LG Ultrawide monitor review: 34WK650-W

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Erin Lawrence

ergonomics kensington, review
I’ve been wanting a widescreen monitor for a while. I work with video, photos, documents, websites and content of all kinds as a creator and YouTuber and to be honest, sometimes I’ll have a dozen windows open and don’t even get me started on how many tabs (today it was 21). Monitors are an interesting space; there’s hundreds of options in different sizes, resolutions, thickness, ones with stands, other on arms. So I’m on a quest to find a great one for my home office, and that led me to the LG 34WK650-W 34-inch monitor. Now this model is a few years old but I picked it because it still a bestseller on Amazon, so I thought there must be something great about it. In my review I’ll tell you what you’re getting, what this monitor is like to set up, use and whether I recommend it for you.

LG Ultrawide monitor review: 34WK650-W

LG Ultrawide monitor review: 34WK650-W
3.8

Summary

If you’re looking for a desktop display monitor with all the bells and whistles, this one is hard to beat. The ultrawide screen real estate is perfect for gamers and video editors.

Pros

  • Crazy wide screen!
  • Brilliant colour.
  • Split screen option
  • Reader Mode
  • Clear & easy to read

Cons

  • Stand takes up lots of space.
  • Casing feels cheap.
  • Speaker is terrible

A quick aside about my set up; I work off an Apple MacBook Pro, so a monitor has to connect to that and provide me more screen real estate than I’m getting now. It’s also helpful if I can use the laptop fully open underneath so I can keep that screen space too. But all that is to say everyone has their own wants and needs —and use cases—from a monitor.
So now let’s get to the details on the LG 34WK650-W. This monitor is full HD, which isn’t as sharp as some of the newer 4K monitors, but this one doesn’t cost a thousand bucks either. If you want a better quality screen, you can upgrade, but you’ve got to have the budget. On this model, the screen is bright, clear and easy to read. The monitor is quite fat; this is no slim glass panel, measuring about an inch thick at it’s narrowest point, to about 3-4 inches at its widest and while it may not look as sexy, it’s an older model that isn’t promising to disappear anyway. It is white on the back, which does help it blend in a bit better.

What you get

The 21:9 UltraWide Full HD resolution (2560×1080) does give you 33% more screen space compared to regular HD screens. This means its super easy to see your ensure Zoom screen for example and more of the attendees, or to put up reports or sheets side by side, or for me, scripts and my video editor. Everything is all in front of me and easy to see.
The monitor is HDR 10 compatible, though depending on the Windows 10 OS settings if you’re using a PC, HDR content may not be displayed accurately. There’s also sRGB which is the standard for ideal color reproduction and with 99% coverage of the sRGB spectrum, this LG monitor is a great option for professional photographers, graphic designers or anyone looking for highly accurate color. I’m no colour expert but I can say everything looked both really good and like it should.

Gamer info: LG Ultrawide monitor 34WK650-W

For gamers, who I think are probably most of the users for this monitor, it uses AMD FreeSync. With FreeSync, you get more seamless movement when playing hi-res, or fast-paced games. FreeSync virtually eliminates screen tearing and stuttering, though it is only available when it is connected to Display Port or HDMI.
I’ll mention a couple other gamer-oriented settings here: You can kill input lag with Dynamic Action Sync and a Crosshair setting adds a target point fixed in the center for shooting accuracy. The refresh rate is 75hz.

Reader Mode & Flicker Safe

There’s two other settings on this monitor worth mentioning: Flicker Safe and Reader Mode.
LG widescreen monitor, stand, reviewFlicker Safe reduces invisible flickering on the screen and provides what LG says is a more comfortable working environment for your eyes. With Reader Mode, the monitor has adjustable color temperature, meaning you can have a color temperature similar to that of paper. It does warm and dull the glare substantially. You can also adjust light and color tone to your preferences.

Size, stand and configuration: what I wish I knew

Overall I found the screen quality to be really good and have no complaints about it.
This is a 34-inch monitor and when I bought it that was my number one want. The first thing I thought though, is that it’s actually too big!
The desk I’m using is very narrow, and the monitor’s stand alone measures about 10-inches wide in an arc. So on this small space, it’s hard to get my laptop on the desk too, and even harder for what’s become the key problem; sitting far back enough to see all the screen. So while I’m not deducting any points on LG for any of this, I’m mentioning it because you should do what I did not; measure your space and make sure you’ve got enough depth to hold it and to give you a wide view of the screen. One thing it doesn’t do though is swivel. You can tilt it from 5 to 15 degrees, but that’s pretty much it.
The next issue I faced was that even at its tallest setting the LG 34WK650-W wouldn’t quite get out of the way of my laptop; the open laptop covered a bit of the bottom of the screen. I’ve actually seen this on another LG monitor I reviewed; they’re not really made to be used in conjunction with a laptop in my opinion. I ended up getting a monitor arm from Kensington to better position it. A review of that is coming soon.

On-Screen Control & built in split screen

To adjust some of the settings, you’ll need to download the LG ON Screen control app. Using the app you can change the colour temperature or brightness, adjust settings and use the Screen Split 2.0 to divvy up your screen if you want. The screen split seems handy enough; it doesn’t create separate screens as much as it simply aligns all your windows to a preset grid for you.

Monitor has a built in speaker… but not a great one

This monitor has a speaker built into it, which was actually a surprise for me! The speaker is small, tinny and sounds really hollow. It’s actually pretty poor quality, but anyone who’s buying this for gaming will likley be using it with headphones or speakers, while us office dwellers might want to find a way to redirect the sound back to our laptops.

Overall review

Overall This monitor is pretty great. On its own merits, there’s hard to find anything wrong with it; the screen is bright, and easily competes with the bright daylight filtering into my office. It’s clear and the widescreen size lets me do so much more at once, so I love that aspect.
Any issues are really problems of my own making and due to my particular workspace… though I do wish this monitor’s stand had another inch or so of height so I could slide my laptop right under it. On the downside… that internal speaker is a buzzy mess.
But overall if you’re looking for a monitor for gaming, or for work, this one can handle both.
The LG 34WK650-W 34″ UltraWide 21:9 IPS Monitor with HDR10 and FreeSync (2018), Black/White sells for about $349US and you can get it from Amazon.

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