Not too long ago, 38 inches was the sweet spot for ultra-widescreen displays. These have included both gaming monitors—such as the LG 38UC99-W and the Acer XR382CQK, which each earned our Editors’ Choice—and professional monitors such as the ViewSonic VP3881, which is geared to photographers, graphic artists, and video editors.
Similarly, the new 49-inch monitors include both gaming-centric and business-minded models. They up the ante by adding more than 11 inches (measured diagonally) of screen real estate. A 49-inch panel is a good investment if you’re working with ginormous spreadsheets, monitoring market feeds, or want to see your email, a main working window, and your social media activity all at the same time.
The 49WL95C-WE, as well as the Dell UltraSharp 49, are general-purpose business monitors. Like the Dell 49, the 49WL95C-WE has a 49-inch (measured diagonally) IPS panel with a native resolution of 5,120 by 1,440 pixels, for an ultrawide 32:9 aspect ratio—the equivalent of two 27-inch QHD (2,560-by-1,440-pixel) monitors placed side by side.
SOLID PARTS, SOLID STURDY
The connectors on the 49WL95C-WE include two HDMI 2.0 ports, four downstream USB 3.0 ports, one DisplayPort 1.4 port, and a USB Type-C port. Two of the USB 3 ports and an audio-out jack face outward at the monitor’s right-hand edge for easy access, while the other ports point downward in back. The USB-C port supports DisplayPort over USB-C(Opens in a new window), which lets you stream audio and video to the monitor, and power delivery, which lets you charge devices—including USB-C-compatible laptops—over the USB-C connection. (Be sure to use the USB-C cable that comes with the monitor—some cables support charging but not data transfer.)
The monitor, including its stand, measures 17.4 by 47.8 by 12.1 inches (HWD), with the height increasing to 21.4 inches when fully extended, and it weighs 33.5 pounds. The stand supports height, tilt, and swivel adjustment. The panel has a narrow bezel, nearly invisible on top and on the sides, and about a quarter-inch tall on the bottom. The front of the cabinet is black, while the back is white and the stand is silver. The stand feels very sturdy, with a very wide, curved base supporting the shaft and panel.
According to LG, this panel is factory-calibrated to cover 99 percent of the sRGB color spectrum; I measured it at 98.3 percent. Above is a color fidelity, or chromaticity, chart. The area within the triangle represents the sRGB color spectrum, and my data points (the circles) are the colors as we measured them.
GOOD SRGB COLOR ACCURACY
Note that LG specifies that the monitor’s 99 percent sRGB color coverage is based on the CIE1931 color standard, while we use the more current CIE1976 standard. We did also map our data points using CIE1931; although we could not measure a coverage percentage, by eyeballing the results, we can safely say that it is very close to LG’s figures.
GOOD FOR VIDEO & SOUND
Video playback on the panel looked good, with colors appearing bright and true. With the 49WL95C-WE’s ultra-wide aspect ratio, though, be forewarned that most widescreen movies and video content will be bracketed by two black bars that, between them, consume half the screen.
This is not a model for hardcore gamers—the 49WL95C-WE lacks gaming-friendly features. Its refresh rate is a mortal 60Hz, it lacks adaptive sync technology, and it doesn’t include a gaming-specific picture mode.
Seldom do I get to say that a monitor has a good built-in speaker system, but that’s the case with the 49WL95C-W. Its pair of 10-watt speakers provides good volume and sound quality. Both the Dell UltraSharp 49 and the Samsung CHG90 lack built-in speakers. A 3.5mm audio-out port is available should you want to use headphones and plug directly into the panel.
The LG 49WL95C-WE is the best overall of the 49-inch monitors we’ve tested to date. Its vast screen area and high resolution for its size makes it ideal for professionals who need to keep several windows open at once, and its image quality proved good for text, photos, and video. It has a good selection of ports, including USB-C. And thanks to its powerful speaker system, if you want to watch video or crank up the tunes, you can do so without headphones or an attached sound system, which isn’t the case with either the Dell UltraSharp 49 or Samsung CHG90.
The LG 49WL95C-WE doesn’t come cheap, but you do get a lot—feature-wise, and in terms of sheer screen—for the money.
LG includes a mere one-year warranty with the 49WL95C-W, which is stingy considering the product’s price. Most monitors these days are backed by three-year warranties. That said, you can buy an extended plan. Amazon, for instance, offers a three-year plan for $57.99 and a four-year plan for $76.99.