This monitor belongs to a very rare species. And it is that in the league in which it competes only a few devices participate. For him , ergonomics and versatility are everything, which places it as a different option. In a way, even unique. In fact, the only monitor we’ve reviewed that comes close to it is Samsung’s 32-inch 4K UHD Space Monitor , and it’s not quite as flexible as this UltraFine Ergo from LG.
When I test a monitor, I usually start my review by saying that its heart is its panel, but on this occasion this statement is not entirely accurate. The 31.5-inch IPS LCD matrix with 4K UHD resolution of this device deeply conditions its image quality, but it is not the component that makes it different. His bet is another , and in it the elements that make the difference are a very unconventional base and ball joint.
In fact, thanks to them, it puts in our hands a flexibility and possibilities that distance it diametrically from most of the monitors for office automation and content creation that we can find on the market. We can use it for gaming, but in this usage scenario it doesn’t feel entirely comfortable because it’s limited by a 60Hz refresh rate and a 5ms response time, among other factors. Theirs is productivity . That’s where you feel comfortable. Where it intends to add value. Let’s see if he gets it.
|PANEL||31.5-inch 10-bit 60Hz 4K UHD IPS LCD with 16:9 aspect ratio|
|RESOLUTION||3840 x 2160 points|
|BACKLIGHT||Peripheral LED with global dimming|
|TYPICAL BRIGHTNESS||350 nits|
|MAXIMUM BRIGHTNESS||380 nits|
|VIEWING ANGLES||178º / 178º|
|AMD FREE SYNC||Yes|
|CONNECTIVITY||2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x 3.5mm jack, 2 x USB 3.0 and 1 x USB-C|
Total power output: 5 watts
|TYPICAL CONSUMPTION||55 watts|
|CONSUMPTION AT REST||0.5 watts|
|DIMENSIONS||714.3 x 641.1 x 406.8 mm (with base)|
|WEIGHT||10.3 kg (with stand)|
LG 32UN880-B – Multipurpose UHD Monitor (IPS Panel: 3840 x 2160p, 16:9, 350 CD/m², 1000:1, DCI-P3 > 95%, 60 Hz, 5 ms), Black
This raises the stakes in terms of ergonomics and versatility
Before getting into the flour and investigating the peculiarities of this monitor, it is worth taking a moment to review some of the characteristics that most clearly condition its performance . The IPS panels stand out for resolving the colorimetry with great sufficiency, and also for giving us wide viewing angles. However, its native contrast ratio is usually modest, and this monitor fully respects these premises, as we can see in the specifications that we have collected in the table that we publish above this paragraph.
On the other hand, its maximum brightness delivery capacity is also moderate (according to LG it reaches peaks of 380 nits ), so we cannot expect it to offer us an amazing experience when working with HDR content . However, despite its modesty in this area, and the fact that, as we have seen, it is not the most attractive option for gaming, it is prepared to deal with HDR10 content and is compatible with AMD’s FreeSync adaptive synchronization technology. In any case, these are far from all your credentials. The best is yet to come.
The photograph that we have chosen for the cover of this article reveals one of the clearest assets that this monitor has: the possibility of rotating the panel on its central axis to place it vertically . In most scenarios of use it is preferable to keep it horizontal, but there are certain tasks in which it may be desirable to place it vertically, especially if we work with several monitors and we are interested in having at least one of them show us the information in this way. .
This option can be interesting if we are dedicated to the development of applications, and also if we need to edit photos vertically, among other creative possibilities in which this orientation of the panel makes sense. In addition, as we will see later, acting on the placement of the panel is a piece of cake and hardly requires any effort thanks to the peculiar and very well thought- out ball joint that LG has developed for this monitor.
In the following detail photograph we can see that LG has not neglected the design of this monitor. Its frames are very thin (the top and sides are only 9 mm ), and although the enclosure is made entirely of polycarbonate, it does not convey the feeling of being fragile. It would have been good to have the aluminum profile because it is a more elegant material, and this monitor is not cheap, but at least the plastic used by this brand is of good quality.
And, finally, we come to what is undoubtedly one of the distinctive elements of this monitor: the arm and the ball joint that allow us to adjust the position of the panel with impressive flexibility. In fact, in this area we have practically no limitations . We can adjust the height of the screen with an amplitude of 130 mm; pivot the panel 90 degrees to place it vertically; tilt it +/-25 degrees; rotate it horizontally with a maximum amplitude of 280 degrees; and, finally, zoom in and out to the position from which we observe it with a maximum travel of 180 mm.
Its flexibility is outstanding, but best of all, its numerous adjustment options can have a beneficial impact on our health from an ergonomic point of view. And it is that they not only invite us to adopt a comfortable posture; they also allow it to fit like a glove both in our usual usage scenario and in the workspace where we need to place it. And it is something that until now very few monitors offer us.
The system that LG engineers have devised to ensure that the monitor will not become unstable when we are manipulating the panel to, for example, place it vertically or bring it closer to the position from which we observe it, is very ingenious. In the following image we can see that they have resorted to a metal clamp that fixes it very firmly to the edge of the table on which we have placed it. In addition, this system has a very positive consequence: the ergonomic arm hardly takes up space on our table, so this solution is less intrusive than traditional bases.
Once we have installed it, we can place the power cable, the USB and the HDMI or DisplayPort cable that carries the video signal inside the metal pillar that supports the ergonomic arm. In this way we will prevent them from being visible, and, incidentally, our desktop will be more collected. Of course, this monitor incorporates a bulky power transformer for which we have no choice but to find a hole somewhere (you can see it in the lower right corner of the following photo).
If we stick to connectivity, this monitor complies, but does not impress. It incorporates two HDMI 2.0 inputs, one DisplayPort 1.4, two USB 3.0 ports, a 3.5 mm jack headphone output , and, finally, a USB-C port that is capable of delivering up to 60 watts of power to allow us charge the battery of other devices.
It would have been a good idea to have an additional DisplayPort input, although the temptation to also ask for the HDMI inputs to implement the 2.1 standard vanishes if we take into account that this 4K UHD panel works with a refresh rate of 60 Hz .
We test your image quality
To analyze the image quality of this monitor I turned to Eizo Monitor Test , a very useful free tool not only to check how a display device resolves color, but also what its viewing angles are, if its sharpness is up to par, if the backlight is completely homogeneous or if it has a defective pixel, among other features.
As I mentioned a few paragraphs above, one of the main strengths of monitors that use an IPS panel is how well they resolve colorimetry, and this UltraFine Ergo has not let us down in this area. According to LG, it offers us a coverage of 95% of the DCI-P3 color space , making it an interesting option for those users who need to use it for photo retouching or video editing. In addition, it comes well calibrated from the factory, although it is possible to get even more out of it by using a professional calibration tool.
The geometric pattern test of Eizo Monitor Test should not put any current monitor of a certain quality in trouble, and this proposal from LG has come out well from this first challenge. Its high resolution (as we have seen the panel is 4K UHD) helps it to solve the curves without any problem, and, in addition, it hardly suffers from high-frequency noise , so the first point is scored by this monitor.
The panel of the unit that we have analyzed does not have any defective sub-pixels. Full-screen images of the three primary colors are very useful to identify the sub-pixels that remain fixed and do not correctly reproduce their corresponding color component, but they are also valuable to perceive if the backlight system manages to distribute the light in a correct way. homogeneous throughout the panel. And even to identify if there are light leaks . In the following test we will test these two sections more precisely.
The following test exposes the panel to a uniform gray color pattern, and confirms what we observed in the previous test: this monitor’s globally dimmable peripheral LED backlight fails to distribute light absolutely evenly across the panel. There is a slight loss of intensity at the edges of the matrix, as well as a slight light leak that is more clearly visible in the corners.
However, it is something that goes unnoticed in a traditional use scenario and that we only perceive when we use an analysis tool. In fact, virtually all IPS monitors we’ve tested suffer from more or less intense light leaks , especially in the corners, due to the way these panels block the light emitted by the backlight system.
On the other hand, the viewing angles offered by this IPS panel are very wide. According to LG, they reach 178 degrees in both the horizontal and vertical dimensions, and our tests confirm this. In fact, this is one of the clearest advantages that IPS panels have over VA panels (TNs compete in a lower league if we stick to their overall image quality): the color hardly degrades even when looking at the matrix from a very steep angle.
As I mentioned a few paragraphs above, this is not a monitor designed to give us the best of itself with video games. Its IPS panel has a somewhat high response time ( 5 ms ), and, in addition, it works at a refresh rate that demanding players may fall short of (60 Hz).
It is perfectly valid for occasional gaming if our demand in this usage scenario is moderate, but it is not the best option for advanced users who play frequently. His thing, as we have seen, is productivity. And also content creation.
LG UltraFine Ergo 32UN88A: Xataka’s opinion
This monitor is a breath of fresh air. In a market where “more of the same” abounds, it offers us something different that does not fit all usage profiles, but that can undoubtedly have a positive impact on the day-to-day life of many users. As we have seen, its strongest asset is how well it solves ergonomics thanks to its flexibility when manipulating the position of the panel.
It also scores in its favor the precision with which it executes the colorimetry. It does not match the performance in this area of some professional monitors, such as those from EIZO , but in its price range it is an option worth considering for photo retouching and video editing (especially if we have the possibility to calibrate it in a meticulous way).
As far as its construction is concerned, it does not have a luxurious finish. Its enclosure, as we have seen, is entirely made of polycarbonate, but, yes, the pillar and the arm responsible for its ergonomics are very robust . Nothing to object in this field. Finally, the peripheral LED backlight does not manage to distribute the light in a completely homogeneous way, but it is hardly noticeable if we do not use an image quality analysis tool.
As we have seen throughout this article, this monitor is not perfect. Its finish doesn’t impress, and its image quality, while remarkable, has several small shortcomings that keep it from being outstanding. Even so, these weaknesses do not cloud what is undoubtedly its strongest virtue: an almost perfect ergonomics that is difficult to give up once you have tried it.