There are two versions of this new ultrawide monitor from LG, the 29WK500 and the 29WK600 that I’m reviewing here. They are both 29″ IPS displays with a resolution of 2560 by 1080 pixels. They both come with 2 HDMI ports but the 600 variant adds a DisplayPort. And also has HDR10 support, for gaming and streaming with High Dynamic Range or HDR.
Dual and triple monitor setups have been popular for a long while, but ultrawide monitors with their 21:9 aspect ratio offer a versatile single screen alternative. And without any screen bezels in the way, which is real boon, particularly for gaming. With this 2560 by 1080 pixel screen, you’re not getting as much resolution as even a dual full HD monitor setup, but it could well be enough. I’ll cover this in more detail shortly.
It’s a simple procedure to attach the curved stand to the monitor. The support arm screws in the back with two Philips screws, and the stand itself is attached with a thumbscrew.
The stand has an elegant design, as does the monitor itself. Everything is made of plastic and it does feel very slightly flimsy, but once in position it’s not noticeable. The matte white back panel may not be to everyone’s taste, but at least the finish doesn’t attract finger prints.
The stand has no height adjustment – you’ll have to move up to the 34″, LG 34WK650 for that. There is some minimal tilt adjustment, just 5 degrees back and 15 degrees forward.
If you want more adjustment, the monitor has standard 100mm by 100mm VESA mounting holes for any display mount of your choosing.
I’m connecting via the included white HDMI cable to a nVidia GTX 970 graphics card. But it’s worth checking your computer has an HDMI (or DisplayPort) to connect to. Most recent computers will, but if it’s a slightly older desktop computer without, you could always upgrade with a cheap graphics card.
The monitor uses an external power supply, which is in fact a standard 19V, 3.4A laptop power supply, so should be easy to replace if the need ever arises.
Switching on for the first time, the display looks impressive. There is a 1cm bezel around the screen, but this doesn’t detract from the design. The matte display does a very good job of limiting any glare coming in from a large window to my side, and a bright light bulb above.
The monitor has a very easy to use OSD, or on screen display joystick, to navigate through the menu system – the best I’ve used. Although initially the only thing you’ll probably want to adjust is the brightness, which defaults to an eye-straining 100%. To access the menu system, press the joystick and move right to settings.
There are 10 picture modes, with the default custom colour mode being the only one that allows colour calibration which I’ll discuss shortly. It also has the most accurate colours, so I’d suggest leaving it as is in most cases. Unfortunately, although the monitor will remember your settings in each mode, there’s no way to save them as a preset.
The monitor has audio built in, but don’t expect too much from the small integrated speakers. The audio sounds quite clear, but there is no bass. It’s passable for watching a spoken YouTube video for example, but not much else. More usefully, there’s also a headphone port to attach headphones or some speakers, for much improved sound. The OSD joystick controls the volume independent of the Windows controls.
LG’s screen split software
One of the main reasons to get an ultrawide screen is for productivity. Just using the Windows snap assist feature, lets you divide the screen into up to 4 areas. Drag the title bar of a window to the left or right of the screen to snap a 50% sized window to either side. Or use the Windows Key + the left or right arrow. Drag to a corner of the screen to snap a windows to a quadrant of the screen. Or use the Windows Key and the up or down arrow after snapping to the left or right of the screen. With this wide aspect display, you can comfortably work with a side by side split – a document on the left, and a web browser on the right hand side for example. In this case, each window will be 1280 by 1080 pixels, which I find enough in most cases.
If you want more control, LG provide their OnScreen Control software, which lets you customise your display with options for 2, 3 and 4 screen splits and a Picture in Picture split that keeps the window on top – for example for a YouTube video continuing to play in the background. You then drag a window to the predefined split area. You can even configure specific applications to load on Windows startup, in a predetermined screen zone.
The LG software also allows you to control the monitor without using its joystick. And you can configure specific applications to use specific picture modes.
The software works very well, although the built in snap assist features of Windows may be enough. And if you want even more control over your screen space, you can use DisplayFusion which provides the ultimate Windows management controls and customisation, albeit at a cost.
Picture quality and colour accuracy
The monitor has an IPS panel, which is superior to most cheaper TN displays for colour accuracy and viewing angles. Viewing angles are particularly important for widescreen displays like and in general use and viewing test images, I did find the viewing angles to be very good.
The maximum brightness is quoted as 300cd/m², which whilst not as bright as some monitors is plenty bright enough for a desktop monitor in most cases. Unlike your phone, or laptop screen, it’s not being used outdoors, and unless you’re in a very bright room, it’s recommended to reduce to the brightness to around 120cd/m² to reduce eye strain. On this monitor, that’s around 40% brightness in Custom picture mode.
Using an X-Rite i1Display Pro monitor calibrator, I measured the maximum brightness in the default Custom mode as 265cd/m². The brightest picture mode was HDR Effect, which pushed the brightness to 380cd/m².
The monitor is also claimed to display 99% of the sRGB colour space, which is the spectrum of colours that most devices conform to, from phones, to TVs to monitors.
Again using the i1Display Pro, I calibrated the monitor for the most accurate colours possible. I achieved a value of 98.5% sRGB which confirms the specification and is a good result.
More importantly, I also measured the colour accuracy or Delta E (ΔE) of the monitor. Delta E is a metric for understanding how the human eye perceives colour difference with a value of less than 1 being not perceptible to the human eye. And a value between 1 and 2 being barely perceptible.
I measured an average Delta E of 0.52 which is very impressive. An average Delta E of less than 2 is considered very good. Even the maximum Delta E was only 1.53.
High Dynamic Range (HDR)
High Dynamic Range is a relatively new feature of monitors, that expands the contrast and colours of the image, with the intention of providing more realism. The term comes from photography, where multiple photos are taken at different exposures and combined to create an image with an increased dynamic range. So for a high contrast image of a landscape for instance, an HDR photo could reveal lots of details in the foreground, yet still have the correct exposure for the sky.
There are various HDR standards including HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG, with HDR10 being the most widely supported currently. This monitor is listed as supporting HDR10, although if you look into this more closely, it appears to support more a subset of the HDR10 standard. There is a new display compliance standard called DisplayHDR from VESA, which defines minimum criteria for various levels of compliance. This monitor doesn’t appear to even meet their minimum standard: DisplayHDR 400. Whether this is of real concern for most users is not really clear, but it’s worth mentioning.
To actually experience HDR, you also need HDR content: either HDR enabled games or HDR video content.
There aren’t that many games that have HDR support, although I’m sure that will change.
Battlefield 1 supports both HDR10 and Dolby Vision so I was able to try it out. Loading the game automatically recognised the HDR capabilities of the monitor, and the monitor OSD showed “HDR”. It’s then possible to choose one of four HDR picture modes, with the default being HDR Vivid.
The games does look very good, with incredibly vibrant colours, perhaps too vibrant for a game like Battlefield 1, but impressive nonetheless.
Playing HDR content within Windows is more complex. Firstly you need to enable HDR mode in Windows from Settings | Display and switching on HDR and WCG. You’ll again see the monitor OSD display HDR. Since most content you’ll be viewing will still be standard dynamic range (SDR), and may look a little dark, you can adjust the Brightness for SDR content slider, under HDR and WCG Settings.
I had an issue with the Google Chrome browser looking dark and grey which I fixed by turning off hardware acceleration under Settings in Chrome. I thought this was an issue with my nVidia GTX 970 graphics card, but I also tried with another computer which had an AMD RX470, and again had to turn off hardware acceleration. This issue does highlight how HDR support is still in its infancy within Windows.
The easiest way to view some HDR footage is in YouTube. It’s mostly demo clips, but the HDR Channel has various promotional clips and when it’s all working, they really do look very vibrant, almost jumping out the screen at you. YouTube will automatically switch to the HDR version of the clip which you can see under the quality settings, although I only got this to work in Chrome. Microsoft Edge wouldn’t play the HDR versions, with both the GTX 970 and the RX470. Enabling Stream HDR Video in Settings | HDR and WCG settings | Video playback settings, didn’t help.
Amazon Prime and Netflix both have HDR content, but neither will work, on my setup at least. Amazon Prime HDR content is only available on a very limited supported hardware list. And Netflix have a help article hidden away, that states you’ll need at least a latest generation, nVidia GTX 1050 or above discrete graphics card or a very recent 7th generation Intel i3, i5 or i7 processor.
If the situation improves, and you want to switch to Windows 10 HDR mode, I’d recommend disabling any colour profiles you may have enabled and also changing the picture mode to HDR Standard for best results.
Gaming and FreeSync
I only dabble in gaming, but for games that support the 21:9 format of this monitor, it is very immersive. The resolution jump to 2560 by 1080 from full HD is not a big challenge for most graphics cards, which also means you shouldn’t need an upgrade for games that already play smoothly at the lower resolution.
I did feel a little sick playing very fast FPS games like Doom – I’d recommend paying close attention to the the field of view options and increasing the angle slightly to a value that suits you.
If you’re into cycling and have ever tried the virtual cycling game Zwift, the extra screen space is also very welcome. It looks less cluttered and also provides more immersion.
The monitor support FreeSync, which only works with AMD graphics cards, but reduces any screen tearing and stuttering in game, where the graphics card can’t keep up with the refresh rate of the monitor.
It only operates from 40Hz to the monitor’s maximum refresh rate of 75Hz, which makes its use a little limited. My main gaming computer has a nVidia card so had to try the feature out with my children’s gaming PC that has an AMD RX 470. I can’t say I noticed a huge difference in the games I tried, but it’s a nice feature to have nonetheless, if you already own an AMD graphics card.
There are some huge benefits of an ultrawide monitor, mainly for productivity but also for gaming. The LG 29WK600 monitor represents a very good value proposition, with excellent colour accuracy, good connectivity, genuinely useful screen organisation software and a clean, elegant design.
The slightly cheaper LG 29WK500, doesn’t have HDR support, and loses the DisplayPort connection. It is probably the better option, unless the prices are very close. HDR support, particularly in Windows, has a long way to go, but does future proof the monitor somewhat, and games that support it do look impressive.
- 21:9 ultrawide screen ratio excellent for productivity and gaming
- IPS panel has good viewing angles, very impressive colour accuracy with a Delta E of less than 0.5 and covers 98.5% of the sRGB colour spectrum
- LG’s On-screen Control software makes the most of the extra screen space
- Joystick for adjusting monitor’s settings very easy to use
- High Dynamic Range (HDR) support via the common HDR10 standard (although see below)
- Good connectivity options with 2 HDMI ports, and 1 DisplayPort
- Standard VESA mounts for attaching any display stand
- Matte display does a good job of reducing any glare
- FreeSync support (with AMD graphics cards) for reduced stuttering and tearing in games (although see below)
- No height adjustment, and only limited tilt
- Won’t be meeting the new DisplayHDR 400 standard
- FreeSync refresh range of 40-75Hz a little limited
- Can’t save custom monitor presets
I hope you found this article useful. If you have any specific questions, please do ask below in the comments section – I do my best to reply to any questions.
And as ever if you have found the review helpful, please consider using the affiliate links below for any purchases including but not limited to the monitor! It doesn’t cost you a penny, and the small amount of commission I get will keep the site going! Thank you.
I got the monitor from Amazon, which was also the best price: