The LG 42 C2 OLED is a TV that's popular to use as a PC monitor, especially for gaming. It replaces the LG 48 C1 OLED, and it's available in a smaller 42-inch size with a headphone jack and wide-set feet that make it easier to use as a PC monitor. It has gaming features most high-end TVs have, like HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, a 120hz panel, and variable refresh rate (VRR) support, but it lacks other features monitors normally have, like a DisplayPort connection and an ergonomic stand. As it's a TV, it's also easy to stream content while you're not gaming as it has a built-in smart system, a tuner, and image processing features, so you don't need to use your PC to watch movies and shows.
Note: We tested the 65-inch model as a TV, which you can read about here. However, the results of the two reviews aren't comparable because of the different ways we score TVs and monitors. We also test them using different picture settings.
The LG 42 C2 is great overall. It's amazing for gaming as it has a fast 120Hz refresh rate with HDMI 2.1 bandwidth and variable refresh rate support that make it ideal for console gaming or PC gaming with an HDMI 2.1 graphics card. It also has low input lag and a near-instantaneous response time for a responsive feel. It's fantastic for watching SDR or HDR movies in the dark because it displays perfect blacks, has no blooming, and highlights stand out. It's good for the decent, as it has decent text clarity and wide viewing angles, but it doesn't get bright in PC Mode, meaning it isn't ideal to use in well-lit rooms.
The LG 42 C2 is decent for the office. It has a large screen that makes it easy to open multiple windows at once, and the text clarity is decent too. It has wide viewing angles that make the image remain consistent from the sides, which is ideal if you need to share your screen with someone else or if you sit close. It has fantastic reflection handling that reduces the amount of reflections, but it doesn't get very bright. Unfortunately, it doesn't offer any ergonomic adjustments, but you can mount it if you want to adjust it. Also, OLEDs run the risk of permanent burn-in when exposed to the same static elements over time, like the static elements from the PC software.
The LG 42 C2 is amazing for gaming. It has HDMI 2.1 bandwidth that allows you to play 4k games up to 120 fps from HDMI 2.1 graphics cards or current-gen consoles. It also has low input lag and a near-instantaneous response time for a responsive feel while gaming, and it has variable refresh rate (VRR) support to reduce screen tearing. It's also fantastic for dark room gaming as it has a near-infinite contrast ratio, and there's no blooming around bright objects. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a DisplayPort input, so you'll need an adapter if your PC doesn't have an HDMI port.
The LG 42C2 is fantastic for media consumption. It looks incredible in dark rooms thanks to its perfect black uniformity, and it has no blooming around objects. It's also big enough to comfortably share your screen with someone sitting next to you, and it has wide viewing angles. Although it doesn't get bright in Game Mode, it gets brighter outside of it to make colors look vivid, and it displays a wide range of colors in SDR.
The LG OLED42C2 is great for content creators. The big screen has enough screen real estate to easily see your entire work area at once. It also has decent text clarity, but editing programs don't support the RWBG subpixel layout, meaning text doesn't look as clear in some programs. It also has wide viewing angles that make the image remain consistent from the sides, but it doesn't come with an ergonomic stand if you need to swivel the screen to show a client or coworker. Sadly, OLEDs risk permanent burn-in with constant exposure to the same static elements over time, like if you constantly have your editing program open.
The LG 42 C2 is amazing for HDR. It displays perfect blacks without any blooming around bright objects, meaning it's a fantastic choice for watching movies in the dark. It also delivers a satisfying HDR experience because small highlights pop, and it displays a wide range of colors with minimal banding between shades of similar colors. However, it has only decent color volume, meaning it struggles to display some very vivid colors.
We tested the 42-inch LG C2 OLED, and it's also available in larger sizes. For the most part, the results are also valid for the 48, 55, 65, 77, and 83 inches, but text clarity is worse on large sizes because they have lower pixel density. We tested the 65-inch model as a TV, but the results aren't comparable between the TV and monitor review because we tested each with different settings and methodology. Although it's not really a variant, LG also released the LG 48GQ900-B, which is a very similar display to the C2, but with features and inputs more typically found on monitors.
|Size||US Model||Stand Type||Headphone Port|
|48"||OLED48C2PUA||Wide Center Stand||Yes|
|55"||OLED55C2PUA||Narrow Center Stand||No|
|65"||OLED65C2PUA||Narrow Center Stand||No|
|77"||OLED77C2PUA||Narrow Center Stand||No|
|83"||OLED83C2PUA||Narrow Center Stand||No|
If you come across a different type of panel or your LG C2 42 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know, and we'll update the review.
Our unit was manufactured in April 2022, and you can see the label here.
The LG C2 42 is a great display with better picture quality than most monitors, thanks to its perfect black levels. It's an amazing choice for console gaming or PC gaming with an HDMI 2.1 compatible graphics card, and the smaller screen size is an advantage compared to past C Series models that were available in 48 inches. Of course, you lose out on features found on other monitors like a high refresh rate, a DisplayPort connection, and an ergonomic stand, but if you want an OLED to use as a gaming monitor, it's amazing.
See our recommendations for the best gaming monitors, the best HDR monitors, and the best 4k monitors.
The Dell Alienware AW3423DWF uses an OLED panel like the LG 42 C2 OLED, but there are differences between each display. The Dell is an ultrawide monitor with a 3440x1440 resolution and uses a QD-OLED panel. It allows it to display a wider range of colors with better luminance levels than the LG. On the other hand, the LG is a 42-inch 4k TV with HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, which is great if you want to use it for console gaming with the PS5 or Xbox Series X.
The LG 42 C2 OLED and the Samsung 43 QN90B QLED are both TVs we tested as monitors. They're both great for PC gaming, but the main difference is that the Samsung model has a slightly higher 144Hz refresh rate. They also have a few differences in picture quality as the LG is the better choice for dark room gaming thanks to its near-infinite contrast ratio, but the Samsung is better for well-lit rooms as it gets brighter.
The Sony 42 A90K OLED is a bit better than the LG 42 C2 OLED overall, but the LG is better for gaming. The Sony has a slightly more adjustable stand and gets a bit brighter, so it looks better in a moderately lit room. The LG, on the other hand, has a wider range of gaming features, including FreeSync support, and all four of its HDMI ports support 4k @ 120Hz gaming.
The LG 42 C2 OLED and the ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ are both 42-inch OLED displays with a few differences. The LG is a TV, so it has more built-in features like a smart system and image processing, but the ASUS is a monitor with a USB hub and a DisplayPort input. In terms of picture quality, they're very similar, but the ASUS currently has issues with HDR where colors look washed out and dull.
The LG 48 C1 OLED and the LG 42 C2 OLED are very similar, with the main difference being that the C2 is smaller. The smaller size increases pixel density, resulting in slightly better text clarity. The C2 also has a different stand that makes it easier to route your keyboard and mouse cables through. However, if you care about HDR or want to use the monitor in a bright room, the C1 gets brighter.
The LG 42 C2 OLED and the Dell Alienware AW3423DW are different types of OLED displays. The LG is a better choice if you want to maintain the 16:9 aspect ratio and you want something for console gaming because it supports HDMI 2.1 bandwidth. However, if you're a PC gamer and want a high refresh rate and don't mind the ultrawide screen, the Dell is the better choice. The Dell also looks better in HDR because it displays more colors and gets brighter, but it's only better in dark rooms as it raises the black levels in bright rooms, something that the LG doesn't do.
The Gigabyte AORUS FO48U OLED and the LG 42 C2 OLED are both similar displays with advantages and disadvantages. The Gigabyte is a better choice if you want more of a typical monitor because it has a DisplayPort input, USB 3.0 ports, and a USB-C input. It's also better for well-lit rooms because it gets brighter. However, if you want to use something for desktop use, the smaller LG has better text clarity. If you also want a display with a built-in smart system, the LG has that, making it easy to stream your favorite content without a PC.
The LG 42 C2 OLED and the LG 48GQ900-B offer nearly identical picture quality, but they have different inputs and different extra features. The 42 C2 OLED is a TV we've tested as a monitor, so it has features you'd typically find on a TV, including extra image processing options, a fully-featured smart interface, and a tuner. The 48GQ900-B, on the other hand, is designed to be used as a monitor, so it lacks a smart interface and advanced picture processing options. However, it has inputs more typically found on a monitor, including a DisplayPort input and a USB hub.
The LG 42 C2 OLED and the LG 27GR95QE-B are different types of OLED displays. The C2 is a TV that's popular to use as a gaming monitor thanks to its 4k resolution, allowing you to view sharp images while gaming. While the 27GR95QE-B has a lower 1440p resolution, its higher 240Hz refresh rate is also better if you're a PC gamer and want to play games at a high frame rate. The two displays also have different screen finishes, as the C2 has a glossy finish with more reflections from strong light sources, but the matte finish on the 27GR95QE-B introduces haziness.
The LG 42 C2 OLED, which is a TV we tested as a monitor, and the Samsung Odyssey OLED G8/G85SB S34BG85 both use an OLED panel, but the Samsung is a QD-OLED. This means you have a wider range of colors with better luminance levels than the LG. If you're gaming on a PC, the Samsung monitor's 175Hz maximum refresh rate makes it a better choice. If you mostly game on new-gen consoles and enjoy watching movies, the LG is a better option because of its 4k resolution.
The LG 48 CX OLED and the LG 42 C2 OLED are very similar. If you care about text clarity, the C2 is a better choice because it has a smaller screen with improved text clarity. Other than that, they're both very similar overall, but the C2 has a few more features.
The Gigabyte AORUS FV43U and the LG 42 C2 OLED are both large displays with different panels. The Gigabyte is a better choice if you're a PC gamer because it has a higher refresh rate and has a DisplayPort input, which the LG doesn't have. The Gigabyte also gets much brighter in SDR, making it the better choice if you use it in a well-lit room. However, if you need a display for a dark room, the LG offers perfect black levels without any blooming.
The LG 42 C2 OLED is much better than the Samsung Smart Monitor M7 S43BM70. The LG is a small TV, so even though both displays have built-in smart interfaces, the LG has a tuner instead of more traditional PC inputs, like USB-C. The LG delivers significantly better picture quality, with a near-infinite contrast ratio that looks incredible in a dark room. The LG also has better reflection handling and gets brighter, so it looks better in a bright room, and HDR content stands out better.
As the LG 42C2 is a TV, it doesn't offer any ergonomic adjustments. You can use the feet to route the cables through for cable management. The inputs are side-facing, which are easy to access, especially if you have the TV on a desk.
Instead of having a center-mounted stand like on larger C2 models, the LG C2 42 has two wide-set plastic feet. This is better for monitor use because you can route your keyboard and mouse cables or place stuff between the feet. They also support the display well.
You need to change all of the LG OLED42C2's settings with the included remote, and there's a button underneath the center of the screen to turn it On/Off, change inputs, adjust the volume, or switch channels.
The LG C2 42 doesn't have a backlight, so it doesn't require a local dimming feature. However, with a near-infinite contrast ratio, there isn't any blooming around bright objects, and it's the equivalent of a perfect local dimming feature. We still film these videos on the monitor so you can see how the screen performs and compare it with a monitor that has local dimming.
The LG C2 42 has disappointing peak brightness in PC Mode, and it's not as bright as the Sony 42 A90K OLED. These results are from after calibration in the 'Game Optimizer' Picture Mode with Game Optimizer enabled and the input set to 'PC', which lets you achieve low input lag and proper text clarity when using it as a PC monitor. However, 'Game Optimizer' locks you out of many settings in SDR, including Peak Brightness, which is why the screen is dim, and it's not enough to fight glare in a well-lit room. It's beneficial when using it as a PC monitor because there's no Automatic Brightness Limiter that makes full-screen documents and webpages dimmer. It also helps reduce the risk of permanent burn-in.
Below are the results for the brightness tested with Game Optimizer setting disabled in PC Mode with the Picture Mode still on 'Game Optimizer'. It makes the screen brighter, but the ABL is a bit more aggressive with larger areas of bright colors. Disabling Game Optimizer increases the input lag, but it's still fine for desktop use if you want the brighter image.
You can also see the results in the 'Expert (Dark Room)' Picture Mode with the Peak Brightness setting on 'High' below. The TV gets brighter when you're streaming regular content out of Game Mode, but like with any OLED, larger areas of bright colors are dimmer, so it isn't ideal to use with regular desktop use, as full-size windows are noticeably dimmer.
The LG C2 42 has decent HDR peak brightness. It gets bright enough to make small highlights pop, and the overall scene is good enough for a satisfying HDR experience. The EOTF follows the target perfectly until there's a sharp roll-off at the peak brightness, causing a loss of fine details in bright scenes. If you want something that gets brighter, then check out the Samsung 43 QN90B QLED.
These results are from the 'Game Optimizer' HDR Picture Mode with the input label set to 'PC", OLED Pixel Brightness at its max, and Peak Brightness on 'High'.
The LG C2 42 has an excellent horizontal viewing angle. The image remains consistent from the sides, but the colors shift, so it isn't ideal if you're using it for photo editing and need to see accurate colors from the side.
The LG C2 42 has an amazing vertical viewing angle. The image looks the same if you're standing above it or have it mounted above eye-level, but like with the horizontal viewing angle, the colors aren't as accurate.
The LG C2 42 has excellent gray uniformity. Solid colors throughout the screen look uniform, and there's hardly any dirty screen effect in the center, which is ideal when you have full web pages open. It doesn't have the pink tint on the sides like on the 65-inch C2, likely because it uses a slightly different panel technology. Also, all OLEDs have faint vertical lines with near-dark images, which you'll notice if you sit close.
The LG C2 42 has great out-of-the-box accuracy in SDR. Setting Color Gamut to 'Auto' clamps the colors to the sRGB color space, and unlike many monitors, you still have access to all picture settings. Sadly, the white balance is a bit off, and the color temperature is on the warm side, giving the image a slightly red tint. Gamma doesn't follow the target sRGB well, so dark scenes are too dark while brighter scenes are over-brightened.
The LG C2 42 has fantastic accuracy after calibration. It's not as good as most other monitors because we only calibrate monitors with a 2-point calibration, but you can use the full 10 and 22-point calibration settings to get more accurate colors. Although some colors, the white balance, and gamma aren't perfect, the image still looks accurate, and you won't notice any big issues.
You can also read more about the TV's settings here.
The LG C2 42 has an incredible SDR color gamut. It has almost full coverage of the commonly-used sRGB color space used in most web content. It also has great coverage of the Adobe RGB color space used in photo editing, but it doesn't display all the necessary greens properly.
The LG C2 42 has an amazing HDR color gamut. It covers nearly all of the commonly-used DCI-P3 color space with good tone mapping, but it doesn't display saturated greens properly. Sadly, it's not future-proof because it has limited Rec. 2020 coverage and the tone mapping is off, and more content will start to use that color space.
The LG C2 42 has a decent HDR color volume. It displays dark and bright colors well, but it's limited by its incomplete color gamut. Unfortunately, its color volume isn't as good as the Dell Alienware AW3423DW because that monitor uses QD-OLED technology, allowing it to get brighter and display a wider range of colors, so colors look more vivid.
The LG C2 42 has fantastic reflection handling. Unlike the Sony 42 A90K OLED, it has a glossy finish that cuts down reflections well, and even though the TV doesn't get the brightest in Game Mode, you shouldn't have issues using it in rooms with a few lights around. Unlike the Dell Alienware AW3423DW, the black levels aren't noticeably worse when there's ambient light on the screen.
The LG C2 42 has decent text clarity. As it's about the same pixel density as a 27-inch, 1440p monitor, text is legible, but you'll notice some blurriness if you sit close. Windows default to a 300% scaling, which is too big, and changing it to 100% is good enough to read the text, as you can see in the photos above. The OLED screen's RWBG (also known as WBGR) layout isn't ideal as programs don't support it, so text clarity is worse with some programs. Also, some color fringing is noticeable with certain content, like when displaying yellow on a green background, but it's not a big issue with most content. Due to the smaller screen size, the LG C2 42 also has slightly better text clarity than the LG 48 C1 OLED, but it's not enough to make a significant difference.
Below you can see text clarity photos at different scaling options.
|Scaling||ClearType On||ClearType Off|
As this uses a RWBG subpixel layout, all four pixels are never on at the same time, but you can see different pixel combinations below:
The LG C2 42 has fantastic gradient handling. There's some banding in darker shades, but other than that, banding is minimal. There's a Smooth Gradation setting that reduces banding, but also causes a loss of fine details with high-quality content, and you can only use it with certain picture modes.
The LG C2 42 has a high refresh rate that you can achieve over its HDMI 2.1 ports, but unlike most monitors, it doesn't have a DisplayPort input. If DisplayPort connectivity is important to you, OLED monitors like the LG 48GQ900-B are a better choice.
The LG C2 42 supports all common variable refresh rate formats, including HDMI Forum VRR, to reduce screen tearing. You need to ensure your graphics card supports HDMI 2.1 for the full VRR range in 4k; otherwise, you'll be limited to a max refresh rate of 60Hz in 4k. If you want an OLED monitor with a higher 165Hz refresh rate for PC gaming, consider the Dell Alienware AW3423DWF or the Samsung Odyssey OLED G8/G85SB S34BG85.
|Overdrive Setting||Response Time Chart||Response Time Tables||Motion Blur Photo|
The LG C2 42 has a near-instantaneous response time, resulting in remarkable motion handling. There's almost no motion blur behind fast-moving objects, but due to OLED's sample and hold method, there's still a bit of persistence blur. It also has some overshoot when transitioning from pure black to any shade, which is common among OLEDs, and while it can cause inverse ghosting, it's not noticeable. Unlike most monitors, there's no option to adjust the pixel overdrive, but you won't need it anyways.
|Overdrive Setting||Response Time Chart||Response Time Tables||Motion Blur Photo|
The response time on the LG C2 42 remains quick with 60Hz content. There's a bit more overshoot with dark transitions, leading to some inverse ghosting dark scenes, but it's not noticeable. However, because the response time is so quick, there's stutter with lower-frame-rate content as each frame is held on longer. The LG C2 42 has a motion interpolation feature to try to reduce stutter, though.
The LG C2 42 has an optional black frame insertion feature to reduce persistence blur. Unlike the LG 48 C1 OLED, it only flickers at 60Hz, and you can't use it at all with 120 fps content. For it to work, you need to enable OLED Motion, and you also need to make sure you disable VRR and have Prevent Input Delay set to 'Standard', which significantly increases the input lag.
The LG C2 42 doesn't use pulse width modulation to dim the backlight, but it's technically not flicker-free either. The slight dip in brightness coincides with the 120Hz refresh rate, which isn't visible because it's not a full-screen on and off flicker like on LED-backlit displays.
The LG C2 42 has low input lag for a responsive desktop experience, as long as you're in the 'Game Optimizer' Picture Mode with the input set to 'PC' and Prevent Input Delay set to 'Boost'. Setting Prevent Input Delay to 'Standard' instead of 'Boost' increases the input lag, but it's still useable for gaming. The BFI input lag is at 60Hz with Prevent Input Delay set to 'Standard', which is why it's much higher than with BFI disabled.
You can also see the input lag results from other settings with 4k @ 120Hz:
The LG C2 42 has about the same pixel density as a 27-inch, 1440p monitor, so if you care about the best pixel density, it's better to go for a smaller 4k display.
The LG C2 42 is compatible with the Xbox Series X, but forcing 1440p @ 60Hz signals disables the VRR, ALLM, and HDR, which is a limitation of the Xbox. However, those features are enabled with 1440p @ 120Hz, so keep the TV at 120Hz if you're playing 1440p games.
The 42 and 48-inch models of the LG C2 42 have an audio output, making it easy to connect desktop speakers or headphones, but the larger sizes don't have this port.
Unlike other monitors, you can't use the USB ports to connect your peripherals to work with your computer, but you can use them to play media from USB sticks.
The LG C2 42 works well with recent macOS devices. HDR looks great, and everything works as intended, but you're limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, and VRR doesn't work. When the MacBook goes to sleep or you close the lid, the TV goes into screensaver mode, and waking the computer takes some time for the TV to display an image again.
As this is a TV, it has a bunch of features most monitors don't have, like image processing and smart features, which you can read about in the TV review. While it has a multi-input display feature, you can only view an image from one HDMI source and one native app, and not two HDMI sources at the same time. There are a few similar monitors that feature a fully-featured smart interface, like the Samsung Smart Monitor M7 S43BM70, but they don't perform as well.
The LG C2 42 also has a few settings to help reduce the risk of permanent burn-in associated with OLEDs like Pixel Cleaning and Screen Move. Even though it's likely less prone to burn-in than older OLED panels, there's still a risk. OLED panel technology has significantly advanced since our real-world burn-in test, which used 2017 models, so we don't know just how likely it is that these TVs will experience burn-in. We'll be starting a new burn-in test shortly to determine how effective each of these new panel technologies are at reducing the risk of burn-in.
See the settings page for the TV here.