- Good value for money
- Thin bezel
- Portrait mode capability.
- Poor pixel response time.
LG is hoping to appeal to screen space-hungry users with the Flatron L1800P TFT LCD monitor. By using a moderate pixel size and thin bezel, you can fit more of these monitors -– and hence more information –- into the same space. For people who don't need a multi-monitor set-up, the display can be used in portrait mode.
This 18.1in. panel has a native resolution of 1280x1024, giving it a pixel size of 0.28mm. This is in the middle of the range we've seen for monitors of this resolution, Eizo's FlexScan L565 having the smaller size of 0.26mm. It's got both analogue VGA and digital DVI-D inputs, and an auto-setup function for analogue inputs.
LG has given this monitor a small bezel thickness of 18mm, much thinner than most other LCD panels we've seen. This allows several L1800P's to be tiled together without wasting too much space. More space is saved by the power supply being built into the monitor itself, rather than being a separate brick as with most LCD monitors.
The tilt-and-swivel stand also allows you to rotate the monitor 90 degrees clockwise into a portrait display. Like the ViewSonic VG191b, which also has this facility, the L1800P doesn't have automatic aspect ratio change or a rotating on-screen display. This can make adjusting the picture quite difficult when in portrait mode, and it's probably best just to rotate the screen back temporarily to alter the image. Note that the bearing for rotating the screen is part of the stand, so if you're wall-mounting the monitor you won't be able to use it in portrait mode. The stand also features a height adjustment with 8cm of travel
Portrait Displays' Pivot Pro software is supplied with the monitor to change the display aspect ratio to portrait. As mentioned, this process isn't automatic. You can either click on the system tray icon for Pivot Pro, or right click on the desktop, and select an angle to rotate to. The only angle you'd be interested in for this monitor is 90 degrees, although the software also allows 180 and 270 degree rotations. These last two angles are for use in presentation displays, and aren't really relevant to a desktop monitor.
The pixel response time of 20ms means that, in theory, you won't get good results from full-motion video on this screen. You may get away with watching small video clips, but you're likely to see smearing on full-screen moving images. Fast-moving games are also likely to be affected.
There's no audio capability in the L1800P, so you'll have to provide your own speakers if you want sound as well as pictures. There's no option to attach speakers to the monitor, so they'll have to sit on your desk. You do get an unpowered two-port USB 1.1 hub in the base of the stand, which would allow you to plug in keyboard and mouse.
This monitor is great value for money at £725 (ex. VAT), compared favourably with similar displays for features. Other monitors, such as the ViewSonic VG191b, have the same resolution but larger screen area but if you're trying to fit in multiple monitors into a confined space you may not want a larger display. Unless you need to view full-screen moving images this is an excellent choice.