LG 31MU97-B; An In-Depth Review

The LG 31MU97-B may seem too fancy in both aesthetics and performance, and it certainly has the best pixels to date. The 31-inch display is actual 4K equipped with Adobe RGB and 10-bit colour depth goodness, resulting to a little more expensive than the traditional 4K monitor. This product however, is said to deviate from the trend, as it is especially made for individuals, particularly image professionals who work on content creation. But is it really worth its price? Check out this in-depth review from Dual Monitors Guide and know more.

(image from Amazon)

Who is it for?

The LG 31MU97-B really gives its brand a great opportunity to engrave its mark as one of the very first leaders in professional monitor market. The monitor is loaded with features and functions, perfect for professionals who are need of innovative and top-of-the-line display with the best present technology available. It’s best for photographers, videographers, graphics designers, or anyone who works on content creation that requires great color accuracy and consistency. But it’s best suited for people specifically looking for Cinema 4K resolution or the 10-bit colour/Adobe RGB colour gamut.



(image from Amazon)

To start with, let’s differentiate LG 31MU97-B from other 4Ks in the market. The term ‘4K resolution’ can actually mean two things Ultra HD or Cinema 4K. The cheaper ones in the market today, or what we can call mainstream 4K, (those available in $500 to $1000 range) are usually Ultra HD, which runs at 3840×2160 pixels, with an aspect ratio of 16:9. This 4K display from LG on the other hand, sports 4096×2160 pixels with a 19:10 ratio, with superior color accuracy.


Cinema 4K 4096 x 2160p

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Most 4K monitors sold today works at 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution, which is way better than Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixel resolution). However, they are actually UHD (Ultra High Definition), which is simply a multiple Full HD. The real 4K resolution is at 4096 x 2160 pixel, and runs at an Aspect Ratio of at least 17:9. This brand of resolution is the ideal 4K, and the best resolution for content creators to date. Videos don’t need to be scaled down to fit the screen. 

The monitor is well calibrated to reach 99.5% Adobe RGB color space. For the professionals, the calibration means the display can cover 97% DCI-P3 color space.


Digital Cinema Brand of Resolution for Professional Use

(image from Amazon)

The LG 31MU97-B has a staggering resolution of 4096 x 2160p aimed for professional users. Whether you’re a graphic designer, photographer, video editor, etc. this LG display is capable of handling any professional task with its native 4K resolution. Video editors in particular, will enjoy the easy and hassle-free post production of videos with this display, as it can handle the task with little or no distortion.

This monitor sports a 17:9 widescreen aspect ratio, allowing users to work within two different programs simultaneously, see color differences, compare and contrast pictures without switching from one window or program to another.


Amazing Color Quality Display, Perfect for Photographers

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Apart from the amazing resolution is the 10-Bit Color Depth of LG 31MU97-B, which is equivalent to 1 billion colors. That’s 64% richer than the standard 8-bit color display from regular displays we have today. This means this LG monitor can create colors with the softest and most natural tone, without causing any banding.

(image from Amazon)

Users will get to enjoy great details of anything displayed on screen with richer and wider colors range that allows accurate, highly detailed and natural-looking objects and images on screen. Combine that with smooth transitions in gradients, the more shades in between will let users work with their images in great details. It’s a perfect tool for professionals who work outdoors and uses natural light for large scale projects, such as photographers, as colors remain accurate and consistent.


For Graphic Designers

Professionals in publishing industry (magazines, print ads, package designs) can definitely make use of this display’s power and high-resolution qualities. It’s an excellent monitor for editing, processing and producing images.


For Videographers

Post-production professionals will surely love this LG 4K monitor, as it is especially designed for CG (Computer Graphics), DI (Digital Intermediate), or VFX (Visual Effects) work for the TV, video and film and visual industry. It’s also well-equipped with tools for high resolution display, great for post-production artists working on Digital Cinema System Specifications.


IPS Panels Offers Over 99.5% Adobe RGB, Minimizing Color Difference and Color Loss Throughout All Steps

The IPS display of LG 31MU97-B supports 99.5% Adobe RGB, which means it minimizes color difference and color loss with its wide color gamut and color temperature which covers both color ranges or sRGB and CMYK. As a result, users can retouch image photos effortlessly and come up with final products with vibrant and vivid colors that other panels (such as VA) can’t provide.


DCP-P3 Digital Cinema Color Standard for Consistent Digital Color

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LG 31MU97-B made it possible to edit images and on-site footage with full expression through its DCI color standard. This feature produces digital content color, just the way you intended with preview camera on site. This feature allows for more accurate conditions, such as brightness, color, saturation, and shadow details, for finer editing and overall control for post-production stage.


Total Color Management

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Alongside with Wide Color Gamut and Digital Color Standard is the Total Color Management. This feature keeps color standard with the help of software calibration and factory preset, which further minimizes the differences in color space and the expression between monitor screen, original image and printed results.


VESA Standard Mounting Holes for Full Ergonomics Upgrade

Like any other good 4K display, this LG 4K monitor also has VESA standard mounting holes at the back side of the cabinet. Which means easy and convenient ergonomic upgrade, should you wish to use a more flexible setup with third-party monitor standLCD armdesk mount, or even hang it on your wall using a wall mount.


Dual Monitor and Multiple Monitor Setup Options

Big monitors like the LG 31MU97 can easily double as an entertainment display, or even work as a TV, thus it definitely needs bigger mounting support. Though the supplied arm is fully adjustable, it can’t provide the best ergonomic setup for all users. If you’re in need of better mounting support for a computer monitor as big as 31-inch, then you should check out Interactive Arm, HD from Ergotron.  This LCD arm can hold monitors up to 55-inch size and up to 40 lbs. of weight. Its interactive arm gives you the flexibility to position your display anywhere you want; it can swing, swivel, or turn it into any direction you want to get the best viewing position and make your monitor look like it’s floating in mid-air.

(image from Amazon)

If you want to revamp your office with a new height-adjustable sit-stand desk to accommodate this display, then you should check out WorkFit-D, Sit-Stand Desk, still from Ergotron. This desk provides great height adjustment range, has solid base to keep everything you put on top of the sturdy desktop.

(image from Amazon)

Design and Features

Design wise, there’s nothing extraordinary about LG 31MU97-B, it looks fine aesthetically. The bezels are relatively thin, with the subtle LG logo at the center, bottom bezel. It comes with a decent stand that allows flexible adjustment.


Buttons and Controls

The on-screen display is accessible through its control buttons, including the usual options like brightness and contrast. It also gives access to different colour profiles, including AdobeRGB and DCI-P3 out of the box.

Another good feature that usually comes with most 4K displays is the Picture-by-Picture feature, which allows users to take two inputs and have them side-by-side on the screen. You could use one side of the screen for watching your favorite TV show (with TV tuner) through HDMI port, and at the same time work on your computer desktop on the other side of the screen. Each computer will get 2048×2160 pixels. A good little feature.



(image from Amazon)

LG 31MU97-B has all the connectivity ports you need, and more. The backside of the cabinet houses three USB 3.0 ports. However, it is a bit unusual for USB hubs to be at the back of the monitor. It would have been better if it’s placed on the side. There’s also two (2) HDMI ports that will allow users to switch between inputs from the display’s control panel, rather than getting a separate switcher. There’s also a Mini DP port to connect with Mini DP to Mini DP cable for specific peripherals.


MaxxAudio + 5W Speakers

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This 4K display comes with two built-in 5W speakers with MaxxAudio functions, which means users will get to enjoy good display with decent quality sound. The speakers make wide range of vibrant clean and crisp sound in both high and low volume setting. They are not the best, but they can certainly be decent enough for most types of use.


Fully Adjustable Stand for Full Comfort and Ergonomics

(image from Amazon)

Many 30-inch monitors and bigger don’t come with adjustable stand, causing some sort of inconvenience, especially when used as a work display. LG however, know that their 31MU97-B will be used by professionals, thus, they include a fully adjustable stand in this product to provide better comfort and ergonomics for content creation.

(image from Amazon)

The stand can swivel left and right, tilt up and down, adjust in height, and pivot 90⁰ to switch between landscape and portrait orientation mode, and vice versa.



Tech Specs

Bottom Line

The LG 31MU97 is a Cinema 4K that is way a lot better than the Ultra HD 4K most brands have today. It is pretty well-calibrated for Adobe RGB and for 10-bit colour depth goodness. And these are the main contributing factors of it’s a bit more expensive price tag. If you know what these things means however, you will understand the reason behind the steep price.

Though using LG 31MU97 at its optimum resolution of 4096×2160p at 50 Hz is a little shaky. This display doesn’t support 60Hz Refresh Rate, which means transitions of animations, or even scrolling up and down a website and sliding through windows a little jarring. It’s not really a distracting issue, but it can be noticeable, especially if you’ve been used to using displays running at 60Hz. Fortunately, you can turn it down a notch to 3840×2160 and run at 60Hz, which is still pretty good. It may cause a little letterboxing, but it’s definitely way better than frame rate reduction.

If you’re using the display to edit 4K videos, setting it at 25Hz or 50Hz will not cause serious problem. Unless if you are working on Blu-Ray 4K, which runs at 60Hz, but actually 3840×2160, and not 4096×2160.

If you’re looking for a professional display for colour grading work, such as cinema release films, and you need a display without coloud banding, with 4K resolution quality, then the LG 31MU97 is a good choice for you. Currently, there is no 4K panel today, with this caliber, at this price range. LG did a pretty good job in this 4K monitor. But unless you are in great need of Cinema 4K resolution and strict colour quality, there are other good options at 28-inch size range that runs at UHD quality. Also, if you’re looking for a big computer monitor that can double as an entertainment display, then you should know that there will be even better 40-inchers coming on to the market pretty soon.

For more in-depth reviews like this, check out Dual Monitors Guide today!

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