Written by Alex Maidment (nSanity Beach)
I finally caved in. I bit the bullet and bought myself a fresh new monitor with a bit of potential for future proofing.
I play a fair amount of games on the Xbox One and sometimes on PC as well and when I’m not playing games, I’m using the monitor for writing, video editing, photo editing and my wife also uses it for illustration and design. Chuck in the odd day of working from home with my work MacBook Pro, there was a lot of criteria I wanted to fill.
Having said this, the ultimate goal was to simply upgrade from my 5 year old BenQ GL2450HM LED TN 24 inch panel. A brilliant, sturdy monitor for the time I’ had it, but it really was time to move on.
Now I’ve been doing an extensive bit of research over the past 6 months or so and I’ve had the internal battle of 1440p @ 144hz panel vs. 4K @ 60hz vs. ultrawide and then IPS vs. VA vs. TN and after all of this, I’ve settled for the LG 27UK850-W.
It’s a 2160p (4K) @ 60hz with HDR 10 and it’s 27 inches.
I know some of you will instantly tell me that 4K is pointless in the current gaming industry and that the standard Xbox One (which I have) can’t run more than 1080p so why waste money? And if I’m really honest, after much deliberation, I decided that I don’t care and to be honest, I’m very happy with my choice.
Firstly, let’s consider what I wanted from the monitor. I wanted it to be better than my last one – check! I wanted it to be good for video and photo editing – check! I wanted it to be good for illustration – check! I wanted it to allow me to plug my MacBook Pro in – check! (It even has a USB-C port that can be used to display and charge). I wanted it to be good for gaming – check! And I wanted something that was relatively future-proof – check!
My current Xbox may not be 4K ready but next year’s console releases are most definitely 4K ready and I’m ready for them! Plus, my PC will just about play some games in 4K so it’s something to keep me entertained in the meantime.
Onto performance! So far, I’ve given the new monitor a bit of testing on a few different types of games, both on PC and Xbox One. Plus, I’ve been working on it for about a week at the time of writing this.
The boring bits first – the resolution has given a new sharpness to everything I do on the PC, from writing blogs such as this one to browsing the web through to the bits of editing I’ve done this week – it’s been a pleasure to work on. Crisp, beautiful colours and a lovely brightness that can easily be tweaked with the various modes.
As for gaming – it’s literally changed how I see some of the games I’ve been playing, from nice darks and shadows of Call of Duty and Halo through to the bright colours in Minecraft and Rocket League.
Minecraft has been a true delight to play on the monitor bringing it much more to life and taking advantage of the power my PC has to offer compared to the Xbox One. Although, having said this, the monitor has made Human Fall Flat, Rocket League, Halo: Combat Evolved and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 all look about a thousand times better.
The speed and movement on monitor has been noticeably better and the colours have looked so much more vivid.
I can’t stress enough how much difference a half-decent monitor has made to not only my everyday PC use but to the way I game and the games I play.