Lenovo has a massive manufacturing and supplier chain so that they can give you a complete system, including a sufficiently specced monitor that has more than just a good panel, but input lag and visual tearing reducing technologies from both AMD and NVIDIA. They’re able to leverage that massive supply chain to ensure that the components are good and that reliability is also equally as good. It’s not unusual to see computing companies delve deeply into other aspects of accessories, with Dell and HP doing much the same. Lenovo, however, hasn’t quite had the same luck with their monitors until ore recently. In the past they’ve had other ground breaking technologies (such as the first 4K screen whilst under the care of IBM) but largely they played it safe in terms of how they developed their monitors.
Lenovo Y27g is desirable, though thoroughly expensive
Now, in the age where competition is becoming quite fierce, they’ve adopted a much more aggressive stance in terms of the direction they’re taking. Just last year they announced three monitors, all 27-inches with one that supports FreeSync, and two with G-Sync and one partnered with Razer for additional design elements. They all have a resolution of 1080P and are have curved VA panels for a bit better immersion. Oddly, the curve helps to mitigate the typical VA off axis glow issues, so this was a very good decision given the good contrast ratio it gives. And you may be forgiven for thinking that 1080P is inadequate. While high-resolution does contribute to the experience, it is not everything and 1080P is actually quite acceptable at this size, despite those that would vehemently say otherwise. I want better pixels, not necessarily more of them.
The aesthetics take a page out of their other, current, gaming products. The Y27g RE sports some very subdued though sharp lines with carbon fiber on the bottom rear to give it a distinct yet still understated look to it. It doesn’t scream gaming at all, and would be appropriate anywhere. The Razer branding, and we all know that Razer loves to tell you that you’re using their products, is out of the way. It looks good. And then you turn it on.
Lenovo Y27g RE
|1920 x 1080|
|1xDP, 1xHDMI 1.3|
Underneath are a DisplayPort connector and an HDMI version 1.3 connector. The Y27g RE has G-Sync, meaning you’ll need an NVIDIA GPU in order to make use of the low-motion-blur and high refresh-rates. The resolution allows the screen to be able to refresh at a maximum of 144Hz. Currently the technology isn’t evolved enough to give us everything we want in one elegant package. 1080P and 144Hz is a good tradeoff considering it’s one of the most common resolutions. The R1800 curvature is considered “extreme curvature” and should give a slightly more immersive than other, less curved monitors. Is it actually more immersive, curved monitors? Read on!
Using a curved monitor is different, though not much more than you’d probably think initially. For normal desktop activities there’s little difference than a traditional flat screen. It does, should you sit a bit closer, surround your peripheral vision. And that’s what makes it magical, especially in gaming. If the FOV is sufficiently wide in your game, it actually does take up your vision. But much like VR, it’s best if you experience it first-hand to really appreciate it. It fills your vision with the action, and for FPS games it’s very useful and a lot of fun. It’s difficult to go back to a normal monitor, and sending the Y27g RE back was a sad moment. But missing it as much as I do does reinforce my own feeling that a curved monitor is a good solution to making games more riveting. Even more so with something that’s ultrawide as well. Curved, even in a 16:9 aspect ratio is a good experience. It also helps to mitigate a weakness of VA panels, since the entire panel is now facing you, virtually eliminating the glow that tends to happen off axis.
That 144Hz, G-Sync enabled panel is indeed the experience we all want. Smooth framerates that are actually in sync with your GPU. The lack of tearing and much smoother motion of your characters, say in Borderlands (easily played above 60FPS) means it’s that much better. Even strategy games benefit by showing more smooth unit movements and better movement around the map. That smoothness is very desirable, and is something that nearly everyone can benefit from.
The Y27g RE is a very good performer in practical terms. We measured a maximum of 315 nits of brightness, which is more than bright enough for most people. In fact, the recommendation is to calibrate to 120 nits for normal viewing and work to avoid straining your eyes, so 315 at the top end is far more than enough. I’m not sure where the obsession of brightness comes from, but being too bright is not necessarily a good thing. Unless it’s as part of being able to display HDR, of course. The color gamut is equally as impressive with a measured 126-percent of the sRGB gamut. That’s far more than the usual and very impressive. The color accuracy, however, was a bit less impressive out of the box with a Delta-E of 3.8. Not bad, but definitely not good. Calibration can bring it down to a very healthy 1.9, however.
It’s difficult not to like the monitor on its merits alone. It’s a very well-rounded piece of machinery that, though it has “only” a 1080p panel, manages to be a very good experience. Being curved helps to mitigate any inherent VA panel issues and the high refresh-rate is appreciated. Chroma is a bit hard to setup, though, and only responds through the bundled Nerve Center application and can’t be controlled through Razer’s own Synapse. But with everything that they did right, the Razer Edition of the Y27g is perhaps far too expensive to warrant even considering it. G-Sync already has a high cost of entry, and this just adds on top of that by a good $150. It’s the Razer tax, added onto the G-Sync tax that seems almost incorrigible. It detracts from what might be a good buy. Resolution is fine, because 1080p is more than acceptible when you want to be able to achieve nearer 144FPS, so the only drawback is the price and the non-calibrated color accuracy. The colors do pop, though.
That, and though it’s expensive, we’re on the cusp of seeing second generation G-Sync and FreeSync monitors with OLED and other impressive technologies, so waiting might be a good option as well. It’s difficult to recommend because of the price alone. Their normal Y27g, non RE, is a better buy by a good margin as well. This is, however, a good monitor, so our score reflects the positive attributes with the value sufficiently detracting from it.