Well, there I was one day, looking down and it simply wasn’t big enough. D’yer know, 15" to a man of my abilities just isn’t enough. So I decided to get a bigger one. Well, my eyes aren't what they used to be. I had to start wearing glasses only a couple of years ago after being previously proud of my 20/20 (ish) vision. Sadly, the optician announced that my eyesight was borderline for reading and driving (accounting for all of my crashes?) so he prescribed the old milk bottle tops for my mince pies. Hmmm...since entering the world of PCs I've always managed with 15" but the time came when this was no longer sufficient so when my bro-in-law offered me the chance to upgrade to 17" and part exchange my current monitor then it was an offer I couldn't refuse as they say in the Mafioso (it was either a yes or I end up with a horse's head in my bed). So I bet you want to know all about my 17" now, don't you? Well, a company called LG Electronics makes this baby. ---About the company--- LG is an international Corporation with high aspirations to the future. It has recently re-aligned its interests having been affected by Korean financial woes albeit this applies to the Far-Eastern financial basin as a whole. The company dates back to 1953 when Lucky Industry was established as an import/export speciality company within the Lucky Group. The company initially set up in Hwoi Koo. In 1976 the company went Public being designated as a general trading company and awarded the $100 Million Export Tower and the Order of Industrial Service Merit, Gold Tower. Only this year, the company has won contracts worth $96 Million for the Construction of a Refinery Project in the Turkey and $180 Million Polypropylene Plant Order in Oman So what's this product like? ---Features & Benefits--- The on-screen menu has 4 buttons: menu, select, adjust
& power indicator. The menu button activates and exits the on screen display and can also be used to move previous menu or status. Within the menu options there are 2 main menus 1 & 2. Main menu 1 controls: Horizontal position, horizontal size, vertical position, vertical size, pincushion, trapezoid, parallelogram, pinbalance, corner correction, colour-temp, brightness and contrast. Menu 2 controls recall, rotation, language, degauss, OSD horizontal position, OSD on time, video level, moiré, information and exit. Main menu 1 activates when the Menu button is pressed as opposed to main menu 2 which activates when the up and down triangle buttons are pressed at the exit icon in menu 1. The monitor has 10 preset modes. The screen itself has a 16" viewable area as opposed to the 14" available on the more standard 15" monitor. It is a full-square type screen with an anti-static charge face and electro-static charge eliminated. It is a HI-view surface with silica coat, anti-glare and anti-reflection. Glare is reduced through Invar Shadow Mask. There is a very respectable 0.27mm dot pitch giving a nice clear image on-screen. This is a high-resolution screen with dark, faceplate glass and a high contrast screen. It has 90 degree and 29.1mm diameter neck deflection. The monitor can cope with an auto-scan of 30-70Khz meaning flicker is extremely unlikely. (Automatic 30-70 KHz horizontally; 50 – 150 KHz vertically. There is a maximum resolution of 1280 x 1024 non-interlaced again for a clearer image without flicker. (1280 dots x 1024 lines – max) In these times of greener thinking, the monitor has *VESA DPMS Energy Star allowing for power saving facilities to help save money together with energy costs. There is a plug & play, VESA DDC 1 / 2B. ---Setting up and getting started--- Setting up the
monitor was easy enough. It merely sits on a swivel stand and all I did after taking it out of the box was to align the slots underneath the monitor with the appropriate slots in the stand and slip them together. If you have an existing monitor then all you have to do is take out the lead that links the back of the monitor with the slot in the back of the graphic cards slot (sounds complicated but it's just the section at the rear of the main box, usually a tower system, where most of the other leads should be) and connect the power cord for the new PC into a plug socket swapping it for the existing one if you have a an existing monitor. Blimey, even I managed this without any help! You should be doing all this while the system is switched off but once it's all plugged in then switch on. The PC will need to know that you've added more hardware but most operating systems will recognise the fact and update the drivers needed for your PC to know that it has a new monitor i.e. you shouldn't need to do anything apart from OK the prompts that appear on your new monitor screen as the PC does all the work. Tips: It is possible to download the monitor's drivers from the website i.e. www.lg.co.kr Often this means that you can adopt a closer specification when tinkering with the modes, refresh rates and so on although, in this case, it didn't seem to make a great deal of difference to the settings assumed by Windows 98. All you do is go to the link on the website and download as a **WinZip file. The download only took a few moments and if you haven't got WinZip then it's easy enough to get from the WinZip site. The glare from PC screens is often harmful over long periods of time so it's well worth investing in a decent filter. Despite all the manufacturers specifications, a reasonable filter will give added protection as eye sight can go down hill pretty quickly from working with PC screens fo
r to long. Whilst the instructions are good, you can glean more information about this particular monitor from the company website with more precise data available. In the interests of consumerism, I did shop around to compare prices based on a similar spec to this one. After all, I got this one at trade price of £100 and by the time I'd done a deal with my bro-in-law this particular transaction only set me back £60 (hooray!). I found this particular monitor available at ***£104 from ITM Components (itm-uk.com). A similar product, the Aries Energy Pro 7VLR was available from Watford Electronics at £102.22. These prices are at the bottom end of the spectrum and around £100 seems a great deal for a 17" monitor. Flat screens are available for more money so it depends what you are looking for. This monitor is recommended as being great value for money; it looks great; it's made by a reputable company; the controls are comprehensive and give flexibility like corner correction allowing you to correct top and bottom corners separately and there is after sales back up via contact through the website or, alternatively, one of the myriad of outlets offering a PC repair service. If you're looking for a new monitor or simply to upgrade to a bigger one then you could do a lot worse than this one. Thanks for reading. Marandina *VESA = Video Electronics Standard Association/DPMS = Display Power Management Signalling **Winzip is software that allows you to unzip files that re compressed for speed of downloading and available at www.winzip.com *** Since I originally wrote this a few weeks ago, the price has now dropped to £94 over the Net so maybe the various companies are affected by the share price troubles and having to drop their prices?