Thanks to new hardware in the form of consoles and GPUs, we’ve been shopping around for an upgrade to our monitor situation for the last few months.
Our wallets unfortunately aren’t able to support our dreams of 65inch 4K TVs even though we’d all really like one. So instead we’re looking for something in the mid-range, that won’t break the bank, but also gives gamers high refresh rates at a decent resolution.
Today we’re looking at the LG Ultragear 32GN600 31.5inch QHD 165Hz monitor. For those who think that the refresh rate of 165Hz is strange, it is but we’ll get to that.
First, let’s look at this hefty monitor.
All the trimmings and then some
Don’t let the 32 in its name confuse you, the VA panel in the Ultragear monitor is actually 31.5inches which, if we’re being honest, wasn’t something that we immediately noticed after swapping out the ASUS TUF Gaming VG32VQ.
What we did notice, however, is that this panel is flat and while we don’t usually care about curved displays there were instances where we had to move our head to see the extreme ends of the display. This is largely due to our desk setup, but with the monitor boasting dimensions of 714.7 x 515.1 x 224.8mm, you will want to make sure there is space on your desk to place this beast.
The Ultragear weighs 5.9kg when the stand is attached. While it’s not especially heavy it is large so make sure you have a sturdy desk with a bit of free space.
The stand here is LG’s two pronged V-shaped stand and it’s a bit too big for our liking. Thankful there is support for VESA100 mounting so you can attach the monitor to a third-party stand if you prefer.
The included stand only allows tilting and there is no swivelling action available. This is a bit of disadvantage if you’re repositioning your monitor often so take note of that.
In terms of ports you will find two HDMI ports and one DisplayPort 1.4. There is also a headphone out and one singular joystick with which you can navigate the on-screen menu. The joystick makes it much easier to access and navigate the on-screen menu and we prefer this solution to ASUS’ which also uses a joystick but adds buttons to the mix which only added to our confusion.
What we do love is that this display is nearly borderless. While there is a rather thick chin bar at the bottom of the display, the rest of the bezels are thin enough to not even notice this monitor has any. Coming from an LG Ultragear 24GL600F which has massive bezels, this is a very nice upgrade.
Let’s chat a bit about that 165Hz refresh rate. For one, you will need to use the DisplayPort 1.4 port in order to hit that refresh rate which is fine because LG ships both HDMI and DisplayPort cables in the box.
The question you will have to ask yourself is whether it’s worth it.
Side by side with a 144Hz monitor, we didn’t note a drastic difference between that and 165Hz. We aren’t saying there isn’t a difference because for some there will be but we didn’t feel like our gameplay was any more smooth during moment-to-moment gameplay on a 165Hz monitor. Is the extra hertz appreciated? Absolutely especially at this price.
It’s also nice to have this additional headroom should you decide to upgrade your PC and you don’t necessarily want to upgrade your display at the same time.
What does make a difference however is Black Stabilizer. This feature dials up the gamma of the display and makes darker scenes a bit brighter. In some games this works to your advantage. For instance, in Outriders, with Black Stabilizer off it’s tricky seeing in darker environments which are common in the game, switching the feature on improves visibility but it’s not going to be something you want enabled for every game.
Black Stabilizer amps up gamma, so as a result, darker and black tones look washed out and almost grey when you’re kicking back and watching content. Thankfully, this monitor does support HDR10 so you can ostensibly switch from better visibility in games to a nice rich movie watching experience. Is it a bit of a fuss? Yeah but given you’re a few button clicks away from switching settings it’s not something we feel ruins the experience.
In terms of colour gamut coverage and colour accuracy the LG Ultragear 32GN600 supports HDR10, ships with 95 percent of the sRGB colour gamut covered and has a 5ms grey-to-grey response time. Much like our review of the ASUS TUF Gaming monitor, you could do some creative work on this display but if you’re doing really sensitive colour work, you might want to shop around a bit more though at this refresh rate you might struggle to find something affordable.
The monitor also features AMD Freesync Premium which works as expected and the tear-free gaming experience is as good as ever.
Overall we’re pleased with the gaming and movie viewing experience on this monitor, just remember to turn Black Stabilizer off where applicable and enable HDR.
South Africans are spoiled for choice when it comes to 2560 x 1440p 144Hz monitors of late. This LG Ultragear 32NG600 for instance has a recommended retail price of R7 999, but you can find it on Evetech right now for R6 499.
Don’t let the price fool you though, this is a very good monitor and matches the ASUS TUF Gaming VG32VQ in specs, but not in ASUS-specific features of course.
That’s not to say the LG is pointless. The panel is very nice with wide viewing angles and little things like the joystick used to navigate the on-screen menu are things we prefer over ASUS’ solution which is a flurry of buttons behind the monitor.
Even the things we don’t like are really just a matter of personal preference such as a curve and the stand LG uses but we recognise that everybody’s preferences will differ.
For those who are just looking for an affordable gaming monitor and aren’t too fussed about curves and manufacturer specific features, the LG Ultragear is a good monitor you won’t be disappointed with.
Disclaimer: The LG Ultragear 32GN600 was sent to Hypertext for review by LG South Africa. It will now be returned to LG South Africa.
LG Ultragear 32GN600
A good monitor for a great price with solid features for those looking to upgrade their 1080p monitor. It's a bit hefty, especially with the included stand but that's about as much as we can criticise here.