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LG UltraGear Ergo (27GN88A) review: The last word in ergonomic gaming?

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Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
459
inc VAT

The UltraGear Ergo is a good gaming monitor with an ace up its sleeve: an ergonomic stand

Pros 
Flexible arm mount with built-in cable management
Wide gamut nanoIPS panel
Nvidia and AMD adaptive sync support
Cons 
No USB-C
No speakers
Lacklustre HDR
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The LG UltraGear Ergo solves an issue that has bugged me for a while. Gaming monitors tend to come with obnoxiously hefty stands, the kind with large, splayed feet and enormous vertical struts. This means they can’t perch atop makeshift platforms, which dashes any attempt I might make at improving my posture, and it also means they consume far too much space on a desk.

By swapping the normal behemoth stand for an arm mount that clamps to the edge of your desk, the LG UltraGear Ergo floats daintily above your desk surface, leaving you buckets of room for peripherals or stationery. Even without the mount, the UltraGear Ergo is a good gaming monitor, but it’s the mount that helps it stand out.

LG UltraGear Ergo (27GN88A) review: What do you get for the money?

At a list price of £459, the UltraGear Ergo sits at the more expensive end of the 1440p, 27in gaming monitor spectrum. It uses a nanoIPS panel that has a 144Hz refresh rate, a 1ms G2G response time and support for both AMD FreeSync Premium and Nvidia G-Sync, as well as HDR 400.

As I’ve already mentioned, the panel is mounted on an ergonomic arm that uses a large C-clamp to stay put on the edge of your desk. This arm allows the UltraGear Ergo to extend and retract 180mm, swivel 280 degrees left and right, rise and sink 130mm, pivot 90 degrees (into portrait orientation) and tilt 25 degrees backwards. The stand also has a cable management system built in, so you can thread your cables through the main strut, keeping things nice and tidy.

In terms of ports, the UltraGear Ergo is fairly well equipped. On the rear, you’ll find two HDMI 2.0 ports and a single DisplayPort 1.4 port, plus two USB-A 3.0 ports and a USB-B port to feed them with data. As always, the lack of USB-C is disappointing, but perhaps more so here given that the Ergo could feasibly double as a space-saving productivity monitor.

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LG UltraGear Ergo (27GN88A) review: What do we like about it?

The UltraGear Ergo is one of the few gaming monitors that comes with an ergonomic arm mount, and it’s all the better for it. It’s difficult to find a surface the Ergo can’t cling to: the clamp can be adjusted in size before you tighten it to fit extremely shallow or extremely deep desk surfaces.

The arm itself is considerably more versatile than your standard monitor stand. At the time of writing, the 49in Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 is consuming 90% of the space on my desk, but while my day-to-day monitor sits useless in the corner of the room, the Ergo is clamped to the right-hand edge of the desk, allowing me to extend it from behind the Neo G9 when I need a second screen and tuck it away when I don’t. This might be a niche use case but the principle is sound: if you lack space, an arm mount is a great solution.

While you could feasibly buy a 27in 1440p monitor and pair it with any aftermarket VESA arm mount, you might as well start with the LG because its performance is as good as any we’ve seen at this price. The UltraGear Ergo clearly comes calibrated to the DCI-P3 colour space used by filmmakers: out of the box, the panel produced an sRGB gamut volume of 139%, and a DCI-P3 volume of 99%.

As a result, you’ll notice some exuberant colours in daily use, but this is normal for a monitor calibrated to DCI-P3, since most of the applications you run in Windows use the narrower sRGB colour gamut.

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Measuring colour accuracy compared with DCI-P3 produced a delta E of 1.3, which indicates the Ergo is reproducing colours in this wide gamut space accurately. Better yet, measuring colour accuracy versus sRGB using the Ergo’s sRGB mode produced a fairly low Delta E of 1.77, which means colour accuracy is strong in this narrower gamut as well.

My point is that the Ergo is a good-looking monitor whether you prefer vibrant colours or not. Gaming is a joy, thanks to the winning combination of 1440p, 144Hz and 1ms response times and that wide gamut panel. Moreover, since I work and play on the same PC, being able to pick up a controller and reposition the monitor to face a more comfortable seating position after work was an unexpected pleasure.

LG UltraGear Ergo (27GN88A) review: What could be better?

Thanks to the wide gamut panel, the UltraGear Ergo has the makings of a halfway decent HDR monitor. Unfortunately, like so many other gaming monitors with HDR 400 certifications, the Ergo lacks both the required peak luminance and the contrast ratio to match the HDR you might expect of a decent TV.

In default mode, at max brightness, the Ergo produced a peak luminance of 378cd/m² and a contrast ratio of 858:1. The former falls a touch short of the 400cd/m² required for HDR 400, while the latter misses the quoted 1,000:1 as well.

Enabling HDR in Star Wars Battlefront II simply decreased the contrast of the image, as the Ergo’s backlight brightened as much as possible in an effort to reach the required luminance. Colours remain fairly vibrant thanks to the 95% DCI-P3 coverage, but without any local dimming, the monitor failed to produce true HDR.

On the topic of shortcomings, it’s also worth noting that there are no built-in speakers, so you’ll need to dig out a gaming headset or your own pair of PC speakers to get audio.

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LG UltraGear Ergo (27GN88A) review: Should you buy it?

If you were eyeing up the LG UltraGear Ergo for its HDR specification, you should definitely look elsewhere – the Samsung Odyssey G7 (£630) is by far the best 27in gaming monitor for HDR we’ve tested. But as a rule, gaming monitors with HDR400 certifications tend not to produce true HDR anyway, so the Ergo’s poor performance is far from unique.

It also shouldn’t put you off. The UltraGear Ergo has a great panel that produces gorgeous, accurate colours with minimal lag and a smooth refresh rate (if your PC is up to it). There’s no denying it demands a small premium compared to its competitors but, then again, its competitors don’t come with an ergonomic stand. And frankly, they should: the Ergo is a good gaming monitor made better by its versatile, flexible mount.

LG UltraGear Ergo (27GN88A) – Specifications
Panel size27in
Panel resolution2,560 x 1,440
Panel refresh rate144Hz
Panel response time1ms (G2G)
Panel typenanoIPS
Adaptive sync supportNvidia G-Sync, AMD FreeSync Premium
HDR supportHDR10, DisplayHDR 400
Ports2 x HDMI 2, 1 x DP 1.4, 2 x USB-A 3.0, 1 x USB-B 3.0, 1 x 3.5mm
Other featuresErgonomic arm mount
Stand ergonomics280° swivel, 90° pivot, 25° tilt, 130mm height adjustment, 180mm extend/retract
Dimensions (with stand)485 x 615 x 411mm (HWD)
Weight (with stand)8.12kg

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