This week at IFA in Berlin LG introduced a new flagship UltraWide display. The new monitor is called the LG 38UC99 and it's LG's largest UltraWide display to date, with a diagonal size of 37.5 inches. With a horizontal resolution of 3840 pixels, and support for 99% of the sRGB color gamut, LG appears to be positioning the monitor as one well suited for displaying UltraHD content filmed in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 or 2.40:1. Gamers aren't left out either, with support for AMD FreeSync being included as well.

The basic specifications for the panel are listed below. There aren't any big surprises as far as the panel goes, with a resolution of 3840 x 1600, a 5ms GtG response time, a peak brightness of 300 nits, and a contrast ratio of 1000:1. When you look at the monitor as a whole there are a few interesting points. The monitor has a built in USB 3.0 hub, which is generally expected of high end monitors, but in this case there are two USB Type-A connectors as well as a USB Type-C connector. LG has noted that the Type-C port can charge mobile devices, but there's no word yet on whether they support high wattage charge modes as part of the USB Power Deliver spec.

The monitor also has two 10W speakers, and it can be paired with smartphones or other devices via Bluetooth to play audio wirelessly. I would expect that most users interested in buying the LG 38UC99 for watching movies will also have a good set of speakers to go with it, but the feature is there for users who may not have enough desk space to fit such a large monitor and a sizeable pair of speakers.

LG UltraWide 38UC99
Panel 37.5" IPS
Resolution 3840 × 1600
Refresh Rate 60 Hz
Response Time 5 ms gray-to-gray
Brightness 300 cd/m²
Contrast 1000:1
Viewing Angles 178°/178° horizontal/vertical
Color Saturation 99% sRGB
Pixel Pitch 0.23 mm
Pixel Density 110 ppi
Anti-Glare Coating Yes
USB Hub 3-port USB 3.0 hub: two USB-A, one USB-C receptacles
USB-C port supports charging
Audio 10 W × 2
Launch Price $1499 (?)

LG can really be credited with bringing 21:9 displays to market in any significant capacity. A few years ago it was just a niche form factor, and prior to that it didn't really exist at all. Since then it has been adopted by many different users, including fans of movies, gamers, and users looking to improve on productivity without having to set up two separate displays. In the case of the 38UC99 the display is curved, which may limit its appeal among some groups, particularly those who need proper accuracy for geometry displayed on the monitor like users doing computer assisted design work.

Right now the LG 38UC99 doesn't have an official price, but several reports have stated that it will cost $1499 at launch. That places it strictly in high-end territory, but that's not really a surprise for a monitor of this size with these specifications.

Sources: LG, DisplaySpecifications, TechCrunch.

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  • Brownshoe - Monday, November 14, 2016 - link

    Besides, 3840x1600 across 38" diagonal is "retina" quality (your eye can't see the pixels) 31" from the monitor...which is about where your eyes would be. Fact is, you couldn't see any additional pixel density anyways.
  • xenol - Friday, September 2, 2016 - link

    But then people will complain you're not using the 96 PPI standard and what's the point of having less relative real estate?

    For example, a lot of people would say a 27" 4K monitor is dumb because things are too small to read and you have to turn up the scaling to make the relative resolution the same as a 1440p monitor, so what's the point?

    (but those nice crisp GUI elements...)
  • ImSpartacus - Friday, September 2, 2016 - link

    For the record, I am one of those people. 27" 16:9 monitors should be 1440p (or 5K if you must have your pretty pixels).

    This LG has me wetter than a national guard patrol during a hurricane.
  • sor - Monday, November 7, 2016 - link

    I've been a holdout for higher resolution, but I've come to realize that monitors like this are really where things should be in PPI. It's a bit sharper than the 96 PPI standard, which will make the pixels less noticeable, but not such a high PPI that it will make everything tiny. Basically I realized that while I want a really sharp display, as far as desktop and UI size this is right where it should be, and unless they come out with something 4x the pixels there won't be a better option for me. I've already learned from my MacBook Pro that I don't like the performance hit of mismatched-scaling, and I don't expect they'd come out with this in a 7680 x 3200 resolution any time soon.
  • zepi - Friday, September 2, 2016 - link

    High-PPI desktop monitors are still hard to come by. Where is DP1.3?

    Should I just get some 24" 4K display as a stepping stone while waiting for the "perfect" 10bit HDR ~200ppi monitors?
  • Chaotic42 - Friday, September 2, 2016 - link

    I've got three of the 34" 3440x1440 LGs and I love the form factor, but we need some higher pixel densities.
  • xthetenth - Friday, September 2, 2016 - link

    A screen that size pretty much needs to be curved. I've used a flat 34 and a curved 34, and the edges of the flat one were very obviously angled away from me in a way that was distracting (not color shift but just distortion and some luminance shift in the corners).

    Ultrawide is basically the best monitor solution for productivity and in my opinion a very strong option for gaming, hopefully a widened 4K happens so there's a 21:9 option for everyone. For those curious, I've used 2 27" 1440s and rate a 34" 1440 ultrawide as being similarly good for productivity and more pleasant to use, so you can imagine my opinion about this one.
  • Impulses - Monday, September 5, 2016 - link

    Some productivity... I imagine the curve wrecks havok for photo work, graphic design, CAD, etc.
  • seerak - Tuesday, September 6, 2016 - link

    I work in visual FX and graphics. It doesn't, at least for me.

    I imagine you're thinking of straight lines needing to be straight, and there might be situations there that comes up, but not for me so far. The main benefit of the curve on my 40' Samsung TV "monitor" is that I can sit closer before the corners become useless.
  • joos2000 - Wednesday, September 7, 2016 - link

    I can't speak for photo work or graphic design, but for CAD work the curved screen improves the situation, since the delta between your eye and the screen remains the same. On a flat screen, the distance between your eye and the screen increases the further away from the centre you look, which creates an artificial perspective (most CAD work is done in parallel rendering mode and not perspective). This isn't a huge issue since your brain typically realises the abberation and compensates for it when working on a flat screen, but working on a curved screen removes the effect all together.

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