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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  • justniz - Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - link

    The lack of 3D support seems like an obvious oversight, especially for a monitor that obviously targetted for movie and gaming use.
    I dont use 3D that much but I certainly wouldnt limit myself further by buying a monitor that couldnt support it at all.
    Reply
  • cheinonen - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    Not having 3D is likely for a couple reasons:

    - Very few scalers actually work with a 3D picture. A Lumagen Radiance does, but that's $2000 to start with a basic model, and very few projectors with anamorphic mode support can do it to 3D. That would require a lot of extra power and push the price up.
    - If they went passive 3D (which LG usually does), that's introducing a texture onto the screen that many people, like myself, can not tolerate on non-3D content.

    Given that adding 3D would push the costs up a good amount probably, I think it's a pretty easy thing to drop.
    Reply
  • Cannyone - Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - link

    I recently found myself in need of a new display for my computer. And I was very interested in this new model. But I was afraid that some games wouldn't be able to utilize it. And I also worried that the input lag might be intrusive. So I ended up settling on the Asus PB278Q. Which I'm happy to say is working out quite well.

    I personally still wish I could get something like Vizio's Cinemawide TV for watching movies. But that will have to wait. However I commend LG for at least trying to fill this market niche. Its nice to see some companies that aren't afraid to take some risks.
    Reply
  • SunLord - Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - link

    Anandtech needs to review the Dell UltraSharp U2713HM same idea as this but it has display-port out so we can get some 6 display eyefinity going! Reply
  • peterfares - Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - link

    In my opinion these are just stupid. A 27" 2560x1440 monitor is far better. Same horizontal room, more vertical room. 1080 vertical is pretty cramped once you get used to more. Reply
  • audioman83 - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    screen space-wise, how is this not better than 1920x1080????? more is more. Reply
  • Calista - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    I agree with Chris that a 27" is a better choice, but as compared to a 1920x1080-monitor it makes a lot of sense. 1920 by itself is just silly to work with in most cases, 1920 divided by two is only 960, far from enough for two work areas side by side. A browser need at least 1024 pixels, but even 1200 pixels is often a bit lacking. 2560 divided by two is much more workable. Reply
  • Jsuvexx - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    An monitor like this will be snatched up real fast by musicians, and folks in the multimedia industries. Reply
  • ReaM - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    Anandtech crowd is a lot smarter than the rest of internet. I read a lot about 16:9 vs 16:10 back then when it came and people made ridiculous arguments for 16:9 stating that it's good for movies etc (while no movie has ever been shot in 16:9).

    If not for the loss of pixels I would vote for 16:9 but 1080 on these monitors is not much bigger than 1280x1024 what I had on my CRT 12 years ago. There is not really much more space on monitors, unless you get one of 1200 or 1440. I used to have the 27" iMac, it was nice, lots of space on the monitor.
    Reply
  • dim.thelights - Thursday, April 04, 2013 - link

    How to know which Rev. you will buy in the shop?

    Anyone know how to find out?
    Reply

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