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My thoughts on LG’s 27 OLED QHD 240hz gaming monitor (2023)

My thoughts on LG’s 27GR95QE-B OLED gaming monitor: breaking down design, performance, and how it stacks against rivals.

Sid Metcalfe


November 19, 2023


I’ve recently spent some (office) time with the LG 27GR95QE-B OLED gaming monitor. It’s quite a powerhouse, particularly for esports enthusiast / professional gamers. Its 240Hz refresh rate is great as well as the addition of HDMI 2.1 (and OLED).



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Initial Impressions and Design Aesthetics of the LG OLED Monitor

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In a crowded market of gaming monitors, the LG 27GR95QE-B OLED is a standout with features that cater particularly to the competitive esports community. I have found the 240Hz refresh rate to be a significant benefit during my gaming sessions, where every millisecond counts. I was sceptical at first about the impact of this feature, but it’s evident now that smoother motion and reduced motion blur provide a competitive edge—a must in fast-paced games.

The inclusion of HDMI 2.1 is another forward-thinking addition, ensuring compatibility with the latest gaming consoles, like the PS5 and Xbox Series X. The automatic 4k downscaling is a convenience I didn’t know I needed until now. Loading up an HDR game and witnessing the vividness of the colors, I can appreciate the allure of OLED technology. It’s not just the contrast but the way it makes game worlds feel alive that has thoroughly impressed me.

Design-wise, LG’s monitor is sleek with its tall stand, swivel, and tilt capabilities. Though the aesthetics of a monitor are secondary to its performance, I can’t help but commend LG for producing a device that looks as good as it operates. The monitor is modern and fits seamlessly within a high-end gaming setup. And the remote inclusion is a welcome convenience, allowing for swift changes in settings without navigating through clunky buttons on the monitor itself.

However, the low brightness levels are a considerable drawback. It’s not just about the nits; in HDR, elements are not as vibrant as you would want them to be. The ‘matte’ screen coating—a double-edged sword—it does a decent job of reducing glare, but can render a grainy texture, which is particularly noticeable during productivity tasks with white backgrounds. It might not bother everyone, but those sensitive to screen coatings might take issue.

Then there’s the ‘dirty screen effect’, darker colors noticeably lack uniformity, which can detract from the overall viewing experience. Moreover, the sub-pixel layout results in text clarity that is inferior compared to an equivalent LCD screen—something to consider for those who plan to use their monitor for more than gaming.

Now, let’s address the firmware and menu navigation. Having to tweak settings—regularly encountering adaptive brightness adjustments—is irksome. A screen that necessitates frequent adjustments could be offputting to users who prefer a “set it and forget it” device. Regular updates and maintenance like “pixel cleaning” might be necessary for the longevity of OLED technology but could be seen as a bother.

It’s worth noting LG’s pioneering nature with this display, and with a price tag of $999.99, it’s fair to say that early adopters are banking on the promise of OLED tech in gaming as mentioned in the initial report from LG.

For those considering this monitor, weigh your priorities. If response times, contrast, and the OLED allure are at the top of your list and outweigh brightness concerns and the particulars of the screen coating, the LG 27GR95QE-B could very well be a worthy addition to your gaming arsenal. It’s not a monitor without its flaws, but the benefits it provides are substantial enough to tip the scales for the right user.

Performance Analysis for Gaming and Productivity

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When evaluating monitors, particularly those tailored for gaming, two key factors come into play: performance and usability in varied scenarios. The LG 27GR95QE-B OLED monitor has been a mixed bag in this regard. Its 240Hz refresh rate and 0.03ms response time are nothing short of a competitive gamer’s dream, significantly reducing motion blur and input latency which is critical in fast-paced esports titles.

One of this monitor’s crowning features is the OLED panel, which delivers unparalleled contrast ratios and color depth, making every frame in a game pop with vibrancy and detail. The viewing angles are excellent – a standard for OLED – meaning that, regardless of my sitting position, I consistently enjoy a quality view without any washout.

However, despite its impressive gaming performance, it’s not without drawbacks. The monitor’s peak brightness levels and the ‘matte’ screen coating have been a point of contention. In brightly-lit environments, the monitor may not shine as brightly as one would hope, which can affect the HDR experience; the colors, while rich, don’t have the luminosity found in some IPS displays or the newer QD-OLEDs. Moreover, the ‘grainy’ nature of the matte coating seems to interfere with the crispness of text, making extended productivity tasks somewhat less comfortable. This is something potential buyers should be mindful of, especially those planning to use the monitor for work as well as play.

Connectivity options like HDMI 2.1 mean the monitor is well-suited for modern consoles and PCs, supporting high refresh rates even at 4K through automatic downscaling. This, paired with features like NVIDIA’s G-Sync compatibility and AMD’s FreeSync Premium, helps eliminate screen tearing and stutter for a smoother experience across devices.

Despite these strengths, the LG 27GR95QE-B isn’t free from the quirks often seen in OLED technology. There’s the nagging concern of burn-in, which, while mitigated by the monitor’s built-in preventive measures, is still a potential risk for static images – something to bear in mind for users who display persistent elements on screen for extended periods.

The auto-brightness feature that dims the screen in the presence of white backgrounds is a thoughtful addition for power saving and OLED longevity, but it’s a bit inconsistent and can be intrusive. This adaptive feature seems counterintuitive at times; I find myself diving into the settings menu to readjust the brightness based on content being viewed.

While OLED technology has taken significant strides, it seems there’s still some way to go to make it the go-to all-rounder for both gaming supremacy and versatile use cases. The LG 27GR95QE-B is a solid testament to the gaming heights that OLED can reach, but it also spotlights areas where improvements are desired for the productivity-focused user.

For a monitor positioned at a premium price point, the LG 27GR95QE-B delivers where it counts for gamers but introduces questions for those seeking a do-it-all display. With a one-year warranty, some may hesitate, despite the avant-garde specs. As OLED technology evolves, we anticipate iterations addressing these challenges, making future OLED monitors even more compelling for a broader audience.

Comparison with Competitors and Final Recommendations

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Navigating the sea of high-end monitors has never been easy, and the LG 27GR95QE-B has certainly made waves with its entry. I’ve had time to assess its strengths and weaknesses in relation to its competition and it’s time for the final rundown.

Let’s start with the obvious pros. I can attest to the lightning-speed 240Hz refresh rate and a near-instantaneous 0.03ms response time being phenomenal for competitive gaming. There’s just no contest when it comes to pure performance in fast-paced titles. The automatic 4k downscaling for consoles is a thoughtful touch, ensuring that you’re not sacrificing sharpness on a PS5 or Xbox Series X.

That said, it falls short on brightness. If you’re used to blazingly luminescent displays, this may disappoint, especially when compared to something like the Alienware AW3423DWF or the ASUS OLED monitors. The matte coating, while effective in reducing glare, does seem to degrade the visual experience somewhat, especially in productivity tasks where crisp, clear text is essential.

Speaking of competitors, the Alienware AW3423DWF has garnered attention with its brighter display and QD-OLED panel, which purportedly offers better color and less ‘dirty screen effect.’ But that’s an ultrawide monitor and not everyone’s cup of tea. The trade-off with the Alienware is the lower refresh rate of 165Hz - still speedy, but not quite up there with the LG’s 240Hz. And, of course, for productivity tasks, the criticism of the LG’s panel providing less clarity is a real concern.

The sticky issue of price cannot be ignored. For something north of $900, is the LG a shrewd investment? That depends. If your primary goal is to eke out every advantage in competitive play, it’s hard to overlook. Nevertheless, for mixed-use scenarios or where HDR content is paramount, weighing options becomes imperative.

Another puzzle is the question of warranty - only one year is provided by LG, which doesn’t inspire confidence, especially given OLED’s historical susceptibility to burn-in. Dell, on the other hand, boldly asserts a three-year no burn-in guarantee for their comparable model which may persuade buyers concerned about longevity.

In conclusion, the LG 27GR95QE-B is impressive but isn’t an automatic choice for everyone. If you’re seeking the pinnacle of competitive gaming performance, it’s right there. But if the breadth of functionality and value for money tops your list, exploration of alternatives is prudent.

Now I usually wouldn’t recommend jumping at the latest and greatest with reckless abandon, but the LG strikes me as a significant technological step that might justify the leap for the right user. In a few months, we might see firmware updates that improve on out-of-the-box brightness issues or even more monitors hitting the market as competitors respond to LG’s gambit.

For those on the edge, my advice is simple: weigh your priorities, consider the pros and cons, and who knows - the LG might just be the perfect fit for your gaming nirvana. Or, you might conclude that the industry needs a bit more time to perfect the marriage between OLED tech and gaming needs. The full spec sheet of the LG 27GR95QE-B can be found on LG’s official site. As for the horizon, eyes peeled for a possible 4K 240Hz model that could reset the benchmark once more - the ultimate dream monitor for many.