's target market (gamers), and Freesync makes movement buttery smooth. On top of that the company has achieved all of this with a VA panel rather than TN, aiding colour reproduction and accuracy while keeping response times low.
The 32GK850F is built in matte black, with a glossy black plastic strip separating front from back. The eye is drawn by the 1mm flush top and side bezels, with the screen's controlling electronics hidden in the 18mm bezel at the bottom. Inner bezels are 6mm on the top and sides and 3mm on the bottom.
The display stand, using an attractive wide-V design in red and black (of course), is attached to the monitor through a 100x100 VESA mount, and felt very solid. The non-slip base held it to the desk firmly and the monitor was never in danger of overbalancing. The screen can swivel, tilt and pivot as expected from a premium product, as well as raised and lowered (110mm).
A circular red strip outlines the bulge at the back of the display, which houses the Sphere Lighting system.
RGB lights on components can seem like old hat today, but do have some provable benefits for screens. Not only can the addition of ambient light reduce eye strain, but black levels appear to be higher. Of course LG's implementation isn't at the level of Philips' Ambilight, which ties colours to those shown on-screen.
A simple but much-appreciated feature is the position of the inputs (DisplayPort 1.2, 2 x HDMI 2.0 (apparently), 2x USB-A 3.0, 1x USB-B and audio in/out) on the rear of the unit, which face outward rather than down; this makes it much easier to connect cables without having to rotate the screen. A cable-tidy attachment is supplied, which can be clipped to the rear of the stand.
Many high-end displays today are curved, with an ultrawide 21:9 aspect ratio: the 32GK850F retains the more standard flat 16:9 design. While wide models are great for productivity, game support is still limited; and they can actually be a disadvantage in twitch games like PUBG as your eyes have further to travel between on-screen action, which slows response time.
That said, LG's monitor still has plenty of screen space to go around and some of the same issues do haunt it. It remains to be seen if the gaming market will be convinced by the larger size of this display, even on a flat model. From our own experience, we often lost track of the position of the mouse cursor - which does not scale up in size to match the display - when there was a lot of action on-screen, especially in MOBA games.
Like the 34UC79G, LG has hidden the controls for the on-screen display underneath the screen, with a joystick controller.