Here I sit, looking about me for things to review...and then it hits me...the screen...right in front of me...I could review that...so here goes.
I'm a bit of a computer geek from way back...I've built many of my own PCs, I've always taken an interest in the latest and greatest technology and I love researching which product I'm about to buy. It seems, then, that my purchasing of the W2242S should have been carefully thought about before hand. In fact, it was anything but.
Having moved into my new home last year, we were frantically trying to "finish" the place...to have a place for everything, everything in its place, as they say. I'd managed to bully the other half into allowing me to bring my old tower PC with me, on the condition that we got a nice flat monitor and wireless keyboard and mouse. So I set out to buy these things from the high street - a very rare thing for me indeed, but I just wanted to get it sorted.
When I saw the LG W2242S for sale in currys I can honestly say my first impression wasn't "wow, I have to have that"...it was more "err, that'll do". I've got a couple of other LG screens around the place, so they're a brand I trust - and with a 22" screen for £130 I reasoned I couldn't go wrong. I picked up the box, paid and left - all within about five minutes.
A year later, it's fair to say that I didn't go wrong. The screen's served me very well. I'll do my best to recall as much detail as possible, but as it's been a while since my purchase, you'll have to forgive any omissions.
The packaging the screen came in was quite compact, but adequate to protect the screen. In the box was a little expanded polystyrene and a nice anti-static foam cover for the panel itself. The surprisingly small, round stand was detached, but this clicked on in a couple of seconds. Also in the box were the usual manuals, driver disk and cables.
On getting the screen out, my first impression was how much larger it was at home than it appeared in the store - it looked pretty vast and imposing on my desk - thankfully I quickly became used to this and it looks completely fine now. The surround is about an inch thick and is made of black gloss plastic. This actually resists dust and fingerprints a lot better than you might think - so the screen still looks new after a year's use. The screen itself has quite a matt appearance and feels smooth rather than glassy to the touch. The power button in the lower right hand corner glows bright blue when the screen is in use and orange if it's unable to detect a signal.
I plugged the screen in to my machine, it auto-adjusted itself (native resolution is 1680x1050) and I've had no cause to do any further fiddling since - it just works. There are, however, all the usual controls accessible through an on-screen-display if you ever need them. I checked once it was up and running and was unable to detect a single dead pixel in the panel.
I've used the screen for word processing, programming, web browsing and videos, as well as casual gaming - in all of these the screen has performed perfectly well - I've never thought about it from an overly technical standpoint - I've never tested rigorously to determine whether I can detect ghosting, I've never monkeyed around with contrast tests and the like - but in day to day use, the screen performs as well as any I've used.
After a long period of constant use, the screen can become a little warm, but never gets hot - and aside from the occasional click when changing resolutions or turning on and off, the screen makes no noise that I can hear.
Overall, it's extremely hard to fault the screen - I've never felt disappointed about a single aspect of the thing - and for a screen chosen more or less at random, I find that pretty impressive.
I've been looking at trying to get hold of a second one today so I can multitask a little easier, but it seems the screen's pretty hard to get hold of these days - if you should come across one at any point, however, I can heartily recommend it.
A couple of years ago, a 22" monitor would have cost you £400 - £500. Today some of the top range ones still cost in the region of £400 but luckily prices have come down for middle and low range monitors. I picked up the LG W2242S-PF for £115 from Tesco. Even on the popular web sites, the prices being quoted were £150 upwards. Had I bought a dud?! Fear not, it turned out to be a damn good purchase.
Inside the box, you get an installation CD (which is pointless as you can download the latest driver from LG), a manual, VGA and power cables, the monitor stand and of course, the monitor itself. The monitor is surprisingly very light but the stand is solid. Assembly was quick and painless.
The screen is not glossy which is great as you don't get reflections of your own face or background staring back at you. The screen is extremely bright and has many settings that can be accessed via a straight forward menu. There are some standard settings such as Day Movie, Night Text etc. Do they make a difference? They actually do which makes a nice change to some of these presets manufacturers incorporate into their products. You can also tilt the monitor but you can't raise it's height or orientation.
I hooked up the monitor to my laptop VGA port (the monitor doesn't come with DVI). The picture quality from my laptop's graphics card looked pin sharp. One word of warning though - if you see lines scrolling over the screen, it isn't a fault of the monitor - it is the fault of the cable connecting the laptop to the screen. This is due to the power adaptor for my laptop generating a hell of a lot radio interference that interferes with the picture signal. Buying a double shieled VGA cable eliminated the interference issue.
There is some bleed from the backlight when viewing darker pictures/movies etc but at this price, it still looks good.
Power consumption wise, the monitor consumes 40W but you still have a nifty on/off switch that has a lovely blue glow.
Great monitor at a great price.