LG 32UD99 Ultra HD HDR FreeSync Monitor Review

Conclusion

It’s usually easy to tell a monitor’s design intent by its box art. Between the product photos and the different logos that appear, one can make out just what the LG expect the display is be doing. But the company has gone minimalist with the 32UD99’s carton. It clearly announces the Ultra HD resolution, IPS screen, and USB-C capability. And then there’s a rather cryptic graphic that says “HDR For PC”. That’s a bit confusing because the LG 32UD99 is fully-compatible with HDR10--a format not expressly designed for computer content. Not only that, it does a decent job displaying HDR10 content, especially given the modest price point.

The other thing missing from the box art is any mention of factory calibration. The LG 32UD99 is most assuredly a professional display, and has the data sheet to back that up. Not only does it offer DCI-P3, it nails the standard with an average error under 2dE, along with equally-accurate sRGB and Rec.709 modes. No calibration is necessary, at least in the case of our sample, but if you want to perform one, the OSD has all the necessary tools. And if a software-based calibration solution is preferred, LG can provide that as well.

We’re somewhat skeptical when an IPS panel with an edge backlight includes HDR. 1000:1 is nowhere near sufficient dynamic range for HDR. We don’t necessarily need to see a 1000-nit peak output, but black levels must be low for one to notice any effect from HDR content. LG has managed to tweak its IPS part to over 1400:1 native contrast, which is a new high in our experience. And despite the lack of a full-array backlight, the screen looks quite good when showing HDR material. It won’t compete with Dell’s UP2718Q, which is noticeably brighter, but it costs over 30% less than that screen while delivering a lot more screen area.

With solid professional cred and HDR abilities, most would consider the LG 32UD99’s feature set to be complete. But LG throws in FreeSync as a nice bonus. While serious gamers won’t be satisfied with the 60Hz refresh limit, this is a very nice monitor for casual players. Once we tweaked in-game detail levels to the right point, we had no complaints concerning gameplay.

For around $1,000 at this writing, LG has created a solid product with excellent performance and nice styling. It should appeal to professionals, casual gamers, and business users alike. It's certainly an investment, but if you can make use of its strengths across multiple use cases, it's one that should bring years of utility and enjoyment.

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  • Tanquen
    Just some random thoughts. Not sure I’m keeping it. (Returned it as the image would black out randomly and the other issues below)

    The included cables are way too short. Better than nothing but you best be using them with a laptop right next to the display. They should have done better on a $1k display. It seems they had to make the USB-C cable beefy and short as my other USB-C cable that I just upgraded to because my new Pixel 2 don’t like the poorer(?) quality older ones I had that worked fine with the Pixel 1 don’t work with the LG. The calibration has issues with the included USB and even the Windows app had issues.

    The USB connection, while troublesome did finally work and the screen adjustment app is cool and I was able to update the displays firmware. Never done that with a display before.

    It’s flat screen! Yeah! Not sure why everyone seems to be into pinching the middle of the screen and flaring the corners when we finally got rid of this type of distortion moving from CRTs?

    It’s 16:9. Boo. The only option for 16:10 are other 30” displays like the newer U3017 but none I can find with a res higher than 2560x1600.

    The Vesa Mount. It has one but it’s off center and mounts too high on my Ergotron arm. Boo! I know they want to put the hardware and stuff low on TVs and such too make the top look so thin but I’d rather have the vesa mount centered. Looking at getting a new TV and will have to redo the wall mount. :(

    May try one of these on this display:

    https://www.ergodirect.com/product_...x9_SZgwtY21GVa1c8oSqP8r4Gzk06RQUaAgHTEALw_wcB

    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod...cCdSXCAMdHOdAebexS8aAlaNEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

    Size. Not a full 32” but that is how they do it. The small bezel is nice. No logo is nice too but, the display adjustments are on the bottom and this limits your multi mount options.

    Built in speakers. Not the best sound but handy if you move the monitor around or in years to come when you just want simple sound without setting up extra speakers.

    Anti-glare coating. Maybe it gets them a brighter screen but the LG shows way more than the Dell. Not mirror like but I see lots of light sources like me and my desk in the LG.

    The display was shipped in a metallic bag with a lining but no extra screen protection. There are some permanent spots seen when cleaning and it’s much harder to clean. Like the coating is more porous. It took me some time to clean my finger prints off. Never wanted a pair of kit gloves before.

    Calibration. The whites are more so then the Dell but a bit blue for me. The built in calibration sounded good but it’s next to imposable to get running and when you do, it adds banding.

    Power. See this more and more but it has an external AC adapter. So my existing power cables won’t work. I did find an IEC Socket C14 to Cloverleaf Plug C5 Adapter but still had to mount the power brick.

    It has some response time adjustments but I can’t see the difference between any of them and the motion blur is noticeably worse than the seven year old Dell.

    Freesync. Glad it has it but can’t seem to get it to work.

    HDR. Again, glad it’s there but none of the games I have support it and I can’t see anyway to play an HDR video to try it out. :(

    The extra res is good and bad. The Dell U3011 30” at 2560x1600 is a good spot to be as I can run at 100% PDI and still read everything. With the new 4k display I’d need it to be 40” or something. With this 32”-ish display I have to up the DPI and still in 2018 Windows 10 has some issues scaling windows. Some apps or windows ignore the DPI setting or look like scaled bitmaps.




    The IPS Glow is a bit worse than the 6-7 year old Dell but this may have something to do with the coating and the much greater focus on brightness and HDR. It takes some getting used to. The whites are also a bit blue.


    And twice today there was a slight popping sound and an onscreen glitch to go with it. Got it from B&H for $880 or so and it's a good price at the moment. So, I can return and wait for them to get them in stock again or just return it. Thinking I should just return it.

    Can't even try out Netflix 4k HDR as AMD has no Display Ready 3 or whatever. :(

    Overall, I'm disappointed. The one game I could try with HDR (Hitman) seems like nothing changes with it on but you can’t just toggle it back and forth.

    Freesync also doesn’t seem to work and it has more motion blur eventhough its listed as being faster than my old displays.

  • hidaamoro
    Just curious if this display is certified by VESA as DisplayHDR 1000?
  • Tanquen
    If it is, it's a technicality cuz it's not bright enough to be.
  • davidgirgis
    "Between the product photos and the different logos that appear, one can make out just what the LG expect the display is be doing."

    Is this English?
  • AnimeMania
    Which video ports can be used for Freesync? Does HDR require certain video ports or can any be used?
  • Ilya__
    2196054 said:
    "Between the product photos and the different logos that appear, one can make out just what the LG expect the display is be doing." Is this English?


    People think the products not be like it is, but it do.
  • hannibal
    It seems to be Vesa HDR400 monitor
    https://displayhdr.org/performance-criteria/

    Because max brightness is less than 600 nits. But it is close to it. So it is almost Vesa HDR600 compatible
  • truerock
    I hate it when they put speakers, USB ports and other unrelated crap inside a video monitor. I wish they wouldn't do that. I like the trend that Samsung is starting with its TVs where all the ports and other non-video-monitor stuff is put in a separate box.
  • lukwtwz
    How did you measure total input lag? I ask because the 65ms you reported is several times higher than the highest figure reported in any professional review of this monitor I've read so far.
  • crazedphyco3
    So your saying that if I buy this for my Xbox one x hdr won't work on it?
  • crazedphyco3
    So your saying that if I buy this for my Xbox one x I cannot use hdr?