Gadget news
iPad Pro OLED models are experiencing HDR color bug, fix incoming
9:27 pm | May 14, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Mobile phones news | Tags: | Comments: Off

The new OLED iPad Pros are experiencing a color reproduction bug when displaying HDR content. The issue is appearing on both the 11-inch and 13-inch iPad Pro models and shows blown-out blue colors that appear to have patches of white streaks on them. This appears to be an issue with the image-processing engine. iPad Pro OLED HDR bug (image: iMORE) Apple has already acknowledged the issue and is actively working on a fix which is set to arrive with the next version of iPadOS. There is no immediate time frame for when this fix will arrive. Apple’s new iPad Pro models are set to go on...

BenQ X3100i review: a potent 4K projector for gaming and movies
10:14 pm | April 9, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Home Theater Projectors Televisions | Tags: , | Comments: Off

BenQ X3100i 4K projector: one-minute review

The BenQ X3100i is the company’s latest top-of-the-line gaming projector and boasts a 4K DLP chip that can switch to 1080p to deliver a highly responsive 240Hz refresh rate. Between that and its bright 4LED light source, this $2,399  (around £1,900 / AU$3,690) projector has plenty to distinguish it among the best 4K projectors.

It all comes packed into a somewhat stylish, albeit plastic cube that is at least trendier than the many office space-esque projectors on the market. With plenty of setup options and optical adjustments, the X3100I is a powerful projection system with an edge over some of its more fashionably built competitors.

The X3100i won’t be the best option for folks who prioritize watching TV and movies, but it does a great job at that task. And given its gaming chops, it’s an easy choice for gamers who also want a home theater projector.

BenQ X3100i 4K projector review: price and release date

  •  Release date: November 2023  
  • MSRP:  $2,399 (around £1,900 / AU$3,690)

The BenQ X3100i is available now for $2,399 (around £1,900 / AU$3,690). It’s still a very recent model, so it hasn’t seen major price shifts or deals during sales events.

BenQ X3100i on table facing front

The BenQ X3100i is large for a portable projector but can be easily moved from room to room (Image credit: Future)

BenQ X3100i 4K projector review: Specs

BenQ X3100i close up of manual controls

Manual controls let you dial in focus, zoom, and vertical lens shift (Image credit: Future)

BenQ X3100i 4K projector review: design and features

  • Good, but not stunning looks
  • Flexible optical adjustments
  • Potent speakers

The BenQ X3100i is a modestly sized cube of a projector, with almost square dimensions. BenQ adds a touch of style by using an interesting pattern of cutouts for venting plus a dark finish on the front that’s accented in orange. That said, it’s virtually identical to the earlier BenQ X3000i and X1300i. It’s hard to ignore that the projector’s chassis is made from plastic — similar to any office projector — but the X3100i’s design flourishes give it a bit more visual appeal than models from Epson or Optoma.

For some projectors, a more stylish design has meant fewer optical controls, but BenQ hasn’t omitted them. It has a physical dial to vertically shift the lens, plus optical zoom and focus control rings. Digital adjustments are becoming commonplace on projectors, but these sacrifice actual picture resolution, which is why the BenQ X3100i’s optical adjustments are a great addition. It does have digital keystone adjustments, but since these add latency, hardcore gamers had best avoid them.

BenQ’s setup features don’t stop there. The projector has two adjustable feet up front to help angle it just right. Cleverly, it includes attachable feet and a rubber bumper should you want to set the projector upside down someplace like a high shelf. Since there’s a vertical offset to the lens, high placements require the X3100i to be upside-down, and these design features let you do that without having to opt for ceiling mounting. 

BenQ includes a fairly basic remote for easy navigation of the projector's menus and the menus of an attached streaming stick. The side panel controls are handy if you can’t find your remote and want to make adjustments in a pinch, but they’re cheap-feeling and not very responsive.

The included streaming stick is a basic Android TV dongle that tucks into a compartment inside the projector with a built-in HDMI port and a micro USB power connector. Annoyingly, It doesn’t come pre-installed, forcing you to unscrew the projector’s top cover to insert it.

The battery compartment of the included remote control is also difficult to get into. BenQ stretched the cover across almost the remote’s whole length, and it's tricky to grasp it.

In addition to the internal HDMI port, the BenQ X3100i includes two more HDMI ports on the rear, including one that supports eARC. There are also 3.5mm analog and optical digital audio outputs, so your connection options are well covered. The projector’s built-in speakers are surprisingly potent and they provided impactful sound before maxing out in my 200-square-foot room.

  • Design and features score: 3.5/5

BenQ X3100i showing Avatar 2 on screen

The BenQ's focus is on gaming performance, but it also does a great job displaying movies (Image credit: Future)

BenQ X3100i 4K projector review: picture and sound quality

  • Bright 4K picture
  • Flexible and responsive gaming options
  • Somewhat finicky HDR

The BenQ X3100i’s compact size hides mighty capabilities. A 4LED light source pipes out a rated 3,300 ANSI Lumens, working with a single DLP chip to produce a bright, crisp, and colorful 4K image. Movies and TV look awesome with this projector, especially when viewed on a 100-inch or larger screen. 

If you want to make the most of it, you’ll want to pair the BenQ X3100i with a different streaming stick such as the Roku Streaming Stick Plus or Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max. The included one didn’t seem to deliver HDR, and a third-party option was also inconsistent when displaying movies and shows with HDR, taking a lot of fussing around to get the projector’s settings right. 

All the same, the BenQ X3100i is up to the task of providing a killer image. It may not deliver the same rich color as triple-laser projectors like the Hisense PX2 Pro, which shoots for full coverage of the huge Rec. 2020 color space, but its color is still impressive. (BenQ's specifications cite 100% UHDA-P3 color space coverage.)

Gaming performance is a key aspect of the BenQ X3100i, which can run 4K at 60Hz or 1080p at 240Hz. With that option, if I wanted luscious visuals, I could select 4K, and then if getting sweaty in Overwatch 2, flip over to 240Hz mode. The projector’s DLP chip is incredibly responsive. Whipping around the battlefield and snapping at different targets was a breeze, and it was made all the better by the fact that targets can be downright huge with a large projected image.

Regardless of what picture mode I used (save the unsightly Bright setting), the BenQ maintained a relatively consistent noise level, with fans whirring quietly and never ramping up madly to disrupt my experience.

  • Picture quality score: 4/5

BenQ X3100i 4K projector review: value

  • $2,399 is premium territory
  • Respectable capabilities for the price

The BenQ X3100i may not be a class leader in any category, but it’s a flexible option that finds ways to give you more for your money and is a respectable projector for home theaters and gaming dens alike. Its $2,399 price tag may put it at odds with other projectors that can game or entertain equally well, but few can do both at the level BenQ achieves here.

  • Value score: 4.5/5

BenQ X3100i hidden compartment for streaming stick

The hidden compartment that holds the included Android TV streaming dongle (Image credit: Future)

Should I buy the BenQ X3100i 4K projector?

BenQ X3100i Android TV interface

The X3100i's Android TV smart interface provides popular streaming apps including Netflix (Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

Don’t buy it if… 

Also consider...

Hisense PX2 Pro
Ultra short throw projectors like the Hisense PX2 Pro are a great option if you want a big image from a setup that takes up minimal space. It's not the same gaming powerhouse as the BenQ X3100i, but it does look great with both games and movies. Here's our full Hisense PX2 Pro review.

BenQ X3100i showing first person shooter game onscreen

(Image credit: Future)

How I tested the BenQ X3100i 4K projector

  • Tested at home in multiple, real-world viewing conditions
  • Viewed with a variety of media and formats
  • I have tested numerous projectors and displays over the last half-decade

I tested the BenQ X3100i at home, in real-world conditions. This saw it challenged by ambient light coming in from numerous windows, in-room lighting, and ambient noise that the projector and its speaker system had to overcome. The projector was tested both on a bare, white wall and with an Akia Screens CineWhite screen and was presented with streamed HDR and non-HDR content, as well as PC gameplay. 

My testing evaluates the projector’s performance with respect to its price and competition from other models that I and my colleagues at TechRadar have tested.

I have been testing projectors since 2021 and displays for even longer. 

First reviewed: April 2024

Philips 40B1U5600 business monitor review
7:31 pm | March 27, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Pro | Tags: | Comments: Off

With a bigger screen, you can get more done. That's the basic theory behind Philips' latest ultrawide productivity panel, the Philips 40B1U5600. It's a 40-inch beast with a 21:9 aspect ratio.

Aiming to be one of the best business monitors with a large panel and plenty of screen real estate, it adds a range of features that help you get work done. For starters, there's a KVM switch allowing you to share this monitor across two computers. Then there's USB-C connectivity with power delivery, so you can drive the display, charge your laptop and connect peripherals, all with a single cable.

For image quality, the good news is that you get an IPS panel that supports HDR and runs at 120Hz. That relatively high refresh is normally the preserve of gaming monitors. But it has a benefit for general computing in terms of day-to-day smoothness and responsiveness. 

Similar thinking applies to HDR support. It's not directly relevant for most mainstream workflows, but it's nice to have. If all that sounds impressive, there is a catch. The Philips 40B1U5600 only offers a native resolution of 3440 by 1440. That's pretty low for such a large display.

Likewise, the HDR support is fairly limited and the USB-C charging power tops out at just 15W. That latter figure is arguably the most problematic of all, as it's not enough to stop even the best business laptops from discharging when under moderate to heavy load. 

Philips 40B1U5600: Design & features

Philips 40B1U5600 during our review and testing process

(Image credit: Philips)
  • Strong feature set
  • KVM switch
  • Mostly good connectivity
  • USB-C limited to 15W power delivery

Panel size: 40-inch 

Panel type: IPS

Resolution: 3440 x 1440

Brightness: 500 cd/m2

Contrast: 1,200:1

Pixel response: 4ms

Colour coverage: 121% sRGB

HDR: DisplayHDR 400

Refresh rate: 120Hz

Vesa: 100mm x 100mm

Inputs: DisplayPort 1.4 x1, HDMI 2.0 x1, USB-C with 100W power delivery x1

As a productivity-oriented monitor, it's no surprise to find the Philips 40B1U5600 is pretty sober suited. The all-black plastics and unadorned, straight-edged design is fairly anonymous. That said, the large 40-inch panel size and ultrawide 21:9 aspect ratio do make for plenty of desktop appeal. This isn't your average office monitor.

It's also pretty ergonomic for such a large display, thanks to a stand that adjusts for height, tilt and swivel and a plug-out arm for hanging headphones. Speaking of ergonomics, most ultrawide displays of this large scale feature a curved rather than flat screen.

Consequently, it's notable that the edges of the display do feel like they're at quite an oblique angle when viewing the monitor from a normal working distance. In the end curved versus flat is a personal preference. But if curved makes sense at all, it makes sense on this size and format of display and a gentle curve would probably be preferable here.

Whatever, you also get a KVM switch allowing this monitor to share a single keyboard and mouse across two computers. Even better, there's USB-C connectivity with power delivery. That means you can drive the display, charge your laptop and connect peripherals, all with a single cable.

Philips has specified the power delivery at 100W, which should be enough to keep even pretty high performance desktop replacement laptops fully charged under fairly heavy load. All of which means this monitor is very well specified in terms of connectivity and ergonomics.

Philips 40B1U5600: Performance

Philips 40B1U5600 during our review and testing process

(Image credit: Philips)
  • Nice IPS panel
  • Low pixel density
  • Limited colour space and HDR support

The Philips 40B1U5600's IPS panel is a decent performer. It's rated at up to 500 nits, which is plenty of punch for all by the brightest indoor ambient light conditions.

There is HDR support, but it's the entry-level HDR400 variety, which means no local dimming and limited dynamic range. This isn't a true HDR monitor, but it does support an HDR signal and will show the colours correctly.

It's just a pity that the colour balance of SDR content in HDR mode is a little off. In practice, that means you'll have to toggle between HDR and SDR modes depending on content type to ensure the best image quality results. That's a bit of a pain, but probably only a problem if you need to view HDR content regularly.

Similarly, the OSD menu offers a pretty limited range of colour spaces, with just sRGB beyond the default user mode. So, don’t go in expecting one of the best monitors for photo editing or the best video editing monitor. It’s not aimed at those users, and as such, it's not the end of the world that there's no Adobe RGB or DCI-P3 mode. And the IPS panel is pretty well calibrated and offers pleasing, well saturated colours and decent contrast for this panel type.

The 120Hz refresh support is also a nice extra. It's not strictly necessary for most workflows. But it makes for an added sense of smoothness and responsiveness for day-to-day computing. Put simply, once you've tried 120Hz or higher, you won't want to go back to the old school 60Hz experience. 120Hz is just better.

What's more, you get user-configurable overdrive, so you can tweak the response to your preference. This is a fairly quick display and even if it's not actually designed for gaming it isn't actually half bad as a gaming panel.

Where it isn't so good is pixel density. The 3440 by 1440 pixel native resolution is pretty low for a 40-inch ultrawide panel and makes for low pixel density. As a result, images aren't as sharp as higher resolution monitors and font rendering isn't as sharp.

In Windows, font rendering is tolerable on this display and as an overall productivity device, the Philips 40B1U5600 is pretty appealing. However, in MacOS using, say, an Apple MacBook, text is very soft due to the low pixel density.

Philips 40B1U5600: Final verdict

Philips 40B1U5600 during our review and testing process

(Image credit: Philips)

As a big screen for getting stuff done, the Philips 40B1U5600 has lots to recommend it. The connectivity, including a KVM switch and USB-C with 100W of power delivery is great. The core image quality of the 40-inch ultrawide IPS panel is pretty nice, too.

The basic HDR support plus 120Hz refresh are likewise welcome extras and ensure this monitor is pretty versatile and very pleasant to use day-to-day. It'll even make a decent fist of playing games.

Despite all that, there is one pretty obvious limitation and it's pixel density. 3440 by 1440 is quite a low resolution for this large a monitor and both overall sharpness and font rendering do suffer. For Windows users, this remains a pretty usable monitor. But this is in no way one of the best monitors for MacBook Pro laptops and Macs, and we'd advise Apple users to steer clear since macOS isn't terribly well-optimised in terms of font rendering for pixel density this low. 

Pair the Philips 40B1U5600 monitor with the best business computers - tested, reviewed, and rated by us 

Amazon Fire TV 32-inch 2-series TV review: a small TV that gives great value, but struggles elsewhere
12:01 am | March 26, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Televisions | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

The 32-inch Amazon Fire TV 2-series is the entry level series in Amazon Fire TV range, below the Amazon Fire TV 4-series and Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED. It comes with a 720p panel and is priced at $199 / £249 / around AU$305. It is also available in a 40-inch size with a 1080p Full HD panel.

The Amazon 2-series has plenty to live up to following the Amazon Omni QLED, one of the best TVs of 2023, and our budget TV of the year at the TechRadar Choice Awards. Unfortunately, the Amazon 2-series doesn’t quite have the same wow factor as its more premium counterpart and faces tough competition in the best 32-inch TV category, although it does provide a very budget-friendly option for those needing a small screen. 

The picture quality on the Amazon 32-inch 2-series is a mixed bag. Starting with lower-resolution and HD broadcast TV, textures were detailed enough and the Amazon 2-series did a good job of upscaling. For daytime TV programming, the picture was decent. 

Moving onto 4K HDR sources, the first movie I watched was Star Wars: The Last Jedi on a Disney Plus stream to test color and overall HDR performance (the Amazon 2-series has HDR10 compatibility). During the throne room fight scene, With its Film Dark picture mode active, the Amazon 2-series did a good job of displaying the vibrant reds without making them look too overblown. Lightsabers also showed plenty of the expected shine. Testing the Amazon 2-series’ color gamut coverage, DCI-P3 (the color space used to master 4K movies and digital cinema releases) was 74.3% and BT.2020 was 54.1%. Although these results are expected for a budget TV, they aren’t as good as what we measured on the LG 32LQ6300, arguably the best 32-inch TV available.

Amazon 32-inch 2-series with Star Wars the last jedi on screen

The Amazon Fire TV 32-inch 2-series has an inconsistent picture, but colors can be good as shown by Star Wars: The Last Jedi. (Image credit: Future)

Using The Batman on standard Blu-ray to test black levels and shadows, the TV’s regular LED panel showed its limitations as any black areas on the screen took on a gray tone and there were instances of backlight clouding. Contrast was mixed, with a good balance between blacks and highlights in the subway fight scene, but less impressive performance in other scenes. 

Measuring the grayscale of the Amazon 2-series, it gave a result of 3.5 (we typically look for a result below 3). This isn’t the worst result we’ve seen (it’s the same as the LG 32LQ6300) but it explains some of the 2-series’ black level and skin tone accuracy limitations. Measuring the Amazon 2-series’ peak brightness on a 10% window yielded a result of 260 nits and 237 nits in Standard and Film Dark mode, respectively, which are similar numbers to other 32-inch TVs we’ve tested. 

Moving onto Top Gun: Maverick, the Amazon 2-series did a credible job of handling fast motion and panning shots, although there was some blur and judder present and there weren’t any motion adjustments in the TV's picture settings menu to compensate for it. In bright daylight sequences, the characters' skin tones looked oversaturated and unnatural. Changing the picture mode to Natural helped by preventing textures from appearing too sharp, but also sacrificed picture clarity and color accuracy. 

Amazon Fire TV 32-inch 2-series with Fire TV home screen

The Amazon Fire TV 32-inch 2-series uses Fire TV, a smart TV platform with pros and cons.  (Image credit: Future)

The Amazon 2-series fared better than expected in terms of audio quality. There isn’t much to distinguish between the various sound modes such as Standard and Music, though Entertainment proved the best option. With this active, dialogue was clear and the sound surprisingly well-balanced for a budget set. Watching The Batman and Top Gun: Maverick, the 2-series did an adequate job conveying the bassy rumble from the engines of the Batmobile and fighter jets, respectively – much more so than the tinny speakers of the Hisense 32A5K. If you’re using this as a main TV, I’d suggest you invest in one of the best soundbars, but as a secondary TV its sound should suffice.

The 2-series uses Amazon Fire TV as its smart TV platform. This offers access to plenty of apps and customization features, but also displays arguably too many recommendations on its home menu. Navigation also felt occasionally slow and clunky on the 2-series, with long pauses and stutters while loading different pages and apps. There are settings to adjust both picture and audio, but as stated above some important ones are missing such as motion settings.

The 2-series resembles other 32-inch budget TVs, with a functional design that's not uninspired - especially compared to the likes of the Hisense A5K. During setup, installing the feet showed its cheaper design, again even compared to the similarly priced LG LQ6300. The 2-series does, however, come with the Amazon Fire TV Alexa remote – a welcome accessory. 

Amazon 32-inch 2-series with battlefield V on screen

The Amazon Fire TV 32-inch 2-series (pictured with Battlefield V on screen) has average gaming performance that handles motion adequately. (Image credit: Future)

Gaming performance on the Amazon 2-series should be acceptable to bedroom gamers tight on space. There are no real gaming features ( expected at this price) but playing Battlefield V on Xbox Series X was smooth enough, though with occasional choppy frame rates. Switching between targets and scanning the environment was also fairly well handled. 

You see a lot of similarly priced sets with similar features in the 32-inch TV category, and with its 720p as opposed to 1080p resolution, the 2-series lies at a disadvantage. Better options exist at its $199 / £249 price, with the LG 32LQ6300 regularly priced in the UK at £199. However, we have seen the 2-series as low as $119 in the US, and for that low price it is tough to argue against. 

Amazon Alex TV remote

The Amazon Fire TV 32-inch 2-series comes with the Amazon Alexa remote.  (Image credit: Future)

Amazon Fire TV 32-inch 2 series review: Prices & release date

  • Release date: 2023 
  • Prices from $199  /£249 / around $305 for the 32-inch 
  • Prices from $249 / £299 / around $350 for the 40-inch  

The cheapest and smallest entry in Amazon’s 2023 Fire TV lineup, the Amazon 2-series is priced around $199 / £249 / around $305 for the 32-inch and $249 / £299 / around $350 for the 40-inch. Both models are regularly on sale, with the 32-inch TV we tested dropping as low as $119 in the US and £149 in the UK. 

Amazon Fire TV 32-inch 2 series review: Specs

Should you buy the Amazon Fire TV 32-inch 2-series?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider...

Amazon 32-inch 2-series with testing equipment

(Image credit: Future)

How I tested the Amazon Fire TV 32-inch 2-series

  • Tested in lab room with different lighting conditions
  • Tested through a variety of sources - both SDR and HDR
  • Measurements taken using Portrait Displays' Calman calibration software

I tested the various picture and sound modes of the Amazon 2-series using a mixture of broadcast, lower-resolution TV, and HDR sources, streaming through apps such as Disney Plus and Blu-ray. I also used a Panasonic DP-UB820 4K Blu-ray player to play standard Blu-rays.

When it comes to how we test TVs at TechRadar, following subjective testing looking at picture quality, gaming, audio and more, we move on to objective tests using a colorimeter and test pattern generator (for our tests I use the Murideo Six 8K Metal), with the results recorded by Portrait Displays' Calman claibration software

To test for brightness, we measure across a variety of different-sized white window patterns in both SDR and HDR using Standard and the most accurate picture mode (in this case Film Dark) to get an indication of peak brightness and how well the TV will cope with reflections. We then record the Delta-E values (which demonstrates the margin of error between the test pattern and what is displayed) for color accuracy, grayscale and gamma using Calman. Lastly, we measure DCI-P3 and BT.2020 color space coverage, along with input lag in Game mode.

Panasonic MZ980 review: a mid-range OLED TV that punches above its weight
1:00 pm | March 16, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Televisions | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Panasonic MZ980: Two-minute review

The Panasonic MZ980 is the brand's mid-range OLED TV offering from 2023. Although it stands out as a great all-rounder, it’s a bit unfortunate – and actually ultimately unfair, as we’ll see – that the most headline-grabbing thing about the MZ980 is stuff it doesn’t have. Namely the brightness-enhancing Micro Lens Array and proprietary heat sink hardware that you get with the brand’s step up MZ1500 and MZ2000 models. 

The MZ980 does still get a premium OLED panel, though, as well as the latest version of Panasonic’s Hollywood-influenced HCX Pro AI picture processor. Plus, of course, it’s significantly cheaper than its more highly specified siblings, coming in at just £1,399 for the 55-inch sized model at the time of writing.

Making this price look all the more tempting is the simple fact that the MZ980 is a brilliant performer, holding its own against the best OLED TVs. Its picture quality benefits from all of OLED’s traditional benefits – spectacular local contrast, beautifully inky black colours, rich but subtle colours and wide viewing angles – while the excellent video processor adds a truly cinematic finish to proceedings.

The MZ980 sounds good too, despite lacking the forward-facing speakers carried by Panasonic’s step-up models, and while its smart system might not be the most sophisticated in the world, it’s easy to use and these days carries all of the most important streaming services. 

Panasonic’s step up OLED TVs are even better, of course – but unless you have a particularly bright room to cope with, the MZ980’s value proposition is hard to resist.

Panasonic MZ980 Review: Price and release date

A close up of the bezel on the Panasonic MZ980 TV

(Image credit: Future)
  • Release date: Late 2023
  • Price: starting at £1,399 for the 55-inch model 

Having launched a few months back at an already then tempting £1,799, the 55MZ980 is now widely available for just £1,399. Panasonic does not currently sell its TVs in the US or Australia. 

The MZ980s are, unusually for a mid-range OLED series, only available in relatively small screen sizes. The 55-inch model we’re looking at here is actually the biggest in the range, being joined only by 48- and 42-inch models. 

As we’ll see, though, you shouldn’t let this fool you into thinking that the MZ980 is only good enough to be considered as a ‘second TV’. This is still a very serious TV – just one aimed at people who don’t have cavernous living rooms.

Panasonic MZ980 review: Features

The ports on the back of the Panasonic MZ980

(Image credit: Future)
  • 4K OLED TV
  • HCX Pro AI processor 
  • Supports all four key HDR formats

So we can get it out of the way and put behind us, let’s start with things the MZ980 does not have. Either the combination of a new high-end Micro Lens Array panel with advanced proprietary heat sink hardware that Panasonic’s MZ2000 flagship OLEDs get, or the same heat sink hardware (minus the MLA technology) that the brand’s MZ1500s get.

It does still use a mid-grade OLED panel rather than an ‘entry level’ one, but even before we got our measuring gear out we know it wouldn’t be as bright as those step up models. 

Tests confirm that while the MZ2000 hits brightness peaks on a 10% white HDR test window of around 1650 nits in Dynamic mode and 1432 nits in its more stable Cinema mode, and the MZ1500 hits around 950 nits in its Cinema mode, the 55MZ980’s Cinema mode peaks at just over 700 nits. That’s basically a 50% brightness drop versus the MZ2000, and a still significant 250 nits versus the MZ1500. You will certainly feel this with HDR content, especially if your TV is typically used in a bright room. 

It’s worth noting, too, that the MZ980 measures slightly less bright than LG’s rival C3 models – though I should stress right away that while brightness certainly matters in the HDR world, it absolutely is not the only thing that makes a great HDR picture. Especially when a TV’s picture processing knows how to get the maximum performance from the hardware available to it – something Panasonic has been a master of with self-emissive displays like OLED since its plasma days. 

With this in mind, the big positive news about the MZ980 is that it retains the top-line HCX Pro AI processor also used by its step-up MZ1500 and MZ2000 siblings. Powered and endlessly refined by Panasonic’s engineers with years of experience dealing with both Hollywood creatives and self-emissive panel technologies, always with a strong focus on recreating creative intent, HCX engines can usually be relied on to achieve subtleties, balances and details precious few other TVs can. Especially when it comes to handling the sort of ‘near dark’ image content that’s typically one of the most difficult things for OLED TVs to manage.

While the MZ980 continues Panasonic’s obsession with accuracy, though, especially with its Filmmaker Mode, and True Cinema presets, it’s also open minded enough to provide an unusually wide-ranging roster of other picture presets that put more of an emphasis on pushing the panel to its colour and brightness limits.

The same spirit of trying to cater for everyone extends, happily, to the MZ980’s HDR format support. While many brands, including, most notably, Sony, LG and Samsung, only support three of the ‘big four’ HDR formats on even their flagship TVs, the MZ980 will play all four: HDR10, HLG, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. So the 55MZ980 will always be able to take in the best version of whatever HDR content you feed it. 

Gamers, meanwhile, will be pleased to learn that the MZ980 supports 4K/120Hz gaming and variable refresh rates over two of its four HDMI ports, including the AMD FreeSync and NVIDIA G-Sync VRR formats. We’ll cover the TV’s gaming abilities in more detail later.

Besides the four HDMIs, the MZ980’s connections include three USBs (two side, one bottom, one USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0), an Ethernet port, an analogue video inout, an optical digital audio output, and a headphone jack that unusually does double duty as a potential line out for attaching an optional external subwoofer.

Smart features are provided by the eighth generation of Panasonic’s own My Home Screen operating system. Again we’ll cover this in more detail in a dedicated section later, so all I’ll add here is that this is actually the final outing for My Home Screen before it’s replaced on Panasonic’s future high-end TVs by a fully integrated version of Amazon’s Fire TV interface. 

As mentioned in passing earlier, the MZ980 doesn’t have a forward facing, truly multi-channel sound system like its step up OLED siblings do. Its 2 x 15W set up, though, still has enough power to potentially deliver some reasonably cinematic thrills, especially as it’s backed up by Theater Surround Pro processing designed to create a more immersive sound with the Dolby Atmos soundtracks the TV supports than you might expect to hear from a mere stereo speaker set up.

Features score: 4 / 5

Panasonic MZ980 Review: Picture quality

The Netflix menu on the Panasonic MZ980

(Image credit: Future)
  • Exceptional light and colour subtlety
  • Outstanding picture processing
  • Brilliant contrast disguises limited brightness

While the MZ980 might not deliver the razzle dazzle of the latest high-end OLED TVs, its pictures are so refined and immersive that it’s hard to believe they’re coming out of a 55-inch TV that only costs £1,399.

This finesse is at its peerless best when it comes to the MZ980’s handling of dark scenes. The screen’s ability to distinguish between incredibly small differences in light in even the darkest corners of the darkest pictures is mesmerising, giving such imagery a unique sense of depth and detail that feels as if it’s jumped straight off a professional mastering monitor. Especially as this extreme subtlety is delivered without a hint of the sort of instabilities, blocking or fizzing noise that can crop up with other OLED screens with near-black content. Dark scenes on the 55MZ980 are as clean and pure as bright ones, in fact.

Since this is an OLED screen there’s no need to worry about backlight clouding or blooming of the sort you would expect to see with LCD TVs. Nor is there any residual greyness hanging over dark scenes, completing the sense of insight and immersion that started with the immaculate near-dark detailing.

While it’s the MZ980’s handling of dark scenes and picture areas that makes the strongest immediate impression, its handling of light is in truth just as effective. From the subtle dark scene shading through to the brightest HDR peaks, the MZ980 delivers levels of light control (right down to individual pixel level, don’t forget, given this is an OLED screen) that appear flawless across every shade. As a result, the picture always feels completely authentic and natural, perfectly balanced and full of depth, while different objects in the image always look impeccably three dimensional, realistic and contextualised. 

Again you actually feel like you’re getting a gorgeously full sense of the subtleties of the professional masterer’s art. Despite this TV costing just £1,399 versus the many tens of thousands of pounds a professional mastering display costs.

While the processing and light control is at its most effective with the 55MZ980’s most ‘accurate’ picture settings, its profound understanding of the screen’s hardware strengths and limitations also means that it typically ensures that even the more ‘dramatic’ picture presets never stray into distractingly excessive territory.

The set’s tone mapping is astute enough, meanwhile, to pretty much exclude clipping (loss of subtle details) from the brightest parts of the picture, continuing the sense of ‘sweating the small stuff’ that’s the MZ980’s trade mark.

Colours, meanwhile, look surprisingly vibrant for a TV of relatively limited brightness - aided and abetted by a combination of the immaculate light control, exceptional colour mapping and outstanding contributions, again, from the HCX Pro AI picture processor. It helps, too, that colours are able to appear against a foundation of such deep and natural black colours. 

Obviously some picture presets push more vibrant colours than others, as you’d expect with any TV, but the True Cinema and Filmmaker Modes achieve outstanding accuracy and refinement, while even the punchier settings retain more colour balance and control than similar modes on most rival models.

Not surprisingly with a TV that puts so much store in precision, native 4K images on the 55MZ980 look gorgeously detailed and textured. The HCX Pro AI processor also manages to retain a startling amount of this detail and texture, too, when upscaling HD sources. Motion when watching 24p movies can look a touch juddery with no motion processing active (as it can on most OLED TVs, actually), but the lowest setting of Panasonic’s Intelligent Frame Creation motion compensation system is now clever enough to slightly massage the judder effect without making the image look uncinematically smooth or adding too many distracting processing side effects.

The only major elephant in the room with the MZ980’s pictures is their brightness - or lack thereof. There’s no denying that its images don’t look nearly as light and bold as those of the latest generation of MLA-equipped OLED TVs. Nor are they quite as consistently punchy as LG’s similarly priced and specified C3 OLED range, especially where a scene or shot fills the whole screen with brightness.

While this does mean you need to treat the 55MZ980 with respect by lowering light levels in your room when you want to enjoy a serious movie night, though, the MZ980’s infinite subtlety and richly cinematic qualities make it worthy of as much respect as you can muster.

Picture quality: 4.5 / 5 

Panasonic MZ980 review: Sound quality

The speakers on the Panasonic MZ980

(Image credit: Future)
  • Good volume and projection 
  • Solid, clean bass handling 
  • Male voices occasionally sound muffled 

The bad news about the MZ980’s sound is that it doesn’t deliver either the scale of sound staging you get with Panasonic’s step up models, or as much forward ‘thrust’. This lack of directness might also explain why male voices can sometimes sound a little muffled and contained.

Just because the MZ980 doesn’t sound as big and detailed as its more expensive siblings, though, doesn’t mean it’s not actually a very decent audio performer for its money. Its speakers are powerful enough to get surprisingly loud without succumbing to distortion, for starters, and despite the limited number of speakers on offer a decently wide sound stage is created into which effects are placed with excellent clarity. There’s even a slight sense of height to some effects when playing Dolby Atmos soundtracks.

The speakers are sensitive enough to pick up even the faintest of audio elements in a film mix too, ensuring that soundtracks always sound busy and involving. 

Bass doesn’t reach the sort of depths required to unlock the full weight of a potent action scene (so you may want to consider adding a subwoofer via the switchable headphone output at some point), but it does at least delve deep enough to stop loud scenes from sounding harsh or thin. It does so, too, without the low frequencies becoming overwhelming, or causing the speakers to crackle or buzz.

Sound quality score: 4 / 5 

Panasonic MZ980 review: Design

A close up of the stand of the Panasonic MZ980

(Image credit: Future)
  • Slim frame around the screen 
  • Centrally mounted desktop 'foot'
  • A bit chunky round the back 

Viewed straight on, the MZ980 is an attractive addition to your living room. Its screen and frame exist on the same single plane, the frame is on-trend narrow, and although it’s a bit more plasticky than the stands of Panasonic’s more expensive OLED TVs, its centrally mounted plate-style foot looks premium and robust. 

Having its desktop mount placed in the centre of the TV rather than using feet tucked under each bottom corner also means that the 55MZ980 can be placed on even quite narrow bits of furniture.

The MZ980 is not such a great wall mounting option, though, thanks to the way that two to three inches in from the screen’s outer edges the rear panel suddenly juts out a country mile by OLED standards.

Design score: 4 / 5 

Panasonic MZ980 review: Smart features and menus

The remote of the Panasonic MZ980

(Image credit: Future)
  • Uses the My Home Screen 8.0 smart interface 
  • Long but comprehensive set up menus
  • Covers all the main streaming services 

With Panasonic announcing recently that it’s moving to Amazon’s Fire TV platform for the smart interfaces of its future premium TVs, the 55MZ980 represents the swan song for Panasonic’s long-running proprietary My Home Screen smart TV interface. And while the platform has certainly had its struggles along the way, this eighth and final generation sees it bowing out on good form for the most part. 

It now incorporates all of the key streaming and catch up apps the vast majority of UK and European TV buyers would want, and while its interface looks a little basic at first glance, it’s actually really simple to navigate and, best of all, exceptionally easy to customise. There’s voice control support too (Alexa is built in, while Google Assistant works if you have an external Google listening device).

My Home Screen isn’t as sophisticated as some rival smart platforms when it comes to intelligently recommending content you might like, and it can occasionally become a touch sluggish. For the most part, though, I quite like it and might even miss it a bit when it’s gone. 

The 55MZ980’s set up menus contain a vast number of adjustment and tweak options for you to pick your way through. There are, of course pros and cons to this. On the negative side the menus are long, text heavy, full of sub-menus and a bit jargon-heavy in places. On the plus side, if you’re the sort of person who enjoys a good tinker the flexibility the 55MZ980 gives you for adjusting any and all aspects of its picture quality is outstanding. 

Smart features and menus score: 4 / 5

Panasonic MZ980 review: Gaming

The back of the Panasonic MZ980

(Image credit: Future)
  • 4K / 120Hz support
  • Support for multiple VRR systems
  • Dolby Vision gaming mode

Aside from only two of its four HDMIs delivering the full roster of gaming support, the 55MZ980 is impressively equipped for cutting edge gaming experiences.

Those two high bit-rate HDMIs support 4K resolution graphics at 120Hz frame rates and variable refresh rates, for starters. In fact, the VRR support actually covers both the AMD Freesync and Nvidia G-Sync systems as well as the core HDMI-based format. 

The 55MZ980’s Dolby Vision support extends to a proper gaming mode, too, meaning you can game in Dolby Vision HDR from Xboxes and compatible PC cards without having to put up with high levels of input lag. In fact, lag drops to a very respectable 14.5ms with 60Hz sources.

Gamers can call up a dedicated Game Control Board interface containing key signal information and gaming adjustment options, including two different audio profile options optimised for RPG and FPS game types.

There’s even a True Game picture preset alongside the standard Game one, which offers a properly calibrated gaming image for any picture quality enthusiasts who want that.

All of these thoughtful features contribute to a hugely enjoyable gaming experience that looks crisp, ultra-detailed and exceptionally refined. It’s true that HDR graphics don’t look as aggressively bright as they do on some more expensive OLEDs and premium LCD TVs, but as with the 55MZ980’s video performance, the subtleties Panasonic’s screen delivers provide ample compensation.

Gaming score: 4.5 / 5

Panasonic MZ980 review: Value

  • Great price for what it offers
  • £200 cheaper than Panasonic's step-up model 
  • Slightly more expensive than the LG C3

Now that it’s available for a few hundred pounds less than it was at launch, the 55MZ980 is exceptional value. Just £1,399 really doesn’t feel like a lot to ask for a TV that offers as many features and as much top-notch performance - for both gamers and video fans - as the 55MZ980 does. 

There is some pretty tough competition around, though. In particular, LG’s excellent OLED55C3 mid-range OLED model can currently be had for just £1,299, offering four full gaming HDMIs and slightly more brightness. Though it doesn’t provide quite the same picture subtlety as the Panasonic.

Stepping up to Panasonic’s 55MZ1500, with the useful step up in brightness created by its built-in heat sink, will cost you an extra £200. Whether that sounds like a better deal or not will obviously depend on how near the top of your budget you already are with the 55MZ980’s £1,399 asking price.

Value score: 4 / 5

Should I buy the Panasonic MZ980?

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Panasonic MZ980 review: Also consider

How we tested the Panasonic MZ980

  • Tested over 10 days 
  • Tested with 4K/HD Blu-ray, streaming and Freeview HD broadcasts
  • Reviewed in both dark and light dedicated test room conditions, and a regular (corner position) living room set up

Given that the 55MZ980 doesn’t carry either a built-in hardware heat sink or new Micro Lens Array technology like some of the best tvs, we started our testing by measuring its brightness using Spears & Munsil HDR window test screens and a professional light meter to try and get a feel for where it lies in the great (and now more complicated) OLED scheme of things. 

With its slightly lower than typical brightness in mind, we then went on to spend time watching both HDR and SDR content on it in a wider range of light and room conditions than we normally would to see how well or otherwise it coped with different environments. Ultimately we ended up spending longer with it in a largely blacked out room than we did in brighter settings, since it was in darker surroundings where the TV most excelled, allowing us to fully appreciate its strengths. The set was tested with a selection of our favourite test 4K Blu-rays - especially Babylon, Pan, It Chapter One, Blade Runner 2049, and the Spears & Munsil test signal disc - to see how it handled key picture attributes such as contrast, colour, sharpness, fine detailing, motion and upscaling of sub-4K sources. 

We fed it a variety of resolutions from various streaming and digital broadcast sources too, using both the built-in streaming apps and a Sky Q receiver, to see how well its HCX Pro AI processor dealt with the joys of compression artefacts, while gaming was tested using both a PS5 and an Xbox Series X, with a Leo Bodnar input lag testing device being used to measure input lag.

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  • Reviewed in March 2024
Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS review: performance gaming on a budget
12:00 pm | March 14, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Monitors Peripherals & Accessories | Tags: | Comments: Off

Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS: One-minute review

1440p on a 27-inch panel is arguably still the best choice for mainstream PC gaming. It's also cheaper than ever, with even high-refresh options dipping below $200. In that context, the new Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS doesn't immediately look like a bargain.

For sure, it's cheaper than the equivalent model from Asus's premium ROG range. But at around $300 it's still a fair bit more expensive than entry-level screens that tick the 1440p, 27-inch, and high-refresh-rate boxes.

Then again, the Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS does have a pretty strong spec list with which to do battle with the very best gaming monitors. Beyond the 1440p, 27-inch thing, you get 180Hz refresh instead of the 144Hz more common to cheaper models, plus 1ms GtG response. That later figure implies this is probably an IPS rather than VA panel, and that is indeed the case.

The Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS gaming monitor on a white desk.

(Image credit: Future)

What's more, it comes with HDR400 support, and thus can achieve 400 nits peak brightness. HDR400 is the lowest level of HDR compliance, so you have to be realistic about what this kind of screen can achieve. But it's better than no HDR support at all.

Then add in USB-C with power delivery and a stand that adjusts every which way, not to mention the fact that this is a monitor from one of the best brands in the gaming business and you have a very attractive overall proposition. Sure, it's not the cheapest 1440p panel out there. But it's pretty reasonably priced and very promising on paper.

Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS: Price & availability

The Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS gaming monitor on a white desk.

(Image credit: Future)
  • How much does it cost? $299 / around £325 / AU$450
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US at the time of writing

At $299 in the US, and likely around £325 in the UK and $450 in Australia (pricing in those two territories has yet to emerge at the time of writing) the Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS isn't the cheapest high-refresh 1440p panel out there.

Still, it's pretty competitive given the specs, including a 180Hz refresh from an IPS panel, and the fact that it's from Asus. If you want cheaper, you could try the Gigabyte G27Q, which is also an IPS panel but only hits 144Hz.

  • Value: 4 / 5

Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS: Design

The Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS gaming monitor on a white desk.

(Image credit: Future)
  • Fully adjustable stand
  • Premium build quality despite the relatively low price
  • HDR400 rating, but no local dimming

As a member of the more affordable Asus ROG Strix range, as opposed to the more premium ROG Swift line, it's perhaps not a huge surprise that the Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS isn't decked out with a zillion RGB lights. However, you do get a high-quality and fully adjustable stand, including height, tilt, swivel, and pivot into portrait mode.

Generally, it looks and feels a cut above more affordable 1440p options. That extends to the connectivity, which includes not only DisplayPort and HDMI, but also USB-C with power delivery.  If the latter is an impressive inclusion at this price point, the catch is that you only get 7.5W of power delivery. So, you can forget keeping a laptop juiced up in a single-cable scenario, that's not enough power.

Instead, Asus envisages that you'll use it to charge your smartphone, for which there is a slot on the front of the stand base. That's just about plausible, but it's not a really clear-cut advantage over just plugging your phone into the wall. If the stand did wireless charging or the USB-C interface did a lot more than 7.5W then the utility on offer would be a whole lot better.

Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS Key Specs

Panel size: 27 inches
Panel type: IPS
Resolution:  2560 x 1440
Brightness: 400 nits
Contrast: 1000:1
Pixel response: 1ms
Refresh rate: 180Hz
Inputs:  1x DisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0, 1x USB-C with 7.5W PD 

Beyond the 1440p and 27-inch basics, the Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS offers a very solid set of specs. You get 180Hz refresh, which is plenty for all but the most serious esports addicts, plus 1ms response times. That's about as good as it gets for an IPS gaming monitor and this panel is comfortably faster than cheaper models based on VA rather than IPS screen technology. For tangibly better response, you'd need to speed nearly three times as much on an OLED monitor.

The Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS gaming monitor on a white desk.

(Image credit: Future)

As for HDR, there's DisplayHDR 400 certification, which means 400 nits brightness. There's no local dimming, so this isn't a true HDR display. However, with a claimed 97% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space, this is a fairly high-fidelity monitor. 

Yes, there are higher-specification gaming monitors, including 1440p models. However, the Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS's spec ticks all the important boxes for a great gaming experience.

  • Design: 4 / 5

The Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS gaming monitor on a white desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS: Performance

  • Factory color calibration is excellent
  • Solid SDR visuals in HDR mode
  • Incredibly snappy response times

This is a beautifully calibrated monitor. The colors are pitch-perfect and there's oodles of visual pop. This is a vibrant, punchy, and accurate display.

If that all applies to the default SDR mode, the HDR mode is even better. But perhaps not for the reasons you might expect. As an HDR400 panel with no local dimming, there's only the most basic HDR support on offer. But it's the way SDR content is handled in HDR mode that actually most impresses.

In short, this is the closest an affordable HDR-capable LCD monitor gets to perfect SDR calibration in HDR mode. All too often this class of entry-level HDR monitor makes a mess of SDR content in HDR mode. That means you have to keep jumping back and forth between modes depending on content type. But with this Asus Strix panel, you can leave it in HDR mode all the time. It's so much simpler.

The Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS gaming monitor on a white desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Another highlight is pixel response. This is as good as IPS gaming monitors get for perceived pixel response, it's really, really sharp and clear. Even better, in the OSD menu you can choose from no fewer than 20 levels of pixel overdrive. If that sounds like overkill, and it is really, it means you can strike exactly the balance between outright speed and overshoot that you are willing to tolerate.

In truth, even with the overdrive maxed out the overshoot and inverse ghosting are pretty mild. In fact, the only real demerit in the response department is that the ELMB or Extreme Low Motion Blur mode only slightly improves subjective response and does so like all other ELMB modes, by crushing brightness to the point it's hard to imagine why anyone would use it.

Anyway, short of an OLED monitor for about 2.5 times the money, you'll have a hard time spotting the extra speed from more expensive 1440p panels. Even here in 2024, 1440p on a 27-inch makes a lot of sense for mainstream gaming. You get plenty of image detail but without the debilitating GPU load of 1440p. So, you don't need a $1,000 graphics card to get the most out of this display.

At the end of the day, the Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS isn't the cheapest high-refresh 1440p panel out there. But it is a clear cut above lesser alternatives when it comes to everything from speed to accuracy and all-round visual pop.

The only obvious flaw is the fairly pointless USB-C interface with such limited power delivery (and the gimmicky phone slot in the stand, if that bothers you). But that aside, this is just a really nice gaming panel with great specs for a decent price. Highly recommended.

  • Performance: 4.5 / 5

The Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS gaming monitor on a white desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Should you buy the Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS?

Buy it if...

Don't buy if...

Also Consider

Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS: Report Card

  • First reviewed March 2024
AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK review: A solid performer for a reasonable price
12:40 pm | March 6, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Monitors Peripherals & Accessories | Tags: | Comments: Off

AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK: Two-minute review

It’s gotten to the point where you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a generally solid gaming experience. That’s certainly where AOC is positioning their latest panel, the catchily named AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK, which brings with it the ideal combo of panel size and resolution – 2560 x 1440 strewn over a 27-inch screen – alongside purposeful looks and a generally great image for reasonable money in today’s economy. 

There’s quite a sea of options at this more affordable price point, but the AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK offers a lot for a good price, and may well just be one of the best gaming monitors out there in its price bracket.

The AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK is perhaps a little non-descript compared to some similarly-priced gaming monitors, opting for a simple but effective black plastic chassis with flecks of red on the stand and underside of the bottom bezel. This is typical for AOC monitors and makes this panel look as if it’s a successor to the AOC display I use day to day. 

The AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK photographed on a desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Its simple design pays off, as it’s a good-looking monitor, with thin bezels helping it to look reasonably modern. A weight of 5.5kg gives it some nice heft, and it feels well-made, considering the price. The stand on offer is practical, offering solid adjustment with tilt, height, and swivel, but not rotation - arguably given the slight 1500R curvature. This is also a VESA-compatible panel if you want to opt for wall mounting or on a desk clamp with a mount, as opposed to the bundled stand. 

It’s also easy to put together with a tool-less construction. Instead, the CQ27G2S/BK uses a screw-in stand that attaches to the panel especially conveniently, making life easy. If you’re like me and have a small phobia of manual labor then putting together AOC’s candidate is a doozy.

As for inputs, the CQ27G2S/BK features a pair of HDMI 2.0 ports and a singular DisplayPort 1.4 option, as well as a headphone jack. Given the more affordable price point, I’m not too worried about the lack of more modern accoutrements such as any USB ports, although they would have been nice to have.

There are built-in speakers, although they aren’t the best, sounding thin overall with little in terms of bass and top-end. The saving grace here is that the AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK features a 3.5mm earphone jack so you can connect up external speakers, which would be preferable.

The AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK photographed on a desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Apart from the actual panel itself, the AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK doesn’t offer much else in the way of additional features. The big thing here though is its on-screen display (OSD). While offering plenty of features to play around with including dedicated gamer modes as well as a handful of HDR modes you can enable, it isn't easy to navigate. It takes a few seconds to move from menu to menu, and the buttons on the bottom right offer very little in the way of assistance with function and direction. A joystick would have made things a lot easier.

In delving into the actual panel, the CQ27G2S/BK utilizes a 27-inch VA panel, complete with a 2560x1440 resolution and 165Hz refresh rate. There is support for VRR with AMD FreeSync, although Nvidia GPUs are supported with adaptive sync, and there's a vague semblance of HDR with support for DisplayHDR 10. 

In testing, the AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK provided some excellent image quality. It provides decently bright images with a measured peak figure of 242 nits while offering pretty deep blacks and solid contrast that actually exceeds AOC’s own quoted 4000:1 by a little bit. Its 6900K color temperature is solid for a monitor of this price too, as is its SDR color accuracy. 100% sRGB coverage means it displays all the colors needed for mainstream work and play as accurately as possible while 90% DCI-P3 means it could handle more specialist workloads if you wanted to.

AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK Key Specs

Panel size: 27 inches
Panel type: VA LCD
Resolution:  2560 x 1440
Brightness: 250 nits
Contrast: 4000:1
Pixel response: 1ms
Refresh rate: 165Hz
Inputs:  2x HDMI 2.0, 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 3.5mm headphone jack 

In enabling HDR though, it’s where AOC’s more affordable mid-ranger falls over. It becomes a much more washed-out and overall less enticing picture. Its 80% sRGB and 59% DCI-P3 color space coverage mean that the CQ27G2S/BK isn’t at all suitable for HDR workloads, and you should stick to working in SDR.

However, it’s important to note that this isn’t necessarily a panel designed for color-sensitive workloads, and for gaming in SDR, it was excellent. The combination of a 27-inch screen and 1440p panel offered solid detail over a great size for my desk, while the 165Hz refresh rate ensured output was smooth. Playing CS:GO at a high frame rate felt especially responsive while using it for day-to-day work and running my Football Manager 2023 save felt sharper. 

The moderate 1500R curve helped to provide a tad more immersion in FPS titles, and allowed me to focus more on firing at bots in CS:GO (I refuse to play online, I don’t want to get smoked!). That curvature was also welcome for filling my eyesight for day-to-day working, and while it may seem like an odd thing to say, the CQ27G2S/BK helped to immerse me in what I needed to get done. When rewatching the last series of The Marvelous Mrs Maisel on Prime Video, the curvature helped there, and viewing YouTube videos was solid too.

The AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK photographed on a desk.

(Image credit: Future)

AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK: Price & availability

  • How much does it cost? £220 (US model $290, about AU$425)
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Currently available in the UK

The AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK appears to be a UK-exclusive panel, being priced at £220 - at least, this exact model. A virtually identical monitor - the AOC Agon Q27G2S - is available in the US for $290 (around AU$425). It sits well amongst some of the best high refresh rate monitors we’ve looked at in the past, such as our top choice, the Gigabyte Aorus CV27Q, and other similar specced options.

The CV27Q, despite now being a slightly older panel, matches well against AOC’s latest option with the same screen size, resolution, and refresh rate, although offers a quicker response time of 1ms, but a worse contrast ratio at 3000:1 compared to AOC’s 4000:1. 

Perhaps the next nearest competitor to the CQ27G2S/BK is an option from the brand 'X=', a spin-off from UK retailer AWD-IT. Their X=XRGB27WQ offers a virtually identical spec sheet to AOC’s choice with the same resolution, screen size, and resolution. It gets a little brighter than the CQ27G2S/BK with 350 quoted nits and offers an IPS panel as opposed to VA. That’ll run you £230, although you are banking on trusting a lesser-known brand.

Other options from the likes of Dell are going to cost at least £100 or so more than the CQ27G2S/BK, making it a rather great value-for-money choice in its category.

The AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK photographed on a desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Should you buy the AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK?

Buy it if...

Don't buy if...

Also Consider

 AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK: Report Card

How I tested the AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK

  • Spent nearly two weeks testing
  • Used for gaming, photo editing, watching videos and day to day work
  • Tested using a colorimeter for testing overall image quality

During my time with the AOC Gaming CQ27G2S, I used it as my main working monitor, using it for day-to-day work writing articles and editing images with Photoshop. I also used it to watch streaming content on Disney+ and Prime Video after work, as well as playing a variety of games

This is a monitor primarily designed for gaming, hence my testing in eSports titles such as CS:GO, where you’re more likely to feel the benefit of the panel’s 165Hz refresh rate. Its excellent color accuracy also makes it suitable for productivity and generalist workloads, as opposed to using it for more specialist tasks.

As someone who has a few years of experience writing reviews and testing all sorts of monitors, I’ve got the right tools to help you through the minefield of whether a monitor is actually any good or not. You can trust me to take everything into account to help you make the right buying decision.

  • First reviewed March 2024
Lenovo Legion R45w-30 review: A large ultrawide that doesn’t cost the earth
8:26 pm | March 5, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Monitors Peripherals & Accessories | Tags: | Comments: Off

Lenovo Legion R45w-30: One-minute review

It’s easy to see the appeal of ultrawide monitors, as long as you’ve got the space for them. You get loads of horizontal screen real estate to give you more screen space to use, and that can wrap around you to get you more immersion. 

It’s also gotten to the point where you can get solidly specced choices that don’t cost the earth, relatively speaking, That’s where Lenovo is aiming to push their latest screen, the Legion R45w-30, which is one of the larger ultrawide panels available on the market today, and undercuts many of the best ultrawide monitors around in price by quite some distance in the name of offering a solid overall experience backed by a massive 44.5-inch screen.

Lenovo Legion R45w-30: Price & availability

The Lenovo Legion R45w-30 ultrawide gaming monitor on a desk.

(Image credit: Future)
  • How much does it cost? $799 / £799 / AU$999
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the UK and USA

The Lenovo Legion R45w-30 is available in both the UK and USA for reasonable sums of money compared to other ultrawides, and was subject to a handy discount in the UK this past Black Friday to bring its price down further.

It matches reasonably well against our top ultrawide monitor choice, the LG UltraGear 38GN950, which clocks in at a third more in price than this Lenovo option, at £1200 or so. That panel offers a smaller screen size and aspect ratio, but makes up for it with higher brightness and contrast. It lacks some other nice-to-have features though, including extra USB ports and a KVM switch, making this Lenovo choice especially good value.

Other options from the likes of Samsung are going to cost nearly double that of the Legion R45w-30, given they are OLED, making the Legion R45w-30 a rather great value-for-money choice in its category.

  • Value: 4 / 5

Lenovo Legion R45w-30: Design

  • Easy setup
  • Plenty of connectivity options  
  • Lackluster speakers

The Legion R45w-30 is a good-looking monitor, and carried a lot of presence when placed on my desk. It filled my 120cm desk entirely, and offers a lot of display real estate for the price, that’s for sure. Its black plastic construction feels sturdy, and the flecks of metal across the base of the stand were a nice touch alongside the small Lenovo logo. It means that it should fit well in virtually any setup, with looks to it that are far from being the most obnoxious.

On the point of the stand, that’s especially sturdy, as it would have to be to support such a large monitor. The Legion R45w-30 is also especially easy to put together, and requires no tools to do so. This proved useful if you’re someone who has no dexterity in your hands like I do, so being able to put this Lenovo ultrawide together with little effort was rather handy. You do have to be a bit stronger to put it on the VESA mount if you don’t want to use the included stand, though - and of course, for that you’ll need to make sure you’ve got a stand that supports a monitor that weighs 8.3kg without the stand.

Lenovo Legion R45w-30 Key Specs

Panel size: 44.5 inches
Panel type: VA WLED
Resolution:  5120 x 1440
Brightness: 450 nits (quoted)
Contrast: 3000:1
Pixel response: 1ms
Refresh rate: 165Hz
Inputs: 2x HDMI 2.1, 1x DP 1.4, 3.5mm headphone jack, 1x USB-B upstream, 3x USB-A downstream, 1x Ethernet 

The scope for adjustment is decent, and you can tilt and pivot the Legion R45w-30 to your liking. It can swivel left and right up to 30 degrees, as well as being height adjustable with a scope of five inches, while its tilt is between 5 and 22 degrees, which is useful for making sure you’re comfortable. Admittedly, in using the Legion R45w-30, the massive screen did take some getting used to.

The vast array of inputs on offer pushes the Legion R45w-30 up a lot in my estimations, given it also packs in some options you don’t usually see on more affordable panels. You get a pair of HDMI 2.1 ports, a DisplayPort 1.4 as well as an Ethernet jack, a trifecta of USB-A downstream ports, a USB-C upstream and USB-B upstream, as well as a headphone jack. That gives you a lot of options for connecting additional devices, speakers, and multiple desktops or laptops.

  • Design: 4 / 5

Lenovo Legion R45w-30: Features

The Lenovo Legion R45w-30 ultrawide gaming monitor on a desk.

(Image credit: Future)
  • Easy-to-use UI
  • KVM switch is useful
  • Weak, thin-sounding 3W speakers

The OSD that the Legion R45w-30 provides is easy to navigate, especially with the mixture of buttons and a joystick to navigate through its numerous modes. Inside it, you can toggle between various HDR modes and profiles, and fiddle with more traditional settings such as brightness and contrast. I did find myself pressing the wrong buttons inherently, but that’s down to my own incompetence more so than the monitor. Having the joystick for navigating inside menus was a godsend though, and made my life a lot easier.

You even get access to a KVM switch, meaning you can have two devices connected to the Legion R45w-30 and use the same input devices. Switching over from my MacBook Pro to my desktop PC using the same peripherals (don’t worry, my keyboard has dual legend keycaps) was seamless. If you want to, you can also split sources on-screen by using either USB-C or the DP port with picture-in-picture, allowing you to work on two systems at the same time, which is a nice touch, and means you can take full advantage of the 44.5-inch screen for multitasking. Features like that truly exhibit the purpose of an ultrawide panel for productivity workloads.

There are built-in 3W speakers, although they aren’t the best, sounding thin overall, although they do give plenty of volume. You’ll definitely be thankful for the presence of that 3.5mm jack for connecting some external speakers to boost your audio performance.

  • Features: 4 / 5

Lenovo Legion R45w-30: Performance

  • Overall image quality is fantastic
  • Deep blacks and vibrant color reproduction in games
  • HDR performance is weak

In testing the Legion R45w-30, it provided some good detail and especially smooth output when running Counter-Strike 2, Assetto Corsa Competizione, and Forza Horizon 5 - even if the latter would only run at 21:9, so it couldn’t take advantage of the full wide 32:9 aspect ratio on offer.

Nonetheless, the Legion R45w-30 impressed me, with its good colors and responsive feel. Having never used an ultrawide panel for games before for an extended period, I can certainly see the appeal. ACC especially impressed me, with the entire cockpit of the GT3 Bentley Continental I was driving around Silverstone wrapped around me. Using such a wide monitor seemed to also take away the need to use the camera navigation buttons to move around, as I physically turned my head to take note of where competitors were. The Legion R45w-30 worked wonders for sim racing, not least when I moved from using an Xbox Elite 2 controller to my trusty Logitech G29 wheel. 

It also proved to be much the same story when playing Dirt Rally 2, with sharp images and smooth motion thanks to the 165Hz refresh rate. On tight, twisting rally stages with lots of quick changes of direction, the sharper output was most certainly welcome. Counter-Strike 2 was a lot of fun in ultrawide form, with detailed visuals and smooth frames with that 170Hz refresh rate, even if I was terrible at killing enemies.

The Lenovo Legion R45w-30 ultrawide gaming monitor on a desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Out of the box, the Legion R45w-30 offered up relatively deep blacks and near-perfect whites alongside wonderfully accurate colors. It offered a crisp experience for both work and play, and the 5120 x 1440 resolution served up some excellent detail whether I was bombing my way across a New Zealand rally stage or watching some mindless content on YouTube.

A peak brightness of 367 nits is good enough for the price, and meant images did look rather vibrant. Cranking things up to that level didn’t have that much of an impact on whites, although blacks weren’t quite as deep. However, as much as SDR performance here was great, the same can’t be said for HDR. Enabling HDR400 on the monitor and in Windows revealed more washed-out colors and lower color accuracy, meaning this isn’t necessarily the best panel for those workloads. Stick to SDR though, and you’ll be golden.

  • Performance: 4 / 5

Should you buy the Lenovo Legion R45w-30?

Buy it if...

Don't buy if...

Also Consider

Lenovo Legion R45w-30: Report Card

How I tested the Lenovo Legion R45w-30

  • Spent nearly two weeks testing
  • Used for gaming, as well as photo editing and watching videos and day to day work.
  • Tested using a colorimeter for verifying overall image quality

During my time with the Lenovo Legion R45w-30, I used it as my main working monitor, using it for day-to-day work writing articles and editing images with Photoshop. I also used it to watch streaming content on Disney+ and Prime Video after work, as well as to play a variety of games, including sim racing and shooter titles.

This is a monitor primarily designed for gaming, hence my testing in eSports titles such as Counter-Strike 2, where you’re more likely to feel the benefit of the panel’s 165Hz refresh rate, and using it in sim racing titles such as Assetto Corsa Competizione and Dirt Rally 2 allowed me to gauge its true immersion capabilities. Its fantastic color accuracy and detail also make it suitable for productivity and generalist workloads.

As someone who has a few years of experience writing reviews and testing all sorts of monitors, I’ve got the right tools to help you through the minefield of whether a monitor is actually any good or not. You can trust me to take everything into account to help you make the right buying decision.

Read more about how we test.

  • First reviewed March 2024
Acer Swift X14 review: a powerhouse machine with Ultrabook looks
2:30 pm | February 4, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Laptops Windows Laptops | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Acer Swift X14: Two-minute review

Let’s get the easy part out of the way: I’m a fan of the Acer Swift X14. The short version of it is the fact that Acer managed to put a powerful CPU and GPU, not to mention a gorgeous OLED screen, in a slim Ultrabook package.

While it doesn’t feel as premium as a MacBook Pro 14, it truly belongs among the best Ultrabooks right now. There are certainly some trade-offs as the price is nowhere near close to the best cheap laptops and the battery life suffers a little since it has to power an Nvidia graphics card. I find the trackpad to be annoying to use as well. And, for a device legitimately vying for attention among the best laptops out there, it surprisingly skips out on a Windows Hello-capable webcam.

That said, the pros vastly outweigh the cons, especially if you don’t want to lug around a gaming computer and prefer the experience of using Ultrabooks, but still want the power of a gaming computer, whether that’s for booting up Cyberpunk 2077 or for some photo and video editing. When it comes to competing with the Dell XPSes of the world, the Acer Swift X14 may be one of the most surprising laptops I’ve used. 

Acer Swift X14 open front

(Image credit: Future)

Acer Swift X14: Price and availability

  • How much does it cost? Starting at $1,099 (about £870 / AU$1,670) 
  • When is it available? Available now 
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK, and Australia 

The Acer Swift X14 is not the most affordable laptop out there. While its most basic configuration is available for $1,099 / AU$2,699 (about £870), which is certainly affordable – this is a model that comes with an 13th-Gen Intel Core i5 and a last generation Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050, not to mention 512GB of RAM and a lower 1600p resolution – it seems to only still be available in the US and Australia.

For everyone else or those wanting a current gen 4000 series GPU, you’re looking at $1,499 / £1,429 (about AU$2,277). That gets you a faster 13th-Gen Intel Core i7, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050, 16GB of RAM, 1TB SSD, and a 2880 x 1800p screen. And, if you’re in the UK, there are some slight variations as you can pay £170 more for 32GB of RAM.

The Acer Swift X14 isn’t the only light and thin laptop to come with a powerful GPU. The Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra covers a lot of the same ground. In fact, our Galaxy Book3 Ultra review unit, which is the base model, has the same specs as the Acer Swift X14 including the screen (well, it’s AMOLED vs OLED), but goes for a much pricier $1799.99 / £2,649 / around AU$4,875. Of course, you can pay even more – $2399.99 / £3,049 / around AU$5,610 – for a configuration with a 13th-Gen Intel Core i9 and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070.

That said, many Ultrabooks come with that premium price tag without the kind of hardware to keep up with a gaming laptop. For instance, as great as its performance is, the Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 8 only has Intel Iris Xe graphics and goes for $1,399.99 / £1,440. At least, it has that same OLED screen with HDR.

Value: 4 / 5

Acer Swift X14: Specs

There are basically two configurations of the Acer Swift X14. The more affordable one isn’t available in the UK, and comes with a 13th-Gen Intel Core i5, a last-generation Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050, and 512GB SSD. 

The more expensive configuration that we've reviewed here upgrades the CPU to an i7, the GPU to a 4050, and the SSD to 1TB of storage. And, in the UK, you can spend a little more for 32GB of RAM instead of 16GB. 

Beyond the internal components, there aren’t any additional variations as there aren’t different colorways except for the screen. If you go with the cheaper model, you also have a slightly lower resolution (2560 x 1600p). 

Acer Swift X14 closed lid

(Image credit: Future)

Acer Swift X14: Design

  • Gorgeous display with HDR and accurate colors 
  • Trackpad has issues with dragging and dropping 
  • Webcam doesn’t support Windows Hello, but fingerprint reader does 

The Acer Swift X14, like most Ultrabooks, comes in an elegant if discreet shade of gray called 'Steel Gray'. It doesn’t quite set itself apart from the pack visually, but it certainly looks good and is light and diminutive enough for easy on-the-go computing.

The display is probably the most impressive outward-facing feature on this laptop as the 14.5-inch OLED screen comes with a sharp 2.8K (2880 x 1800) resolution that runs natively at 120Hz for smoother results. Plus, it comes with Vesa Certified Display HDR True Black 500 to really make the colors pop.

The colors are definitely impressive. Not only is it incredibly accurate, measured at Delta E of 0.09, but it has fantastic color coverage, making this laptop more than good enough for video and photo editing. Specifically, it has 195% sRGB and 138.1% DCI-P3.

The keyboard is good enough, though I wouldn’t consider it to be the most comfortable I’ve ever used. The trackpad, however, gave me some issues. It’s nice to the touch and moving the cursor around is smooth, but the trackpad didn’t seem to want to cooperate when dragging and dropping unless I had my fingers positioned very accurately.

Acer Swift X14 keyboard and trackpad

(Image credit: Future)

At least the port selection is robust enough for an Ultrabook with two USB-C ports (that are also Thunderbolt 4 / USB 4), two USB-A, an HDMI, and a microSD reader, along with the requisite headphone jack. Those worried about security will be happy to note that there’s a Kensington lock as well.

Beyond that, there’s a 1080p webcam that unfortunately doesn’t support Windows Hello Facial Recognition. However, there’s a fingerprint reader in the power button for that purpose.

There are some aspects of the Acer Swift X14 that are a bit hard to pin down but worth mentioning and that is in regards to its use in AI tech. The laptop supports Windows Copilot, enhancements for the webcam and mic, as well as using AI to accelerate the performance of a number of apps.

Design: 4 / 5

Acer Swift X14 left ports

(Image credit: Future)

Acer Swift X14: Performance

  • Fast render scores 
  • Powerful gaming performance 
  • Good thermal performance 
Acer Swift X14: Benchmarks

Here's how the Acer Swift X14 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark: Night Raid: 27,076; Fire Strike: 13,642; Time Spy: 5,730
GeekBench 6: 2,500 (single-core); 12,118 (multi-core)
Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm:
92.030fps @1080p
25GB File Copy: 13.7
Handbrake 1.6: 7:46
CrossMark: Overall: 1,924 Productivity: 1,847 Creativity: 2,022 Responsiveness: 1,872
Web Surfing (Battery Informant): 7:26:37 @ 60Hz 

Whether that AI acceleration puts the Acer Swift X14 over the top or it’s just a matter of powerful components, the performance of this laptop is a dream. With its 13th-Gen Intel Core i7, Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050, and 16GB of RAM, it’s no wonder that it can easily handle day-to-day work without breaking a sweat.

But, it can handle much more intensive workloads as well. Taking a quick look at the benchmarks, its 3DMark scores are much higher than the Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 8 mentioned before and its Handbrake score, which measures how quickly a computer can render video, is two minutes faster. This is surely due to that powerful GPU.

I was also able to capably game on this laptop as well, running titles like Starfield and Gotham Knights on fairly high settings, certainly on par with settings I’ve used on gaming laptops equipped with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050.

Acer Swift X14 screen

(Image credit: Future)

Since the screen is an OLED panel with HDR as well as that great color coverage and accuracy, images pop and look rich and vibrant.

Really, every aspect of the Acer Swift X14’s performance is to be lauded in my opinion. Even its thermal performance is good, with it only really heating up underneath a bit when pushed.

The webcam is clear and sharp with auto framing, and comes with a feature that can make it look like you’re making eye contact with whomever you’re on a video call with (rather than looking down at the screen).

The audio quality is, as it is with most laptops, passable. It lacks some low-end and can be just a little hollow sounding, but it’s not bad and about what I would expect from a laptop like this.

Performance: 5 / 5

Acer Swift X14 underneath venting

(Image credit: Future)

Acer Swift X14: Battery life

  • Good battery life considering hardware 
  • Fast charging on hand 

Since the Acer Swift X14 has to power some robust components, it’s no wonder that it doesn’t have the battery life of a lot of other Ultrabooks. 

Make no mistake, a benchmark score of 7:26:37 for the Battery Informant test (though at 60Hz) is pretty good when compared to gaming laptops with similar internals, which are considered to have amazing battery lives when reaching the same scores, but don’t expect the 15 hours that you would get with a MacBook. And, if you run this laptop hard, expect that battery to go down pretty quickly.

It does seem to charge up pretty quickly when plugged in. However, it does seem to not quite hold onto its charge as well as it should when the lid is closed. But, this seems to be something that most Windows laptops don’t do as well as they should.

Battery life: 4 / 5

Acer Swift X14 screen close up

(Image credit: Future)

Should I buy the Acer Swift X14?

Buy it if… 

Don't buy it if... 

Also consider

If our Acer Swift X14 review has you considering other options, here are two laptops to consider...   

How I tested the Acer Swift X14

  • Tested for a couple weeks 
  • Used for regular work as well as gaming 
  • Used regularly unplugged 

Acer Swift X14 angled

(Image credit: Future)

I used the Acer Swift X14 for a couple weeks as a work computer. I did a decent amount of writing here, including this review. I also used it to do some gaming to see if it really had what it takes (clearly, it does). I took a look at all the features, not to mention used it regularly to see how it does unplugged.

After spending time with the Acer Swift X14, I was impressed by the fact that its power is more on par with a gaming computer than with its Ultrabook competition.

I’ve spent the last few years reviewing tech gear for gaming and otherwise, where I’ve gotten a feel for what to look for and how to put a piece of kit through its paces to see whether it’s worth the recommendation.

First reviewed February 2024 

LG 32LQ6300 review: a small, reliable TV that packs great performance
3:49 pm | December 14, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Televisions | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

The 32-inch LG LQ6300 is the company’s ’s only TV in that screen size from its 2022 lineup. It comes with a standard LED panel with a Full HD (1080p) resolution and sits in the mid-range of the 32-inch TV market, with pricing around $249 / £249 upon release. 

LG TVs are amongst the best TVs on the market owing to their features and competitive pricing. The LG 32LQ6300 is no exception in this regard, featuring LG’s  Alpha 5 Gen5 AI processor, web OS smart TV platform and Game Optimizer menu for a better gaming experience.

Picture quality of the LG 32LQ6300 is impressive given it uses a standard LED panel. Viewing a couple of scenes from Star Wars: The Last Jedi, in Movie mode, to test HDR images (even though it’s a 1080p TV, the LQ6300 supports HDR10 high dynamic range), colors were punchy and the picture was well-defined and detailed, with the reds within the throne room scene looking true-to-life without being overwhelming. When measuring the DCI-P3 color gamut coverage (the color space used to master 4K movies and digital cinema releases) and BT.2020, the 32LQ6300 yielded results of 81.2 and 62.2% respectively, which are good results for an LED TV, if not a little lower than expected. 

Testing black levels on the LQ6300 using The Batman, some of the limitations of the LED screen became apparent as blacks took on more of a gray tone, but shadow detail was still rich enough. Contrast was also good, with the lights and shadows during the opening subway fight scene looking well-balanced. When measuring the LG 32LQ6300’s peak brightness on a 10% window test pattern the results were 236 nits and 216 nits in Standard and Movie (Cinema) mode, respectively. 

LG 32LQ6300 with rocky landscape on screen

The LG 32LQ6300 has a very clear, punchy HDR picture  (Image credit: Future)

When evaluating motion using Top Gun: Maverick, the LQ6300 handled the intense scenes well, with the fast-moving jets during the training and final missions looking smooth on screen. There is a picture setting called ‘Real Cinema’ (which was set to On by default in Movie mode) that helped with motion processing, but it’s worth noting that on quick panning shots from left to right the LG LQ6300 did struggle a bit. 

As you’d expect from a 32-inch TV, sound quality isn’t mind-blowing. But the LQ6300’s 2 x 10W speakers still do an adequate, if not sometimes surprisingly good, job compared to other 32-inch TVs. Standard sound mode offered a more direct, powerful sound with a bit of bass. This was welcome in the Batmobile scene in The Batman, as there was heft to the Batmobile’s engine. 

Cinema sound mode offered a wider soundstage, but overall didn’t have the same balance as Standard. Although perfectly decent for a small screen, those using this TV for more than just bedroom or secondary viewing will want to invest in one of the best soundbars

In terms of design, the LG LQ6300 is a very basic TV. It’s deeper than a good chunk of other 32-inch TVs on the market and has a thicker frame than other TVs as well. It has two feet serving as its stand that are fairly far apart, which could cause issues for those with narrow furniture. It does, however, feel solidly built thanks to this chunkier appearance. The included remote is packed with buttons, arguably a few too many, but it’s functional and covers all the bases.

LG 32LQ6300 with Battlefield V and Game Optimizer menu on screen

The Game Optimizer from LG (pictured) featured on the LG 32LQ6300 enables you to edit settings for games such as Battlefield V (pictured) (Image credit: Future)

Although it doesn’t have any next gen-gaming features, gaming performance is still good on the LQ6300. Playing Battlefield V on Xbox Series X, the LQ6300 handled graphically intense battle sequences well with quick-switching between targets feeling smooth. Colors were bold and vibrant and the same definition in textures that was present in movies was evident here as well. 

The LQ6300 comes with LG’s own webOS smart TV platform built-in. Although it doesn’t have the same range of settings to adjust as other LG TVs, there’s still plenty to choose from to tailor the picture to your needs. A large portion of the screen on its home menu is taken up by recommendations, with apps in a line along the bottom, and although this was not a major deal, I still found it a little overwhelming and cluttered. 

Considering value for money, the LG 32LQ6300 is one of the better 32-inch TVs available. There are cheaper models out there with QLED screens and better smart TV platforms, but in terms of features and picture quality, the LG LQ6300 overall is a good 32-inch option for those looking for a smaller set. 

LG 32LQ6300 remote

The LG 32LQ6300's remote (pictured) is functional, if not a little cluttered  (Image credit: Future)

LG 32LQ6300 TV review: Price & release date

  •  $249 / £249 
  •  Release date: 2022 

The LG 32-inch LQ6300 is the 32-inch model in LG’s 2022 TV lineup. Released in 2022, the LQ6300 was initially priced at £249 / $249 on release, which is about right for a 32-inch TV with its specs. Since its release, the LG has dropped in price, sitting around £199 / $179 at the time of writing, although prices have dropped further than this in sales before.

LG 32LQ6300 TV review: Specs

Should you buy the LG 32LQ6300 TV?

Buy it if...

You want a punchy, detailed picture
The LG 32LQ6300 has a great HDR picture with detailed sharpness and punchy colors that really jump out during brighter scenes

You want a bedroom gaming TV
Although it may not have the next-gen gaming features such as VRR and 120Hz, gaming performance and picture are still great on the LQ6300

You want solid built-in sound
It may not have the most powerful sound, but the LQ6300's speakers do a good job considering its small size 

Don't buy it if...

You want the all-around best picture
Whilst the LQ6300's picture looks great in bright, colorful scenes, its black levels aren't the best and it struggles with black uniformity 

You like a plain smart TV platform
LG's webOS22 is easy enough to navigate, but its main menu is a little cluttered with recommendations which on a small screen take up a lot of room 

LG 32LQ6300 review: Also consider

LG 32LQ6300 with testing equipment connected from Portrait Displays, Murideo and HP Omen

(Image credit: Future)

How I tested the LG 32LQ6300

  • Tested in our lab room with varying lighting conditions
  • Measurements taken using Portrait Displays' Calman software
  • Tested through a variety of sources, both SDR and HDR

I used a variety of SDR and HDR sources to test the TVs preset picture modes, including streaming through Disney Plus, live TV via antenna and several Blu-rays played through a Panasonic DP-UB820 4K Blu-ray player (although I used standard Blu-rays to test the LG 32LQ6300).

After choosing the best picture mode, Movie, I then selected several reference scenes from movies such as The Batman, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Top Gun: Maverick and more to test elements of the picture such as color, black levels, and contrast. I tested gaming performance by using an Xbox Series X. 

When it came time to take measurements of the LQ6300, I used Portrait Displays’ Calman calibration software. With this, I measured peak brightness on a 10% window and 100% window in both SDR and HDR. I then recorded the Delta-E values (which demonstrates the margin of error between the test pattern and what is displayed) for color accuracy, grayscale and gamma again using Calman. I then measured the color space looking at DCI-P3 and BT.2020 coverage. For all tests, I used the Murideo Six 8K test pattern generator.

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