LG's 34-inch 5K UltraWide Nano IPS HDR600 monitor is a 4K video editor's dream
LG has just released a couple of impressive new monitors, both of which take advantage of LG's so-called Nano IPS technology and boast VESA’s DisplayHDR-600 badge, meaning they support the HDR10 standard and max out at at least 600 nits brightness for small patches or bright flashes (but only 350 nits full screen, long duration). That is a seriously impressive feat for a liquid crystal panel.
Unfortunately, LG has stayed pretty tight-lipped about these monitors, which will be debuted officially at CES in January, but here's what we do know about them.
34-inch 5K UltraWide Nano IPS HDR600 Monitor (34WK95U)
The 34-inch 5K UltraWide is the real eye catcher, a monitor that takes aim at video editors who want to edit 4K footage at native resolution and still have room for editing panels on either side of the screen. Boasting a 21:9 aspect ratio and resolution of 5120 x 2160, the monitor could ostensibly replace a 2-screen setup with a single panel.
Combine that resolution with the fact that VESA have given this monitor its DisplayHDR-600 designation, and you've got a truly HDR-capable IPS monitor, something LG only managed to achieve thanks to its Nano IPS technology and possibly some other trickery (more on that later...).
As for color reproduction, Nano IPS technology manages to squeeze 98% of the cinema-grade DCI-P3 color space into the 4K monitor below. It stands to reason, then, that this same technology would bring similar results to the 5K UltraWide, but we'll have to wait for LG to confirm this. The HDR-600 badge means the monitor has to at least hit 90% DCI-P3, but it's likely the 5K UltraWide hits a higher percentage than that.
Finally, the monitor also features a Thunderbolt 3 port that, according to LG, "enables the transmission of 5K resolution images at 60Hz with a single cable."
The LG 5K UltraWide 34WK95U will be on display at CES in Las Vegas in a couple weeks' time, where we hope to find out more technical details. LG hasn't released official pricing and release date details, but the monitor has been spotted online with a price tag of $1,500 and expected release date of May 2018.
32-inch 4K UHD Nano IPS HDR600 Monitor (32UK950)
Speaking of "the other monitor"... slightly overshadowed by the 5K UltraWide release, the 32-inch 4K UHD 32UK950 monitor might actually be the better fit for photographers.
It, too, feature Nano IPS technology and the HDR-600 badge from VESA, but in a 4K UHD panel (3840 × 2160). It's a bit more boastful on the color front. No, you're not getting that crazy-wide aspect ratio, but you do get confirmed 98% coverage of the cinema-grade DCI-P3 color space. And then there's the connectivity:
LG model 32UK950 features the first Thunderbolt™ 3 docking display to support 4K daisy chaining, allowing a set-up of dual 4K monitors. This LG monitor can connect to Thunderbolt™ 3 notebooks like Macbook Pro via a single active Thunderbolt™ 3 cable – no charging adapter or unsightly USB cables required.
This monitor’s single Thunderbolt™ 3 cable transmits 4K content and sound while providing enough charge to power a 60W notebook, simplifying any work space.
This monitor, too, will be on display at CES in January. And like its UltraWide sibling, LG hasn't officially announced pricing and release date; however, it too has been spotted online with a price tag of $1,300 and expected ship date of May 2018.
Technical Dive: Nano IPS
Nano IPS could be a huge leap forward for monitor technology. IPS panels are typically limited to a static contrast ratio of around 1000:1, leaving a lot to be desired in the HDR space. Ideally, you'd want at least 4000:1, especially if you're editing HDR footage.
Nano IPS seeks to get around this liquid crystal limitation by "applying nanometer-sized particles to the screen’s LED to absorb excess light wavelengths." This, according to LG, greatly enhances the intensity and purity of on-screen colors for a more accurate and life-like viewing experience. It's likely this is actually quantum dot technology at work, and it might also improve the monitor's static contrast ratio, but we're waiting for confirmation on both these fronts. We doubt these monitors will achieve anywhere near the static contrast ratios the 'light modulating cells' Panasonic recently developed allow its newest displays to achieve.
Our Technical Editor Rishi Sanyal is very excited by the general evolution of computer monitors with technology trickled down from TVs. Wider color gamuts are very welcome not just for video but photography as well, as current printing technology can generate colors well outside of the old sRGB standard. The real trick is to also get brightness and contrast up (and, yes, glossy displays with tightly sandwiched layers and AR coatings, since matte surfaces tend to kill contrast). But we have no idea if NanoIPS or local dimming is what LG is using to get the contrast to HDR-600 levels here. Ideally, computer monitors and reference displays wouldn't use local dimming (unless it's 'full array')... but...
As AnandTech pointed out last week, that HDR-600 badge requires a black level of no more than 0.1 nits, a feat which VESA believes is impossible without using local dimming. And yet, LG doesn't even mention contrast a single time in its press release, to say nothing of static contrast, local dimming, or pixel-level backlight control (unlikely).
For now, we're left excited and intrigued, but not entirely satisfied. One thing's for sure though, the computer monitor field is getting very interesting, and we intend to keep a very close eye on it moving forward.
New LG Monitors Boast Premium Picture quality and Performance, Improved Versatility
Unparalleled Viewing Experience with Vibrant Nano IPS Technology and Thunderbolt™ 3 Connectivity
SEOUL, Dec. 21, 2017 — At CES 2018 in Las Vegas, LG will introduce upgraded models of its popular monitor lineup with Nano IPS technology that take color reproduction capabilities to a new level. In response to customer feedback, LG added support for HDR600 with even higher dynamic range of peak brightness and new connectivity options with full Thunderbolt™ 3 compatibility.
LG’s new 32-inch UHD 4K monitor (model 32UK950) is the first to offer LG’s advanced Nano IPS technology. Nano IPS technology involves the application of nanometer-sized particles to the screen’s LED to absorb excess light wavelengths. This greatly enhances the intensity and purity of on-screen colors for a more accurate and life-like viewing experience. This LG monitor can display 98 percent of the DCI-P3 color spectrum, comparable to monitors used to master Hollywood blockbusters. Ideal for media prosumers seeking superb color reproduction with its support for HDR 600 LG 32UK950 users will experience high dynamic range of peak brightness of 600 candela (cd/㎡).
LG model 32UK950 features the first Thunderbolt™ 3 docking display to support 4K daisy chaining, allowing a set-up of dual 4K monitors. This LG monitor can connect to Thunderbolt™ 3 notebooks like Macbook Pro via a single active Thunderbolt™ 3 cable – no charging adapter or unsightly USB cables required. This monitor’s single Thunderbolt™ 3 cable transmits 4K content and sound while providing enough charge to power a 60W notebook, simplifying any work space. With its beautiful signature Edge-ArcLine Stand and stunning 4-Side Edge Borderless Design where the picture literally drops off the edge, there is no mistaking this LG monitor for anything else.
Expected to be another hot item at this year’s CES, LG’s 34-inch UltraWide monitor (model 34WK95U) delivers a broad range of accurate colors and viewing angles at a surreal 5K resolution (5120 x 2160 pixels). LG’s very first 21:9 5K UltraWide monitor is loaded to the maximum with a hefty amount of screen real estate and eye-popping colors. This ultimate 5K viewing experience is geared towards users who multitask extensively, such as video editors, photographers and software and app developers.
Model 34WK95U supports Nano IPS technology, fantastic color reproduction capabilities and HDR600. In addition, model 34WK95U features a Thunderbolt™ 3 port, which enables the transmission of 5K resolution images at 60Hz with a single cable. The Thunderbolt™ 3 interface is ideal for power laptop users who desire fast video, audio and data transfers without the need for a separate AC adapter. With its elegant, stunning profile, this LG monitor turns heads even when powered off, with its 4-Side Edge Borderless Design and gorgeous slim Edge-ArcLine Stand addition to its refined image.
“Most of us spend hundreds of hours in front of monitors every month and yet it’s one of the least likely products to get upgraded when higher productivity is desired,” said Chang Ik-hwan, head of LG’s IT business division. “With these latest premium monitors from LG, we wanted to communicate that LG is absolutely committed to delivering the best possible screen resolution and the best user experience on a desk or workspace.”
Another attention grabber from LG will be LG’s latest QHD gaming monitor (model 34GK950G), which offers premium picture quality with Nano IPS technology and high-speed G-Sync technology.
All this and more can be experienced personally at LG’s booth (#11100) in Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center during CES 2018.
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