LG Flatron L1950H review

22 Jun 2005

A good-value 19in workhorse for office use, but it struggles with images.

Price when reviewed: 
228(£268 inc VAT)more
4

With prices now dipping under £250, 19in TFTs are becoming a compelling option, and with its 18mm silver bezel the LG Flatron L1950H has immediate appeal. The stand lacks swivel adjustment - although it's easy enough to twist the whole monitor around on the desk - but vertical tilt ranges from 20 degrees back to five degrees forward. You can also raise and lower the monitor by 80mm on the spring-assisted stand.

The picture menu controls brightness, contrast and gamma, and the colour menu lets you choose five colour temperatures with 6,500K and 9,300K presets. You can also adjust red, green and blue with separate sliders. Round the back of the panel are inputs for DVI-D and D-SUB, plus a connector for the internal PSU.

For everyday use, this monitor is a decent choice: spreadsheets, Word documents and web browsing benefit from a crisp picture. But digging a little deeper reveals weaknesses. These can be worked around with various settings; it's just that the cure for one problem often accentuates another and it's impossible to achieve the perfect balance. Poor contrast means detail is missing in dark areas of films and photographs, confirmed by poor colour range performance in our technical tests. Sensitivity is improved with gamma turned up, but this throws things off course in other tests.

The colour separation at the bright end (near white) was similarly lacklustre, with little photographic detail in highlights. Turning down the brightness gave much more high-end range, but led to a generally dull picture. Progression across 256-step greyscale and colour ramps was smooth, but the above limitations meant the bright end lacked impact and the dark end dropped quickly into black. The good news is that the 12ms response time produced little motion blur on moving images. Another plus is that you can quickly reset the picture for a specific purpose: the LightView function has presets such as Photo, Night and Day, and it's particularly effective at revealing detail in dark areas. It changes colour balance, though, so doesn't overcome the average performance elsewhere.

We like the L1950H: it's a well-priced workaday business monitor. However, it's best avoided for more demanding tasks.