My title here at Tom’s Guide may be Computing Editor, but an equally big tech passion of mine surrounds TVs. Specifically, the best OLED TVs. I’ve been buying LG OLED displays for nearly 10 years, so when I recommend one of the best Black Friday TV deals, rest assured you can trust my advice.
Right now, the 42-inch LG C3 OLED 4K TV is $896 at Amazon. That’s a hefty $300 saving compared to this amazing television’s normal $1,196 retail price. In the UK, the 42-inch LG C3 OLED 4K TV is £889 at Amazon — a whopping £600 saving, as the smallest C3 usually goes for £1,499 on my side of the Atlantic.
You’re probably asking yourself why I’m recommending the 42-inch model over either the 48-, 55- or even 65-inch versions of this TV, right? After all, each of the larger models are also currently discounted at Amazon in both the States and good ol’ Blighty. That’s a fair question, and one I have a specific answer to.
As someone who spends a lot of his downtime playing on one of the best gaming PCs, I think the 42-inch LG C3 OLED is the perfect alternative to some of the best gaming monitors.
It’s small enough that it can fit on a reasonably sized desk, and it takes up substantially less space than a monster of a monitor like the brilliant (but colossal) Samsung Odyssey OLED G9.
I owned this TV’s predecessor — the 42-inch LG C2 OLED — for the best part of a year, only upgrading to the 48-inch version because I got a great Black Friday deal on it last year.
Specs-wise, there’s very little to separate the LG C2 OLED and the LG C3 OLED. They both have four HDMI 2.1 sockets that support a 4K signal up to 120Hz. Both panels also sport sweet gaming features, like G-Sync, FreeSync Premium and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM).
Delving deeper into the numbers, there’s almost no difference when it comes to our testing results between the two TVs. This year’s C3 hits peak HDR brightness of 820 nits, while the C2 is only a tiny bit behind, hitting 794 nits across a 10% white window. They’re also evenly matched when it comes to Rec. 709 Gamut Coverage, with the C2 OLED hitting 99.0904% and the C2 delivering a result of 99.977%.
Essentially, these are extremely close to being identical TVs.
The only screen that’s gotten a truly significant upgrade over LG’s 2022 lineup of OLEDs is the exceptional LG G3 OLED; a set that reaches an astonishing 1,361 nits thanks to its new, brightness-boosting Micro Lens Array panel.
OLEDs are famed for their excellent handling of fast moving content, which makes them great for gaming and the LG C3 is no different. In Game Mode, response time measures in at just 2.3ms, meaning input lag is all but imperceptible when playing the best Steam games at 120 fps.
If you’re worried about OLED burn-in when it comes to using the C3 as a work or gaming monitor, I wouldn’t fret too much. As long as you learn how to hide the taskbar in Windows 11 and ensure you don’t have the same static images on screen for hours upon hours (like desktop icons), you should be fine. Modern OLEDs are much better at guarding against burn-in than they were a few years ago, thanks to features like pixel-cleaning cycles.
Considering some of the best gaming monitors regularly sell for over $1,000/£1,000 nabbing the 42-inch LG C3 OLED for $896/£889 is a no-brainer in my book. I loved its predecessor, and based on our testing results and glowing review, the C3 really is a great alternative for PC gamers who have desk space to spare.