LG Flatron L1810T review

20 Jun 2003
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 

A bad monitor can be a pain - literally.

If you spend all day staring at a flickering screen that suffers from bad focus and has washed-out colours, you're likely to wind up with sore eyes and a headache. It's important to get the best monitor you can afford. But then, a monitor's never going to surprise you by doing something unexpected and fun, is it? Well, not until now. You see, the LG Flatron L1810T isn't just a PC monitor. It doubles as a TV. And if you can't decide which of the two functions you want to use, the picture-in-picture function lets you use Windows and watch TV at the same time. That's all very well in theory, but does it cut the mustard?

The L1810T is an 18in flat-panel with a sleek, modern design that'll add a touch of style to your desk. It comes with both VGA and DVI inputs, so if you have a graphics card with a DVI out, you can take advantage of its noticeably sharper picture quality. There's also a couple of spare USB ports for those with more devices than their computer can cope with, and it has connectors ready for the launch of High-Definition TV.

Image quality is excellent, with sharp pixels and vivid colours that aren't too bright or over-saturated. It doesn't quite have the depth or warmth of the best conventional cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors, but it's much easier on the eyes over long periods. Importantly for home users, its pixels respond quickly enough to cope with the fast-moving graphics of the latest action games.

What differentiates the L1810T from the average TFT panel is the fact that it can accept a signal from a TV, analogue video camera, DVD player or video recorder and display it, either taking over the full screen or in a smaller, 'picture-in-picture' display. A button on the front of the LG turns this function on and off, but the controls for moving the picture window around the screen are tricky to use. They rely on the same kind of on-screen display system you'd use to adjust brightness and contrast.

Of course, whatever Windows is doing 'beneath' the TV picture is obscured, as the TV function's not running on your PC. This makes it more awkward to use than a TV card in your PC would be, as you can't hide the TV window behind others.

This is a great product, both as a monitor and a TV. But let's face it - at this price, it ought to be. Seven hundred quid is just too much to pay.

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