LG 27UD68 Review – 4K UHD IPS Monitor with FreeSync (LG 27UD68-W, LG 27UD68-P)
Note to readers LG has released the 27UD68 4K monitor by two very slightly different SKU numbers. These are denominated as 27UD68-W and 27UD68-P. The only difference that the P and W represent is the color of the model in qustion. The 27UD68-W is white and the 27UD68-P is black. Aside from this decorative distinction, there is no functional difference between the two and depending on which sales website or review site you visit, the 27UD68 4K monitor will randomly be called by either SKU number.
LG isn’t quite as prolific in the 4K UHD PC monitor manufacturing market as some brands like Asus, Dell or Acer but while the company may lack some of the same broad popularity in this market segment, the monitors it does produce definitely live up to expectations of stylishness from such a venerated brand in other types of display devices other types of display devices.
The LG 27UD68-W 4K monitor is a superb example of this, and in a market where most ultra HD monitor designs look either downright boring or only marginally stylish, the 27UD68-P delivers a downright elegant appearance. However, elegant looks are just a small and far from important part of what makes a PC display really worth buying and this is the question at hand for the 27UD68. Aside from looking good, does it also perform in a way that’s pleasing? Overall, the specs and display features of the 27UD68-P add up to a mostly affirmative answer for that question. While it certainly suffers from a few limitations some users might not like, this LG model is a very robust performer at content, video and even game display in 4K, in addition to simply looking really good.
This is because LG has packed in plenty of cool graphics rendering features, great gaming connectivity and some very robust general performance specs into the hardware behind the 27UD68-P’s pretty façade. And while we’re not entirely happy with a lack of a couple more practical aspects of this LG display, the positives outweigh the negatives in the 27UD68.
Quite frankly, the LG 27UD68-W delivers what we would call superb performance quality almost entirely across the board and what makes this all the more impressive is how well it does this considering its highly affordable price for a 4K monitor.
Colors are excellent and highly realistic right out of the box and a minor amount of calibration only makes them look better, while contrast quality, peak brightness and black levels all deliver on quality to a very high degree. Furthermore, since the 27UD68-P is an IPS PC monitor, it offers excellent wide viewing angles while keeping both color and contrast high and its overall color and vibrancy performance is great for this same reason –the IPS panel technology. For developer work, video editing and viewing and for gaming as well, the 27UD68 is well designed and once again, the color accuracy ensures that the monitor can be used for all of these applications in a way that few users would find unsatisfying.
Additionally, the 27UD68 not only works superbly as a professional designers monitor or office display but also as a remarkably robust gaming PC monitor. Its response time of 5ms is good enough for most HD 1440p and 4K gamers and its 60Hz refresh performance is also silky smooth enough for gaming at all these resolutions. These gaming chops are further enhanced by the inclusion of AMD FreeSync technology in the 27UD68-P, allowing gamers with AMD GPUs and especially high-end 4K GPUs from the AMD brand to enjoy a high frame rate game-play performance that’s smooth and almost entirely free of stuttering or tearing. Finally, the DisplayPort 1.2 and more-advanced-than-normal HDMI 2.0 connectivity ports on the 27UD68-W fit perfectly for some of the latest connectivity trends in 4K UHD gaming and the Graphics cards it works best with.
We really have to say that the 27UD68’s performance in all of the above is quite praise-worthy and especially for such an affordably priced monitor. On the other hand, we do have our minor complaints about details of display design and the supporting stand, which we’ll briefly cover next.
4.1 - 14 Reviews
For all of its high quality visual specs and connectivity options, the LG 27UD68-W isn’t without its flaws either. However, these defects are quite minor and shouldn’t be deal breakers for all but the most discerning users.
First of all, LG had decided to give the 27UD68’s IPS display and anti-glare coating that just doesn’t work in this monitor. It’s aggravating, annoying and it has the feel of a cheap matte phone protector coating screen. Furthermore, we noted a sort of weird rainbow grain when whites are viewed on the screen and this is almost certainly caused by this same anti-glare coat. In addition to this, the 27UD68 does suffer from a minor amount of backlight bleed along one of its lower corners but this particular detail might be unit specific and not reflect a tendency in this model in general.
Secondly, for all of its stylishness and especially the stylishness of the support stand for this particular monitor, LG forgot to add in a bit more practical adjustment functionality. Thus, the stand of the 27UD68-P can’t be shifted in almost any way, the way a monitor like Dell’s S2817Q or other 4K monitors from that brand or say, Acer. This is a tendency of other LG UHD monitors we’ve reviewed in the past and it has always annoyed us despite the elegance of the models this company produces. To make things a bit more annoying with this stand, it also feels just a bit flimsy and this is definitely something that might five pause to owners of particularly curious cats who like to sniff around new household gadgets. While the stand has a metallic finish, it’s in fact made out of plastic and not the most stable monitor support we’ve seen to-date.
Finally, the 27UD68-P comes with absolutely no USB ports, not of the 3.0 variety or even of the 2.0 variety and this is one really annoying omission in this particular PC monitor.
In our final opinion, the LG 27UD68 IPS 4K monitor, whether you buy it numbered as the 27UD68-P or 27UD68-W is an absolute steal for the price it’s selling at. This monitor delivers superb color performance, excellent contrast, great rightness and some very decent gaming and color support chops. Its connectivity options are up-to-date and we can’t help but love the way it looks despite its lack of adjustability options. They are more than made up for by the 27UD68’s display and performance specs.
• Screen Size: 27 inches
• Screen Mode: 4K UHD
• Response Time: 5 ms
• Aspect Ratio: 16:9
• Backlight Technology: LED
• Panel Technology: In-plane Switching (IPS) Technology
• Maximum Resolution: 3840 x 2160
• Standard Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
• Color Support: 1.07 Billion Colors (10bit(8bit + A-FRC)
• Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
• Nominal Peak Brightness: 350 cd/m²
• Tearing Prevention Technology: FreeSync
• Ports: 2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DisplayPort 1.2a, 3.5mm headphone jack
• Speakers: No
• Height: 17.1″
• Width: 29.1″
• Depth: 2.4″
• Height with Stand: 17.9″
• Width with Stand: 24.2″
• Depth with Stand: 7.3” (screen alone 1.9”)
• Weight (Approximate): 10.8 lb
Starting with the design of the LG 27UD68, we love the way this particular 4K monitor looks. As we’ve already mentioned, there is an impractical side to its stylish build but that doesn’t stop the 27UD68-P from looking damn good on any desk. The extremely bezels surrounding the screen create an impression of more space than the 27 inches of the display actually deliver and the sleek silver metallic stand looks great with its curved blade-like foot. The same goes for the narrow burnished silver support that leads into the completely white and rather sparse back of the monitor, where the total of five different assorted connectivity ports are located in an inset panel.
On the other hand, as we’d said, the metallic look of the monitor stand is fake since it’s actually made out of a somewhat flimsy plastic and what’s more, the 27UD68’s stand offers limited adjustability options and the only one we noted was the ability to adjust rotation and tilt slightly. Still though, more than anything else, the nearly bezel-free display layout of this monitor really looks great, especially when combined with the superb picture quality.
As for display and other monitor features, the LG 27UD68 offers up a broad series of on-screen controls for quickly and very easily adjusting monitor settings with a mouse instead of clumsy button controls. Volume, brightness, picture mode presets and other adjustments like Split Screen can all be tweaked quickly and easily here. We definitely prefer this style of monitor calibration to that of hard external button adjustments like those on most other 4K monitors we’ve reviewed. It’s more accessible, easier to use and less annoying.
The 27UD68 also comes with a split screen mode which is ideal for multitasking. This allows for opening multiple windows at the same time, resizing the display and offers over a dozen options for different picture-in-picture settings. Split Screen also allows for the use of a dual PC rig through the two HDMI and one DisplayPort 1.2 ports at the back of the monitor.
Next, and possibly coolest among the features built into the 27UD68, there is AMD FreeSync technology. With FreeSync activated, this monitor can synchronize it’s onscreen refresh rate with that of most PC graphics cards from AMD and as a result, the overall gaming experience in Full HD and particularly in 4K resolution can be made much smoother, with less stuttering or tearing to screw up the gameplay. Furthermore, the monitor’s 5ms response time is more than decent enough for most gaming needs. In simple terms, the 27UD68-W is a surprisingly robust gaming display for 4K lovers and for Full HD gamers as well, though it maxes out at 60Hz refresh, meaning that high frame-rate (120fps or more) gameplay in HD isn’t possible. On the other hand, no current GPU can really go beyond 60fps in the speed at which it delivers 4K graphics anyhow, so this shouldn’t be a problem for ultra HD gamers.
LG has also added in a rather cool game mode as one of the 27UD68’s preset display modes. With game mode active, users can set the monitor to set up for dual first-person shooter gameplay, single player gaming and an RTS pre-set mode that’s variable based on user choice.
4.1 - 14 Reviews
The display quality of the LG 27UD68 is definitely one of its major winners. This monitor delivers superb 99.5% sRGB color spectrum coverage, a fairly high degree of Adobe RGB coverage at about 78% and manages to work with pseudo-10-bit 8bit + A-FRC color delivery for what amounts to a reproduction of over 1 billion colors. Additionally, we liked its very high degree of brightness and the decent contrast level it delivers as well. The IPS panel offers a peak screen brightness of 356 nits and despite this being an IPS display, the black levels are quite good, though we’ve seen better in many VA and TN PC monitors, particularly for gaming .
Finally, since this is an IPS monitor, its viewing angles are excellent, with a full 178 degrees of relatively clear display viewing being possible without major color or contrast loss. We should also note that LG has given the 27UD68-W Black Stabilizer technology for very good and even black level support and there are also Flicker-Safe and Blue-light Reduction settings for easier prolonged viewing while using the monitor for gaming or major work projects.
The connectivity specs of the LG 27UD68-P are both surprisingly good and surprisingly disappointing at the same time. This may sound odd but the reason for the apparent contradiction is simple: On the one hand, for gamers and multiple-display users, the monitor offers thre different connections for 60Hz 4K graphics transmission. These come in the form of two HDMI 2.0 ports and one DisplayPort 1.2a port with Adaptive-Sync technology. Both of these connectivity types are among the most advanced of their type for today’s 4K UHD PC displays and we appreciate their presence. On the other hand, there are no USB ports of any kind in the 27UD68-W. This may not be a big deal if your PC itself offers USB connectivity but we consider the absence of even one UBS 3.0 port to be a major omission on LG’s part.
The LG 27UD68 4K UHD FreeSync monitor is priced very nicely for the specs it offers. It’s currently selling on Amazon.com for just $497.99. It’s a steep price by HD monitor standards but for 4K display with the specs of the 27UD68, this is a very decent deal.
4.1 - 14 Reviews
• AMD FreeSync
• Excellent IPS viewing angles
• Superb color reproduction
• HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2a
• Virtually no bezel along display edge
• Stylish look
• Very bright display
• Limited support stand adjustability
• Anti-Glare screen is annoying
• No USB connectivity