There is no shortage of ultrawide monitors, but LG’s 27.6-inch $699 DualUp is the oddball ultratall. It’s a relatively basic USB-C monitor with a unique trick: it’s taller 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 aren’t alone if you exhibit an intense swirl of emotions the first time you see the DualUp.
Like a taller phone or laptop display, the DualUp simply lets you see more at once with less scrolling. With just one computer plugged in, I can see more windows set up in a Brady Bunch-like 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 ability 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 typically use two 27-inch monitors side by side on monitor arms. As a replacement for those, the DualUp didn’t unlock secret pockets of productivity (darn it!). But it made me feel more efficient. I wouldn’t call my typical desktop layout irredeemable chaos, but it’s sometimes less than ideal. And I tend to not utilize every inch of my displays at home so as to keep as much info within view at any given moment. The DualUp’s design aids in solving some of that mess and keeping everything within view — and that might be worth its somewhat steep $699 price.
As for whether it’ll meet your bar may depend on what you do for work and play. Its tall aspect ratio makes it ideal for reading, coding, and content production, but you don’t need to be a pro of any sort — or be doing work at all — to enjoy the kind of real estate the DualUp affords.
Almost everyone has worked on a 16:9 aspect ratio monitor at some point. Those come in different sizes, ranging from small flat panels to gigantic curved displays. The DualUp takes the trend of laptop makers using taller than average 3:2 and 16:10 aspect ratio displays and then turns it on its head. With the 27.6-inch DualUp, it’s similar in concept to using a 16:9 screen of that size turned on its side but with more horizontal screen real estate. It’s just under 19 inches wide, which is about five or six inches narrower than a typical 27-inch 16:9 screen. But it’s nearly 22 inches tall, which is a couple of inches more than that 16:9 27-inch screen. When you’ve got the DualUp mounted on its included monitor arm, it reaches even higher. It creates a unique presentation that you don’t get with other displays.
Beyond its normal use, the DualUp can display two sources at once, whether it’s a computer and a game console hooked into USB-C and HDMI, respectively, or some other mix of gadgets. Through its interface, which is a little easier to navigate than most monitors that I’ve used (and similar to LG’s other modern monitors), you can activate the picture-by-picture mode that stacks two inputs on top of each other. You can switch which one is on top as well as toggle between which source can emit audio through the DualUp’s speakers.
The DualUp has two HDMI 2.0 ports, one DisplayPort v1.4 port, a USB-C port with video and 90W of passthrough power, a headphone jack (to use in place of its passable but not fantastic built-in speakers), and two USB-A 3.0 downstream ports for accessories. Additionally, 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 tethered 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 IP address, going between the two inputs in picture-by-picture mode was essentially seamless. Mousing over to the dividing line switches the computer that I was controlling. There’s also a keyboard shortcut that can swap the source that you’re controlling. You can transfer up to 10 files (no greater than 2GB) between sources at one time in this mode as well.
USB-C monitors like this one are often associated with Macs, though managing Windows has always been easier and better on, well, Windows thanks to its built-in window-snapping features. Natively, macOS lets you snap to the left or right sides of the screen with most apps, but there are a number of third-party utilities that bring some of Windows 11’s management features to the Mac. I tested a free option called Rectangle, which — oh my gosh — offers so many more sizing options for macOS users as to where you can pin a window on the screen. It’s great. If you’re a Mac user who’s interested in the DualUp monitor, the Rectangle app is practically a mandatory companion.
On a single DualUp display, my ideal workspace setup involved Slack in the top-left corner (slightly out of view so I can focus on other stuff) and Spotify next to it, extending to the top-right corner. Then I shrank each of those windows vertically to make space for two large Google Chrome windows side by side. When I’m on an assignment, I’m making full use of the screen’s size. And compared to using two 16:9 27-inch displays at home, I’m able to see more stuff with far less head movement.
Depending on the use case, the DualUp’s tall aspect ratio may work against you. It is maybe the worst monitor out there for watching videos on. If you thought the black bars on a 16:10 laptop were thick, you’ll really hate how movies and TV shows look on the DualUp. That is unless you’re watching a movie in picture-by-picture mode, which splits the screen horizontally into two 16:9 screens. Some games (including the Sega Genesis Mini featured in some photos here) will try to render at the DualUp’s native resolution, which looks as goofy as it sounds. But it’s the same story for having big black bars surrounding games if you aren’t using picture-by-picture mode. I don’t recommend this monitor for serious gaming unless you have low expectations for visual fidelity. The QHD resolution looks good, but its 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 its included Ergo Stand comes close to being my favorite thing about the package. Instead of sitting atop of your desk, it clamps to the side or back of your desk or in a grommet hole, not taking up too much desk real estate in the process. The stand attaches to the monitor with plenty of nooks to hide cables within. It’s also remarkably flexible, so much so that I wish LG sold the stand by itself.
- It can be pulled forward or pushed back a total of 210mm.
- It can be swiveled nearly 360 degrees to the left or right
- It can be lowered by 35mm to bring it closer to your desk.
- It allows for 90 degrees of counterclockwise rotation
- It can be tilted up or down by 25 degrees.
The monitor arm’s flexibility allows for more adjustments than many aftermarket monitor arms. So, having it included with the DualUp helps to justify its high sticker price.
The DualUp has a matte IPS panel with a claimed 98 percent coverage 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, though 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 really display HDR content appropriately, even though LG lists the DualUp as supporting HDR 10.
To the eye of my SpyderX color calibrator, the actual performance of the DualUp is slightly different to what LG claims but not necessarily worse. It recorded 95 percent DCI-P3 (LG claims a minimum of 90 percent is normal), 90 percent Adobe RGB, and 100 percent of the sRGB gamuts. 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, short of disciplines that demand absolutely perfect color accuracy. (And you’ll pay a lot more than $700 to get that.)
It has a 2,560 wide x 2,880 tall resolution, which works out to a pixel per inch density (PPI) of just under 140 at the DualUp’s 27.6-inch diagonal size. That’s the same pixel density you get from a 16:9 32-inch 4K display, which means you may want to increase the interface scaling in macOS and Windows to make icons and text more legible. That is, unless you have amazing eyesight or a preference for a low-profile interface.
The downside of upscaling on a high-res monitor is that it makes visuals appear softer and less sharp than the native resolution. It’s particularly noticeable with a Mac, as Windows tends to handle scaling better. Though, if you’re using the DualUp’s picture-by-picture mode, messing with the scaling isn’t necessary, and you can retain the sharpness that it provides natively unless you want enlarged screen items.
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 at The Verge’s office, especially when I had two set up side by side (is that called a QuadUp?). In my case, all of that dialogue helped me figure out my elevator pitch for the DualUp, which is this:
Compared to almost any other product that I’ve tested, the DualUp is very much a what you see is what you get experience: it’s two small-ish screens stacked vertically without a visible boundary dividing them. If you think you might like it, there’s a good chance that you’re right. I’m sold on it, along with its versatile Ergo Stand and bevy of video ports. It’s no gimmick, but that’s not to say that it’ll be a natural fit for everyone. The buying decision rests completely on whether you think its unique dual display design will be additive to your PC experience and whether you want to attract the attention of everyone who walks by.
Photography by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge