LG 38BK95C-W 38” Ultrawide Monitor Review: 38” vs. 34” Ultrawide Upgrade

Today we are reviewing the LG 38BK95C-W 38” ultrawide monitor, one of the largest and best looking ultrawide monitors available on the market. We’ve previously tested and used a Dell U3415W 34” ultrawide and it was an incredible upgrade coming from a 24” 1920 x 1200 display. We been using 34” ultrawides for the past few years and love the form factor. Let’s see if LG’s 38” offering is worth the upgrade!

Unboxing & Overview

The LG 38BK95C-W comes in a simple box, just large enough to fit the monitor, the stand and the box of cables and accessories.

lg 38bk95c-w factory calibration

Dell’s ultrawide monitor boxes are noticeably larger and more well made. In addition, their boxes double as assembly stands, supporting the display while you click in its stand.

lg 38bk95c-w unboxing
lg 38bk95c-w accessories

Here is the 38BK95C-W in all its glory! This is a massive display and not something you’ll want to move around often. We love LG’s ArcLine stand design, the minimalistic brushed silver looks fantastic and nearly dissuades you from mounting the display on a monitor arm. Speaking of which, the 38BK95C-W is VESA mountable. The display itself is free of chunky borders and the bezel is about as minimal as it currently gets for this screen size. 

lg 38 inch ultrawide

This 38-inch monitor sports a 2300R curve which is more noticeable than the 3800R curvature of the Dell U3415W.

2300r vs 3800r monitor curve

Curved screens make ultrawide monitors far more immersive and enjoyable for both work and play.

2300r curvature

There are several ports and input options including:

  • 1x DisplayPort 1.2
  • 2x HDMI 2.0
  • 1x USB Type-C
  • 2x USB 3.0 Downstream
  • 1x Headphone Out

USB Type C support is a standout feature and is great for laptop users who require an external display; the connection allows video, data and power to be transmitted simultaneously to the laptop while its connected to the monitor.

lg 38bk95c-w ports

One thing to note is that this monitor requires a rather large power brick. I’ve never been a fan of power bricks, especially on monitors but if you want the LG 38”, you’re stuck with it. The power wire that plugs into the monitor from the brick is rather short so if your power outlet is further away, you may need to mount the brick under your desk.

lg 38bk95c-w cables

For what it’s worth, the inclusion of a power brick does allow LG to make the monitor slimmer.

38 inch ultrawide curved monitor

LG 38BK95C-W vs. 38WK95C-W

Some may be wondering what the different is between the LG 38BK95C-W and the LG 38WK95C-W. The letter “B” stands for business. The business version has a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty compared to the 1-year warranty included with the consumer version. That’s literally the only difference.

lg 38bk95c-w vs 38wk95c-w

Features & Quality

The two included 10-watt speakers sound pretty good for monitor speakers. Obviously, they won’t replace desktop speakers but it’s nice to have serviceable speakers on a monitor especially if it is used as an external display for a laptop. 

lg 38bk95c-w review
The Windows 10 desktop in the spacious 3840 x 1600 resolution.

The 38BK95C-W is marketed as an HDR 10 display but it’s not a true 10bit, instead it uses 8bit+FRC. FRC stands for “Frame Rate Control Technology” and LG claims it allows them to enhance the color depth by 2 bits. It essentially means that the human eye will blend in the additional colors as the FRC technology flashes between two colors on opposite sides of the color it is are approximating.

lg 38bk95c-w

I’m not a big color accuracy person, I tend either use the factory calibration or tweak a few settings until my monitor looks good to me, so true HDR, etc. doesn’t really matter. The colors look great to me and I’m thrilled with the quality of the display; text looks crisp, colors are sharp, and I don’t notice much backlight bleed.

38 inch ultrawide monitor
Here we have a Word document next to a massive Excel spreadsheet. There’s plenty of room to get work done on a 38″ ultrawide display!

The LG 38BK95C-W is AMD FreeSync compatible. Unfortunately, it’s not FreeSync 2.0 and for money you’re spending on this monitor, that should have been added. And that’s where we get into who this monitor is for: in short, creative professionals, coders and casual gamers. More on this in the next section.

The response time is 5ms which is ideal for this type of monitor, especially given that its refresh rate ranges from 60Hz to 75Hz.

38” vs. 34” Ultrawide Monitors

One of the most popular questions we see among those considering monitor upgrades is the 38” vs. 34” dilemma. Is upgrading from a 34-inch monitor to a 38-inch monitor worth it? Is the difference noticeable enough to justify the expense? In our opinion, yes, without a doubt. Of course, the initial upgrade from a 16:9 monitor to either a 34” or 38” 21:9 ultrawide monitor will always be the most powerful and perceptible.

38 vs 34 ultrawide
The LG 38BK95C-W 38″ ultrawide next to the Dell U3415W 34″ ultrawide.

However, after using a 34” monitor for several years there have been many times where I’ve wanted a little bit more screen real estate. Not so much to justify the hassle of adding a second display but just a few more pixels, especially on the width.

34 or 38 ultrawide

I never realized how amazing the extra height would be going from a 3440 x 1440 native resolution on a 34” ultrawide to the glorious 3840 x 1600 resolution of the 38” ultrawide.

34 vs 38 ultrawide

Think about it, not only are you gaining 400 horizontal pixels which is enough to notice but you are gaining 160 pixels across all 38 inches of the display and that extra height makes the jump from 34 to 38 inches a worthwhile upgrade.

38 inch ultrawide vs 34 inch

For productivity users who only want to use one display, you cannot beat a 38” ultrawide, it’s simply perfect!

3840 x 1600 vs 3440 x 1440
A comparison of the 34″ and 38″ ultrawide resolutions.

Gamers have additional considerations, namely the fact that there has not been a 38” ultrawide released that supports refresh rates above the 60-75Hz range. This is unacceptable to those who value refresh rates above all else and that portion of the population will never be satisfied with these 38” displays.

However, LG has announced the 38GL950G, a 38” ultrawide monitor with G-Sync that will be capable of a 175Hz refresh rate (native 144Hz) via overclock that will supposedly be released later this year. It will likely cost a fortune but at the time of its release, it will also instantly become the best 38” ultrawide display for gamers.

lg 38GL950G 38 inch ultrawide monitor gsync

Conclusion

For productivity minded users and casual gamers, the LG 38BK95C-W is a fantastic ultrawide monitor that not only looks great but is breathtaking in person. We love the design of this display, it’s minimalistic and tasteful. Its 3840 x 1600 resolution is perfect and provides plenty of screen real estate to create an immersive experience whether you are coding, video editing, working in AutoCAD or gaming. The colors are great, black are deep and the display, resolution and picture quality make a 38” ultrawide a significant upgrade over a 34”.

Just as we decided that we will never be going to back to a regular 16:9 display, we also never be going back to a 34” ultrawide, 38” is perfection! We highly recommend the LG 38BK95C-W for anyone who wants the best that the ultrawide monitor space has to offer!

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