With LG and Philips joining forces to produce TFT panels, we should expect to see some impressive units hitting the market, and the LG Flatron L1710B is no exception. First impressions are of a somewhat boxy unit with a square base that thinks itâ€™s a pen tidy, and an angular bezel that is pleasingly narrow.
However, this understated yet clean design holds a few surprises. For a start, the tilt mechanism is spring loaded making it easy to rock the panel backwards through 30 degrees, and if you want to swivel the unit a 360 degree turntable mounted in the base permits this.
Itâ€™s also relatively feature-rich, with both DVI-I and D-SUB video ports mounted vertically at the back of the unit. LG kindly throw in D-SUB and DVI cables too, so you donâ€™t have to fork out for an extra cable to get the most from the screen. The integrated PSU does away with the need for a power brick and thereâ€™s a bus-powered USB hub with 2 downstream ports mounted within easy reach into the right side of the standâ€™s neck. And yes, the company also supplies the necessary upstream USB lead in order to activate the hub.
So with a good feature set, what is image quality like? Well, under tests using the DVI-I port, the L1710B coped well with the majority of our tests. There were few problems in distinguishing between greyscale and colour tints, although there was some indication of compression in the blue colour scale. Nevertheless, the overall picture is lively and thereâ€™s plenty of contrast to help resolve fine detail especially in complex images. DVD playback showed little sign of jitter whereas compression artefacts so often highlighted by LCDs, were kept under control. Motion smearing was difficult to spot too. As for the colour purity tests, these revealed an evenly lit backlight together with pure and rich primary colours.
When viewing these test screens from the side, the hue remained relatively constant up to around 70 degrees after which the illumination and contrast dropped. While this is pretty good and nears the stated figures, the vertical viewing angle is limited if you raise your eye-level beyond 40 degrees. Under the analogue connection we were presented with reasonable results too, although there was a distinct green/blue tint to the overall picture, and the auto-adjust button had to be pressed several times to get rid of noise.
As for the OSD, the seven small circular buttons comprise the power switch, a signal select, and menu access, while the four central buttons have dual functions for shortcut access to the brightness and contrast settings as well as for quickly steering and selecting your away around the menus. Among the typical screen settings, you also get a gamma control, plus clock, phase and screen position adjustment in analogue mode.
All in all, the only annoying issue is the driver CD. It functions in the same way as the LG CRT we reviewed, by firing up a confusing window, which you then have to escape when you want install the driver.
When you consider the L1710B costs just over Â£338 and offers decent image quality, with the added bonus of digital and analogue interfaces plus a USB hub to boot, then the only thing we can do is award it with an Editorâ€™s Choice.