DESIGN & BUILD
LG has done a good job of designing this 27" display, which actually looks relatively compact in spite of its screen size.
The slim 4 cm casing and the grey metal bar connecting the screen with the stand help keep this monitor's size down to a minimum. On top of that, the stand is height-adjustable and the screen can be flipped round into portrait mode.
You do have to push the screen firmly into position though, otherwise the it stays a little loose and can rock from side to side slightly each time you touch it.
On the back, this 27" LG monitor has DVI, DisplayPort and HDMI connections, as well as a headphones socket. There are no built-in speakers here, so this socket is a good way of outputting audio to an external speaker set or headphones when connected over HDMI or DisplayPort. The DVI port doesn't input an audio signal so you'll need to hook your speakers up directly to the source.
There are three USB 3.0 ports around the back of the 27EA83—which makes three less than on the Asus PA279Q. And while LG obviously has good intentions here—and it's always nice to see a USB hub—it would have been even nicer to see a couple of those USB ports placed on the edge of the monitor to make them easier to get at.
Otherwise, the 2560 x 1400-pixel screen resolution means that this LG monitor fits 77% more information onscreen than a Full HD display. Note, however, that not all of the video input ports can handle displaying content in the screen's native resolution. It's no problem if you're connected over DVI or DisplayPort, but HDMI is limited to Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels).
As with LG's 29EA93, you can connect to two sources at once (computer, camera, phone, etc.) which can then be viewed in Picture In Picture mode (one window on top of the other) or Picture and Picture mode (two windows side by side). You can therefore watch a movie in a small window onscreen while you work on something else in a bigger window (there are three window sizes to choose from). You can also work with two windows set up alongside one another as if you had two 1280 x 1440-pixel screens side by side. Note that to use the Dual Link-Up function, one device must be connected to the DisplayPort.
And we aren't overjoyed about that, because DisplayPort still isn't a particularly common connection. For example, on the 30 or so computers that we have in our office, only three have a DisplayPort. Another downside of this function is that the picture resolutions you end up with when using the split-screen function are far from standard. You'll therefore need a graphics card that lets you set custom resolutions, or you'll have to make sure you use resolutions that are close to commonly used standards, such as 1280 x 1024. However, with the latter option the resulting images can lack sharpness and precision.
COLOURS & CONTRAST
Although LG doesn't proffer in-factory colour calibration as one of this monitor's selling points, the firm has still done a good job with this "ColorPrime" display. Once switched to sRGB mode, the 27EA83 displays very accurate colours. We measured the average Delta E at 1.6.
Delta E measures the difference between "perfect" colours and those displayed onscreen. It should be as low as possible, with anything under 3 considered "accurate".
The LG Flatron 27EA83 is therefore more than capable of meeting the needs of imaging professionals such as graphic designers and photographers. Plus, adjusting the screen brightness (210 cd/m² max.) in sRGB mode doesn't affect the Delta E.
Still in sRGB mode, the 27EA83's contrast isn't affected by the screen brightness setting either. It is, however, considerably less impressive than the Delta E, measured at 600:1. Anyone who prefer using the wider-gamut Adobe RGB colour space will get a higher contrast ratio of 950:1. Unfortunately, we don't have the right kind of kit to test colour fidelity in this wide gamut mode. We're working on that.
The wide viewing angles brought by IPS technology are a nice match for this monitor's screen size. It also means that colours are reproduced consistently over the whole of the screen—something you wouldn't get with a TN-based monitor of the same size (TN screens look dark or light when viewed from above or below).
The LG Flatron 27EA83 is less at ease with gaming. With the factory settings, we measured the average ghosting time at 13.5 ms (that's our way of measuring the time it takes the screen to get rid of one image when it starts displaying the next). Fast movement therefore won't look as sharp as it could. In theory, you should be able to up the response time in the onscreen menu, but reverse ghosting kicks in as soon as you push this setting up a notch. We therefore recommend leaving well alone.
This graph shows the ghosting time, measured in ms, which measures the time it takes this monitor to entirely remove the previous frame. The shorter the time, the more fluid moving images will appear.