I upgraded to a 16:18 monitor.  Here's why you should too

I upgraded to a 16:18 monitor. Here’s why you should too


  • A refreshing design that benefits vertical content creators
  • Fully adjustable mounting bracket is included
  • Seamless connectivity with many ports
  • Built-in speakers

The inconvenients

  • Build quality doesn’t match the $699 price tag
  • Capped at 60Hz refresh rate
  • The room sensor is unreliable

Imagine this: you are sitting at a desk with a screen in front of you. What is the width of the monitor? Is it flat or curved? Does it have a glossy screen that reflects your blank stare or a matte coating that diffuses your reflection just enough?

Wherever Your Imagination Takes You, It Probably Wasn’t Like Anything LG’s DualUp monitor. LG has championed the monitor market for the past decade, with its UltraFine brand being the screen of choice for many professionals, and the UltraGear setting gamers up for victory. The DualUp, with its unusual 16:18 aspect ratio, charts its own course; one that takes your existing knowledge of office interaction and compresses it into a square.

I’ve been using said monitor for the past few weeks, continuing my daily routine of writing, editing, and scrolling, while adjusting to what feels like a familiar but untapped computing dimension. I admit it: I don’t think I’ll be going back to a traditional monitor anytime soon.



18.9 x 33.19 x 1.76 (without stand)


27.6-inch IPS (2560 x 2880) @ 60Hz

To go up


Connection Ports

DisplayPort 1.4, USB-C, USB-AB audio jack, 2x USB-A, 2x HDMI




Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: this 27.6-inch square IPS panel. The LG DualUp isn’t like your traditional ultrawide monitor, which seems to be the “go-to” for most home and office setups these days. Instead of stretching across the table, the LG’s 16:18 aspect ratio takes up less horizontal space and, therefore, puts less strain on the monitor stand – and your neck from having to twist from side to side. Is that a twinkle that I already see in your eyes?

Between glossy and matte screens, I prefer the latter – and so does LG. The DualUp’s matte coating makes its visuals very pleasing to the eye, even on the brightest of days. Fingerprint smudges from swiveling the monitor are also non-existent.


All the information you need at a glance.

June Wan/ZDNET

That said, while the monitor gets decently bright with a maximum luminance of 300 nits, there are times when the ambient light sensor miscalculates the environment and dials the brightness in too high or too low. This shouldn’t be a problem if you’re working in a space with constant lighting.

Before demonstrating the capabilities of the odd form factor, let me first cover the basics of the monitor’s design, as the actual build quality of the DualUp isn’t quite as impressive, though still practical. Much of the monitor is made of lightweight, flimsy plastic, which feels cheap, but makes it effortless to move around. The DualUp comes with built-in speakers – a rare feat even on $1,000 monitors – and LG’s proven joystick controller on the bottom (or on the right side if you rotate the monitor 90 degrees) to navigate to display settings. If you’ve ever used a joystick to play, you’ll have no problem steering this one.

Also: The best big screens for work and play


The Ergo stand is ideal if you are picky about the placement of your monitor.

June Wan/ZDNET

Then there’s LG’s Ergo Stand which connects to the monitor via a VESA mount and allows the screen to extend, retract, swivel, tilt and swivel up to 335 degrees – if you have room. For one, the included monitor stand attaches securely to virtually any desk. I tested it with a 3-inch-thick tabletop from Flexispot and a thinner metal desk from Secretlab and had no issues with either. Second, the stand is decorated with nifty clips to keep your dangling cables out of sight. It’s a simple touch that makes cable management a breeze.

Also on the back is a catalog of ports for display and audio setups. The single USB-C port (upstream) was all I needed to connect (and expand) my MacBook Pro while the laptop was charged with LG’s 80W output. Standard USB-A and HDMI slots are also available and will come in handy if you want to pair two devices to the monitor simultaneously. For example, you can connect a Nintendo Switch to stream to the bottom half of the monitor, while a MacBook powers the top half to handle a live stream. It’s a 16:18 display, after all, so it can technically feature a 21.5-inch dual-screen layout, 16:9 dimensions. (Think two smaller monitors stacked on top of each other.)

More: How to choose the right monitor layout for working from home


Ports abound with the DualUp.

June Wan/ZDNET


Now for the fun part: using the real thing. There really is no “right way” to use a 16:18 monitor, so the DualUp experience starts with opening a program or two and tabs and moving them around until you find the best fit.

My main layout (see below) consists of a full browser tab on the right side and two other stacked windows on the left – one for browsing and fact-checking and the other for music playback and video. With a larger monitor, I can see a lot more, say, a blog post without having to scroll. Naturally, this is very useful when you’re writing and editing articles and want to get an idea of ​​the overall structure and look. It’s quite refreshing to be able to view so much information with minimal head movement.

As with other professions, the DualUp display is excellent for browsing spreadsheets, developing and coding, and even editing video layers to asset layers. Basically, it’s a killer monitor for vertical content consumption.

More: Samsung’s $3,499 Odyssey Ark gaming monitor is a sight to behold


Rotating the DualUp monitor creates an 18:16 aspect ratio, which means the bottom and top sides become wider.

June Wan/ZDNET

As large as the monitor is, the one area where the DualUp falls short is full-screen video playback. The standard YouTube video looks passable – with a good amount of letterboxing (black bars top and bottom). But then you get to 21:9 anamorphic movies – most modern movies, basically – and you’ll quickly realize you’ve gone to the weird side of the DualUp experience.


An example of a three-window layout.

June Wan/ZDNET

I would generally avoid using only one application at a time on the monitor, unless the monitor is acting as a secondary display. Otherwise, there is simply too much space on the screen not to have at least two programs open at the same time. That’s the beauty of it, right? The square form factor pushes you to do more and be productive.

The last thing to mention is LG On-screen control software, an optional plug-in that lets you choose between predefined window arrangements (up to eight). You know, in case you don’t want to manually drag and resize your 3+ tabs every time. The service is easy to use and well worth the download if you want to get the most out of your $699 monitor.

More: The best 4K monitors to upgrade your computer setup

At the end of the line

There’s not much to get excited about with monitors these days, but the LG DualUp is built differently. I’ve personally considered a larger monitor over the past year and was only disappointed when Huawei unveiled its UK-exclusive 28-inch MateView. To $699, the DualUp is relatively cheaper, widely available, and precisely what the journalist in me has been waiting for.

It’s not exactly a bargain when stacked alongside the ultra-wide 34-inch panels flooding the $300-500 market, but the LG monitor – with its distinctly charming 16:18 aspect ratio – can help declutter my desk while putting all the information I need front and center.

Alternatives to consider

Besides the LG DualUp monitor, here are some great alternatives that will satisfy your big screen desires:

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