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LG 27UD88-W review

A colorful and affordable monitor

LG 27UD88-W review
Editor's Choice

Our Verdict

The LG 27UD88 is an affordable, color accurate and beautiful monitor for both work and play. There’s very little to complain about, and so much to praise. This is a genuinely fantastic and versatile display for any computer.

For

  • Beautiful image
  • Freesync compatibility
  • Good price to performance ratio

Against

  • No swivel on Y axis
  • 60Hz refresh rate

The way we look at it, the best monitors are the ones that manage to strike a golden balance between price and performance. The 27-inch, Ultra HD (UHD) LG 27UD88-W perfectly hits that goal – and flies past it. 

This is an incredibly color-accurate monitor that will be a huge hit for anyone that has to do any creative or photo work on a budget. It lacks some modern amenities, like a high refresh rate for gamers and HDR for entertainment all around, but what we get in return is a beautiful 4K Ultra HD monitor that anyone can afford. 

As time passes, the case to upgrade to a 4K (3,840 x 2,160) panel gets stronger and stronger. Not only do video providers, like Netflix and YouTube, offer a wealth of 4K content today, but modern graphics cards are evolving to play all the best PC games at this resolution with high frame rates and details. 

So, whether you’re a gamer that’s ready to test the water with 4K, or if you’re a content creator looking to edit footage on a color-accurate display at native resolution, you’re going to find a lot to love about the LG 27UD88-W.

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Price and availability

Normally, if you’re looking to get a 4K panel with FreeSync and a high sRGB color gamut coverage, you’d be looking at a moderately expensive monitor. However, that’s not necessarily the case here. 

At $649 (about £490, AU$900), the LG 27UD88-W is, quite frankly, a bargain. When we first saw the price of this monitor, we had to do a double take to make sure we noted the model number right. While many monitors in this price range, like the Acer XB281HK feature higher refresh rates and lower response times, it’s hard to find a panel with this level of color accuracy for a better price. And, given that it’s not primarily a gaming monitor, that’s a sacrifice worth making. 

If you’re a graphic designer or creative professional, and you’re looking for an affordable monitor that won’t hold you back, you can’t do much better at a lower price.

LG 27UD88-W review

Design

Considering the manufacturer, it shouldn’t be too surprising that the LG 27UD88 is an attractive display. With a white chassis and black bezels, the classy build belies the low cost of the device. It’s not an unbelievably huge display, like the Dell UltraSharp UP3218K or an ultra-wide like the AOC Agon AG352UCG. But, with its 27-inch display and narrow bezels, it’ll effortlessly blend in to any office environment. 

The screen attaches to the base effortlessly and toolessly and is easily detached via a convenient button so you can effortlessly switch mounting solutions; which you may, considering the Vesa compatibility. Once it is attached, you can tilt, raise, lower and rotate the monitor 90 degrees for portrait mode. However, for whatever reason you can’t swivel the display along the Y’ axis. Considering that it can move effortlessly in other directions, this restriction doesn’t make a lot of sense. Instead, if you want to turn the display, you’ll have to turn the entire unit, base included. It’s an inelegant problem in an otherwise high-quality build.

The LG 27UD88 keeps a low profile, thanks to its slim bezels, but the lack of buttons helps contribute to its low input. On the bottom of the monitor, you’ll find just one little nub that’s used to control the on-screen menu, and that’s it – both volume and inputs are also controlled with this control stick. Around the back, you’ll find an alcove that contains all the ports on offer: three USB ports, one DisplayPort, an audio output, HDMI and a USB-C port.

We feel like this is an acceptable array of inputs, but we would have liked to see a more accessible headphone jack, if for nothing other than convenience.

For the money you’re spending here, the LG 27UD88 looks better than it needs to, and should be the perfect addition to your setup, whether you’re a creative or even if you’re an everyday user with a clean aesthetic.

LG 27UD88-W review

Performance 

The LG 27UD88 has a gorgeous IPS panel at 3,840 x 2,160 and covers a whopping 99% of the sRGB color space. That would be enough to carve out a win in our book, but in reality it’s even sweeter.

The panel is factory calibrated, so we don’t have to screw around in the menus to get the perfect image. Instead, we are able to just plug it in and get to work.

And, as we’ve already hinted at a few times before, this monitor is at its best in creative workloads. We found ourselves hunting across the internet for RAW photos to mess around with in Photoshop. Even other productivity tasks, like word processing or web browsing, take advantage of this bright, colorful display that makes content pop. 

But, the LG 27UD88 supports AMD’s FreeSync technology, so it should be able to game, right? Well, once you swear to yourself to ignore the game modes -- color accuracy and black levels take a hit. This probably gives an advantage in competitive games, but the hit to image quality just isn’t worth it. However, even with the out-of-the-box screen settings you’d be surprised at how beautiful games look on the LG 27UD88.

Rather than playing something like Overwatch, which is better suited to lower resolution displays with high refresh rates, we decided to dive into The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt to see what this monitor could do. And, running this game at max settings on a display that’s this color accurate is a dream come true. Everything just comes alive. 

Yeah, the monitor could have a higher refresh rate, but at 4K, 60Hz is all you need — our RTX 2080 Ti was breaking a sweat hitting 60 frames per second with everything (including those fancy hair physics) maxed out. 

Unfortunately, we don’t have an AMD GPU on hand to test the monitor’s FreeSync compatibility, but previous implementations indicate the feature only serves to boost the value of this display even further — assuming you have the hardware to run games at 4K resolution

LG 27UD88-W review

Final verdict

The LG 27UD88-W is flat-out one of the best monitors on the market, from a pure price to performance perspective. Are there better-looking monitors out there? Absolutely. Are there more affordable 4K displays? Most definitely. However, you’re not going to find a 4K panel with this degree of color accuracy at a lower price – especially not one that’s factory calibrated. 

Whether you’re a creative looking to save a buck, or a gamer looking for an affordable segue into 4K, there’s a lot to love about the LG 27UD88, and very little to complain about. With that, it’s extremely easy to recommend the LG 27UD88 because pretty much any enthusiast or professional could fall in love with it. 

Images Credit: TechRadar