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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  • blackmagnum - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - link

    I'll be really interested in the screen if the design was less tacky and the price more wallet friendly. Now, I'm just amused at what Hollywood has delivered to us. Reply
  • Rick83 - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - link

    The price is pretty good, what's problematic is the size.
    This needs to be 36", 4K horizontal pixels and around $2k-3k, with the same uniformity, but locally adjustable contrast.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - link

    If only... Maybe by 2016? :p Reply
  • yankeeDDL - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - link

    Mah. 36" excludes completely the application as a desktop.
    Not that it wouldn't be nice, but it is a different product altogether.
    I kind of like the idea of ultra-wide screens: with 16:9 I find myself uneasy tiling two windows side by side: in most cases, the space is not enough.
    21:9 might fix the issue (I'm talking about productivity, of course).
    Watching movies sitting in front of a 29" screen sounds odd to me. You can't be too close, but if you're sitting on a couch it'll be way too far.
    Reply
  • Rick83 - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - link

    It's onlz going to be slightly wider than a 30" screen.
    No wider than my current desktop of 24" 16:10 + 19" 4:5 (portrait)

    It's very much the same product, only where the 29" model is slightly smaller than two 19"s next to one another, at 36" you're slightly larger than two 21"ers side-by-side.

    My current perspectiev of upgrading beyond 2x 19" is 3x21" in portrait. It's the only way to get no bezel in the center, while maintaining a 2.0-2.5:1 ratio.

    (I guess 3 19"ers might also work in portrait....)

    The advantage of large screens is that you can work on multiple scales: sitting back to see the big picture, leaning in, to look at detail. The most natural of all zooms.
    Reply
  • secretmanofagent - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - link

    Page 1:
    Video Inputs 2xHDMI, 1xDisplayPort, 1xDVI, 1xMHL (Shared with HDMI1)
    "What is missing is an analog DSub input, which I almost always still see."

    LG 29EA93—AV Use and Calibration
    "With a pair of HDMI inputs to go with the VGA, DisplayPort, and DVI inputs, you can easily hook up a game system, Blu-ray player, DVR, or other AV device to watch on it."

    Am I missing something?
    Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - link

    Probably a copy-n-paste from another manual when they created this one. There's definately no VGA port on this monitor. Reply
  • Googer - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    No need for VGA when you have the swiss army knife port aka Display Port. Also you can use HD Fury on the DVI port. Reply
  • cheinonen - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - link

    Sorry about that, I'll clean that up. No copy and paste there, just a stupid mistake. Reply
  • Jann___ - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - link

    The way I see it, these ultra-wide desktop monitors are a great replacement for dual-screen setups. If the OS added some 1/4 width window placement you'd have a dual-screen without the annoying gap in the middle. Reply

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