PCWorld (USA)

LG Dualup 28MQ780-B: You’ve never used a monitor like this

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

- BY MATT SMITH

The LG Dualup 28MQ780-B is a strange monitor that instantly generated controvers­y when it appeared at CES 2022. Some were left scratching their heads. Others swore it would perfectly fit their setup. I can see where both sides are coming from—but, ultimately, the monitor left me convinced it will find a loyal audience.

THE SPECS

The LG Dualup 28MQ780-B has just one unusual specificat­ion, but it’s a doozy: a 28-inch, 16:18 aspect ratio display with 2560×2880 resolution, similar to cramming two standard 2560×1440 monitors on top of each other. Odds are you’ve never used a monitor like it. Display size: 28-inch, 16:18 aspect ratio Native resolution: 2560×2880

Panel type: IPS

Refresh rate: 60Hz

HDR: Yes, HDR10

Adaptive sync: No

Ports: 2x HDMI, 1x Displaypor­t, 1x USB-C with Displaypor­t Alternate Mode and 90 watts Power Delivery

Stand adjustment: Height, tilt, swivel, pivot, depth

VESA mount: Yes, 100x100mm

Speakers: Yes

Price: $699.99 MSRP

That aside, the monitor is similar to other high-end productivi­ty monitors with USB-C. It has an IPS panel with a 60Hz refresh rate and supports HDR. The USB-C power supports up to 90 watts of power—enough to charge many prosumer Windows laptops, and all current Macbook Pro models, while in use.

ASPECT RATIO

The Dualup 28MQ780-B is a 28-inch monitor but has a 16:18 aspect ratio. It’s barely wider than a typical 21-inch monitor yet taller than a 32-inch monitor.

This is an odd fit for average day-to-day use. I’m in favor of taller monitors, such as a 16:10 aspect ratio, but the Dualup 28MQ780-B is so tall that the top of the screen falls out of my focus. That’s not especially useful for editing documents or browsing the web.

On the other hand, this monitor can be fantastic for photograph­y. Most photos I edit are in a 3:2 or 1:1 aspect ratio, which is a better fit for the Dualup 28MQ780-B than a widescreen monitor. I can better enlarge the photo for careful editing.

I also create videos for Youtube (fave.co/ 3RJJEUO), and I appreciate the wide range of workflow layout options this monitor can provide in video editing software. I found it easier to view the video timeline in detail. Some editors may not like that this monitor’s aspect ratio is a bad fit for previewing your content. Yet speaking for myself, as a small part-time Youtube creator, the ease of editing is more important than a pristine preview.

While this monitor is advertised as a 16:18 aspect ratio, it can easily pivot into a 18:16

aspect ratio. In this orientatio­n, it’s almost exactly as wide as a 24-inch widescreen monitor, but it’s much taller, offering over 50 percent more total display space. I enjoyed this mode for day-to-day use and for document editing.

But, of course, there are use cases where the Dualup trips up. It’s not a good choice for viewing widescreen video because of the huge black bars forced above and below the video. It’s even worse if you work in an ultrawide aspect ratio for a cinematic look.

Gaming is a bust. Many games will accept the monitor’s unusual resolution, but this isn’t universal. Interface elements designed for a widescreen display may appear wide relative to the overall size of the display.

There’s one final use case to note: as a second monitor. A widescreen monitor turned 90 degrees can be a useful second display, but the aspect ratio is an odd fit—it often feels too tall and narrow. The Dualup, however, is an excellent size. It’s exactly as tall as a 24-inch monitor turned 90 degrees but provides enough width to tile four (or more) windows at once.

DESIGN

The LG Dualup 28MQ780-B’S design is dominated by the aspect ratio, but there is more to it than that.

This monitor clearly targets profession­al use with slim bezels, a small bottom chin, and a plain matte gray rear panel. There’s no flashy branding or LED backlighti­ng.

LG leans into this by including a monitor arm instead of a stand. The arm is designed to clamp onto the rear of a desk or fit through the standard circular cutout found in many desktops. It offers height, tilt, swivel, and pivot adjustment. The arm can even move the monitor forward and backward or permanentl­y hold it at an unusual angle.

Though useful, the combinatio­n of a tall display with a large monitor arm makes the Dualup 28MQ780-B hard to fit in tight spaces. It was too tall to sit on my usual desk, which has shelves above it, and the arm holds the monitor a bit too close to the user when on a typical home office desk that’s 20 to 30 inches deep.

The Dualup 28MQ780-B seems designed for use on a floating desk that provides ample space and isn’t bordered by a wall or shelving. This is common in an office building, of course, but more difficult to achieve in a home setting.

FEATURES AND MENU

Unusual design aside, the LG Dualup 28MQ780-B has most of the features you’d expect from a high-end USB-C monitor.

The most important is a single USB-C port with Displaypor­t Alternate Mode and Power Delivery of up to 90 watts. This is enough to charge most modern laptops over a standard USB-C connection. It falls short of some high-end models, like a Dell XPS 17 with discrete graphics—but that’s true of all USB-C monitors currently sold.

Additional video inputs include two HDMI ports and one Displaypor­t. That makes for a total of four video inputs. I’d prefer to see two Displaypor­t and one HDMI, as I expect this monitor will be used with multiple PCS. Still, this is a pretty good range of connectivi­ty. The monitor has a USB-B upstream port used to drive two USB-A 3.0 downstream ports for additional connectivi­ty. Users can choose to use the USB-C or USB-B port to connect with the two USB-A ports, adding versatilit­y.

There’s no ethernet and no video-out, which puts the Dualup 28MQ780-B behind similarly priced USB-C hub monitors like the Dell U3223QE (fave.co/3y8gmnv). A headphone jack rounds things out.

On-screen menus are controlled with a simple, intuitive joystick on the monitor’s chin. The menus are snappy and clearly labeled. A variety of image-quality adjustment­s are available, including color temperatur­e, color calibratio­n, and gamma, though the temperatur­e and gamma adjustment­s are limited to a few options. The monitor has SRGB and DCI-P3 color space modes—not something most people need to worry about but useful for profession­als working on content that demands a specific color space.

Speakers are included and, to my surprise, they’re fine. They offer a high maximum volume, clear presentati­on, and a bit of bass kick. The speakers are good for

casually playing music in the background while working or previewing audio during a video edit.

SDR IMAGE QUALITY

Aspect ratio aside, the LG Dualup 28MQ780-B is a typical example of a quality IPS monitor meant for profession­al use. It has solid brightness and contrast, but it’s the monitor’s color performanc­e that stands out.

Maximum brightness comes in at 330 nits. As is obvious on the graph, this is a bit low for a monitor sold in 2022. It’s an acceptable level of brightness for most situations but can seem a tad dim if used in a bright, sunlit room with no light control.

The monitor’s maximum contrast ratio is 880:1. This is decent but not exceptiona­l performanc­e for a modern IPS monitor. It has enough contrast to add some depth and avoid a washed-out look, but dark scenes in movies and games can seem hazy and high-resolution movies look a bit flat.

The Dualup 28MQ780-B has a wide color gamut supporting all of SRGB and 96 percent of DCI-P3. This monitor can display an extremely wide range of colors, though it does fall a hair behind the best competitor­s, such as Dell’s U3223QE and MINI-LED monitors like the Viewsonic XG321UG. The Dualup’s color gamut is enough to satisfy most, though certainly not all, photo editors, video editors, digital artists, and other content creators.

This is an 8-bit panel and does not support native 10-bit color. Though that’s a minor disappoint­ment, I’m not surprised to see a lack of 10-bit color given the Dualup 28MQ780-B’S price tag, which, though on the high end generally, is relatively modest for a profession­al display.

Color accuracy is very good, competing well with that of other monitors in its price bracket. Some alternativ­es are more accurate, but the Dualup 28MQ780-B will not give most owners a reason to complain. Content appears lifelike, realistic, and vivid.

The monitor performed well in other metrics. It had a good out-of-box gamma curve of 2.3, barely off the target of 2.2, so images were just a hair darker than they should be. Color temperatur­e was also solid at 6800K, which is a tad cooler than ideal. I doubt most people will notice anything amiss with either, and the monitor offers adjustment­s for fine-tuning these aspects of image quality.

Sharpness is excellent. The monitor’s resolution of 2560×2880 works out to 137 pixels per inch, while a 28-inch 4K widescreen has 157 pixels per inch. Fonts appear crisp, images and videos look detailed, and 3D games show minimal shimmer along fine edges while in motion.

In summary, the LG Dualup 28MQ780-B offers competent, though not exceptiona­l, SDR image quality. It leans heavily on color gamut and accuracy to deliver a vivid, realistic look, but it can struggle with dark, moody content.

HDR IMAGE QUALITY

The LG Dualup 28MQ780-B includes an HDR badge in its marketing but is not VESA Displayhdr certified and makes no specific promises aside from the ability to accept an HDR10 signal.

An HDR signal is detected automatica­lly and the monitor properly switches into HDR mode. Once there, I measured a maximum sustained brightness of only 348 nits. That is among the lower figures I’ve seen from an HDR monitor. Most HDR compatible monitors I test can achieve at least 400 nits.

This, along with the monitor’s modest contrast, makes for a disappoint­ing experience. HDR content often looks washedout, especially at high brightness, as bumping up brightness also increases the brightness of areas that should appear dark.

To be fair, the Dualup 28MQ780-B’S flaws are present in similarly priced competitio­n. Shoppers looking for a great HDR experience will need to expand their budget to include MINI-LED and OLED monitors, such as the Viewsonic XG321UG and Alienware AW3432DW.

MOTION CLARITY

The LG Dualup 28MQ780-B makes little effort to improve motion clarity or deliver smooth motion in 3D games and apps. It has a standard 60Hz refresh rate and supports AMD Freesync, though this is not turned on by default.

Motion clarity is typical of an average IPS display. Fast-moving objects have enough detail to be recognizab­le in most situations, but there’s significan­t blur around details. When viewing the classic UFO test ( fave. co/3ogreyo), for example, I noticed the eyes of the alien appeared to blend together in motion.

A few response time modes are included, but any increase in clarity was offset by noticeable overshoot, which caused trailing artifacts to appear behind moving objects.

Still, the monitor’s performanc­e is just fine for its intended use. The LG Dualup 28MQ780-B is built for working with content that is either static or viewed at a low frame rate. It’s not made for gaming or for high-frame-rate video.

BOTTOM LINE

The LG Dualup 28MQ780-B is an intriguing option in a sea of monitors that often more or less do the same thing. Its image quality is merely good, and it won’t even fit on small desks, but it offers unique value for anyone who works with content that’s as tall as it is wide. It’s also a great secondary monitor that’s easy to position and offers ample display space. Pricing also works to the Dualup’s advantage. Though it’s not inexpensiv­e, its pricing is similar to that of other profession­al displays. It doesn’t feel as if LG is using the monitor’s unique design as an excuse to inflate the price.

This monitor is not for everyone—but if you work in certain aspect ratios, or you want an amazing second monitor, snag this display while you can. There’s no guarantee it will receive a sequel.

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You can see what unusual proportion­s the Dualup 28MQ780-B has compared to a standard aspect-ratio display.
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The LG Dualup 28MQ780-B uses an arm as opposed to a stand. This combined with its unique dimensions requires careful considerat­ion of your available desk space.
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LG Dualup 28MQ780-B menu.
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