It has been a while since I’ve taken a close look at an LG TFT monitor, so it’s good to see that the company continues to produce elegantly designed units such as the L1730P. This 17incher offers both height adjustability and a pivoting screen all of which are finished in an attractive silver and dark grey livery. So if looks and functionality are high on your display requirements this LG makes an excellent first impression.
However, after fitting the base to the neck of the stand the build quality didn't seem to be of the highest order and it certainly wasn't up to the standard of Samsung's SyncMaster 173P. The base itself is encased in a plastic that seems rather flexible and the same stuff has been used to adorn the neck. Despite this overall plastic feel, the neck’s integrated sliding mechanism is spring assisted, which makes adjustment through its seven centimetre range a reasonably smooth action.
I also can’t forget that for around £280 at the time of writing, this display also lets me write reviews in a portrait orientation – something that I really like to do especially on a 17in LCD with a 1,280 x 1,024 native resolution. The reason? Well, I can fit a whole page of A4 in a single window at 100% zoom. Of course, to benefit from this feature the picture must also be rotated, which can be done either by using the bundled Pivot Pro software or in most cases within your graphics card’s display settings.
Needless to say, I am currently writing this review in portrait mode, and there’s one issue concerning the display’s performance that I can spot straight away – a narrow horizontal viewing angle (or to be more accurate a narrow vertical viewing in the standard landscape position). When I move my line of sight to the left by just a few centimetres off centre the illumination along the right side of the picture falls rapidly. That said, top and bottom viewing angles (left and right in landscape mode) are much wider.
More positively, the L1730P also comes with a USB hub with one upstream and two downstream ports, plus the necessary cable to hook it up to your PC. The hub can be detached (rather too easily in my opinion) and it conforms to the USB1.1 standard, which isn’t too much of an issue considering it’s intended for input devices like mice and keyboards.
As for the rest of the connectivity options, LG has squeezed in both a D-SUB and a DVI-D port for the price, along with both cable types. And, with a dedicated signal source button nestled within the rest of the vertically mounted OSD controls, one can easily switch between these signals. The L1730P does lack speakers, but to be honest that’s no great loss as the majority of those fitted to LCDs are embarrassingly weak.
Moving on to the OSD (seen above), this is well designed and laid out. As mentioned before, vertically mounted buttons control access to the menus in a reasonably intuitive way. I say reasonably, because it is easy to press the source button by accident when moving through the various options. When this happens the L1730P hunts for another signal, thereby leaving you staring at a blank screen for a few seconds until it reverts to the original source. As for the choice of controls, these are standard and include the usual adjustments for screen position, independent RGB channels, colour temperature and for clock and phase. There’s also a triple-stepped gamma control for really boosting the detail in those dark and moody games.