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LG Flatron W2252TQ 22in LCD - LG Flatron W2252TQ
The W2252TQ's controls are a set of mechanical buttons on the under edge, with their functions marked on the front. Thankfully, the fad with having to look around the sides of a monitor to see what function you want to access seems to have largely passed, but having said that, the white-against-silver labels are not always very legible.
Looking at the tag of the first button, I noticed another very unusual feature that might set the Flatron W2252TQ apart from its brethren; because it simply says ‘fun'. Intrigued? So was I. After all, it's not every day one comes across a monitor featuring a ‘fun' function. Pushing aside visions of coloured balls hopping out of the screen or my text coming to life and dancing before my eyes, I pressed the button, only to be greeted by a short chime reminiscent of 8-bit games. In fact, there is another short chime when you turn the monitor on, a complementary one for turning it off and beeps when accessing menus and enabling functions.
You can even change the tunes and beeps between two different sets, much like on some mobiles before polyphonic ring-tones came along. Fortunately, the ‘fun' menu allows you to turn this aural feast off, since it is incredibly annoying. Other ‘fun' functions include a photo-effect mode, where you can choose to make everything on the screen appear sepia or monochrome. Or it allows you, in the unlikely case you felt so inclined, to view your desktop through what is supposed to represent a Gaussian Blur filter.
Then there's the slightly odd ‘4:3 in wide' mode which, as the name implies, squashes a widescreen picture into a square aspect ratio, or displays a 4:3 resolution (such as 800 x 600) image without distortion. EZ zooming, the final and most pointless 'fun' function, is supposed to go down a resolution-step and back up again. But it was temperamental and mostly refused to work despite relying on the included LG forteManager software, which otherwise worked fine.
Other menus aren't so out of the ordinary, but initially they do appear somewhat counter-intuitive. They work a bit differently to those of most rival manufacturers in that you are thrown straight into sub-settings when selecting a main category. For example, when you choose ‘colour', the up and down buttons immediately change ‘red' rather than selecting between colours first. Handy if red happened to be the colour you wanted to adjust, but if it wasn't, the W2252TQ's menus just cost you more time and effort. At least there is a dedicated ‘source' selector.
As long as you're running Windows, though, the awkward menus are made largely redundant by the aforementioned forteManager, a proprietary LG application that offers the same adjustments as the monitor (plus a few extras) in a visually pleasing and ergonomic whole. Aside from the standard settings, you get very basic colour calibration in addition to detailed profiles and user modes.