LG makes a 27
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LG makes a 27

Jul 20, 2023

Scharon Harding - Jun 6, 2023 5:49 pm UTC

The most stressful part of carrying a computing screen around—whether that display's part of a tablet, laptop, monitor, or even a more wieldy portable monitor—is making sure the device doesn't crack, snap, or otherwise break going from point A to point B. LG's new StanbyME Go (27LX5QKNA) tends to such concerns with a 4.69-inch-thick (119 mm), supposedly military-grade briefcase to which a massive 27-inch tablet is permanently attached.

The wacky design, spotted recently by sites like GSMArena, is listed on LG's South Korean website as being available starting June 7, as per a Google translation of the page.

Ars Technica asked LG if there is a US price or release date, and a spokesperson said the company didn't "have anything to share in regard to US plans at this time." However, the device does seem to be available at South Korea's YooTopia website to US shoppers for $1,050.

LG also released and still sells the original StanbyME, a 27-inch tablet on a tall stand with wheels, in the US, so it's possible that LG could one day sell its successor stateside, even if the product's market seems small.

I initially found it hard to put the StanbyME Go in a product category. It's listed under the TV section of LG's South Korean website and advertises its video-streaming app support and LG Channels. It also uses the webOS (22) software featured in LG TVs. But a lack of tuner prevents the StanbyME Go from being a true TV. The touchscreen access to apps makes it feel like a tablet, but the 27-inch size puts the form factor closer to a monitor or even a small TV. There's HDMI and USB-A, but they're accessed through the briefcase, which isn't typical of any of the aforementioned product categories. You can also pair devices to the screen with Wi-Fi 5 or Bluetooth 5.

LG's US website lists the first StanbyME as a "smart touchscreen" under its "lifestyle screens" category. Ultimately, I've settled on categorizing the StanbyME Go as a big ol' tablet in a briefcase.

The display specs don't impress. LG says it's an LED panel with a 60 Hz refresh rate and 1920×1080 resolution. Like with the prior StanbyME, LG doesn't immediately provide other valuable display information, like panel type or brightness. HDR support and relevant features don't sound like they'll be put to good use here.

The display is bound to its briefcase, where an arm allows it to be pulled out and viewed in a portrait or height-adjustable (by up to 7.09 inches/180 mm) landscape orientation.

A third mode lays the screen flat onto the bottom half of the open briefcase, where it looks like a tabletop. LG's marketing shows this mode displaying a pseudo-record player, (this requires a connected smartphone, the product page says) and board games.

The briefcase looks like it provides significantly more protection than a tablet or portable monitor sleeve. LG says it tested the StanbyME Go under the MIL-STD-810H military standard, and the device passed 11 tests around "low pressure, high temperature, low temperature, dust, vibration, salt spray, shock, and drop." It notes that the briefcase stuffed with electronics isn't waterproof, though.

In true briefcase fashion, the case provides storage, and not just for the tablet. There's also a compartment for its charging cable and included remote.

Audio is handled by a 4-channel speaker system with 20 W output, which is an important consideration if you plan to take this thing outside where there can be distracting background noises. LG's marketing images show the device used in the park, for example. But like the previous StanbyME, the StanbyME Go's battery life is limited to three hours while in low-power mode and with the volume set to 30. That's not enough to survive a workday, but it's comparable to some of the best portable monitors with integrated batteries, like Asus' ROG Strix XG16AHP-W.