LG 29EA93: Introduction, Design and OSD

When migrating away from 4:3 screens for home video, the 16:9 aspect ratio was chosen as a compromise between all the common formats at the time. For many film fans, this meant finally being able to watch movies in their original aspect ratio without putting up with black bars. However many films are shot using aspect ratios even wider than 1.78:1, such as 2.20 for 70mm film or 2.39 for modern cinemascope films. . While the letterboxing of these titles was improved over 4:3 sets on new 16:9 sets, the black bars remained. Now we are starting to see panels that also address this audience, including the LG 29EA93 21:9 LCD monitor.

While cinephiles may rejoice, traditional computer users might be wondering if this makes any sense for a desktop display. There is still a lot of resentment over the transition from 16:10 to 16:9 displays, as the loss of vertical space means less room for word processing documents, spreadsheets, and other data, even if it might be slightly more ideal for HDTV. If the layout of many operating systems and programs hasn’t adapted yet to properly utilize 16:9, what will using 21:9 be like? Is the LG 29EA93 a one trick pony for those that want to watch scope films, or does it serve a larger purpose as well?

Aside from the wider than usual aspect ratio, the specs on the 29EA93 are pretty standard for a desktop LCD. It uses an IPS panel with white LED backlighting, which allows for an sRGB color gamut. There is a decent selection of inputs, with dual HDMI, DVI, and DisplayPort inputs, including an MHL input on one of the HDMI ports for use with a smartphone, tablet, or Roku stick. What is missing is an analog DSub input, which I almost always still see. Joining the video inputs is a USB 3.0 hub with three ports, and 3.5mm audio input and output ports. Unfortunately a power brick and not an internal PSU provides power, but the LG 29EA93 does have a very slim design because of that. The back is a shiny white plastic that hides fingerprints much better than black, though it will mostly remain out of sight.

Ergonomics on the 29EA93 are a mixed bag, as the width precludes being able to pivot into a portrait orientation. There is a good range of tilt available, but no other height or swivel adjustments. The stand itself is very low, which means the 29EA93 will sit further below eye level than a normal 24” or 27” monitor in the same position would. It is easy enough to raise the 29EA93 up onto something to get it closer to eye-height, but the integrated stand won’t do that.

The OSD in the 29EA93 is actually designed reasonably well. Everything is kept horizontal so you can use a single set of arrow keys and not get confused as you move between selections and adjustments. I’d prefer that the power button be spaced further away, as I did manage to hit it occasionally while making adjustments, but overall the control system is decent. There is a good amount of adjustments available when in user mode, including a 2-axis, 6-point CMS (Color Management System) that I will go into later. When not in user mode, many of these adjustments are locked out from the user, other than the Brightness/Backlight control.

Gallery: LG 29EA93 OSD

Sitting close to the 29EA93, you notice a bit of backlight bleed at the top of the screen, perhaps accented by the lower position of the screen relative to other displays. The extra width of the 29EA93 might benefit here, as on a traditional display this might be more exposed thanks to letterboxing on some films but without those bars, the bleed is less apparent. There is also some bleed in the lower right corner that I could notice when a black background was present, but it was not as visible with a white background or application open. Viewing angles for the IPS panel are quite good, an important factor since you will likely be viewing the 29EA93 at wider angles than usual given the aspect ratio. You get some contrast shifts at the extremes, but colors remain accurate.

LG 29EA93
Video Inputs 2xHDMI, 1xDisplayPort, 1xDVI, 1xMHL (Shared with HDMI1)
Panel Type IPS
Pixel Pitch 0.263 mm
Colors 16.7 Million
Brightness 300 nits
Contrast Ratio 1000:1
Response Time 5ms GTG
Viewable Size 29"
Resolution 2560x1080
Viewing Angle (H/V) 178/178
Backlight White LED
Power Consumption (operation) 48 W
Power Consumption (standby) 1.2 W
Screen Treatment Anti-Glare
Height-Adjustable No
Tilt Yes
Pivot No
Swivel Yes
VESA Wall Mounting Yes, 100mm
Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD) 699.7 X 387 X 208.5 mm
Weight 5.65 kg
Additional Features USB 3.0 Hub (3 port), Headphone Input/Output, CMS
Limited Warranty 1 Year Parts and Labor
Accessories MHL to HDMI Cable, USB 3.0 A to B cable, DVI Cable
Price $699 MSRP (January 2013 Launch)

Technical specifications aside, the bigger question is how well does a wider ratio work with non-film content, and does that match up with more traditional 16:9 or 16:10 displays?

LG 29EA93 - 21:9 in Daily Use
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  • Concillian - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - link

    1) Input lag is too high.

    This is a great form factor for gaming, but gamers are going to be turned away by the input lag. Even gamers who won't necessarily notice such lag will be scared away just from the reviews. For a monitor of this size and price, I would think it would be necessary to address as much of the market as possible, and they are cutting off a big piece with that input lag.

    2) Windows 8 wrecks this as a dual monitor replacement.

    The size is reasonable for someone who wants to go from 2x 1280x1024 monitors to one wide monitor. It's very close to the same pixel count as 2 1280x1024 monitors. This would be great for 2 windows side by side using half the screen... if Windows 8 would let you do that..
    Reply
  • radbeard - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - link

    this monitor is great for office work. Its ideal for people that work with PDFs, Excel, and Email that all relate to one another and frequently need to display multiple documents at once. I do not see this as a good gaming form factor at all, its not tall enough. Reply
  • Concillian - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - link

    Not a great gaming form factor? 3 screen gaming type immersion without 3 screen pricing, bezel issues and driver issues sounds pretty good to me.

    1080 vertical isn't tall enough for gaming?

    It's great for office work. like you mentioned, but my point was that Windows 8 doesn't let you do what you are talking about doing. It's either docked or maximized, and like it or not, home users are going to be virtually forced to migrate to Win 8 over the years.
    Reply
  • peterfares - Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - link

    Are you really that dumb? Windows 8 has the same desktop UI and Windows which is what you're supposed to use when being productive. Metro is horrible for productivity. Reply
  • bigfire - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - link

    It won't take off. Can't imagine myself playing computer games and looking left and right all the time. And I don't think this monitor is a good one to watch films with. Such a big display requires a definite video resolution (yeah, a high one if you don't want to look at blurry image). Reply
  • radbeard - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - link

    there are no resolution problems. Its 2560x1080. nothing is blurry, there is just lots of horizontal space. I own the dell one and I wouldn't recommend it for games, what its terrific for is office productivity. Reply
  • peterfares - Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - link

    How is a 2560x1080 monitor better for office productivity than the similarly priced 27" 2560x1440 screens? How often do you have really wide and short stuff in an office? 30" 2560x1600 is even better. Reply
  • xKeGSx - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - link

    Any word on the 27EA83? Waiting on reviews before I but it or an Asus PB278Q. Thanks Reply
  • drumhellar - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - link

    "There is still a lot of resentment over the transition from 16:10 to 16:9 displays"

    I'm still bitter about the transition away from 4:3.
    Reply
  • jcm722 - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - link

    I just heard where the FCC will now allow cable television providers to scramble all channels. So, having an HDTV with internal tuners is foolish, unless you are watching over-the-air TV. This LG is a great idea as a television, just make it bigger. As a computer monitor for my needs, nope. I don't use all of the horizontal space in my 1366 x 768 screen, and would prefer having the old 1280 x 1024 monitor, but that's just me. Reply

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