LG 38WN95C-W Monitor Review

Tested using Methodology v1.1
Reviewed Sep 21, 2020 at 08:32 am
LG 38WN95C-W Picture
8.0
Mixed Usage
7.9
Office
8.3
Gaming
7.9
Multimedia
8.1
Media Creation
7.4
HDR Gaming
Size 38"
Resolution 3840x1600
Max Refresh Rate
144 Hz
Pixel Type
IPS
Variable Refresh Rate
FreeSync

The LG 38WN95C-W is a great ultrawide, curved screen monitor with an IPS panel. It has a ton of features aimed at improving your workflow at the office. It has a Picture-by-Picture mode, allowing you to display images from two input sources at once. Its Thunderbolt 3 support lets you display an image from a compatible device and charge it at the same time, and provides higher bandwidth and power delivery compared to a DisplayPort Alt Mode connection. Its uncommon 3840x1600 packs in more vertical pixels, allowing you to see crisp, detailed images. Despite being mainly designed for the office, it's packed with gaming perks, such as FreeSync variable refresh rate (VRR) support, G-SYNC compatibility, a remarkable response time, and low input lag. It gets very bright and makes highlights pop in HDR, but doesn't perform very well in a dark room. Its low contrast ratio means blacks appear closer to gray, and it has a terrible local dimming feature.

Our Verdict

8.0 Mixed Usage

The LG 38WN95C-W is a great overall monitor. It's very good for office use or watching content, because it gets bright enough to combat glare, has wide viewing angles, and displays a wide color gamut. It's impressive for gaming due to its extremely quick response time, incredibly low input lag, and FreeSync support. HDR content looks good as it gets bright enough to bring out highlights, but it has a low contrast ratio and the local dimming feature is terrible.

Pros
  • Wide viewing angles.
  • Gets very bright.
  • Remarkable response time.
  • High resolution.
Cons
  • Low contrast ratio.
  • Terrible local dimming feature.
7.9 Office

The LG 38WN95C-W is very good for office use. The 38 inch, 3840x1600 screen provides enough space for you to open multiple windows at once. It gets bright enough to combat glare, but the reflections may be too distracting if it's placed opposite a window. Even though the stand doesn't offer much in terms of ergonomics, it has wide viewing angles, making it easier to share your screen with others.

Pros
  • Wide viewing angles.
  • Gets very bright.
  • Thunderbolt 3 support.
Cons
  • Disappointing ergonomics.
  • Struggles with direct sunlight.
8.3 Gaming

The LG 38WN95C-W is impressive for gaming. It's packed with gaming features such as FreeSync support, G-SYNC compatibility, low input lag, and a remarkable response time. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a Black Frame Insertion feature to improve the appearance of motion. The low contrast ratio means it's not ideal for dark-room gaming. However, it has wide viewing angles, great for co-op gaming.

Pros
  • VRR support.
  • Remarkable response time.
  • Incredibly low input lag.
Cons
  • Low contrast ratio.
7.9 Multimedia

The LG 38WN95C-W is very good for multimedia use. Its 3840x1600 resolution allows you to watch high-resolution videos online, and the wide viewing angles means you can easily watch content with friends. Unfortunately, it has a low contrast ratio, so blacks appear closer to gray when viewed in the dark. Fortunately, it performs well in bright environments because it gets bright enough to combat glare.

Pros
  • Wide viewing angles.
  • Gets very bright.
  • High resolution.
Cons
  • Disappointing ergonomics.
  • Low contrast ratio.
8.1 Media Creation

Great for media creation. The LG 38WN95C-W's high resolution allows you to see images in fine detail. It has excellent coverage of the Adobe RGB color space used in photo editing, and it displays a wide color gamut for HDR content. It has limited ergonomics, so it may be difficult to place in an ideal position, but it has wide viewing angles if you need to share your screen with others.

Pros
  • Wide viewing angles.
  • Gets very bright.
  • Thunderbolt 3 support.
  • Exceptional gradient handling.
Cons
  • Disappointing ergonomics.
  • Low contrast ratio.
7.4 HDR Gaming

The LG 38WN95C-W is decent for HDR gaming. It's an impressive gaming monitor because of its VRR support, remarkable response time, and incredibly low input lag. It displays a wide color gamut for HDR content and gets bright enough to make highlights pop. Unfortunately, it has a low contrast ratio and a terrible local dimming feature, so it's not ideal for gaming in dark rooms.

Pros
  • Gets very bright.
  • VRR support.
  • Remarkable response time.
Cons
  • Disappointing ergonomics.
  • Low contrast ratio.
  • Terrible local dimming feature.
  • 8.0 Mixed Usage
  • 7.9 Office
  • 8.3 Gaming
  • 7.9 Multimedia
  • 8.1 Media Creation
  • 7.4 HDR Gaming

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Curved Yes
Curve Radius 2300R
Weight (without stand)
14.3 lbs (6.5 kg)
Weight (with stand)
18.5 lbs (8.4 kg)

The LG 38WN95C-W is a curved screen, ultrawide monitor that looks a lot like the LG 49WL95C-W. It has a gray arc-shaped stand that's very wide, but you can still place stuff in front of it. The back of the monitor is white, while the bezels in front are black, and it should look good in any office environment. It feels well-built, but the monitor does wobble quite easily.

Design
Stand
Width
21.7" (55.2 cm)
Depth
11.1" (28.2 cm)

The monitor has a wide arc-shaped stand. It's big, but there's still space in front to put stuff like a keyboard. It's well-made and supports it well.

5.2
Design
Ergonomics
Height Adjustment
4.3" (11.0 cm)
Switch Portrait/Landscape No
Swivel Range -20° to 20°
Tilt Range -15° to 2.5°

Disappointing ergonomics, which is typical of LG's office monitors. It has a fairly narrow tilt and swivel range, and as expected from an ultrawide, you can't rotate it into portrait mode.

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 100x100

The LG 38WN95C-W has a plain, white back panel. There's a quick-release button if you need to remove the stand to VESA-mount it. Also, there's a hook on the stand for cable management.

Design
Borders
Borders
0.4" (1.1 cm)

The borders are thin and aren't distracting.

Design
Thickness
Thickness (with stand)
9.0" (22.8 cm)
Thickness (without stand)
3.8" (9.6 cm)

The panel itself isn't very thick for a curved screen model. However, the entire monitor gets much thicker and takes up a lot of space with the stand attached.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

Good build quality. The LG 38WN95C-W is made of good-quality plastic that feels solid, and the stand holds it well. The screen wobbles quite easily, and it even tilts a bit to the left and right. We don't know if this is an issue with our unit or a common problem. If you have this monitor, let us know in the discussions.

Picture Quality
5.8
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
898 : 1
Contrast With Local Dimming
918 : 1

The LG 38WN95C-W has a disappointing contrast ratio, which is expected from an IPS panel. Blacks appear closer to gray when viewed in the dark, and the local dimming feature doesn't improve it very much.

Note: This is less than the advertised 1000:1 contrast ratio, but contrast may vary between units.

1.5
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Edge

Like most monitors, the LG 38WN95C-W has a terrible edge-lit local dimming feature. The lighting zones are very large, so zone transitions are easy to see. If there's a bright object on the screen in real content, most of the zones light up, and it doesn't look good. If a single zone lights up in a completely dark scene, it causes a distracting flicker.

8.4
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene
447 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
475 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
476 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
476 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
477 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
477 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
474 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
476 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
475 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
476 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
476 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.000

Impressive brightness in SDR. The LG 38WN95C-W easily gets bright enough to combat glare, and its brightness remains very consistent with different content, which is great.

We measured peak brightness after calibration with Local Dimming on.

8.2
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene
711 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
719 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
692 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
695 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
696 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
696 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
718 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
520 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
521 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
521 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
522 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.020

The LG 38WN95C-W has great peak brightness in HDR. It gets bright enough to truly bring out highlights in HDR, and it meets the advertised HDR600 standards. Sadly, its brightness isn't very consistent with varied content, and it quickly dims when a bright image remains on the screen for too long.

We measured HDR brightness in the 'Custom' Picture Mode with Local Dimming on.

7.8
Picture Quality
Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Left
42 °
Color Washout From Right
41 °
Color Shift From Left
51 °
Color Shift From Right
53 °
Brightness Loss From Left
47 °
Brightness Loss From Right
46 °
Black Level Raise From Left
70 °
Black Level Raise From Right
70 °
Gamma Shift From Left
39 °
Gamma Shift From Right
36 °

Good horizontal viewing angle, which is expected from an IPS panel. The image remains accurate when viewing from the sides, which is ideal if you need to share your screen with others.

7.2
Picture Quality
Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Below
31 °
Color Washout From Above
32 °
Color Shift From Below
41 °
Color Shift From Above
43 °
Brightness Loss From Below
34 °
Brightness Loss From Above
35 °
Black Level Raise From Below
70 °
Black Level Raise From Above
70 °
Gamma Shift From Below
42 °
Gamma Shift From Above
41 °

Decent vertical viewing angle. The image remains fairly accurate if you mount it above eye-level.

8.5
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
3.764 %
50% DSE
0.107 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.450 %
5% DSE
0.029 %

The LG 38WN95C-W has excellent gray uniformity. The edges of the screen are a bit darker, but there's no visible dirty screen effect in the center, which is great. Uniformity is much better in near-dark scenes.

Note: Gray uniformity may vary between units.

6.4
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
1.724 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
1.614 %

Mediocre black uniformity. There's clouding throughout the entire screen and some backlight bleed along the top and bottom edges, especially near the bottom-right corner. The local dimming feature doesn't really improve the uniformity.

Note: Black uniformity may vary between units.

7.9
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
Picture Mode
Custom
Luminance
97 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
4
Contrast Setting
70
RGB Controls
50-50-50
Gamma Setting
Mode 2
Color Temperature
6501 K
White Balance dE
1.88
Color dE
3.22
Gamma
2.22

Good out-of-the-box accuracy for the LG 38WN95C-W. Most colors are slightly inaccurate, especially the reds. White balance is only slightly off, and the color temperature is right at our 6500K target. Gamma follows the target curve fairly well, except dark scenes are darker than they should be. There's an sRGB mode available, but it made the white balance and color temperature much worse.

Note: Color accuracy may vary between units.

9.7
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
Picture Mode
Custom
Luminance
99 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
5
Contrast Setting
70
RGB Controls
46-47-50
Gamma Setting
Mode 2
Color Temperature
6493 K
White Balance dE
0.51
Color dE
0.42
Gamma
2.18

After calibration, it has remarkable color accuracy. Any remaining color and white balance inaccuracies aren't visible to the naked eye. The color temperature became slightly warmer, but this won't make a difference. Gamma is slightly below the target of 2.2, so some scenes are brighter than expected.

You can download our ICC profile calibration here. This is provided for reference only and shouldn't be used, as the calibration values vary per individual unit even for the same model, due to manufacturing tolerances.

9.2
Picture Quality
SDR Color Gamut
sRGB xy
99.1 %
Adobe RGB xy
85.6 %
sRGB Picture Mode
Custom
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
Custom

Outstanding SDR color gamut. The LG 38WN95C-W has full coverage of the sRGB color space used in most content, and it has excellent coverage of the Adobe RGB color space used in photo editing.

9.3
Picture Quality
SDR Color Volume
sRGB In ICtCp
97.0 %
Adobe RGB In ICtCp
89.6 %
sRGB Picture Mode
Custom
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
Custom

The LG 38WN95C-W has a superb color volume. It displays colors at a wide range of luminance levels, but due to its low contrast ratio, it has trouble displaying dark, saturated colors.

7.6
Picture Quality
HDR Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
83.2 %
Rec. 2020 xy
69.2 %
DCI P3 Picture Mode
Custom
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
Custom

Good HDR color gamut. This monitor has impressive coverage of the commonly-used DCI P3 color space and okay coverage of the wider Rec. 2020.

Note: The DCI P3 coverage is much lower than the advertised 98% coverage. This is normal and is due to the way we measure DCI P3. We measure DCI P3 by sending a Rec. 2020 signal, but unlike most reviewers, we limit the colors we're sending to the DCI P3 primaries. This results in a lower, but arguably more accurate measurement.

7.6
Picture Quality
HDR Color Volume
DCI-P3 In ICtCp
83.9 %
Rec. 2020 In ICtCp
67.8 %
DCI P3 Picture Mode
Custom
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
Custom

Good HDR color volume. Due to its wide color gamut, it can display a wide range of colors; however, it can't display dark colors well because of the 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 38WN95C-W has no signs of temporary image retention, but this may vary between units.

9.9
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit

Exceptional gradient handling. There are no signs of banding, which is fantastic for HDR content.

10
Picture Quality
Color Bleed
Pixel Row Error
0.001 %
Pixel Column Error
0.006 %

There are no signs of color bleed on the LG 38WN95C-W.

6.8
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Matte
Total Reflections
6.4 %
Indirect Reflections
3.4 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
3.0 %

The LG 38WN95C-W has okay reflection handling. It performs exceptional well in moderately-lit rooms, but really struggles with direct sunlight on it.

7.5
Picture Quality
Text Clarity
Sub-Pixel Layout
RGB

Good text clarity. It can be improved by enabling ClearType (top photo). This helps the appearance of the diagonal and curved lines as seen on the letters R, N, G, and S.

Motion
9.4
Motion
Response Time @ Max Refresh Rate
Best Overdrive Setting
Fast
Rise / Fall Time
3.8 ms
Total Response Time
7.7 ms
Overshoot Error
3.2 %
Dark Rise / Fall Time
3.9 ms
Dark Total Response Time
7.9 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
4.7 %

Overdrive Setting Response Time Chart Response Time Tables Motion Blur Photo
Off Chart Table Photo
Normal Chart Table Photo
Fast Chart Table Photo
Faster Chart Table Photo

Remarkable response time at its max refresh rate of 144Hz. Motion looks very smooth and there's hardly any motion blur. The recommended overdrive setting is 'Fast'. There's some overshoot in the darker transitions, and if that bothers you, the 'Normal' setting is slightly slower but there's no overshoot.

8.9
Motion
Response Time @ 60Hz
Best Overdrive Setting
Normal
Rise / Fall Time
4.3 ms
Total Response Time
11.2 ms
Overshoot Error
2.3 %
Dark Rise / Fall Time
4.5 ms
Dark Total Response Time
13.9 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
4.9 %

Overdrive Setting Response Time Chart Response Time Tables Motion Blur Photo
Off Chart Table Photo
Normal Chart Table Photo
Fast Chart Table Photo
Faster Chart Table Photo

The LG 38WN95C-W has an amazing response time at 60Hz. Unlike at its max response time, the recommended overdrive setting is 'Normal', so you may have to change the setting if the frame rate of your game drops. It has a lot less overshoot than the 'Fast' and 'Faster' settings, and fast-moving content looks good.

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

The backlight is completely flicker-free, which helps reduce 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 38WN95C-W doesn't have a Black Frame Insertion feature.

9.0
Motion
Refresh Rate
Native
144 Hz
Max Refresh Rate
144 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes
FreeSync
Yes
G-SYNC
Compatible (NVIDIA Certified)
VRR Maximum
144 Hz
VRR Minimum
< 20 Hz
VRR Supported Connectors DisplayPort, HDMI

The LG 38WN95C-W has an outstanding refresh rate. It has native FreeSync support, and it's certified by NVIDIA to be G-SYNC compatible too. You can achieve the 144Hz refresh rate and get G-SYNC support only over a DisplayPort connection. Over HDMI, the VRR range is limited to 48-75Hz, and it only supports FreeSync.

Inputs
9.5
Inputs
Input Lag
Native Resolution
4.1 ms
Native Resolution @ 60Hz
9.3 ms
Variable Refresh Rate
5.8 ms
Variable Refresh Rate @ 60Hz
11.0 ms
10 Bit HDR
N/A
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
N/A

The LG 38WN95C-W has an incredibly low input lag. It slightly increases with VRR enabled, but this shouldn't be noticeable for most people.

Note: Due to bandwidth limitations, 10-bit HDR is only supported at 120Hz over a DisplayPort connection. Currently, we can't test for input lag over a DisplayPort connection, so we left it as 'N/A'.

8.9
Inputs
Resolution And Size
Native Resolution 3840 x 1600
Aspect Ratio 21:9
Megapixels 6.1 MP
Pixel Density