The gaming monitor genre dates back to 2013 and one of the first 144Hz displays to hit the market was the Asus VG248Q. Back then, it cost around $ 400 ($ 475 in today’s money) and set a new bar for responsiveness and speed. And remember Adaptive-Sync wasn’t in the mix yet, let alone things like HDR or expanded color.
In 2021, that same $ 475 can buy a QHD screen running at 165Hz, but if your monitor budget starts with a 2, a 25in 144Hz screen is the best bet. Lenovo perfectly achieves this target with its G25-10. It ticks the 144Hz and Adaptive-Sync boxes and offers HDR with a caveat that we’ll explain in a moment. It doesn’t have an expansive color, but it does offer everything else needed for smooth, responsive gameplay and the potential to be some of the best gaming monitors out there.
Lenovo G25-10 Specifications
|Panel Type / Backlight||TN / W-LED, dashboard|
|Screen Size / Aspect Ratio||25 inch / 16: 9|
|Maximum resolution and refresh rate||1920×1080 at 144Hz|
|Free synchronization: 48-144 Hz|
|Native color depth and gamut||8 bits (6 bits + FRC) / sRGB|
|Response time (GTG)||1ms|
|Brightness (mfr)||320 nits SDR|
|400 nits HDR|
|Contrast (mfr)||1000: 1|
|Video inputs||1x DisplayPort 1.2|
|1x HDMI 1.4|
|audio||3.5mm headphone output|
|Energy consumption||12.2w, brightness @ 200 nits|
|Panel dimensions WxHxD with base||22 x 14.7-19 x 9.2 inches (559 x 371-483 x 234 mm)|
|Panel thickness||1.9 inches (48 mm)|
|Bezel width||Top / Sides: 0.2 inch (6mm)|
|Bottom: 0.9 inch (24mm)|
|Weight||11.2 lbs (5.1 kg)|
The Lenovo G25-10 is an old school design based on a TN panel. Traditionally, this was the technology behind fast panels, but the latest IPS displays have taken speed to new heights, albeit at a higher cost. Lenovo uses a competent TN part to control the price.
The backlight is LED with a maximum brightness of over 400 nits available. Adaptive-Sync is included for FreeSync and G-Sync (Nvidia certified) platforms. 144Hz is supported via HDMI and DisplayPort without overclocking.
HDR support is a little different from the standard. Lenovo’s marketing information doesn’t say anything about this, but we did find an option in the OSD titled “HDR (HDMI)”. Here’s the problem: HDR only works over HDMI, not Adaptive-Sync. This means that for games you have to choose one or the other. However, this is not a big loss as there is no dynamic contrast or local gradation here. We’ll show you the HDR test results, but the bottom line is that there is no image quality improvement. You can use HDR for video, but not for gaming, unless you’re willing to put up with tearing in the frame.
The color gamut is sRGB, which is not unusual in this category. Our measurements show that it is accurate without the need for calibration. For $ 230 at the time of this writing, that’s not a bad thing. The G25-10 is a budget monitor, but not a monitor that looks cheap. Ultimately, the proof will be in the game.
Assembly and accessories for the Lenovo G25-10
The Lenovo G25-10 comes nicely packaged in three parts – base, post, and panel. They assemble without the need for tools. The set is light but strong with a good build quality. The power is internal, so you get an IEC power cord in addition to an HDMI cable.
Product 360: Lenovo G25-10
The Lenovo G25-10 features a modern design aesthetic with a nearly rimless bezel that’s just 6mm wide around the top and sides. It is completely flush with the anti-reflective coating, which maintains a sharp, high-contrast image while preventing glare. The bottom trim is about an inch wide with a large Lenovo logo on the left and a set of OSD controls on the right. The buttons are large and protruding to make them easier to work with to the touch. They are also clearly marked.
The stand is rock solid and offers 5/22 degree tilt and 4.3 inch height adjustment. There is no swivel or portrait mode. From the back you can see the simple angular design of the Lenovo G25-10. There are no curves here, but the corners are slightly rounded. The stand has a deep base and a small clip to keep cables tidy.
The side profile is slim and unfortunately uninterrupted by USB ports; there is none below either. The inputs each include DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 1.4. If you want HDR, you have to use HDMI, and if you want to use G-Sync, it only works on DisplayPort. There are no internal speakers, but a 3.5mm headphone jack is provided.
Lenovo G25-10 OSD Features
The Lenovo G25-20 uses a set of clearly marked buttons for OSD navigation. They click with a quality feel, and while they’re not as smooth as a joystick, they’re intuitive.
The luminance controls are found in the second submenu. The Brightness slider works over a narrow range between 440 and 108 nits according to our measurements. DCR is a dynamic contrast feature that deepens blacks and increases highlights. It doesn’t cut out the details, but it locks in the brightness control. The image is a bit too bright for a room with moderate to dark lighting. Energy Star mode suggests a power saving option, but we couldn’t see or measure any difference in luminance, contrast, or color when using it. If you’re having trouble seeing shadow detail, turn on Dark Boost.
You don’t need to calibrate the Lenovo G25-10 if gaming mode is off, but you can use a set of RGB sliders under the User Color Temperature option. There are no gamma presets here, and we missed them. We’ll show you the results of these tests on page three. There’s an sRGB mode, but since the G25-10 is an sRGB monitor, this switch only locks out all other picture options and sets the brightness to around 300 nits. If you need Low Blue Light, this option is also in this menu.
The Hz icon is where you’ll find the gaming options for the Lenovo G25-10. Game mode refers to all six picture modes, but we found the best picture with game mode turned off. Overdrive works well on the Normal setting, because Fast mode shows too many ghosting. As we mentioned before, HDR is only available via HDMI and without Adaptive-Sync. The refresh rate can be displayed in any corner of the screen where it appears as white text inside a black box.
Calibration settings for the Lenovo G25-10
You don’t need to calibrate the Lenovo G25-10, but you can if you want with the user color temperature option. We only had to reduce the red slider three clicks to get great grayscale tracking. The gamma is a bit dark and cannot be adjusted. The color gamut accuracy is excellent when Game mode is off. We’ve also dropped the one-click contrast slider to make the brighter highlights more neutral. Our recommended settings are below.
|Picture mode||Game mode disabled|
|Brightness 200 nits||55|
|Brightness 120 nits||8 (min. 108 nits)|
|Color temperature user||Red 97, Green 100, Blue 100|
Play and practice with the Lenovo G25-10
While a higher resolution and higher pixel density is a good thing, a 25-inch FHD monitor can render a crisp image with fine detail and readable fonts. We sat about two and a half feet apart, and while we could just see the pixel structure if we squinted, it was never a distraction. The tiny fonts and icons were clear and free from obvious irregularities. Enthusiasts will usually favor QHD or UHD panels, but the small-sized FHD looks good and costs less.
With a contrast of just over 1000: 1, the image had a lot of depth in both static and moving graphics. Video rendered smoothly with decent blacks, clear shadow detail, and light reflections. Some fine reflections seemed subdued, which we found was a dark gamma. We’ll show you these results on page three, even if it was a minor issue. For photo editing or watching videos on YouTube, there were no complaints.
Since HDR only works over HDMI, we had to turn off Adaptive-Sync to try it out. In Windows, this makes little difference to the image quality. The image is slightly brighter and there is no way to change it because the brightness slider is locked. Playing Doom Eternal, cThe color looks slightly more saturated, but the contrast is extreme to the point where some fine textures are made invisible. We changed the HDR settings to hope to see shadow detail. The lower end of the HDR brightness scale is way too dark, and we also missed G-Sync’s smooth, tear-free action. The G25-10 is best enjoyed in SDR mode when gaming.
Speed and response were not an issue. Although it was a bit slower than the other 144Hz monitors we tested, that didn’t translate into any negative issues. We are not highly skilled players so there was no noticeable lag when we played Doom Eternal, Call of Duty WWII Where Grave robber. The overdrive worked effectively on its Normal setting. There was very little motion blur and no ghost artifacts. The faster setting showed white streaks behind moving objects, so we avoided it. As long as the frame rates stayed above 120 frames per second, there were no distractions.
HDR was usable when connecting a UHD Blu-ray player or streaming box. Apple TV’s HDR content is rendered well with a little extra color saturation and slightly deeper blacks. The effect is subtle, but if one uses the G25-10 for watching TV, it does a reasonable job with HDR content.