It's a well-known fact that laptops are outselling desktops and the disparity is only going to increase. Ever on the lookout for new angles to market displays on, manufacturers are now pushing dedicated secondary displays for laptops and netbooks. These low-profile, 'frame-style' monitors are designed to sit more comfortably next to a laptop, so in theory you can use two displays of roughly similar heights or simply have a larger, more comfortable monitor to plug your laptop into.
Samsung was first into this market with the D190S LapFit and now we're checking out LG's first entrant into this arena, the Flatron W2230S. Part of the W30-series of monitors, which includes an 18.5in model as well, this 21.5in effort features such highlights as a slim 37mm maximum depth and Full HD resolution.
Setup is a doddle, as there's nothing to attach or screw in. Just plug in the power cable plus brick, pull out the hinged leg at the back and you're nearly ready to go. The tilt range offered by the smoothly-sliding leg is the better than the Samsung, and the two pads at the screen's base are thin enough to give the illusion that this screen is really resting on the bottom of its bezel.
Of course you also need to hook it up to your PC and this is where we get to the W2230S' first disappointment. You see, just as with the LapFit D190S, the only video input is VGA. Unlike Samsung, however, who offers LapFit models with digital connections as well, LG doesn't have this option just yet.
This is not such a big deal if your laptop doesn't have a digital connection, but even netbooks are moving to HDMI, with Ion-equipped models from the likes of Asus and HP, not to mention the Samsung N510 we reviewed recently, all offering it.
Build quality, on the other hand, is quite decent. Of course you can't expect a product at this price point to be built like a tank, but the plastics are fairly solid and the general fit and finish is fine. If you grab it by the corners and twist, though, the monitor and does flex noticeably, so care is advised when moving it around.