Can't decide whether to get a flat or curved display? Well, LG has just the solution. The 42-inch LG OLED Flex can bend on command to create a flat, or a curved display. It looks cool, and is a conversation starter, for sure. But there's a price to pay for this flexibility. And while it does a decent job at being a monitor for work, it's more suited as a gaming display, especially paired with the latest game consoles.
- 4K resolution with HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG
- 4x HDMI 2.1 ports (4K@120Hz)
- 20 levels of curve, up to 900R curve
- Supports Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync Premium
To bend the OLED Flex, simply press a button on the included LG Magic Remote. It takes around 6 seconds for the screen to transition between flat and curved. You can fine-tune the curvature by 5% increments for up to 20 levels of curve. However, the end result is a 900R curvature, which is fairly pronounced compared with some curved monitors in the market. I prefer the curved state when using the Flex up-close for work. I didn't have to turn my head that much, which adds up since we're talking about a relatively large (for a PC monitor) 42-inch display here. Reflections are minimised, thanks to an anti-reflection layer that LG says it's 25% less reflective compared with other LG OLED evo TVs. You can also adjust the Flex's height (up to 140mm), and tilt the screen (10 degrees forward, 5 degrees backward).
Like most monitors, there's a built-in USB hub — you can connect your USB mouse and keyboard to the Flex to use with either your connected computer or the TV itself. In addition, you can shrink the usable screen size to a more manageable 27 or 32 inches. But there are some caveats. You'll have to set the picture mode to Game Optimizer to reduce the screen size. And while the TV supports ultra-wide aspect ratios (21:9 and 32:9), it doesn't support my laptop's 16:10 native resolution, resulting in black bars at the side. Gamers, though, will have no complaints here. Besides the improved immersion from the curved screen, the Flex supports 4K 120Hz on all of its four HDMI 2.1 inputs. You also get Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync Premium, as well as variable refresh rate. There's even ambient lighting that syncs in real-time with on-screen images or sound.
There's also a multi-screen mode (Multi View) that can display specific input combinations in a split-screen arrangement. For instance, you can have the Flex show Live TV and YouTube side by side. Or your PC/game console and your mobile phone's screen. But these combinations are fixed. The lack of USB-C or DisplayPort also means you cannot have inputs from two computers in split-screen, which considerably diminishes its appeal as a work monitor. On the bright side, the Flex is virtually identical to an LG OLED TV like the LG C2. It uses a similar OLED panel, and runs the same webOS interface, powered by the same processor. So you get most streaming apps, and smart features like the Google Assistant. The picture quality, too, is excellent. The speakers, which are embedded in the stand, are also better than expected, probably because they are front-firing, unlike most TV speakers.
As with all new tech, expect to pay a premium for this bendable OLED display. It's a steep one, with the LG OLED Flex available for pre-order at S$3,649. That's almost twice the price of the 42-inch LG C2 (around S$1,900), which offers a similar TV viewing experience, minus the curve. Of course, the Flex has more PC-friendly features that makes it better as a computer monitor than the C2. But it's still not as useful compared with LG's DualUp Ergo monitor, for example. In short, the Flex works best as a gaming display with some TV viewing on the side. One for the gaming den, if you're willing to pay the early adopter tax. Check it out on Lazada, and Shopee.
Note: Review unit provided by LG.
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