Welcome to my LG 32UN650-W Review. When searching for a new 4K resolution monitor to pair with a high-quality laptop, PC, or Mac, the array of features and options, including HDR support, refresh rates, and speakers, can quickly become overwhelming.
The LG UltraFine 32UN650W simplifies this process, offering numerous outstanding features for under $500.
These features include excellent color accuracy, built-in speakers, HDR support, a sleek design, and user-friendly joystick controls for easy menu navigation.
AMD FreeSync also makes this monitor suitable for light PC gaming, although its low 60Hz refresh rate may limit its appeal to more serious gamers.
LG 32UN650-W Review
Yesterday, I replaced my Gigabyte Aorus FI32U with the 32UN650 monitor due to its horrible uniformity, opting for a 60Hz panel for now.
Since I found few extensive reviews of this monitor, I decided to share some thoughts.
The panel offers quite a good value for its price, featuring impressive color uniformity, with the exception of a minor patch at the bottom middle that has a slight green/darker spot. However, some vignetting on the sides doesn’t bother me but might annoy some people.
LG 32UN650-W Design Review
I’ve reviewed many monitors, such as competing Dell 4K monitors and Lenovo displays, which often have large, bulky stands. However, LG takes a different approach with the UltraFine 32UN650W, one of the slimmest and sleekest monitors available, including its stand.
The stand features an open, semi-circle design, giving the monitor a slim appearance and allowing more space for placing items underneath your desk. The support arm at the back even includes an integrated cable clip for efficient cable routing.
The monitor’s back is entirely white, with a touch of black on the bottom front bezel where the joystick is located. I appreciate the white color choice, as Dell has used it in their UltraSharp lineup for some time, helping the monitor blend seamlessly with my setup.
Connectivity and features
Another cool feature on the back of the monitor is the access port placement. Instead of being tucked away underneath where they’re harder to reach, the ports are in the middle of the monitor’s back, making it easy to plug and unplug cables.
The monitor offers two HDMI 2.0 ports (with HDCP 2.2 support), DisplayPort 1.4, and an audio jack for connecting soundbars and external speakers.
The absence of USB-C and USB ports disappoints since it prevents using the monitor as an accessory hub for keyboards or mice. However, I converted the DisplayPort to a USB-C video signal using an adapter to connect to my Surface directly.
The monitor features two ideally located five-watt speakers at the bottom, facing the user, which created an impressive audio experience when listening to my favorite songs on Spotify.
Built-in speakers on a monitor are always a plus, as they reduce the need for dedicated speakers and minimize cable clutter on a desk. LG includes MaxxAudio, enabling sound customization and bass enhancement for a better experience.
Despite these benefits, the LG UltraFine 32UN650W’s design has some limitations. First, the monitor’s arm and feet are made of plastic instead of the metal found on more expensive monitors.
While this material choice is expected for a sub-$500 price, it lacks durability.
There are also ergonomic concerns: the monitor can adjust up and down by 110mm, but it doesn’t rotate fully vertically and only tilts slightly between -5 and 20 degrees.
This restriction can disappoint those who prefer using their monitors vertically, especially for social media. The included stand is the only option for using this monitor vertically.
The monitor barely meets HDR criteria, achieving a relatively good peak brightness. It boasts 350 nits on paper, slightly below the required 400 nits for HDR 400.
However, you likely won’t use the maximum brightness unless the screen is placed opposite a window or in an extremely bright setting.
Ultimately, most consumers find even 250 nits satisfactory, which is common for less expensive displays like the Lenovo l27e-30.
I also recommend using lower brightness levels, as increasing brightness on IPS screens can intensify IPS glow.
During testing, the brightness level provided a slight advantage over opponents in dark locations.
In such cases, you can increase the brightness to its maximum, which should be sufficient for clearly spotting your opponent. Although the reflection handling is average or even considered subpar by some, glare wasn’t a significant issue with our unit.
LG’s website claims that the 32UN650 is color calibrated, initially making me skeptical. However, the panel includes a “color calibration factory report,” although it’s not typical.
Instead, the calibration report consists of a loose set of criteria for gamma, color temperature variation, and color difference, with a binary “PASS” or “FAIL” result. There is no color calibration to a specific color gamut like sRGB or DCI-P3.
When I measured the monitor with my SpyderX out of the box, the calibration against the DCI-P3 specification was off. However, when I applied the sRGB clamp, the calibration measurements appeared more reasonable, with an average delta E of 1.6 and a maximum delta E of 2.66.
Post-calibration results for the sRGB color gamut (with the sRGB clamp applied) were excellent, with an average delta E of just 0.25 and a maximum delta E of 1.62.
As for the color gamut, it matches the advertised specifications. My SpyderX measurements using DisplayCAL showed that the 32UN650 covers 99.8% of sRGB, 85.5% of Adobe RGB, and 94.7% of DCI-P3 (within a margin of error from the advertised 95%). The gamut volumes for sRGB, Adobe RGB, and DCI-P3 are 143.3%, 98.7%, and 101.5%, respectively.
When you press the control nub on the bottom of the 32UN500-W, it activates the OSD. This opens a smaller menu with four options: Power Off, Input, Picture Mode, and Settings.
To activate “Power Off,” push the nub away from you, which is at the top of the menu. It takes some time to get used to, but eventually becomes second nature without pressing the nub first, adjusting left and right changes the monitor’s volume, while up and down displays the current port and picture mode.
The LG 32UN500-W allows you to connect multiple systems and manage them through the Input Options menu. The Picture Mode menu offers several presets: Custom, Vivid, HDR Effect, Reader, Cinema, FPS, RTS, and Color Weakness. By default, the 32UN500-W is set to “Vivid,” which has over-saturated reds out of the box.
All image modes, except for Custom, lockout options like contrast and sharpness sliders or the Response Time setting. When connected via HDMI, the monitor offers four gamma modes, multiple color temp options, and direct RGB sliders. We tested the monitor using its default settings.
I tested the monitor using DisplayPort with an Nvidia graphics card and unofficial G-Sync support. When I enabled the FreeSync option, the Color Adjust menu became inaccessible.
The same applies when you turn on HDMI Ultra Deep Color on an HDMI port. Additionally, sending an HDR signal to the monitor greyed out the Reader, Color Weakness, and HDR Effect picture presets.
In my opinion, the 32UN650 is a pretty decent entry-level IPS panel, and I would likely choose it over other VA panels in its price range. There are some other IPS panels at or around the price of the 32UN650, but they seem to be limited to sRGB and don’t cover a wider gamut.
In conclusion, until the 32″ 4K monitor market matures further, I am quite satisfied with the 32UN650, and it is probably a keeper.
John follows everything happening in the tech industry, from the latest gadget launches to some of the big-name moves in the industry. He covers opinionated pieces and writes on some of the biggest names in the industry. John is also a freelance writer, so he shares articles on freelancing every now and then. email: firstname.lastname@example.org