The software itself though is pretty good though and I found it easier to use than an OSD, which can be quite obtuse in their designs.
The software enables you to adjust the brightness and sharpness and choose between Movie, Text, Normal and User presets. It also has a full colour calibration routine and you can choose the colour temperature of your choice. You can also use it to turn the ring light permanently on or off, and save your settings to a profile.
For all its high design looks I half expected the image quality to be the weak link on the LG. However, I was pleasantly surprised. In our Display Mate tests the performance was generally good. There was some evidence of compression near peak white and there was some banding in the 256 level colour scale ramp. In the colour scales test, red fades to black early, as it does on many screens. The screen is only a 6-bit screen though offering 16.2m colours - so not one for precise image work due to dithering.
In Windows, the screen is very bright and text sharp and clear. Whites were far truer compared to a Dell 24in and blacks deeper, which in turn helps colours appear far truer. This helped video to look good on this display. In games, colours appeared strong too, while the 4ms grey-to-grey response time, for those that are concerned with this number, is low, and indeed motion was very smooth.
However, I found that to get the best contrast ratio I had to turn down the brightness, but when I did, it gave the display a blue tint. It takes a bit of work, but I found I could make adjustments to get the best picture for the task I was doing, though it meant making regular changes. This is where the profiles came in handy.
Viewing angles when moving horizontally are pretty good, but not great in the vertical plane, with the colours and brightness dramatically reducing. However, this is inherent in the basic TA technology employed.
Overall, for a 6-bit panel I was quite impressed with the image quality from the L1900R, as well as its unique aesthetics. My main concern is that it’s not widescreen, which makes it less attractive for serious video or gaming use.
If however, these aren’t you’re primary concerns, and if you simply want a monitor that will look really good on your desk and delivers a decent picture then the LG 1900R is worth its £209 asking price. If that price can drop below that magic £200 mark, then LG would have a real bargain on its hands. Let’s hope LG goes on and produces a 20in, 1,680 x 1,050 version too.
The LG 1900R is one of the boldest looking designs I’ve seen from a non-Mac product. Its design is great, which boosts its scores despite its lack of connectivity. The only real downer is that it’s not widescreen, which means it just misses out on an award. If you’re prepared to fiddle with the software you can get excellent results from its image quality too.