The first obvious money saving measure comes in the form of the stand as it offers only swivel and tilt adjustment – and pretty crummy tilt adjustment at that – which is below par for a screen costing this much. So if you’re of the lanky persuasion, like yours truly, the lack of height adjustment means you’ll have to resort to stacking a few books under your monitor to get it high enough to use comfortably.
There’s also no portrait mode, which, even though you’d seldom view a TV in portrait, is something we always like to see on monitors because it makes plugging in cables much easier – just swivel the base ninety degrees and turn the screen to portrait and you can access all your connections. However, in fairness to LG, it has come up with a clever way round the cable plugging in problem, namely the various sockets on the back face outwards rather than downwards. This simple change means all that’s required to easily see and access the sockets is to swivel the base.
Speaking of inputs, as we alluded to earlier, the M228WD is positively brimming with connections. From the seemingly ancient SCART to the ultra-modern HDMI, and everything in-between, this monitor has it all, and then some. Just to spell it out for you, there’s one HDMI (with HDCP compliance, so it’s Blu-ray ready), two SCART, a set of Component video phono sockets with a pair of accompanying phono sockets for stereo audio, a 3.5mm auxiliary audio socket, and D-SUB/VGA. There’s also a CI slot for adding Top Up TV services, like Setanta Sports, and an RS232 serial port for updating firmware (for all those budding monitor engineers out there).
The keen eyed among you will notice there’s no DVI but rest assured this connection is also taken care of by a DVI to HDMI cable, which is included in the box. Of course, with many of the latest games consoles and set top boxes using HDMI, this does limit the number of other devices you can plug into the M228WD at once. However, for the price, it would be quite astounding to get more than one HDMI port.
An infra red remote is included for controlling the TV portion of the M228WDs features as well as navigating the OSD. In fact, it’s this latter feature that is probably my favourite of the whole device. Even considering how easy to use the buttons on the screen are, being able to sit back and use a remote with properly laid out arrow buttons to navigate the menus is infinitely preferable.
It’s not all about the OSD, though, as the rest of the remote is also well laid out with proper dedicated buttons for all the functions you’d expect for a TV remote, including EPG, teletext, and the all important red button. Sure, it looks a bit cheap with its rubbery buttons and lightweight plastic body, but all the buttons are responsive and it feels good in the hand.