LG 34GN850-B Monitor Review

Tested using Methodology v1.1
Updated Jun 09, 2020 at 07:44 am
LG 34GN850-B Picture
7.9
Mixed Usage
7.8
Office
8.3
Gaming
7.9
Multimedia
7.9
Media Creation
7.1
HDR Gaming
Size 34"
Resolution 3440x1440
Max Refresh Rate
160 Hz
LCD Type
IPS
Variable Refresh Rate
FreeSync

The LG 34GN850-B is an overall good monitor with impressive gaming performance. It has a 1440p resolution on a 34 inch screen, delivering an immersive gaming experience as well as plenty of screen real estate for productivity tasks. The screen is lightly curved and it can get bright enough for use in moderately-lit rooms. Its superb response time and high refresh rate result in clear images with very little motion blur, and it comes with native FreeSync support and G-SYNC compatibility. Sadly, it doesn't perform all that well in dark environments due to its low contrast ratio, and it doesn't have a local dimming feature either. On the upside, it supports HDR and it has an sRGB mode that produces colors with great accuracy.

Our Verdict

7.9 Mixed Usage

The LG 34GN850-B is a good monitor for most uses. Although it's mainly made for gaming and it performs impressively well in that regard, it's also a good choice for productivity and media consumption. Its 21:9 aspect ratio is great for multitasking, and its excellent coverage of the Adobe RGB color space makes it suitable for content creators. Unfortunately, its sub-par contrast ratio makes it less suitable for dark rooms, and its ergonomics are poor, as it can't swivel or rotate to portrait mode.

Pros
  • Superb response time.
  • Great out-of-the-box color accuracy.
  • Exceptionally low input lag.
Cons
  • Sub-par contrast ratio.
  • Poor ergonomics.
7.8 Office

The LG 34GN850-B is a good office monitor. Its large screen size is great for multitasking, and its 1440p resolution renders text clearly. It gets bright enough for most office settings, and it handles reflections decently well. Sadly, its ergonomics are rather poor and although its IPS panel has decent horizontal viewing angles, it's not as good as most IPS monitors.

8.3 Gaming

The LG 34GN850-B is an impressive gaming monitor. It has a large high-resolution screen, superb response time, and an exceptionally low input lag. It supports FreeSync natively and it's also certified to be compatible with recent NVIDIA graphics cards. However, it's not the best choice for dark room gaming and the stand's poor ergonomics make it harder to adjust the monitor to your optimal viewing position.

7.9 Multimedia

The LG 34GN850-B is a good monitor for media consumption. It delivers good picture quality thanks to its high resolution, and its large, curved screen is great for immersion. While its IPS panel provides decent viewing angles, it's not the best for watching in the dark due to the low contrast ratio. It gets bright enough for most rooms, but it may struggle a bit if there's a lot of sunlight.

7.9 Media Creation

The LG 34GN850-B is a good monitor for content creators. Its large screen size and ultrawide format are great for having multiple windows open at the same time. Gray uniformity is excellent, gradient handling is superb, and it has excellent coverage of the Adobe RGB color space. Unfortunately, it can't swivel or rotate to portrait mode, and there's a bit of backlight bleed as well, although the latter can vary per unit.

7.1 HDR Gaming

The LG 34GN850-B is a decent monitor for gaming in HDR. It has an incredibly fast response time and low input lag, and its large screen size provides an immersive gaming experience. However, it has a low contrast ratio and lacks local dimming. Although it has a good HDR color gamut, its peak brightness is only decent, so the experience can vary depending on your ambient light level.

  • 7.9 Mixed Usage
  • 7.8 Office
  • 8.3 Gaming
  • 7.9 Multimedia
  • 7.9 Media Creation
  • 7.1 HDR Gaming
  1. Update 6/9/2020: Retested to see if it can display chroma 4:2:2 at 160Hz with 10-bit color depth.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Curved Yes
Curve Radius 1900R
Weight (without stand)
12.4 lbs (5.6 kg)
Weight (with stand)
17.1 lbs (7.8 kg)

The LG 34GN850-B has a simple design that looks like most gaming monitors in LG's UltraGear lineup. It has thin bezels on all sides and the screen is curved. The stand is a bit different compared to other LG UltraGear monitors, so only the tips of the V-shaped stand make contact with the table. There are some red accents on the stand and the back of the monitor, but they don't light up.

Design
Stand
Width
17.8" (45.3 cm)
Depth
12.2" (31.0 cm)

The stand isn't that wide, but it's deep. Thankfully, the feet are thin, which leaves a bit more usable desk space.

4.5
Design
Ergonomics
Height Adjustment
4.3" (11.0 cm)
Switch Portrait/Landscape No
Swivel Range No swivel
Tilt Range -15° to 5°

Unfortunately, the 34GN850-B has poor ergonomics. It can't rotate to portrait mode due to its aspect ratio and curvature, and it can't swivel either. There's a decent amount of height adjustment, but the tilt range is limited.

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 100x100

The back of the monitor is plain and looks like most LG UltraGear gaming monitors. The red accents don't light up and there's a small cutout on the stand that serves as cable management.

Design
Borders
Borders
0.4" (1.0 cm)

The bezels are thin on all sides; however, they protrude a bit from the screen.

Design
Thickness
Thickness (with stand)
10.4" (26.5 cm)
Thickness (without stand)
4.3" (10.9 cm)

The monitor is quite thick due to the screen's curvature and the stand also takes up a fair amount of space.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

The 34GN850-B has a decent build quality. It's fairly sturdy despite its full plastic construction and the stand is stable, with only a bit of wobble. However, the cable management cutout feels rather flimsy and could potentially break if pressure is applied.

Picture Quality
5.9
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
960 : 1
Contrast With Local Dimming
N/A

The LG 34GN850-B has a sub-par contrast ratio, which is expected of most IPS panels. This makes blacks look grayish, especially in a dark environments.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Edge

The LG 34GN850-B doesn't have a local dimming feature. The video above is provided for reference only.

8.0
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene
343 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
354 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
358 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
359 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
359 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
359 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
354 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
358 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
359 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
359 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
359 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.001

Great SDR peak brightness. It's bright enough for moderately-lit rooms, but it may struggle to overcome glare in very bright rooms. Thankfully, there's almost no variation in brightness when displaying different content.

7.0
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene
441 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
436 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
436 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
436 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
436 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
436 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
435 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
436 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
436 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
436 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
436 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.000

HDR peak brightness is decent and is very consistent across different content. It's good enough to deliver an okay HDR gaming experience, but not for HDR movies.

7.0
Picture Quality
Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Left
43 °
Color Washout From Right
42 °
Color Shift From Left
55 °
Color Shift From Right
54 °
Brightness Loss From Left
47 °
Brightness Loss From Right
48 °
Black Level Raise From Left
26 °
Black Level Raise From Right
20 °
Gamma Shift From Left
37 °
Gamma Shift From Right
31 °

Decent horizontal viewing angle, although not as good as most IPS panels. Black level rise and gamma shift happen fairly quickly when moving off-center, but colors remain accurate until you reach moderate viewing angles.

7.5
Picture Quality
Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Below
33 °
Color Washout From Above
32 °
Color Shift From Below
46 °
Color Shift From Above
58 °
Brightness Loss From Below
36 °
Brightness Loss From Above
34 °
Black Level Raise From Below
70 °
Black Level Raise From Above
70 °
Gamma Shift From Below
44 °
Gamma Shift From Above
41 °

The 34GN850-B has good vertical viewing angles; however, colors can appear washed out at the top and bottom of the screen if you sit very close.

8.8
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
2.757 %
50% DSE
0.091 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.366 %
5% DSE
0.029 %

Excellent gray uniformity. There are only a few spots that are slightly darker and there's almost no dirty screen effect. In dark scenes, uniformity is outstanding.

6.6
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
1.613 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

Black uniformity is okay. There's more backlight bleed at the corners than the photo suggests, as the photo is slightly cropped off due to the monitor's curvature.

8.2
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
Picture Mode
sRGB
Luminance
101 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
16
Contrast Setting
N/A
RGB Controls
Default
Gamma Setting
Default
Color Temperature
6089 K
White Balance dE
2.46
Color dE
2.18
Gamma
2.24

The 34GN850-B has impressive out-of-the-box color accuracy. The monitor has an sRGB mode that displays most colors accurately, however, white balance is a bit off and the color temperature is warmer than our 6500K target. Gamma follows the curve for the most part, although dark scenes tend to be over-darkened.

9.7
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
Picture Mode
Gamer 1
Luminance
99 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
16
Contrast Setting
70
RGB Controls
46-47-50
Gamma Setting
Mode 2
Color Temperature
6509 K
White Balance dE
0.51
Color dE
0.42
Gamma
2.18

After calibration, the 34GN850-B's color accuracy is superb. White balance and gamma are nearly perfect, and the color temperature is much closer to our 6500K target. There's still some inaccuracies with blues, which is typical of LED displays.

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.

9.3
Picture Quality
SDR Color Gamut
sRGB xy
99.0 %
Adobe RGB xy
86.6 %
sRGB Picture Mode
Gamer 1
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
Gamer 1

Exceptional SDR color gamut. The 34GN850-B can display the full sRGB color space used in most content, and it has excellent coverage of the Adobe RGB color space, which is great for content creators.

9.4
Picture Quality
SDR Color Volume
sRGB In ICtCp
97.4 %
Adobe RGB In ICtCp
91.5 %
sRGB Picture Mode
Gamer 1
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
Gamer 1

Color volume is exceptional. The monitor can display most colors well except for dark and saturated colors, which is due to its low contrast ratio.

7.6
Picture Quality
HDR Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
82.6 %
Rec. 2020 xy
68.4 %
DCI P3 Picture Mode
Gamer 1
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
Gamer 1

Good HDR color gamut. It has great coverage of the DCI P3 color space used in most HDR content, but coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 is just okay.

7.0
Picture Quality
HDR Color Volume
DCI-P3 In ICtCp
78.4 %
Rec. 2020 In ICtCp
62.2 %
DCI P3 Picture Mode
Gamer 1
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
Gamer 1

Decent HDR color volume. It's mostly limited by the monitor's HDR color gamut and low contrast ratio.

10
Picture Quality
Image Retention
IR After 0 Min Recovery
0.00 %
IR After 2 Min Recovery
0.00 %
IR After 4 Min Recovery
0.00 %
IR After 6 Min Recovery
0.00 %
IR After 8 Min Recovery
0.00 %
IR After 10 Min Recovery
0.00 %

The LG 34GN850-B doesn't exhibit any signs of temporary image retention.

9.9
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit

Superb gradient handling. There's only some very fine banding when displaying reds, but it shouldn't be noticeable in normal content.

10
Picture Quality
Color Bleed
Pixel Row Error
0.002 %
Pixel Column Error
0.002 %

There's no visible color bleed on this monitor.

7.4
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Matte
Total Reflections
5.6 %
Indirect Reflections
3.3 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
2.2 %

Decent reflection handling. The monitor's matte anti-reflective coating performs well at reducing the intensity of reflected light, but visibility can still be an issue in very bright rooms.

7.5
Picture Quality
Text Clarity
Sub-Pixel Layout
RGB

Text clarity is good. Letters look much more defined with ClearType enabled (top photo), especially diagonal lines.

Motion
9.7
Motion
Response Time @ Max Refresh Rate
Best Overdrive Setting
Normal
Rise / Fall Time
3.4 ms
Total Response Time
5.8 ms
Overshoot Error
0.9 %
Dark Rise / Fall Time
3.4 ms
Dark Total Response Time
5.8 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
1.9 %

Mode Response Time Chart Motion Blur Photo Response Time Table
Off Chart Photo Table
Normal Chart Photo Table
Fast Chart Photo Table
Faster Chart Photo Table

The LG 34GN850-B has superb response time when playing at its maximum refresh rate. We recommend using the 'Normal' Overdrive setting, as it provides the best performance with no noticeable overshoot.

8.8
Motion
Response Time @ 60Hz
Best Overdrive Setting
Normal
Rise / Fall Time
3.5 ms
Total Response Time
13.2 ms
Overshoot Error
4.6 %
Dark Rise / Fall Time
3.5 ms
Dark Total Response Time
13.4 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
8.5 %

Mode Response Time Chart Motion Blur Photo Response Time Table
Off Chart Photo Table
Normal Chart Photo Table
Fast Chart Photo Table
Faster Chart Photo Table

Response time at 60Hz is excellent. The best Overdrive setting is again 'Normal', which provides the best performance with minimal overshoot.

10
Motion
Image Flicker
Flicker-Free Yes
PWM Dimming Frequency
0 Hz

The backlight is flicker-free, which can be helpful in reducing eye strain.

0
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
No BFI
BFI Maximum Frequency
N/A
BFI Minimum Frequency
N/A

The LG 34GN850-B doesn't have a black frame insertion feature.

9.1
Motion
Refresh Rate
Native
144 Hz
Max Refresh Rate
160 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes
FreeSync
Yes
G-SYNC
Compatible (NVIDIA Certified)
VRR Maximum
160 Hz
VRR Minimum
< 20 Hz
VRR Supported Connectors DisplayPort, HDMI

Update 06/09/2020: We retested the monitor to see if it can display chroma 4:2:2 at 160Hz with 10-bit color depth over a DisplayPort connection, and it's able to. The text has been updated.

The 34GN850-B has an outstanding refresh rate. Its native 144Hz refresh rate can be overclocked to 160Hz, but only when using a DisplayPort connection. Over an HDMI connection with 10-bit color depth, the maximum refresh rate is limited to 85Hz. It supports FreeSync natively and has been certified by NVIDIA to be compatible with G-SYNC. However, G-SYNC only works through a DisplayPort connection, as the option was not available when using HDMI.

Inputs
9.5
Inputs
Input Lag
Native Resolution
4.2 ms
Native Resolution @ 60Hz
9.8 ms
Variable Refresh Rate
5.5 ms
Variable Refresh Rate @ 60Hz
11.2 ms
10 Bit HDR
7.1 ms
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
N/A

The LG 34GN850-B has an exceptionally low input lag. It's slightly higher when playing at 60Hz or with 10-bit HDR, but it shouldn't be noticeable for most people.

Our input latency tests were performed on a PC equipped with an NVIDIA RTX 2070 graphics card.

8.7
Inputs
Resolution And Size
Native Resolution 3440 x 1440
Aspect Ratio 21:9
Megapixels 5.0 MP
Pixel Density
108 PPI
Screen Diagonal 34.0 inches
Screen Area 418 sq inches

The LG 34GN850-B has an excellent resolution and size. Its ultrawide format is well-suited for gaming and for productivity, and its high resolution delivers detailed images and clear text.

Inputs
Inputs
Inputs
Total Inputs
DisplayPort 1 (DP 1.4)
Mini DisplayPort No
HDMI 2 (HDMI 2.0)
DVI No
VGA No
DisplayPort Out No
USB 2 (USB 3.0)
USB C No
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm 1
Microphone In 3.5mm No
Digital Optical Audio Out No
Analog Audio Out RCA No
Power Supply External Brick
Features
Features
Additional Features
RGB Illumination
No
Speakers
No
HDR10 Yes
Multiple Input Display
No

The LG 34GN850-B comes with a few extra features, including:

  • Crosshair: Adds on-screen crosshair for shooter games.
  • Black Stabilizer: Makes objects in dark scenes more visible.
  • DAS (Dynamic Action Sync): Helps minimize input lag. This feature is enabled automatically when playing at the monitor's maximum refresh rate and can't be disabled.

Features
On-Screen Display (OSD)
Features
Controls

There's a single joystick located below the LG branding, allowing you to navigate the on-screen menu.

Features
In The Box

  • Power adapter and cable
  • User guide
  • HDMI cable
  • DisplayPort cable
  • USB-A to USB-B upstream cable
  • Driver CD

Differences Between Sizes and Variants

We tested the LG 34GN850-B and it's only available in a 34 inch size. However, this is only one of several monitors in LG's UltraGear Gaming monitor lineup, which has over a dozen models available in various configurations.

If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their LG 34GN850-B doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we'll update the review. Note that some tests, such as the gray uniformity, may vary between individual units.

Our unit of the LG 34GN850-B was manufactured in April 2020, you can see the label here.

Compared to other monitors

The LG 34GN850-B is an overall good monitor. It's one of the best 21:9 ultrawide gaming monitors that we've reviewed so far and it's cheaper than other similar monitors. However, it's not the best choice for dark room gaming due to its low contrast ratio and its horizontal viewing angles aren't as good as other IPS monitors. For other options, you can also see our recommendations for the best gaming monitors, the best ultrawide gaming monitors, and the best 144Hz monitors.

LG 34GK950F-B
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

Overall, the LG 34GK950F-B and the LG 34GN850-B perform very similarly, with the 34GN850-B being marginally better. The 34GN850-B has a faster response time, better reflection handling, and it has better black uniformity, although the latter could be due to panel variance. The 34GN850-B has a slightly higher peak brightness and its refresh rate can be overclocked to 160Hz, but the 34GK950F-B has significantly better horizontal viewing angles and it has a black frame insertion feature, which the 34GN850-B lacks.

Dell Alienware AW3420DW
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The LG 34GN850-B is a better monitor than the Dell Alienware AW3420DW for most uses. The LG has a higher refresh rate, a significantly faster response time, and it supports HDR. Additionally, the LG gets brighter, it has better reflection handling, and is more color accurate. The LG is a native FreeSync monitor with G-SYNC compatibility, while the Dell is a native G-SYNC monitor that also works with FreeSync.

LG 27GL850-B
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The LG 34GN850-B is marginally better than the LG 27GL850-B. The 34GN850-B has a bigger screen with a 21:9 aspect ratio, which provides better immersion in some games and more screen real estate for productivity tasks. The 34GN850-B's refresh rate can be overclocked, its response time is faster, and it has better color accuracy. However, the 27GL850-B has better ergonomics, since it can rotate to portrait mode, and it has better horizontal viewing angles, making it more suitable for co-op games.

Nixeus EDG 34
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

For most uses, the LG 34GN850-B performs significantly better than the Nixeus EDG 34. The LG has a much faster response time, which results in less motion blur, and its refresh rate can be overclocked to 160Hz. The LG's IPS panel has much better viewing angles and out-of-the-box color accuracy, and it can get brighter in HDR content. On the other hand, the Nixeus has a VA panel with a much higher contrast ratio, allowing it to produce deep and inky blacks.