LG 25UM56-P: Widescreen on a Budget

Affordable ultra-wide always costs something. The LG 25UM56-P is excellent for the price, is an excellent multimedia monitor for watching movies or to use as a secondary display. Great for games that are more visual-oriented, but less optimal for competitive FPS and RTS titles.

The extra horizontal space from this ultra-wide display means you can fit half a dozen apps on one screen, so you don’t have to swap around from window to window, or from display to display.  This display includes a split screen feature that can actually divide the screen into four parts — it takes some getting used to, but it can speed up how quickly you can toggle between applications efficiently.

Features & Ultrawide Gaming Ability

The dual controller lets you connect a console to the display, and picture in picture modes to help break up the screen for multiplayer viewing.  There are number of gaming modes, including FPS and RTS ones, which make use of different settings and use of the black stabilizer for optimal visual performance. These presets can be manually changed.

Unfortunately, even with these presets, the truth is a 60hz monitor isn’t ideal for FPS play. But the black stabilizer can help make objects in the dark appear bright and sharp, which makes it easier to strike enemies in the dark.

The IPS panel gives professional-quality color accuracy, with 99% of the sRGB spectrum available in the display. TUV certification means no perceptible flickering to make your eyes tired from staring at the screen. Gaming wants closer to a 1ms response time, 5ms is passable but not up to very high standards.

The OSD menu on the display uses a joystick on the bottom size of the bezel. The joystick can also help you navigate through gaming presets, volume settings, and input sources. This display runs a thin bezel that looks completely modern, the base is stable, but that also means it’s fairly large like many widescreen bases. That’s probably related to why the designers decide to make it VESA compatible.

Specifications

25” Screen
LED Backlit
2560×1080 (2k) resolution
60hz refresh rate
178/178 viewing angle
250 cd/m2 brightness
5,000,000:1 contrast ratio
5ms response time
21:9 aspect ratio
IPS panel
2 HDMI connectors
VESA mount compatible.
8.8 lbs with stand.

Cons

The most serious drawback is probably having only two HDMI ports. No Displayport, and no DVI/VGA ports, is no walk in the park. Additionally, the brightness is somewhat low — but isn’t a very perceptible difference.

Like with all glossy finish, this monitor is a big of a glare-magnet. Direct sunlight and this display do not mix.  The fact this monitor is only 60hz may bother some people, but it’s worth mentioning it can be easily overclocked to 75hz. The lack of freesync and built-in speakers is more reflective of the price than anything — you get what you pay for.

Conclusion

If you’re a professional gamer playing competitive RTS/FPS, this isn’t a monitor for you. But for just about everyone else, this is one of the best widescreens you can find in its price-range. If you’re looking to invest heavily in a monitor, this probably isn’t your pick. But it’s on the lower-end of things, it’s an excellent choice.