When we decided to upgrade our CRT monitor to a super sexy LCD one, we were amazed at how cheap they had become. When we last looked at upgrading, the monitors we were looking at were priced well over a hundred pounds. This time round, we were pleased to see that the price had dropped to a more reasonable price of around the fifty to sixty pounds mark. At last, something is coming down in price!
The monitors we were toying between were the one I am reviewing now and a Samsung one. Most of our electronics in our home are made by Samsung and on the whole we are really pleased with them. What clinched it for us was the price. On paper, the Samsung and the LG monitor looked nearly exactly the same except the LG one was in the sale and was priced for twenty pounds less than the Samsung model. ==The deal maker.==
If I was going to give someone advice when buying a new LCD monitor, I would say go and look at the models in the shop and have a play around with them. We did not do this and bought straight from an online store. We definitely got the best price on the model, however if we had seen it before buying it, we may have chosen another model. The reason for me saying this, is that the one thing that the manufacturers do not really tell you about is the viewing angle. The monitor we bought is fantastic, but if you are not sat directly opposite the screen, the colours and brightness of the images shifts and it really distorts the image. I'm not saying we are completely unsatisfied with the monitor; however we are a little disappointed with this aspect of it.
==Price and availability==
This monitor is widely available online. I bought it from Box.com who was offering an excellent price of £62.00.
The monitor is sleek and sexy as are most LCD screens these days. This particular one is one of the slimmest on the market and is just 6 cm thick. The change is the monitors size has completely given the spare room a make-over. The old ugly CRT monitor really dated the room and took over; attracting your attention from every angle. The new monitor blends in and gives the room a modern feel. There is more space on the computer desk and if we really wanted to, we could mount the monitor on the wall. Oh the possibilities...
The monitor is light; 2.50kg and the surround is made of the standard shiny black gloss plastic that is familiar on most LG televisions. This is a haven for finger prints and dust but a quick wipe with a microfiber cloth brings them right off.
The monitor comes with a black stand and you can adjust and swivel the screen to suit your needs. It is easy to adjust, which is a good thing as with the terrible viewing angle, it tends to need adjusting quite regularly.
The monitor comes with a VGA 15 point HD cable and is literally plug in and play with your computer. The lead is fairly short so if you do what the monitor on mounted brackets on the wall you may have to consider buying another lead as this one may not reach.
The screen is an 18.5" widescreen and looks superb when on. It has a 16:10 aspect ratio making it perfect for watching HD movies in wide format without any distortion. The colours are deep, rich and vibrant. The colour black on the screen much darker and sharp than with the old CRT monitor and the images on the screen have a depth to them. There is a really low pixel pitch of 0.03mm, this means the pizels are really close together (generally the closer they are the sharper the image is.)
The images are ==bright== although on its specification it only has a reading of 250cd/m2. (This is measured by how much light a panel can produce per meter squared.) 200-250 is average for most monitors but some of the more expensive monitors on the market have a reading of 500cd/m2 (we are talking nearly double the price that this one cost.) I am really pleased with the brightness of the images and I am more than happy with it. Without being too technical (as you probably know more than I do) the higher the candela per square meter the easier the screen is to see in bright conditions without having to dim the lights for example. For a basic computer monitor that will be used for documents, gaming, internet and films, 250cd/m2 is fine; but bear in mind that a new LCD television will probably have 4 times this level.
We tend to stream movies from the internet and have watched a film on our new screen. After angling it so that we could both see it from the bed at the other side of the room, we were pleased with it. It is nowhere near as impressive as watching films on our television downstairs but for a computer monitor we found it to be quite good. We mainly use the computer for looking at photos, skyping and playing games. When playing games that are fast paced such as the shooter and sports games it is important to use a monitor that has a low pixel response rate. This is the amount of time it takes a pixel to change colour, the slower it goes means that you can often experience ghosting and blurring as the image is moving quicker than the screen can keep up with. A rate of 12ms is advisable in a monitor that will be used for paying games and watching films. The monitor comes in with a great rating of 3ms, making it super fast and I can add that I have not experienced any problems regarding ghosting or blurring.
One of the main reasons we bought a new monitor was so that we could speak to my boyfriends brother and family in Australia using Skype. We were sick of watching grainy images of them and decided that a new LCD screen would make Syking much better. Obviously the quality of the webcam is important here, but compared with the old CRT monitor the improvements we see while Skyping are immense. The colours are much brighter and the lines much sharper. Obviously the bigger screen size too helps greatly. We have had my boyfriends Grandmother round to see the children on webcam as she doesn't have a computer and she was over the moon at the quality of the images. They are so clear and bright and very impressive.
Lastly I would like to mention that this monitor boasts about its energy efficiency. The LED backlit display is supposed to be really economical. They use lamps that have a long life span and are highly efficient. When we are all geared to think green, then this is a real bonus and hopefully should not cost too much to run.
I'm pleased with the monitor and think it is definitely worth £60. I just wish that I could have seen it in store first as reading a specification online is all well and good but you need to see it for yourself. A lesson learnt!