There’s no shortage of ultra-wide monitors, but LG’s $699 27.6-inch DualUp is the eccentric ultra-tall. It’s a relatively simple USB-C monitor with a unique trick: it’s bigger than it is wide, with a 16:18 aspect ratio. In other words, it’s like using two 21.5-inch QHD monitors stacked on top of each other. You’re not alone if you experience an intense whirl of emotions the first time you see the DualUp.
Like a larger screen on a phone or laptop, the DualUp simply lets you see more in one go with less scrolling. With only one computer connected, I see more windows in a Brady Bunch-esque grid arrangement than on a typical widescreen monitor. One DualUp monitor can even replace two separate 16:9 monitors, which is cool. I had the opportunity to test two DualUps side by side, and reader, I ran out of windows before I could take full advantage of all that space.
I usually use two 27″ monitors side by side on monitor arms. As a replacement for that, the DualUp didn’t unlock any secret pockets of productivity (damn it!). But it made me to feel more efficient. I wouldn’t call my typical desktop layout irreparable chaos, but it’s not ideal sometimes. And I tend not to use every inch of my screens at home to keep as much information as possible in view at all times. The DualUp’s design helps sort out some of that mess and keep it all in plain sight — and that might be worth the somewhat steep price of $699.
Whether it will meet your bar may depend on what you do for work and play. Its high aspect ratio makes it ideal for reading, encoding and content production, but you won’t need to be a professional – or do any work at all – to enjoy the kind of real estate the DualUp offers.
Almost everyone has worked on a 16:9 aspect ratio monitor at some point. They come in different sizes, ranging from small flat panels to gigantic curved displays. The DualUp follows the trend of laptop manufacturers adopting higher-than-average displays with 3:2 and 16:10 aspect ratios, then turns it on its head. With the 27.6-inch DualUp, the concept is similar to using a 16:9 screen of that size flipped on its side, but with more horizontal screen space. It’s just under 19 inches wide, which is about five or six inches narrower than a typical 27-inch 16:9 display. But it’s almost 22 inches tall, which is a few inches more than that 16:9 27-inch display. When you’ve mounted the DualUp on the included monitor arm, it reaches even higher. It creates a unique presentation that you don’t get with other displays.
In addition to normal use, the DualUp can display two sources at once, be it a computer and a game console connected to USB-C and HDMI respectively, or some other mix of gadgets. The interface, which is slightly easier to navigate than most monitors I’ve used (and similar to LG’s other modern monitors), lets you activate frame-by-frame mode that stacks two inputs on top of each other. You can switch which one is on top and switch which source can broadcast audio through the DualUp speakers.
The DualUp has two HDMI 2.0 ports, one DisplayPort v1.4 port, a USB-C port with video and 90W pass-through power, a headphone jack (to be used in place of the reasonable but not great built-in speakers), and two USB-A 3.0 downstream ports for accessories. In addition, the DualUp has a built-in KVM switch, allowing one keyboard and mouse to control two computers connected to the monitor via USB-C and DisplayPort (with the included USB upstream cable connected to the computer connected via DisplayPort) . After installing the Dual Controller software and configuring my work MacBook Pro and a Dell laptop to connect via an IP address, switching between the two inputs in frame-by-frame mode essentially went seamless. Moving the mouse to the dividing line switches the computer I controlled. There is also a hotkey that allows you to switch the source you are operating. You can also transfer up to 10 files (no more than 2 GB) between sources at a time in this mode.
USB-C monitors like this one are often associated with Macs, although managing Windows has always been easier and better for, well, Windows thanks to the built-in window-clicking features. In most apps, macOS lets you click to the left or right side of the screen, but there are a number of third-party tools that bring some of Windows 11’s management features to the Mac. I tested a free option called Rectangle, which—oh my god—offers so many more sizing options for macOS users about where to pin a window to the screen. It is awesome. If you are a Mac user interested in the DualUp monitor, the Rectangle app is practically a mandatory companion.
On a single DualUp screen, my ideal workspace setup was Slack in the top left corner (slightly out of sight so I can focus on other things) and Spotify next to it, extending to the top right corner. I then shrunk each of those windows vertically to make room for two large Google Chrome windows side by side. I make optimal use of the screen size for an assignment. And compared to using two 16:9 27-inch screens at home, I can see more things with much less head movement.
Depending on the usage situation, the DualUp’s high aspect ratio can work against you. It is arguably the worst monitor out there to watch videos on. If you thought the black bars on a 16:10 laptop were thick, you’re going to really hate how movies and TV shows look on the DualUp. Unless you’re watching a movie in frame-by-frame mode, which splits the screen horizontally into two 16:9 screens. Some games (including the Sega Genesis Mini seen in some photos here) will try to render at the DualUp’s native resolution, which looks as crazy as it sounds. But it’s the same story for having big black bars around games when you’re not using frame-by-frame mode. I don’t recommend this monitor for serious gaming unless you have low expectations for visual fidelity. The QHD resolution looks good, but the 60Hz refresh rate doesn’t take full advantage of fast PC hardware or consoles like PS5 or Xbox Series X.
The monitor is cool, but the included Ergo stand is close to my favorite thing about the pack. Instead of sitting on top of your desk, it clings to the side or back of your desk or into a grommet hole, so it won’t take up too much desk space. The stand attaches to the monitor with plenty of corners to hide cables. It’s also remarkably flexible, so much so that I wish LG had sold the stand itself.
- It can be pushed forward or backward by a total of 210 mm.
- It can be rotated almost 360 degrees left or right
- It can be lowered 35mm to bring it closer to your desk.
- It allows 90 degree counterclockwise rotation
- It can be tilted up or down 25 degrees.
The flexibility of the monitor arm allows for more customization than many aftermarket monitor arms. So if it comes with the DualUp, it helps justify the high sticker price.
The DualUp features a matte IPS panel with a claimed coverage of 98 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut and 300 nits of brightness. To my naked eye, the colors look vibrant and fantastic, and it’s bright enough to be easily visible in a well-lit room, although it’s not nearly as punchy as something like Apple’s 600-nit (and $1,600) Studio Display. . That brightness is also too low to display HDR content really well, even though LG mentions that the DualUp supports HDR 10.
In the eye of my SpyderX color calibrator, the DualUp’s actual performance is slightly different from what LG claims, but not necessarily worse. It registered 95 percent DCI-P3 (LG claims a minimum of 90 percent is normal), 90 percent Adobe RGB, and 100 percent of the sRGB gamut. In terms of brightness, it registered 324 nits at peak brightness, which is higher than LG’s claims. Those results make the DualUp accurate enough for most photo and video editing work, apart from disciplines that require absolutely perfect color accuracy. (And you’ll pay a lot more than $700 to get that.)
It has a resolution of 2,560 wide x 2,880 high, which equates to a pixel-per-inch density (PPI) of just under 140 for the DualUp’s 27.6-inch diagonal format. That’s the same pixel density you get from a 16:9 32-inch 4K display, meaning you’ll want to increase the interface scale in macOS and Windows to make icons and text more readable. That is, unless you have great eyesight or prefer an unobtrusive interface.
The downside of upscaling on a high-resolution monitor is that the image appears softer and less sharp than the native resolution. It’s especially noticeable on a Mac, as Windows tends to handle scaling better. But if you use the DualUp’s frame-by-frame mode, there’s no need to mess with the scaling and you can keep the sharpness it offers natively, unless you want items on the larger screen.
If you plan to use the LG DualUp in a public office, be prepared for your desk to become the new water cooler. At some point, everyone who walks by will do a double take and want to talk about it. I was on the receiving end of all that attention The edge‘s office, especially when I had two of them side by side (is that called a QuadUp?). In my case, all that dialogue helped me determine my elevator pitch for the DualUp, which is this:
Compared to almost every other product I’ve tested, the DualUp really is what you see is what you experience: it’s two small screens stacked vertically with no visible boundary separating them. If you think you might like it, chances are you’re right. I’m hooked on it, along with its versatile Ergo stand and a myriad of video ports. It’s not a gimmick, but that doesn’t mean it will come naturally to everyone. The purchase decision depends entirely on whether you think the unique dual-display design will complement your PC experience and whether you want to grab the attention of everyone who walks by.
Photography by Cameron Faulkner / Media Today Chronicle