Computer Monitors

LG IPS235T-BN 23-inch Computer Monitor Review

LG delivers an extremely simple, inflexible monitor that boasts an almost perfect picture.

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Introduction

LG's 23-inch IPS computer monitor (MSRP $229) is a mid-range product with an inflexible stand and a meager selection of ports. For that price, you're getting a 1080p display that utilizes in-plane switching to aid in producing motion-based content. It's a slim, lightweight monitor that strives to do one thing, and do it well.

Front

Front Image

Back

Back Image

Side

Side Image

Stand

The LG 235T-BN's stand is a simple, inflexible base that screws into the bottom of the display panel via the thin neck that supports it. The neck attachment allows the panel to tilt, but no other stand-related adjustments are possible. This LG isn't quite a $100 budget buy, but its stand certainly makes it feel that way.

Stand Photo

The LG IPS235T-BN screen tilts up by 20° and down by 5°, but the stand does not raise, rotate, or allow the panel to swivel.

Controls

This LG monitor's seven control buttons are pretty mysterious--until you access the menu. Each button, excepting power, is marked by a simple white line (pictured below). The power button is obvious enough, but the function of the neighboring six buttons is entirely related to on-screen context. Pressing any of the six buttons will bring up the menu, which then allocates various functions--like menu selection, or brightness/color adjustment--to one of them. There's a method to this madness, and it's a gentler Pandora's box than it first appears.

Controls Photo

In the Box

In the box, you'll find the display panel, stand, instruction manual, warranty card, DVI cable, VGA cable, and power cable.

Contrast

While it didn't have the widest contrast ratio we've ever seen on a monitor, the LG IPS235T-BN tested with a decent black level of 0.82 cd/m2, and a peak brightness of 255.70 cd/m2, resulting in a maximum contrast ratio of 309:1. This is a good result, especially for general use purposes. More on how we test contrast.

Contrast Chart

Uniformity

This LG boasted exemplary screen uniformity. Both its all black and all white screen were evenly lit, smooth, and unblemished from center to corners. You couldn't ask for a better result. More on how we test uniformity.

Color Temperature

The chart bellow illustrates the LG IPS235T-BN's color temperature input across the light spectrum. The small blue markings show mild deviations--but the IPS235T showed no visible color temperature error, a result that's almost perfect. More on how we test color temperature.

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Color Temperature Chart

Color Curves

These color and greyscale curves aren't superb, but they're very good. The green and black lines below (representing the spectrum of greens and greys) ramp up a little faster than blue and red, but each curve steadily rises and is, for the most part, smooth. This ensures an even transition between hues. Our one gripe with these curves is that they're just a little steep, meaning transitions from darker to lighter shades won't be as subtle as it ought to be. More on how we test color curves.

Color Curves Chart

Color Gamut

The LG 235T-BN tested with an excellent color gamut. Its red, blue, and white point matched almost perfectly to the international ideal, as set forth in rec. 709. Green proved to be just mildly undersaturated, but is still very good. This is an exemplary result. More on how we test color gamut.

Color Gamut Chart

Viewing Angle

The table below lists the LG 235T-BN's contrast ratio at head on (0° from center) and at a 45° angle--as you can see, its contrast ratio drops considerably at 45° and beyond. This is to be expected from a monitor in this size class, and we doubt it will present much problem. In any case, we don't recommend trying to watch a movie with more than 2 people.

Connectivity

The LG IPS235T-BN has only two input options: DVI and VGA. For $230, we were expecting at least a USB input, but alas--LG gives as little port variety as they could get away with. On the bright side, at least there's nothing complex to struggle through.

There's also a Kensington lock slot, which you can spy in the photo below, a standard addition to almost all modern monitors.

Connectivity Photo 1

Controls & Menus

Pressing any of the six unlabeled buttons (while the monitor is on) will bring up the gray, drab menu shown in the second photo below. While it's a yawn-worthy showing, it's easy enough to use, with each button receiving a clearly labeled function on-screen depending on which area of the menu you're in.

Our only problem is that the buttons are located along the bottom of the monitor's bezel. We worry that having seven identical buttons is just asking for confusion and mistakes, considering the buttons themselves give no tactile feedback.

Controls Photo
Menu Photo

Conclusion

The LG IPS235T-BN certainly has a complex title, but the monitor itself is unabashedly simple. It boasts the bare minimum of required ports and stand flexibility. Rather than touting a multi-use control scheme, LG simply added buttons until it had enough to support each menu function. Yet its color, contrast, and uniformity are superb--and that's what matters. We weren't sure about this LG at first, but $230 isn't too much to pay if you want picture perfection.

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