*Reviewed as part of the Dooyoo Diva's Relay Team competition*
We got rid of our desktop PC after realising it was gathering dust as we all have our own laptops, this monitor is what I'm sitting at now as I type - it belongs to a guy I do some typing for, I have to go to his office a couple of times a month and spend an hour or two deciphering and typing up semi-legible notes written by his contractors (of which Mark is one - no bias, his reports are as bad as anyones!). He doesn't have an admin staff, deals with his own queries and employs an accountant to take care of his (hefty) finances - he bought this computer at my request, after seven years of me struggling with a system of Post It Notes and computer that didn't even have a '£' sign on the keyboard. Mega naff. We replaced a Sony monitor with this LG one just before Christmas, for the simple reason that I'd had a good experience at home with an LG monitor and have trust in the (relatively new) brand.
When it arrived Doug did nothing to it so the next time I visited I set it up - it's a case of plugging it in and messing around with the settings until you're satisfied with how the monitor looks. The menu is (thankfully) easy to understand and extremely clear; you can skip bits and return to defaults at any time and it's not a 'process' as such, rather a list of suggestions of things you might like to alter. Navigation is simple with clearly marked buttons on the underside of the monitor, you'll get the feel for each button but it's a bit fiddly to begin with as they're all so close to one another - not to mention being possibly the most minuscule buttons I've ever come across hidden underneath an electronics product! Luckily, once you've completed the initial set up you'll rarely need to use the majority of them again and in fairness they do become manageable at some point during the 30 minutes or so set up time.
I think this excellent monitor is highly underused - it has a fabulous display but is connected to a computer that doesn't even have internet access! I always time my typing sessions to coincide with Mark's work days for Doug, and if I get my work done quickly enough am left with enough time to use the (non-internet) computer for myself - usually this will be typing up a couple of reviews for storing on a memory stick and posting later, but last week I had time to watch a film (The Woman in Black) and was impressed with the quality of colour and crispness in all scenes. I'd known the colour was good as I often type on coloured backgrounds on Works, and have uploaded photographs from my camera and contractors' memory cards enough times now that I can confidently say the monitor is fantastic in this respect. While the 23" size isn't ideal for movie watching, the picture is certainly good enough (and beyond!) for you to get a brilliant viewing experience even on such a small screen. The vibrancy of colour was tested recently when Hollie accompanied me and watched a bizarrely bright Barbie film, I think just about every shade of pink and blonde were used in this film and all were shown to glorious (if a little psychedelic in parts) effect.
When used as a computer monitor it plays it's part well. I don't experience sticking as I type and the onscreen text is always clear in whatever font I'm using; I like to use coloured backgrounds and find colours are extremely sharp even on Works documents with highly contrasting text and background. Whenever I view photographs on the monitor I'm impressed with the clarity of the images, comparing the photo onscreen to a paper copy I can see the colours are pretty damned accurate - solid brown areas can look a little, I don't know, 'patchy/hazy' but this is only apparent if you're looking for flaws as it's not a serious issue and is most likely to be down to a setting that needs tweaking. The 16:9 aspect ratio gives a HD effect to whatever you're viewing, something that made a video of Hollie's Olympics assembly at school extra special as the kids had put such effort into brightening up the school hall with flags and bunting - obviously Doug didn't spring for a super duper HD computer so anything I've watched on this monitor has been standard DVD definition, which leaves me feeling doubly impressed by the quality!
There's no speaker built into this LG monitor, which surprised me as I thought all modern monitors had integrated speakers. I had an old set of half decent PC speakers that I donated to the cause of bringing Doug into the 21st century, but sound is of noticeably poorer quality than the picture so I'd recommend splashing out on good speakers if you decide this is the monitor for you. All the relevant ports and sockets are available at the back of the monitor, all are easily accessible and there are enough there for you to make full use of the monitor's features. The monitor will move through a pretty wide arc for optimum viewing, this is a smooth movement and once you've altered the angle it'll stay there until you decide to move it again.
I don't particularly like the look of this LG monitor; the frame is super thin and that makes it look minimalistic, while the stand is 'industrial' looking. It's personal preference I know, but I think a thicker frame around the screen looks much better as well as being nicer to work at. The picture runs all the way to the edge too so the thin frame looks really stark when the monitor is on, this is most apparent when viewing a plain white document and I do find myself getting irrationally irritated by the appearance of this monitor - strange really considering how thin the frame is on my laptop screen! What it lacks in substance the frame more than makes up for in dust attraction properties - it's a nightmare to keep clean! I go in and use the computer roughly every two weeks and despite being covered with my sons unwanted cot quilt it always has a fine but visible layer of dust on the top - when Doug suspended his business to visit family abroad it was left unused for two months in a locked office and looked like it had been neglected for years when I saw the monitor again, thank god I'd had baby wipes in my bag that day as my usual kitchen roll approach wouldn't have touched it!
The instruction manual is basic and to the point, it doesn't go into too much detail but explains things simply so that you get the gist - I'd imagine people who have set monitors up before would get the hang of this one quickly; as a novice the basic illustrations that accompanied the instructions were handy, particularly at some of the initial menu choices. There's a section on technical abilities - I'm not going to lie to you or try and fluff my way through things, a lot of these specs mean nothing to me so I'll list the ones that look important below. I've got to say I recommend this basic but brilliant monitor, Doug paid £100 for it which is a fab price for such excellent picture quality - I often feel it's wasted really, when typing up a report (it's number one purpose) the quality isn't noticed too much but when you interact with the monitor that's when it comes to life.
Contrast ratio (dynamic) - 5000000:1
Display resolution - 1920 x 1080 pixels
Display - LCD
Vertical scan range - 56 - 75 Hz
Power consumption when in standby mode - 0.3 watts
Typical power consumption when in use - 24 watts
1 x DVI-D port and 1 x VGA D-Sub port
Wall mountable with special fitting