LG Electronics Flatron L2320A
At a Glance
LG Electronics' Flatron L2320A takes a different spin on cable management by piping all of its audio/visual inputs through its Media Station. This 8-by-5-by-7-inch box contains component, composite, and S-Video ports, as well as the usual DVI digital and analog PC inputs--and connects all of it to the L2320A display through one cable.
Unfortunately, several ill-conceived features minimize an otherwise innovative concept. For example, the two-port USB hub does not support USB 2.0--so don't plan to use it to hook up to a hard drive or other high-speed device. And the L2320A can't connect to a PC with a digital cable at native 1920 by 1200 resolution; instead, it resorts to an analog cable at native resolution. PC World's monitor-testing procedures require that we test all monitors at their native resolution. Tested with its analog interface, the L2320A received the second-lowest graphics ranking (albeit still a Very Good) and the lowest text rating by a substantial margin in our tests. One tester called the indistinct-looking text "smeary." The soft lettering and the heavy yellow tinge of the default color settings gave our text screens the look and limited legibility of aged parchment.
The L2320A received a score of Above Average--the highest rating available--on our DVD motion test, but we saw some image-ghosting while viewing Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl at full screen. Although it was certainly watchable, cinephiles wouldn't want to watch a movie for the first time with this level of ghosting. Our test unit did not arrive with the speakers usually included, so we were unable to test them. The sound lets you adjust treble and bass.
This HDTV-ready monitor's picture-in-picture, picture-by-picture, and picture-on-picture options allow you to watch a second video feed in a number of different shapes and sizes. Picture-in-picture is common in monitors of this size, but picture-by-picture (a cropped, split screen that shows two feeds) and picture-on-picture (which shows one small and one large image at their normal proportions) are remarkable additions.
The L2320A's price ($2699 at time of review) is high, even compared with other large wide-screen monitors. Others in this category offer better image quality for less.
Notable A/V accessories don't compensate for the L2320A's high price and poor performance at displaying text.