Average user rating
- Higher resolution for display monitor
- sharp, clear image
- no risk of image burn-in.
- Aspect ratio narrower than 16:9
- struggles with video in bright light
- digital input doesn't allow native resolution.
LG has taken a different approach to the display monitor. The L3000A is a 30in. LCD monitor that offers higher resolutions than plasma-based displays. While this isn't particularly large for a display monitor, it's very large for an LCD panel. It's also got a higher resolution than most plasma screens, allowing you to show more detail in your presentations.
The native resolution of 1280 x 768 gives an aspect ratio of 15:9, which isn't quite as wide as the 16:9 ratio used for widescreen digital television. This means you'll either get black borders top and bottom, or a slightly stretched picture if using the L3000A for watching TV. Many DVDs are even wider than this, so even a true 16:9 screen will have borders while playing movies.
The L3000A has a contrast ratio of 400:1 and a brightness of 450cd/m². These figures compare poorly with typical values for plasma screens. This makes this monitor less suitable for use in brightly lit areas, especially for video images. However, for data displays, such as public information screens this will be less of an issue. LG is also keen to stress that the LCD panel used in this monitor isn't susceptible to burn-in in the same way as plasma screens can be. While burn-in does exist on plasma screens, more recent panels have suffered less from this problem, so only displays that are static for extended periods--many hours at a time--will show problems. You'll be able to leave the same image on the L3000A for as long as you like without any problems.
A variety of inputs means you should be able to connect any source to the L3000A. You get analogue VGA, digital DVI, S-Video and composite video inputs. There are two audio inputs and an output, but since the L3000A has no speakers or amplifier they're of little use in most configurations. Finally, a DB9 serial connection is available for remote control of the monitor.
There is a problem with using the digital input, in that the native resolution of the panel isn't available. Instead, you'll have to run the display at 1024 x 768, and get a stretched image. However, using the analogue VGA input has no such problems, and you'll be able to use the native resolution without problems. LG should really address this issue: You're not getting the best out of the panel this way, which is a shame.
All the connectors are on the rear of the monitor facing downwards, so that with some care it should be possible to hide any cables connected to the L3000A providing there's a wall void to feed them into. The power switch and controls are mounted on the lower edge of the unit so that they're hidden from view, and are labelled on the front. You can access the menu system from here. You're also provided with a handheld remote for the L3000A which is a much easier way of configuring the screen.
The panel's menu system is straightforward, giving you control over the image brightness, contrast, colour balance and image positioning. You also set the options for the picture-in-picture option here. There's a button on the remote control to turn the p-i-p display on and off, but you'll have to go into the menu to change the source or positioning.
The picture quality of the L3000A is generally good, but depends on the type of image. Bright images with large blocks of colour, such as presentations or web pages are bright, sharp and clear. For video images you could get less pleasing results. In the ZDNet office, we found that the reflection of a bright summer's day outside could clearly be seen in the screen when viewing a DVD movie. Also, colours were less saturated than you'd expect from a CRT or plasma screen.
The entire unit measures 73.4 x 9.4 x 48.7cm and weighs 18kg, excluding any stand or mounting hardware. As supplied the L3000A only comes with a temporary stand, which will prop it up so you can set the image up. To mount the monitor properly you need to buy one of the optional stands, either desk or wall mounted, each costing £50 (ex. VAT). If neither of these suit, you could have your own mounting made by a metal fabricators, since the fastenings are standard bolt holes.
The L3000A is priced similarly to plasma display screens which, although slightly larger, will have lower resolution. For public display applications with little or no video, this LCD based screen allows you to show more detail, and get a sharper image. It's not really the best choice for a home TV or other dedicated video display, but for graphical displays it's a great alternative to plasma screens.