LG W2286L review

24 Jun 2009

LG's latest screen adds some swish sophistication to the dullest of desks, but it's just too expensive

Price when reviewed 
228
3

With 22in monitors available from as little as £90 inc VAT these days, LG's W2286L has a fair amount of explaining to do. At a price that could buy a budget 26in and leave some change to spare, we were expecting something altogether more spectacular than your average monitor.

The dull brown box might not give any hint as to the LG's pedigree, but pull it from its packaging, screw on the glossy black plastic base and the W2286L is enough to melt the coldest of hearts.

It marks a definite improvement on LG's somewhat over-the-top W2284F, which went overboard with see-through plastic. Instead, the W2286L finds itself resplendent in gloss-black enlivened with rose-tinted details. It's impressively slim too, measuring a svelte 21mm thick.

It's an attractive devil, but it's also a bit of a show-off. Wave your hand near the glowing power button and the LG fires into life thanks to its patented Live Sensor.

The row of touch-sensitive buttons lined up next door are pretty swish too, and the array of ports at its rear is about as comprehensive as it gets. Two HDMI ports nestle alongside DVI and VGA sockets, and there's also a headphone output for audio transferred via the HDMI connections.

The reality, however, is less impressive. The touch-sensitive buttons are fiddly to use and occasionally didn't recognise our finger-presses at all, leaving us prodding angrily through the onscreen menus.

The super-slim physique comes at the cost of an external PSU left dangling from the rear too.

Image quality isn't as stunning as it should be, either. High brightness leaves whites popping off the screen in bright scenes, and good contrast levels serve to unearth detail in the darkest of images, even without any recourse to the dynamic contrast feature.

There's very little backlight bleed too - but, critically, the panel's colour reproduction is wayward. Skin tones in particular looked unnatural, with a yellow hue we couldn't rectify.

We didn't expect the best viewing angles given that it's a TN panel, but even here the LG disappoints.

Our favourite 22in monitor, the Samsung T220, does an incredibly impressive job of keeping colours natural across its wide horizontal viewing angles, but moving even slightly off-axis exacerbated the LG's yellowish cast.

Put the LG side by side with its main rival, the superb Samsung T220, and you'd be forgiven for thinking they'd been designed by the same person.

In reality, they couldn't be more different. In the final reckoning, the LG's flash-harry looks and generous specifications can't mask the fact that it isn't up to scratch in the image quality stakes.

And with Samsung's T220 doing its thing for just £145 exc VAT, we'd leave the LG firmly on the shelf.

Details

Price ex VAT £198
Price inc VAT £228
Overall rating 3
Image quality 3
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 2

Main specifications

Screen size 22.0in
Aspect ratio 16:10
Resolution 1680 x 1050
Screen brightness 250cd/m2
Pixel response time 5ms
Contrast ratio 1,000:1
Dynamic contrast ratio 2,000,000:1
TV tuner no
TV tuner type N/A

Connections

DVI inputs 1
VGA inputs 1
HDMI inputs 2
DisplayPort inputs 0
Scart inputs 0
HDCP support yes
Upstream USB ports 0
USB ports (downstream) 0
3.5mm audio input jacks 0
Headphone output yes
Other audio connectors none

Accessories supplied

Other cables supplied VGA
Internal power supply no

Image adjustments

Brightness control? yes
Contrast control? yes
Colour temperature settings y

Ergonomics

Height adjustment 0mm
Pivot (portrait) mode? no

Dimensions

Dimensions 520 x 200 x 430mm (WDH)