Slowly, ever so slowly, OLED displays are entering the PC monitor market. LG was one of the first to arrive — which makes sense, since it’s the largest maker of OLED TVs — but has so far mostly stuck to the professional graphics portion of the market. And it remains there with the latest OLED monitor, though it’s going a little smaller and slightly more affordable. The newest OLED Ultrafine display is 27 inches and (wait for it) $2,000. Amazingly, that’s still $1,000 cheaper than LG’s previous 27-inch OLED.
The Ultrafine 27EQ850 (spotted by KitGuru) shares a lot of hardware with the more expensive entries in the Ultrafine OLED series, like the identically-sized 27EP950. Both are 4K displays with one million-to-one contrast ratios, 60Hz refresh rates, and 99 percent coverage of the Adobe RGB and DCI-P3 range. If you’re not a graphic designer or video editor, that means the colors are crazy-accurate.
But that small change in the model number gives the 27EP950 an extra 50 nits of maximum brightness, 250 versus only 200 nits on the 27EQ850. OLEDs excel at color vibrancy and contrast, but are generally weaker on pure brightness, so that 20 percent drop on the cheaper panel is a big deal. The cheaper monitor also drops support for VESA DisplayHDR™400, though it hangs on to HDR10 compliance.
At least the less expensive option has the same excellent I/O setup, with an HDMI port, two DisplayPort, um, ports, and a USB Type-C for one-cable connection. It’ll charge your laptop at up to 90 watts. It’ll connect up to three USB-A gadgets and a set of headphones, too. The Ultrafine 27EQ850 is shipping now from LG’s online shop.
At the time of writing there’s no OLED monitor on the market for less than a grand. But there might be light at the end of the tunnel: LG is hoping to get less expensive and smaller panels in the hands of its partner manufacturers sometime next year.