There are a few schools of thought in the world of LCD monitors, with the battle lines mostly drawn between In-Plane Switching (IPS) and Twisted Nematic (TN) devices. As ubiquitous as IPS has become, its main disadvantage so far has been a slower response time, but now LG claims to have fixed that problem. At the E3 expo this week, the company has unveiled two new gaming monitors with a zippy one-millisecond response time.
The larger model is a curved, wide-angle monitor with a 37.5-in screen, displaying in a resolution of 3840 x 1600. It has a brightness of 450 nits, and can show images in High Dynamic Range with VESA DisplayHDR 400 technology. In English, that means it's been certified by VESA, the industry standards board, as an entry-level HDR display.
The second model is a smaller 27-in monitor, with a resolution of 2560 x 1440. This one has a brightness of 350 nits, and while it can still show HDR10 content, that lower max brightness robs it of the VESA DisplayHDR 400 label – the 400, in this case, refers to the lowest brightness needed to meet the criteria.
But the main focus of these two new monitors is how smooth their motion looks, and LG uses a few metrics to measure that. Along with the headliner 1-ms response time, both monitors have high refresh rates – 144 Hz for the 27-in model, and up to 175 Hz for the 37.5-incher. They're both also compatible with Nvidia's G-SYNC technology, which is designed to smooth motion out to reduce any tearing or stuttering effects that might ruin fast-paced gaming or movie-watching.
The importance of reducing the response time to one millisecond is that it closes the gap between IPS and TN LCD technology. A slower response time – usually about 5 ms – has traditionally held back IPS for gaming. With that problem apparently solved, IPS could dominate with its better color and viewing angles.
Both monitors also have three USB 3 ports, a Display Port and an HDMI port – or two HDMI, in the case of the smaller screen. The larger monitor also has Sphere Lighting 2.0 built in, which is similar to Philip's Ambilight technology, with a set of RGB lights on the back that change colors to match what's on screen. With those colors reflecting off the wall behind the display, it's designed to make for a more immersive experience.
LG is demonstrating both of the new UltraGear monitors at E3 this week. There's no word on price yet, but pre-orders open on July 1, with the US launch to follow later that month. The company says the displays will be available in Europe in the third quarter of 2019.
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