LG W1954TQ

LG recently released the W1954TQ, a 19-inch wide LCD monitor perfect for a small study or the student dorm. There’s a few clever features that are included in this screen that you won’t find on other displays called the ‘Smart Package’. But more on that later.

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The W1954TQ has a native resolution of 1440 x 900 and features a 2ms response time panel – perfect for fast moving images such as movies and games. You won’t get the stuttering that you can often see with fast panning scenes. At the rear, you get a VGA and DVI connections along with the standard kettle-lead power cord. Fast-action games like Need for Speed Pro Street and Gears of War 2 prove that the monitor is capable of delivering a smooth picture.

A contrast ratio of 1000:1 makes for a suitable image when browsing the web or working on documents, but for movies and games, you’ll want to activate the Digital Fine Contrast setting to give the colours a boost to 50000:1 contrast ratio. This is a digital setting that makes the colours pop with a much more vivid palette.

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The Smart Package is a combination of sensors and preset features that combine to automate the display quality. Smart Package has four functions.

One of these functions is a brightness sensor. Whilst laptops and phones have had this feature for sometime now, desktop screens still rely on the user to adjust the brightness settings manually. The W1954TQ breaks free from the norm and includes a brightness sensor that will automatically adjust the settings to optimise the picture settings most appropriate for the light conditions.

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You won’t find any buttons on the W1954TQ, because there aren’t any. Instead, LG has opted for a touch sensor that automatically activates when your hand is detected near the lower right of the screen. On sensing your hand approaching, the buttons light up, giving you access to the on-screen menu system. It’s a nice touch but it’s not all about cosmetics. Most of the time, these buttons have very feint labelling or black icons that blend in with the bezel, making them very difficult to see. With the light-up buttons on the W1954TQ, you can reach for the right button first time, and then when they’re not needed, they fade away.

Time control allows you to set an alarm to go off at intervals that you set using the on-screen menu. On activation, the power button light starts to flash, signalling time for a break and rest from looking at the screen. This could be a useful feature for reminding younger kids to take regular breaks or for office staff to take a breather throughout the day. I’m one for taking regular breaks, but having this timer built-in does make it convenient as it’s hard to ignore the red flashing LED.

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The fourth Smart Package feature is the Cinema Mode. This is a software feature for highlighting certain areas of your screen, for instance when watching clips on YouTube. Cinema Mode dims the rest of the screen based on the area that you draw on-screen.

The LG W1954TQ is a compact monitor that will find itself comfortably in the rooms of many students this academic year. The decent feature-set, display quality and resolution packaged in a sub-£140 price tag make it an attractive option for those who don’t want or have the room for a larger display.

2009-08-19 Onwah Tsang

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