Last month’s roundup of LCD screens demonstrated that while Apple makes screens that will always be popular with Mac users, they don’t always measure up in quality. Since Apple quietly dropped its proprietary ADC connection, the playing field has been levelled for other LCD producers. The only sticking point is now whether other manufacturers can match the Apple style.
Enter LG, with a premium 19-inch LCD screen that offers both performance and style. It looks as swish from the back as it does the front thanks to its curvy case. From a technical angle, it ticks all the right boxes, too. It has a DVI connection, but will also work with older analogue signals if necessary.
The brightness is rated at 300cd/m2, 20 per cent brighter than the Apple 20-inch Cinema Display; the contrast ration is 700:1, almost double the 400:1 contrast of the Apple screen.
Of course, the screen size is smaller than the £699 Apple’s: 19 inches compared to 20 inches. The Apple is in widescreen format, so the extra inch adds to the width of the screen rather than overall size. If you’re working with a lot of video or other widescreen content, the Apple still makes sense, but for other things the LG beats the Apple hands down on all technical specs – and gives it a good run for it money on design. When you consider the price, Apple would need to add an awful lot of value in the extra inch of desktop real estate. The LG costs a mere £369, a whopping £330 less than the Apple 20-inch Cinema Display. One negative point is the lack of height adjustment. It seems that many LCD manufacturers have decided that height adjustment is an optional thing, though I’ve always found it important.
None of the Apple screens has height adjustment either, though it was a big feature of the original Apple Studio Display. Looking around the office, I can see that probably 20 per cent of big screens have been height-adjusted, either by sticking them on a load of books, or by using special (and expensive) mounting brackets.
If you’re in the market for a new screen, you’d have to be very attached to the Apple logo to pass up a bargain like this. If you can manage to get over the fact that the LG screen lacks an Apple logo (and you should be able to) this is a fine choice of monitor.