1) comparable screen real estate for multi-tasking (with ultrawide I can still have 2 documents side-by-side, for example)
2) reduced footprint on desk due to 1 monitor only and integrated speakers
3) immersion for games/movies
4) wife has an iMac desktop and makes comments frequently about how much nicer her desk looks (*eyeroll*)
0) 29″ or 34″ ultrawide (21:9)
1) curved if possible for wrap-around immersion
2) integrated speakers if possible to reduce desk clutter
3) 1080p rather than 1440p for reduced cost — 1440p adds ~$300 and a graphics card to run it well adds another ~200-300 depending on what you are starting with.
4) Freesync capable if possible — again for cost reasons; Freesync is AMD’s version of G-sync, and AMD cards tend to be cheaper.
5) no obvious drawbacks such as a monitor stand that lacked height adjustment.
6) reputable brand with reasonable warranty
7) cost <$500 — if you go to 1440p for example the cost jumps to $600+
So based on all of the above, and after much consideration of alternatives, chose the LG 29UC88-B for 329.00. At the time of purchase 12/2016, it was the only curved 29″ 1080p 21:9 monitor available that hit these marks:
— 29″ 1080p — good compromise of image resolution and cost of graphics card required to utilize it. A very capable Radeon RX 460 at the time of this review is ~$100.
— curved — the only contender was Samsung S29E790C but the cost was 574.99 new / 399.00 refurbished.
— FreeSync 75 Hz — only other LG monitors in this price range had it
— 7W integrated speakers — others feature 7W, 5W, 3W, or none
— DisplayPort and headphone jack — others did not necessarily have either or both
Here are some notes on the LG 29UC88-B
— the screen has a slight curve so that the edges do not seem further away than the center
— the curve can be described as a ~1.5cm depression in the center to make the monitor concave
— said in another nerdy way, if you draw a straight line out from the left top corner of the monitor in a tangental manner, then the far right top corner deviates from that tangental line by ~4cm.
— at highest setting, raises the bottom of the monitor to 20.5 cm off the desk.
— at lowest setting, lowers the bottom of the monitor to 8.3 cm off the desk.
— vertical tilt 20-degrees back, or 5-degrees forward, approximate; combined with the above height adjustment a conversion to a comfortable ‘standing mode’ is possible; tested on my desk of 33″ height.
— the crescent-shaped base of the monitor stand extends ~6.5cm in front of the monitor, meaning your keyboard cannot sit under the edge of the monitor
— a plastic cable management device snaps into the back of the monitor stand, very helpful to hide the standard power, DisplayPort, HDMI cables. There might be a way to loop your keyboard cable through there somehow to make it less visible as well.
— VESA mount 75x75mm if you decide to replace the stand with another stand or arm-mounted system.
— a small joystick-like button hidden underneath the center of the monitor provides access to the display menu. The menu is easy to navigate. It has been overall a pleasant experience, no frustration.
— power-on LED can be disabled, and the power-on can be indicated by a brief audible tone.
1) Drivers — for Windows or Mac — so far no issues with Windows.
2) OnScreen Control — enables you to snap documents, webpages, etc. into place, at an aspect ratio set by you from the taskbar (see picture). You might find a video that describes it better, but it really does work well, a pleasant surprise. This feature prevents you from having to move and resize windows, you can just drag/drop them into place and LG’s OnScreen Control will automatically size it. Disable this feature prior to running games on full-screen windowless though, because it may move the window off screen and prevent you from accessing the game menu — just be advised. OnScreen Control also provides an avenue to adjust the monitors basic settings, so if you are not fond of the menu-joystick under the center edge of the monitor, that is way to do the same things.
3) Dual Controller — this allows you to display two computers (with different operating systems) on one monitor. I have not tried this yet.
— I could say more on this because it has been pleasant overall but I will let other reviewers cover it. May update later.
Rather than list all ~40 monitors I compared to, here are the make/model numbers of some that made my top 5:
— LG 29UM58 — flat, no speakers, no displayport
— LG 29UM68-P — flat, no speakers
— Asus PB298Q — flat, no Freesync, includes 3Wx2 speakers
— Asus MX299Q — flat, no Freesync, includes 3Wx2 speakers
^ for the money saved by purchasing one of the flat LG’s above, I could have purchased a desk-mounted monitor arm (such as those by North Bayou) to free up more desk space, but I decided against that. I should mention also that there are some 34″ and 35″ 1080p alternatives offered by LG that might be compelling for some people, but the balance of cost and features deviates from those that I consider to be optimal:
— LG 34UM68-P — flat, FreeSync enabled
— LG 34UM65
— LG 34UM67 — FreeSync enabled
— LG 34UC79G-B
— Asus PG348Q
— Acer XZ350CU — 35″
— BenQ XR3501 — 35″, curved, 144 Hz
— Acer Predator Z35 — 35″, 9Wx2 speakers, GSync