Monitors are pretty boring things, but that can't be said about the W2230S from LG. Looking to appeal to those who don't want something that looks like a piece of office furniture. The W30 monitor comes in two sizes, 19- and 22-inches, and five different colours: "jelly pink", "applemint", "Hawaiian", "blueberry" and "Oreo". We tested the 22-inch variant in a delightful blue.
The first thing to note is the design. It draws heavily from the Apple Mac school of design, with a white plastic back, which curves pleasingly, giving it a nice clean look from behind, rather like the last generation of iMac. The front colour frame isn't as clean, with a line running across the bottom along the top of four control buttons and the backlit on/off button. But as a monitor it is attractive, something that can't always be said about displays, showing the consideration that LG have put into design recently.
The colours won't appeal to all, but it does give you some option to have it fit into the design of your apartment, or simply to add some colour to your room or student accommodation. We hooked up the W2230S to a Mac mini, an partnership which gives you a compact and tidy solution.
It doesn't have a conventional elevated stand, instead deploying a kickstand. This will allow you adjust the tilt of the monitor, but you don't get any sort of swivel. For those in a workplace who need to re-angle their display to share with colleagues this makes it a little impractical, but for domestic users, the likelihood is that it will be permanently sited on a desk and not moved, so this isn't a problem.
Without a stand, it does mean that the monitor is lower, so the conventional approach of making the top of the screen level with your eye-line as Mr Health and Safety would recommend might not be possible. Again, this might be a concern for business users, but for those who spend less time in front of a monitor it shouldn't be too much of a problem. Thanks to not having a stand, it has a relatively small footprint on your desk, but doesn't have an option for wall mounting.
Connectivity is one place where the W2230S is lacking. Around the back you only have a D-SUB/VGA connection and the DC power input. You don't get HDMI, you don't get speakers, or a USB loop through which other monitors will offer.
The control buttons across the bottom give you access to the menu - offering picture, colour, tracking and setup options. The action feels a little cheap, but on the whole, you don't spend much time playing with these controls once you have it set-up, another good reason why we'd have preferred to have them out of sight on the side.
Brightness is rated at 250 nits and you also get a a direct control button to jump in and change the brightness, perhaps to turn it down at night or up during a sunny day. You also get a button to change the aspect to 4:3 from the default 16:9. An auto adjustment rounds out the controls offered.
In terms of the tech specs, the W2230S offers dynamic contrast ratio of 30,000:1 and a response time of 5ms. Hardcore gamers might be looking for something with a faster response rate on paper, but they probably aren't seeking this sort of colour option monitor anyway.
The 22-inch monitor, however, gives you plenty of space on-screen. It's a widescreen 16:9 format and packs in a Full HD 1920 x 1080 pixel native resolution. You might initially question the value of HD resolution on a monitor lacking HDMI, but 1920 x 1080 gives a nice crisp look to your PC or Mac. You'll be able to playback your high-def video content filling the screen without resizing, or work with a browser window side-by-side with a word processing document and still see both clearly.
There is plenty of colour and detail available on offer here, although the matte finish to the display means it lacks that ultra crisp look you'll get from some glossy TVs or monitors. It does mean that it is well-suited to its primary task of computing however. We found that our high-definition content played back well, taking advantage of the native resolution on offer. We found a small amount of bleed around the bottom and top edges of the display where is meets the bezel, but not that it really detracts from the overall experience. Colour levels of the box were good too.
The LG W2230S is a great monitor for those looking for something a little different and wanting to avoid the boring off-white or black approach. The clean lines around the back of the W2230S, means it will look good from whichever angle you approach it from. There is plenty of space available, meaning you can get on with whatever work you need to be doing. But it does lack connectivity compared to some rivals so it only really will suit those who are looking for a PC display and only that.
Considering the spec, you can get more fully featured monitors for less, but we like the size and simplicity and the inoffensive footprint makes the LG W2230S a great partner for a netbook or nettop PC where space is limited.