Product Type: LG Electronics LCD monitors
Newest Review: ... care much for looks at the time; I just wanted it to fit in with my computer colour scheme. Yes, I had a colour scheme for my hardware,... more
LG: Life's Good* - *For First Twelve Months Only
Member Name: davidbrentforPM
Advantages: The first twelve months aren't too bad; delivers a crisp 4:3 image
Disadvantages: Major fault, poorly designed buttons, stand doesn't allow for much angle flexibility
Now you may be thinking that a lot of that introduction is irrelevant; usually it would be, but I'll warn you now, this review isn't going to compliment the product in question too often. I felt that to avoid looking a complete tool, I should justify the rushed nature of purchase, and explain my predicament - I wanted a merry Christmas. I wanted a computer that worked, and that also had a display. For one Christmas at least, that is just what I received...
Indeed, I was very happy with my purchase. Setting me back a very reasonable £119 at the time, I got myself a 22" flat panel LCD TFT wide-screen. Although this was three years ago, the price still isn't bad now, and LG's equivalent offering today is around £15 cheaper from the most competitive supplier, though with LED becoming the newly sought after technology, prices for monitors such as these will only continue to drop.
Physically, it's not spectacular to look at, but I didn't care much for looks at the time; I just wanted it to fit in with my computer colour scheme. Yes, I had a colour scheme for my hardware, what's wrong with that? The scheme was black (without wanting to be gothic), with a hint of blue LED lighting (without wanting to be, um, cold), so this fitted the bill perfectly! The screen frame and base is designed with a simple, plain black, plastic finish - not glossy by any means. The 'on' button is a merry blue LED smile, which happily lights up as if to say, 'hello', without freaking you out by actually saying "hello"...
The base is detachable for both ease of storage and in case you should wish to mount the thing to a wall, and pairing the two together is seamless and straightforward. The base only allows for angling the screen backwards; if you wish to twist the angle sideways, the base must move with it. As for forwards; well, you'll just have to sit up straight! One of my reservations with the design is the black buttons, and black labels for said buttons. Remember, the frame is black, so to then put black text on there does not make for easy reading. If this review was in white text then it'd be useless, and it's not too dissimilar here. It's a nuisance, and whilst it's not as if I couldn't just memorise which was which, it's one of those problems that shouldn't be there in the first place; it's very much avoidable!
I'm going to flash forward a little here, to just over 12 months after I bought the LG. I'd been noticing some fuzziness appearing on the screen, text becoming blurry and images not as crisp as they once were. I tried using different cables, different PCs, but unfortunately it seemed the problem was with the monitor. My worries were confirmed when the screen decided to through some sort of attack (whereby the above symptoms took place but far more violently), before dying altogether. It was quite a show, just an unwelcome one.
Now the screen would still turn on and work temporarily; it still does. I decided that a component within the screen must be overheating as it only becomes apparent that there is a problem after a few minutes of usage, before slowly deteriorating towards death. This was confirmed by an owner of a local PC repair shop, who said the cost of repair would probably make it more worthwhile to just buy another screen, instead of shelling out nearly as much just to repair an old one.
The major problem in all of this, and when I say problem, I also mean infuriating pain, is that the warranty that came free with the screen (supplied by Tesco), covered the product for 12 months. It was in the thirteenth month that the LG decided to contradict its own slogan, and throw away its life. So with no warranty cover, and no point in paying almost the original cost in repairs, this screen is now useless and whilst once quite a bargain, now rather costly.
Nonetheless, I have to cover what it did in its short lifetime, and to be fair to LG, it wasn't bad at all. One of the great things about this screen is that once plugged in and connected via VGA, it was rocking! There was no fiddling with settings to get the right amount of this, or the right amount of that; the presets were spot on for me. It was only when I was bored one day that I thought I'd try to alter them to try to get a better picture, after which I continued to experiment, probably only resulting in me returning the original state!
As for the picture, I always found that it was superb. The screen has a response time of 5ms; this refers to the speed with which a screen can respond to moving images, so lower is better here. It's a feature which is more important to gamers, or if you enjoy watching football online for example, and even by today's standards, 5ms is about the norm, or better, for around this price, at least. When I did fancy killing something on Gears Of War or destroying an opposition on Pro Evolution Soccer, I always found it a pleasurable viewing experience, with blood spewing intricately, and footballs nestling into nets beautifully. The only thing which ever lessened the viewing experience was a very selfish thunder fly, who decided to get himself (or herself) stuck within my screen after enjoying a little stroll; honestly.
Wide-screen viewing is very enjoyable also, with an aspect ratio of 4:3 (this ratio is simply the width of the image to its height) providing beautiful appreciation for films and videos, but not so wide that twigs turn to trunks. With a maximum resolution of 1680 x 1050, I was always in the position to be flexible, and using my usual BBC website standard resolution tester, I was well ahead of the game. The contrast ratio is 1000:1, which tends to be typical of many screens of this calibre. Contrast ratio effectively refers to the range of colours between the brightest and darkest, thus meaning the higher the better. Today screens will often offer Dynamic Contrast Ratio, which is far too complicated for me to understand, and something not present here, meaning I'm not obliged to!
Overall though, one cannot really reward many points for these good performances, because the poor quality of components inside the screen meant they were all made ineffectual anyway. Just like any product, you need a good core, a solid foundation to build upon, and whilst all of these features worked well for me, they pale into insignificance because they can no longer be appreciated. The experience has completely brought down my opinion of LG as a brand, and I'm now left feeling like it is one who pretties up its products, only to hide the poor quality within. I hope, however, that I was just unlucky with my purchase, because aside from the major fault, it served me well. Unfortunately though, it is now Long Gone.
Summary: A product which appears to be sound, but is ruined by poor quality internal components
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