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While some brands that sell TVs are actually better known as PC monitor manufacturers - Viewsonic springs to mind, others such as LG are the other way round. For example, just recently LG’s 37LB1DB 37in LCD TV did well in our TV section. In his opening comments John pointed out that Korea seems to have stolen a march over Japan when it comes to it to gorgeous design. LG is certainly on a role with great looking TVs, the distinctive ‘Chocolate’ phone and now this monitor.
Now 19in 4:3, or rather 5:4 aspect ratio screens to be accurate, are now so run-of-the-mill that we only feature them if there’s something special to them. We’re on pretty safe ground here then as the L1900R is one of the most distinctive monitor designs we’ve ever come across.
The display is mostly notable for its stand and there are two other monitors in the so-called ‘Fantasy’ series with individual base stands – the L1900J (Jar) and the L1900E (Eclipse). The ‘R’ on this model stands for Ring.
It oval base looks as much like a lamp shade as a monitor stand and has a circle in the centre. When the monitor powers on or off an LED strip round the circle fills up with a red light in an anti clockwise fashion, and reverses this when you turn if off. The display has no height adjustment though, but does tilt forward and back.
The whole display is decked out in a shiny cherry red plastic, that’s very different for a PC monitor. It gives it a high class sheen that’s more stylish than the regular business focussed display. The bezel also is also quite thin, which adds to the effect. It’s too thin to accommodate the power switch, which bulges out as a result but this just adds another distinctive touch. The on switch is touch sensitive and requires only a light brush to get that ring moving. The only other button is underneath the bezel and enables you to turn the ring permanently on or off.
The display itself and the base are notable for being very thin and light. This is because LG has kept it as free of inputs or buttons as possible. The only input is DVI, (it is listed as HDCP compliant) and this is located on a dongle that attaches to the monitor at the very bottom centre of the monitor base. This dongle is all curves and sports the same shiny red plastic of the rest of the monitor. A shame almost, that the supplied DVI and D-Sub to DVI cables are just conventionally coloured.
The power supply also connects to this dongle. To keep the base small the L1900R has had to use an external power supply – it’s a regular ugly black box but it’s on a long cable and not to large so can easily be hidden away under the desk.
As the button count has been kept to a bare minimum LG has elected to go with software rather than having an OSD. This software is called ‘Forte Manager’ and is pretty good. It has a check update button that launches your browser and takes you to a page you can download the latest version from. Unfortunately, it also crashes every time and takes ‘Explorer.exe with it and this happened even after the update.