We’ve seen it all before here on TechRadar, but the sheer size and scale of the new LG 49WL95C ultrawide monitor still blows our tiny minds.
The full 49-inch diagonal of the curved LCD panel is impressive enough on its own. But it’s the 32:9 aspect ratio that makes this monitor so incredibly eye popping. It’s just so wide.
Stunning the LG 49WL95C most certainly is, therefore. But does that actually make for a usable, practical and enjoyable display? Given the $1,496 (£1,160, AU$2,085) price tag, it had better. It’s also worth noting that the LG 49WL95C is not alone in the market. The Philips Briliiance 499P9H, for instance, matches it in most significant regards and undercuts it substantially on price.
Anyway, as with that Philips display, the biggie in literal and figurative terms here is the 5,120 by 1,440 native resolution. In most contexts, that would be a lot of pixels. On a 49-inch panel? Not quite so much. It’s actually fewer pixels overall than a conventional 4K or UHD monitor. It also makes for a somewhat underwhelming 109 pixels per inch.
Overall, the LG 49WL95C feels very generous in its horizontal aspect. It’s physically very wide and the 5,120 horizontal pixels provide plenty of space to arrange multiple apps and windows. Vertically, it’s less impressive. The 1,440 vertical pixels fall well short of the 2,160 of a 4K monitor and leave you feeling slightly constrained.
At this price point, we’d be happier with the full 4K vertical resolution and then a boosted horizontal pixel count to suit, which in this case would work out to 7,680. That would also improve the pixel density and sharpness.
Anyway, that aside the image quality is strong but not spectacular. LG has specified a decent IPS panel with good colours and viewing angles. But it’s not a particularly high fidelity. For starters, it only covers 79% of the Adobe RGB colour space and 99% of sRGB. Not bad figures, per se, but not the stuff of demanding content creation either.
Similarly, while the LG 49WL95C is HDR10 compliant, with a peak brightness of 350cd/m2 and no local dimming, this is a monitor that can process HDR content but can’t really display HDR visuals.
As for gaming, you’ll need a hefty graphics card to drive the LG 49WL95C smoothly. Even then it’s limited to 60Hz, which isn’t ideal for shooters. Immersive it certainly is, and the sound quality from the built-in speakers is actually pretty tolerable. But the LG 49WL95C is not intended to be an out-and-out gaming panel. Check out our pick of the best gaming monitors for better alternatives.
That said, it has some nifty additional productivity features. There’s USB-C connectivity with 85 watts of charging and LG’s Dual Controller software allows you to share the display over two PCs using a single keyboard and mouse. It’s not a KVM switch, strictly speaking, but it allows similar functionality and more.
Speaking of connecting PCs, in our testing there was no problem driving the display at native resolution with laptop and desktop PCs.
But a 2017 Apple MacBook could not drive it at native resolution, despite being 4K capable and the fact that the LG 49WL95C has fewer pixels than full 4K. Our advice is to search online for any compatibility issues before you buy.
Finally, the quality of the chassis and stand of the LG 49WL95C is worth a mention. It’s beautifully put together, with a reassuringly robust stand that offers height, tilt and swivel adjustment.
Buy it if...
You’re after a money-no-object alternative to a pair of WQHD monitors
With a single 49-inch panel, you get similar desktop real estate, but without the annoying bezels breaking up your desktop, not to mention fewer cables.
You routinely run multiple applications in parallel
The LG 49WL95C’s huge width makes it ideal for viewing multiple applications at the same time. It’s great for enabling extended timelines in applications like video editing, too.
You want a single display to use with a dual-PC setup
LG’s Dual Controller software allows you to do that with added cleverness, such as dragging and dropping files between the two machines.
Don't buy it if...
You’re looking for a highly color-accurate monitor
The LG 49WL95C does have a decent IPS panel that’s adequate for most purposes. But its color gamut coverage is not particularly impressive.
You’re expecting the last word in HDR visuals
The LG 49WL95C does support HDR10, but with a peak brightness of 350cd/m2 and no local backlight dimming, it’s not a true HDR monitor.
You want a high DPI with plenty of pixel density
The LG 49WL95C is a very large monitor and that means even with 5,120 by 1,440 pixels, it offers a relatively unimpressive pixel pitch of 109DPI.
- These are the best ultrawide monitors of 2020