The LG 27UK650-W is a very good 27-inch IPS LCD monitor with HDR support, low input lag for gaming and great SDR peak brightness. It has a very good picture quality, wide viewing angles and a great resolution that will display every little detail. Although the monitor supports HDR, you will not benefit much from using it in this mode. It is more suitable for average lit environments where it can handle reflections and glare well. In dark rooms, blacks appear gray.
The design of the LG 27UK650 is good. The stand supports the monitor well and although it will wobble if knocked, the entire monitor is sturdy. The ergonomics are decent, but unfortunately, the monitor can not swivel so the stand moves along every time you rotate the monitor left or right. The build quality is decent and although the monitor does not feel premium you should have no problems with it. There is very little cable management provided, only a ring that attaches to the main stand.
The stand is plastic and curved. It looks clean and supports the monitor well. The monitor will wobble a little if you knock it. It has an average footprint.
The ergonomics of the LG 27UK650-W are mediocre. The stand allows some adjustments to be made to the monitor including switching to portrait mode. If you need to swivel it to show something to someone sitting on the side, you will need to rotate the whole monitor including the stand as it can't swivel.
The back of the monitor is very plain and there is only basic cable management with the aid of a ring attached to the main stand.
The monitor has an average thickness when it is on its stand. If you choose to VESA mount it then it will look significantly thinner and will not protrude.
The picture quality of the LG 27UK650-W is good. The monitor is more suitable for bright spaces due to its good SDR brightness and good reflection handling. You should avoid placing this monitor in a dark room as you will not get deep blacks due to the low contrast ratio. Viewing angles are good and color accuracy is very good. The coverage of color spaces in SDR will keep most people happy, except media publishing professionals. Finally, although the monitor supports HDR, its performance is only mediocre and will not satisfy HDR enthusiasts.
The contrast ratio is mediocre, but this is expected for an IPS monitor. In darker rooms, blacks will look more like gray.
The LG 27UK650 does not have a local dimming feature. The video is for reference only.
Great SDR peak brightness for the LG 27UK650. The monitor is suitable for a bright room as it can get bright enough to overcome glare. It is also nice that the same level of brightness is measured at all windows sizes. Its brightness level is higher than that of sister monitors LG 27UD68-W and LG 27UD58-B.
Decent HDR brightness for the LG 27UK650-W. The real scene is brighter because the uniformity isn't good. Some zones like the center of the screen are a bit dimmer than the rest, and this is what causes the difference between the test patterns and the real scene.
Update 08/17/2018: The HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness was measured incorrectly and has been retested. The new value is in the same ballpark (385 nits rather than 395 nits). This small difference is likely due to the uniformity of the screen resulting in slightly different measurements.
The horizontal viewing angles of the LG 27UK650-W are decent. Blacks remain black as you deviate from the center axis, but colors start shifting and brightness fades as the angle becomes larger. This is typical for IPS monitors and should cause no issues.
The vertical viewing angles of the LG 27UK650-W are great, very similar to rival Dell U2718Q. The angles at which the image starts to shift are large enough and most likely you will not have an issue with this.
Excellent gray uniformity for the LG 27UK650. There is very little dirty screen effect and you should see no shades when browsing websites with large white areas. The edges of the screen, however, are noticeably darker than the rest.
The overall black uniformity of this monitor is mediocre. There is a little clouding visible in most parts of the screen and only a small area of the screen is uniformly black.
Great out of the box color accuracy of the LG 27UK650 monitor.
The 'SMPTE-C' Picture mode is the most accurate out of the box picture mode, but it disables most picture adjustment settings (with the exception of brightness). The color temperature is a little colder than our target of 6500 K, and there are minor color inaccuracies that most people, however, will not notice. The gamma is a bit below our sRGB target, but for out of the box settings this is still pretty good.
After calibration the color accuracy of the LG 27UK650 is excellent. We set the Picture mode to 'Custom' as it is in this mode that we have the full control on the internal RGB cuts/gains controls. The color temperature is much closer to our desired 6500 K, and both the color dE and the white balance dE are well under what anyone could notice. The gamma is slightly closer to our sRGB target.
You can download our ICC profile calibration here. This is provided for reference only and should not be used, as the calibration values vary per individual unit even for the same model due to manufacturing tolerances.
s.RGB Picture Mode: Custom (calibrated) Adobe RGB Picture Mode: Photo
The color gamut of the LG 27UK650 is great as it covers most of the common sRGB colorspace. On the other hand, professionals in the publishing business might find the coverage of the Adobe RGB colorspace limited for their standards.
Update 08/22/2018: The sRGB gamut was incorrectly listed as 91.8%. This has now been fixed.
s.RGB Picture Mode: Custom Adobe RGB Picture Mode: Photo
Excellent SDR color volume. It covers almost all of the s.RGB color volume. Its coverage of Adobe RGB is very good too although the low contrast ratio does not allow it to cover the darker shades. This might be an issue with those who want to use this monitor for professional photo editing which benefits from being able to display colors across the entire brightness range (see our recommendations for the best monitors for photo editing).
DCI P3 Picture Mode: HDR Standard Rec. 2020 Picture Mode: HDR Standard
Decent HDR color gamut for this LG 27UK650-W monitor. The coverage of the DCI P3 xy is good but the monitor fails to achieve a Rec. 2020 xy color space coverage above our threshold of 67% to be classified as having a wide color gamut.
DCI P3 Picture Mode: HDR Standard Rec. 2020 Picture Mode: HDR Standard
Disappointing HDR color volume. The monitor cannot display a wide range of colors mostly due to the lack of a wide color gamut and it is also limited by the contrast.
The LG 27UK650 has a good image retention performance. However, some slight signs of image retention are present immediately after the exposure of our test image. This is unlikely to be noticeable in most content.
The LG 27UK650-W has excellent performance when displaying our gradient test image. Some banding is visible, but nothing important. The minor banding is visible in the darker shades of gray and green, but it will not be an issue with normal content.
When displaying large bands of a single color no issues can be seen with the color bleed performance.
Motion looks good on the LG 27UK650. It is not as good, however, as other gaming monitors. The monitor has a fast response time and a flicker-free backlight. There is no option to enable flicker to clear up blur and this might disappoint some gamers. It supports FreeSync variable refresh rate technology, however, the 60 Hz refresh rate might not be enough for extreme gamers.
The response time is excellent. This results in an image with only a short trail visible as shown by the photo above. The 'Normal' Response Time setting was the most balanced. The 'Fast' setting was very similar as it reduced slightly the 80% response time, but it added some slight overshoot and thus the 100% response time was longer. We recommend using the 'Normal' overdrive setting for the best viewing experience.
This monitor's backlight does not flicker and this is great. On the other hand, the inability to introduce flicker does not allow the monitor to clear blur.
We did notice some unusual behavior of this monitor. After testing the input lag on the LG 27UK650, we noticed some significant panel flicker where our test patterns were situated (see our test here). This flicker ghosting persisted for about 15 minutes after our test (which displays flickering rectangles for less than a minute) was done, but the issue went away more quickly when the monitor was displaying moving content as opposed to static content. You can see the flicker when displaying a 50% gray image here filmed with a high-speed camera.
In very extreme cases this can be a problem for those who watch content or play games that include a lot of fast-changing brightness levels or strobing lights. We do not know if this flicker retention is caused by a defect in our unit, or if it is a built-in issue.
It is, however, only temporary and it is highly unlikely that most people will experience this during normal usage.
The refresh rate of the LG 27UK650 is good but not as good as higher end models like the Samsung CHG70. The monitor has the Freesync implementation of the VRR technology but can only lower its rate to 40Hz which might not be enough for some games that will put a real strain on your graphics card.
The HDMI Ultra HD Deep Color setting must be enabled to display 4K at the native 60Hz refresh rate over HDMI.
Update 01/15/2019: We have retested the 27UK650 with NVIDIA's new FreeSync drivers. The 'Extended' mode did not work properly, and was still tearing constantly. The 'Basic' mode works perfectly though, and is tear-free up to around 60 Hz.
Excellent input performance of the LG 27UK650-W. It has a very low input lag and an excellent 4K UHD resolution that will display every little detail on its large screen and this is great news not only for gamers but also those who need a large space where they can open multiple windows to work on.
Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is displaying an alternative resolution at its native refresh rate. The non-native resolution tested depends on the native resolution of the monitor, following this pattern unless otherwise specified in the Input Lag text:
|Native Resolution||Non-Native Resolution Tested|
HDR input lag was measured using the HDMI port and not DisplayPort like the other measurements.
Non-Native Resolution tested: 1080p
Great low input lag on the LG 27UK650, particularly for a 60Hz monitor. The FreeSync input lag is roughly the same as the native refresh rate input lag, which is great.
The LG 27UK650-W has a very high 4K resolution and a large 27" size, which gives it incredible pixel density and detail while having plenty of screen space to work on.
Even though HDR support started with DP 1.4, HDR works over this monitor's DP 1.2 port (the DisplayPort 1.2 toggle doesn't seem to do anything).
To allow full HDMI 2.0 bandwidth, the HDMI Ultra HD Deep Color option must be enabled for the corresponding HDMI port.
The LG 27UK650 has the standard features of a monitor, as well as some situational features like 'Super Resolution+', 'Black Stabilizer' and 'Automatic Standby', and it supports HDR10.
The LG 27UK650 has the same additional features found on other LG monitors:
This monitor also supports HDR10.
The on-screen display is controlled by a small joystick nub under the center of the monitor. This is better than the usual four button scheme found on most monitors and it makes navigating the OSD much more intuitive. This joystick nub can be found on many other LG monitors like the 43UD79-B as well as on some Samsung monitors like the CHG70.
We tested the white variant of the 27" model (27UK650-W). The model we reviewed was manufactured in April 2018.
In some regions, LG sells the 27UK600 instead of the 27UK650. We don't know for sure what differences there are, but it appears to offer very similar performance to the 27UK650, but with a fixed stand that can only tilt.
If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their 27UK650 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review. Note that some tests such as the gray uniformity may vary between individual units.
The LG 27UK650 is a 4K monitor with an IPS screen and FreeSync support, and one of the best 4k monitors and best PC gaming monitors we've tested in 2018. See also our recommendations for the best gaming monitors.
The Dell U2718Q and the LG 27UK650 both have very similar performance. They are both very good monitors for gaming. The Dell U2718Q has slightly better ergonomics, which makes it easier to place the monitor comfortably while gaming, whereas the LG 27UK650 has marginally better refresh rate since it includes the FreeSync implementation of the variable refresh rate to eliminate tearing. It's also flicker-free.
The LG 27UK650 is significantly better than the BenQ EL2870U. The two monitors have different panel type, but very similar motion handling and equally low input lag. However, the LG is better overall as it has better picture quality, with wider viewing angles, better uniformity, and you can position it comfortably with ease. Finally, the LG has a better HDR performance as it can get brighter and display a wider gamut of colors.
The LG 27UK650 is much better than the LG 27UD58-B. The LG 27UK650 has better ergonomics, making it easier to place it comfortably. The LG 27UK650 has marginally better vertical viewing angles and marginally better SDR peak brightness, which are important for office use. Finally, the LG 27UK650 supports HDR content and has better black uniformity, which make it a better choice for multimedia watching.
If you've got a bright office and work closely with others, the LG 27U650 is a better choice, but if you play games in a dark room sitting directly in front, then the Samsung CHG70 is a better choice. The LG 27UK650 has better resolution and much better vertical and horizontal viewing angle which make better for office use. On the other hand, the Samsung CHG70 has better refresh rate and input lag which make it better for gaming. The Samsung CHG70 also has better blacks.
The LG 27UK650 is better than the LG 27UD68P-B. The LG 27UK650 supports HDR, although it doesn't benefit much from it. The LG 27UK650 also has a faster pixel response time, resulting in a smaller blur trail when you play fast action games. In most other areas, the two monitors offer similar performance.
The LG 27UK650 is significantly better than the Dell U2717D. The LG 27UK650 has a much lower input lag and supports FreeSync VRR, which is great if you play games. The LG supports HDR content and has a higher native resolution that allows you to see more detail on your screen. The Dell U2717D, on the other hand, has better ergonomics and you can easily position it to your liking.
The LG 27UK650 and the LG 32UL950 deliver very similar performance overall. The 27UK650 has a flicker-free backlight, which is great, and it is more accurate out of the box. The 32UL950 has a larger screen, and it can display a wide color gamut, great for HDR content. The 32UL950 has better connectivity, thanks to the additional Thunderbolt ports and USB hub.
The LG 27UK650 is better than the Dell U2515H. The Dell U2515H has better ergonomics that easily allow you to place it comfortably. On the other hand, the LG 27UK650 has a slightly higher refresh rate, larger size, and a marginally better vertical viewing angle that makes it more suitable for almost every use. Finally, the LG 27UK650 offers HDR support, albeit not great.