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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  • Rick83 - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - link

    So you say " In my very casual use this didn’t bother me"
    ...and then use that as your main argument against the screen?

    That is somewhat strange. If you can only quantify the issue, but not qualify it, then you shouldn't use it as such a strong argument.

    Finally, it would be great to get a link back to the methodology used to measure monitor latency. Prad had a huuuge article on that, and I'm not even sure that the methodology you use is actually giving accurate results.
  • nathanddrews - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - link

    I don't think he was unclear. Input lag is really only a big issue when dealing with really fast action games. For slower paced games and cinefiles (assuming you can adjust latency of your audio source to match) input lag is not as important. So while I can understand the appeal of an extra-wide display for immersive gaming, the high latency of this display cancels that out.

    Prad? They established that lag testing applications are accurate enough. In the end, being accurate to 1fps is more than sufficient. Look at this chart showing the many different testing methods. They're all pretty close.


    I will say that I am surprised that the display was tested at 1920x1080 rather than the native resolution. How do we know that the non-native resolution didn't contribute to observed latency? I guess I would have liked to see the native resolution tested to be sure. As a gamer and "cinefile", I would certainly attempt to run the monitor at its native resolution whenever possible, using FOV hacks as necessary.
  • Rick83 - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - link

    "Values which have been arrived using the old methods to date cannot be compared with these values, since their systematic errors alone often exceed the values from the new method multiple times."

    So clearly, the method that is used matters.
  • nathanddrews - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - link

    I understand, but the results - faulty or not - are roughly all within 1fps or real-world perception. Displays that have low latency using the old method still have low latency using the new methods, likewise with high latency. Other than objective purity, it doesn't seem to matter.
  • cheinonen - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - link

    I haven't written up how SMTT is used, but TFT Central did a very through write-up of it in comparison to other methods and how the results were here:


    I plan for an article going over all of the testing methods in more detail soon.
  • jjj - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - link

    Not very sure why you asume the target was movies, i see that more as an unintended benefit and this as just an alternative to using 2x1080p screens.Maybe you would be happier with higher vertical res,guess there is no reason for them to not to that too at some point.
    The pricing is rather unfortunate, the Dell was quite a bit cheaper on BF and the input lag takes away so much of the benefit of having this AR.
    Wish someone (hint Samsung) would make a 3420x1440 (more or less) with flexible display where the curve can be adjusted.That would be way fun,maybe even help revive a bit PC gaming.
  • cheinonen - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - link

    The movie assumption comes more from the presence of dual HDMI inputs, a CMS, and an MHL input than from the aspect ratio. Those lean more towards it being a shared desktop and TV/Gaming display, and once it's used for that then movies come more into play. Without the extra inputs and control I'd think it's more likely a dual monitor replacement. I think it's a bit of both, but needs some work.
  • wsaenotsock - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - link

    So this is how laptop screens will look in 5 years after this ratio catches on and homogenizes the global panel supply again?
  • madmilk - Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - link

    You could buy a Macbook.
  • peterfares - Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - link

    I really hope this doesn't happen. 16:10 was so much better for computer usage, but 16:9 is still acceptable. This is just stupud. 27" WQHD screens are cheaper and much better, too.

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