LG just announced the smallest OLED TV yet — and it's a big deal

(Image credit: Future)

Update: Future LG OLED TVs could be transparent.

Among the company's many exciting TV-related CES 2022 announcements, the reveal of a 42-inch OLED TV is perhaps the most compelling. The popular C series will see the smallest-ever TV sporting an OLED panel, though you could also look at it as a large, high-end monitor.

In fact, that's what makes the 42-inch LG C2 OLED TV — first teased during last year's CES but pushed back for unknown reasons — the model many have been waiting for. The set will get most of premium features found in larger models of the set, including HDMI 2.1 ports, 120 Hz refresh rate and LG's latest Alpha 9 Gen 5 Processor 4K.

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The LG C1 OLED TV is currently the best gaming TV you can buy, but its smallest configuration is 48-inches. While that's puny by OLED standards, it's a considerable option among the greater TV market. 

With the exception of the ridiculous Samsung Odyssey G9 curved gaming monitor, most of the best gaming monitors are under 30 inches. LG's new OLED size bridges the gap of TV and gaming monitor, delivering a screen that's just as suited for watching movies as it is partnering with your game console.

Sure, you could use one of the best OLED TVs clocking in at 65-inches or even larger; but the bigger the screen, the bigger the price tag. Even the 48-inch C1 OLED TV costs $1,200. If LG sticks to its existing price structure for the C2 OLED lineup, we should see the 42-inch model land $100-$200 less. Dare I suggest the set will cost less than $1,000? (Update: In March 2022, LG set European prices for the LG C2 OLED lineup and the prices are not encouraging.)

That's just speculation, as LG hasn't announced the official price or release date for the 42-inch C2 OLED TV. What we do know is that it'll continue the celebrated gaming features in the best LG TVs, while earning this year's new tricks. The Game Optimizer menu improves in 2022 with a Dark Room Mode to help with eye health during long hours of gaming in lowlight conditions. A sport gaming preset will join the FPS, RPG and other Game Optimizer presets, too.

And LG continues to support Nvidia G-Sync, the Nvidia GeForce Now beta, AMD FreeSync and variable refresh rate (VRR.)

We mentioned the 42-inch LG C2 OLED TV will get most of premium features coming to larger C2 configurations, but not all. The 42-inch and 48-inch sizes will miss out on the OLED evo panel arriving in the rest of the C2 series. We first tested OLED evo on the LG G1 OLED TV, and while we didn't see a major difference, the technology is being tweaked this year. 

Still, the smallest OLED TV ever finally materializing is big news, especially since it's included in the best TV line of the last three years. If anything, it could be one reason the C2 OLED is a true improvement over the C1 OLED. 

While LG might go small on OLED screens, Samsung is looing at shaking it up with its new QD-OLED displays

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef. 

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