Excellent monitor from graphic design to gaming
Oct 12, 2004 (Updated May 9, 2005)
Review by DCannon
Rated a Very Helpful Review
User Rating: Excellent
Ease of Use:
Pros:Sharp, bright, accurate saturated colors, 16ms, size, features, price
Cons:Stand connection is a bit wobbly, but hasn't been a problem
The Bottom Line: This is an excellent quality LCD monitor for anyone from graphic designers to gamers.
LG Flatron L1720P LCD Monitor
Recommend this product?
If youve read any of my previous monitor reviews, you already know Im a graphic designer by profession and very picky about monitors and what I see on the screen. For those who havent read my reviews
.now you know. For die-hard gamers, its not a particularly important piece of information. However, for those who dabble in digital photography, graphic design, or just looking for a good monitor for everyday use, I hope this review will be of some value.
After many, many years of CRTs, I admit Im new to the world of LCD monitors for graphic design. The first one I bought was the 17 Sony SDM HS73B. Compared to my last 19 CRT, it was a real eye-opener. Substantially brighter and sharper than the old beast (which I gave to my brother), with good color reproduction except for shades of green. I also noticed what was supposed to be white was actually an off-white with a slight yellow cast that I couldnt adjust out no matter what settings I used. But at that point it was past the point of return. I also got to thinking itd probably be a real smart idea to have two monitors in case one went out and had to be sent in for repair. So Back to Best Buy for a second LCD (I dont buy from Circuit City because of their return policy of a restocking fee on monitors). Sony has discontinued the HS73 models, replaced by the new XBRITE HS 74 line. But I didnt like the highly reflective screen, which can be extremely annoying when doing very intense, up-close graphics work. All too often, what appears as a blemish or smudge on a photo or graphic, turns out to be a reflection. Very annoying. I saw they had the LG monitors on sale, so began looking more closely at them. You cant really tell how good image quality is since they have them hooked to that silly screen saver stuff, but what I saw looked as good as the Sonys. PLUS, the LGs had even more one-touch lighting control than the Sony, which I need for magazine design and layout. They also have RGB adjustment, which the Sonys dont have. Hmmmm. Id like to have a slightly larger screen, but Ive found the 19 LCDs arent quite as sharp as the 17s at the same 1280x1024 resolution, which of course, makes sense. It isnt until you get to the 20 screens at higher resolutions that you start to see images as sharp as the 17s. So I concentrated on the 17 LG. The LG also has a 16ms response time, and both DVI and analog connections. So I bought the 17 LG L1720P and headed home, wondering how itd fare against the Sony. I have an ATI 9600XT video card, so was able to hook both monitors up side-by-side for comparison. Another eye-opener! The LG blew the Sony away on all fronts.
In the Box:
The monitor was very well packed and protected. Included in the box are the monitor and connected stand, power cord, DVI and 15-pin D-SUB cables, USB cable, Easy setup guide, driver and manual CD, warranty card and other information.
Appearance and construction
This is a very nice looking monitor with a 1 black bezel on all sides, and a 5/8 silver panel at the bottom that contains the power button and controls. Not particularly exciting, but very clean lines that dont detract from normal viewing. Construction appears to be very good, except for the stand connection, which is a bit on the wobbly side. However, to this point, it hasnt been a concern at all, since Im not a pounder on the keyboard and shaking my desk. Even when playing games, it hasnt been a problem. Just thought Id mention that the connection between the stand and monitor is not a rock solid design if thats a concern to anyone considering this monitor.
Setup couldnt be any simpler. The power cord/connection ports are located in the back, beneath a removable, oval plastic integrated plate. Cords arent visible from the front. Once the monitor is connected and plugged in, when first powered up, it performs a quick self adjustment procedure that automatically centers the screen image and selects the optimum brightness/contrast settings for the existing lighting conditions. Naturally, these can be customized to best suit your needs. Youre ready to go. I use Windows XP Pro, and didnt need the included CD.
The silver panel at the bottom contains a round, silver power button at the far right with a cool blue illuminated ring around it. The blue ring certainly isnt necessary, but its cool nonetheless. Normally, power lights on the front of TVs or monitors are an annoying feature, but so far, this one hasnt bugged me. To the left of the power button are Menu, Light View (my favorite feature), Brightness/Contrast/Gamma, Source, and Auto/Select. The actual buttons are located on the underside of the panel, so are out of the way. Pressing Menu and scrolling via the Up/Down arrows of the LightView accesses the following screens: Brightness/Contrast/Gamma, Color (Preset, R, G, B) Language, Screen Position, Clock/Phase, Language. Pressing LightView Up/Down arrows selects the screen brightness of Normal, Night Photo, Night Movie, Night Text, Day Photo, Day Movie, or Day Text. In each mode, you can customize your own settings. Pretty impressive! Pressing the button located under the sun icon directly accesses Brightness/Contrast/Gamma. Pressing Source toggles between digital and analog connections. Pressing AutoSelect automatically sets all controls to their factory optimum settings, including screen position. All in all, some impressive controls for a quality sub-$400 monitor.
USB Feature: This monitor even includes one USB upstream port and two downstream ports for connecting a keyboard, mouse, or a USB hub. Just more features for the price.
Here we go, folks. As mentioned previously, this monitor simply blew away the Sony in all respects. With both monitors side by side on my desk, it was easy to see the LG is much brighter than the Sony, just as sharp corner to corner (text and images), with truly white whites, neutral grays, vibrant colors, and excellent contrast. With the Sony at its highest brightness/contrast setting, images looked dead compared to the LG. My desktop is an image of an Irish Barn (I play music with an Irish band), set in the countryside with a lot of trees, hills, etc, and on the LG, it looks like you can reach into the photo. Not so with the Sony. Images on the LG definitely have more depth and life. Also, the LG produces much more accurate greens than the Sony, which consistently displays some greens as aqua or turquoise. Not good for graphic design. The LGs color reproduction appears to be extremely good. Going through all the LightView settings, they provided seemingly endless choices for my various requirements. For instance, I do the design and layout for several full color magazines. Because different print companies use different presses and processes, I can quickly select a screen brightness that best matches how an image will look in print for a given printer and make any necessary adjustments in Photoshop. This is why I need this feature, and the LG offers many more selections than the Sony. Bottom line is overall image quality is excellent.
Video games: I dont play that many video games since Im usually too busy, but I like to get in the ring now and then just to get away from the daily graphics grind. When playing something like Quake III Arena, the Sony was always very dark, no matter what I did to the game or monitor settings. Half the time, I couldnt see where I was going. But with the LG, its a whole new ballgame! Its plenty bright on the Normal setting, but Ive been using the Night Photo setting for games and its like Im right there. What an improvement over the Sony! Images are sharp, bright and saturated. And with the 16ms response time, there are absolutely no delays in any of my games. Everythings fast and smooth. I noticed some very slight delays with the Sony, especially when vertically scrolling through web sites or pages of text, but none with the LG.
This monitor was quite a pleasant surprise, especially after paying much less than the Sony and getting better quality with more features. The LG is so good, that Ive put the Sony back in its box and will either keep it as a backup, or sell it and get another LG. This monitor does everything I need it to do.
Platform: PC or Mac
Display Type: Flat Panel active matrix TFT LCD
Display Size: 17
Screen Coating: Anti-glare
Dot Pitch: .264
Contrast Ratio: 450:1
Brightness: 300 nits
Refresh Rate: 16ms
Sync Input: Horiz: Analog: 30-83 kHZ (Auto), Digital: 30-71 kHZ (Auto); Vert: 56-75 kHZ (Auto); Input Form: Separate TTL, Pos/Neg, SOG (Sync on Green) Digital
Signal Input: 15 pin D-SUB, DVI; Input Form: RGB Analog, Digital
Resolution Max: DVI Digital: VESA 1280x1024 @60 Hz; D-SUB Analog: VESA 1280x1024 @75 Hz
Power Consumption: Normal: 43W; Standby/Suspend: less than 2W; DPMS Off: less than 2W
Dimensions & Weight: Full Up Position: W=39.4cm (15.51); H=37.9cm (14.92); D=23.2cm (9.13
includes base of stand); Weight=4.5 kg (9.92 lbs)
Tilt: up to 25 degrees
Warranty: 3 yrs parts & labor
Read all comments (3)
Amount Paid (US$): 379
Operating System: Windows
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