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LG D2342P review: LG D2342P

LG D2342P

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Eric Franklin
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Eric Franklin

Senior Managing Editor / Mobile

Eric Franklin leads the CNET Reviews editors in San Francisco as managing editor. A 20-year industry veteran, Eric began his tech journey testing computers in the CNET Labs. When not at work he can usually be found at the gym, at the movies, or at the edge of his couch with a game controller in his hands.

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8 min read

By offering a 3D monitor that eschews the $100 Nvidia 3D Vision Kit in favor of a more affordable option, LG is attempting to widen the 3D market with its Flatron D2342P monitor. The display comes with a pair of passive 3D glasses, which are a lot cheaper to produce than the active-shutter lenses of the Nvidia solution. This raises the question: is 3D worth experiencing if the quality is lacking? We answer that and many other questions in the following review.

LG D2342P
6.4

LG D2342P

The Good

The <b>LG Flatron D2342P</b> is an inexpensive way to get 3D on a PC monitor. The monitor showed little to no color tint inaccuracy and dark details can be easily seen in movies. Also, it displays 3D pictures well.

The Bad

The D2342P's 3D performance in games includes plenty of ghosting and the 3D lacks depth in movies and games. Colors in games look drab, black looks more like medium gray, and the monitor has a flimsy build quality.

The Bottom Line

The LG Flatron D2342P offers inexpensive 3D, with disappointing performance.

Design and features
The 23-inch LG Flatron D2342P sports a glossy piano-black bezel and foot stand, juxtaposed with a plain light-gray back. The initial depth of the chassis is 0.7 inch, with another 1.5 inch of girth extending to the rear that includes the connection options. This makes for a deeper chassis than we're used to seeing in LED-based monitors, which are generally on the thin side. Conversely, the bezel is one of the thinnest we've seen, measuring 0.6 inch on the left and right sides. The overall width of the D2342P is a narrowish 21.5 inches, compared with the 22.4 inches of another 3D/LED monitor we recently reviewed, the BenQ XL2410T.

The monitor's wide and fairly flat 9.8x7-inch foot stand affords some stability. When knocked from the sides, the display wobbled white a lot, but the foot stand remained mostly stationary and the monitor never toppled during our exhaustive punching tests. The monitor weighs 7.72 pounds and feels pretty flimsy and plastic to the touch.

Connection options include DVI, VGA, and HDMI, and a headphone jack. The D2342P skimps on ergonomic options and includes only a 15-degree back-tilt feature; however, VESA wall-mounting is supported.

The onscreen display (OSD) array is located in the bottom right-hand corner of the bezel and includes five buttons: Auto, Menu, 3D, Input, and Exit. These sit to the left of the power button, which is highlighted by a bright blue LED.

Pressing any of the OSD buttons brings up a menu that aligns with the buttons, labeling each with a different function. Under Menu are the usual suspects: Brightness, Contrast, and RGB controls. Also, LG includes three color temperature presets: Warm, Medium, and Cool. When connected via HDMI, we get very limited black-level control with a low and high setting. This setting darkens or lightens the screen, ignoring backlight luminance.

Deep in the OSD's recesses is a Super Energy Savings feature that lowers the brightness when switched on. It also tracks your current power savings in watts per hour and, over time, will track your Total Power Reduction and Total CO2 reduction as long as the feature is turned on.

The 3D menu allows you to change 3D modes, choosing from Side by Side, Top and Bottom, and Line Interlaced. There's also an option that allows you to control which frame is shown to each eye. Finally, the 3D-to-2D feature converts native 3D content to 2D.

The function of each OSD button changes dynamically, making navigating through the OSD simple. Unfortunately, when changing certain options like the 3D mode, you're kicked out of the OSD each time you make a different selection. It's very frustrating if you're attempting to cycle quickly through options to see which works best for you.

Design and feature highlights
Connectivity: DVI, VGA, HDMI
Ergonomic options: 10-degree back tilt
Resolution: 1,920x1,080 pixels
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Audio: Headphone jack
VESA wall-mount support: Yes
Included video cables: DVI, HDMI, VGA
Backlight: LED
Panel type: TN
Screen film: Matte w/AG coating
Pixel-response rate: 0.265*0.265
Number of presets: 3
Overdrive: No
Picture options: Brightness, Contrast
Color controls: RGB and Warm, Cool, Medium
Gamma control: No
Additional features: 3D performance

Performance
We tested the LG Flatron D2342P through its DVI input, connected to a Windows Vista PC, using the included DVI cable. The display posted a composite score of 92 on CNET Labs' DisplayMate-based performance tests.

In the Extreme Grayscale Bars test, which evaluates the monitor's ability to display both very dark and very light grays, the monitor displayed gray down to a level 2. This indicates that during dark scenes in movies, dark details would be easily seen; however, what passes for black on the D2342P could be considered lower-medium gray on another display. Even with the black level set to low, the D2342P just doesn't produce deep blacks. So, while dark details would be visible, said details wouldn't be as dark as they should be.

We also saw that light gray wasn't visible beyond level 252 and barely visible at 251. This indicates that light colors may look washed out in general use. Color Tracking looked mostly accurate with very little in the way of tint problems.

Backlight bleeding, especially along the bottom edge of the screen, was pervasive enough to see on a completely black screen, but fortunately didn't rear its head in games or movies.

Text: In text, we saw no color problems with black text on a white background. Fonts were clearly visible down to a 6.8 size. We did see a lot of blooming around text with both blue and pink fonts on a black background.

Movies: We tested the LG Flatron D2342P using the Blu-ray version of "Avatar." When using the Medium color temperature preset, we clearly saw dark detail in dark scenes, but deep blacks eluded the display's ability.

Also, colors didn't have the same pop as they do on the Samsung PX2370, and small details weren't as clear. Unlike many other monitors, though, the D2342P didn't have a huge green-tint problem and displayed colors that were mostly accurate.

We found that that the medium color temperature preset with the Black Level set to low was the best setting for movies.

Games: When it comes to the look of games on a monitor, the two most important features are vibrancy and color. If the monitor can display games with a bright and vibrant cleanness, this goes a long way toward improving its looks. If colors can also pop with fullness and depth, games will usually look great. Unfortunately, the D2342P is lacking in both of these traits. The screen lacks the bright, full colors seen on the PX2370 and instead produces drab images where colors look washed out.

Thankfully, there were no color tint problems. Blue looked like blue, even if it was a more shallow and less impressive blue.

To test refresh rate, we used DisplayMate's motion graphics tests and watched a bunch of graphics fly around the screen, looking for evidence of streaking. We saw slightly more streaking than the minimal level the Samsung PX2370 produced.

3D performance: The D2342P is the first computer monitor to use LG's proprietary 3D technology, eschewing Nvidia's 3D Vision Kit, which is used in most 3D monitors.

When watching movies or playing games on the D2342P, we found the 3D wasn't as pronounced and we didn't get the same sense of depth we do with Nvidia's technology.

In games, we saw more than a fair amount of ghosting, where less detailed doubles of images appeared next to the main image, in characters and text on screen. Also, we noticed in Black Ops that whenever we looked through the scope of our gun, the screen would completely blur for as long as the scope was up.

3D pictures on the D2342P looked as good as 3D pics seen through Nvidia's glasses on other 3D monitors. The pics warped appropriately and changed viewing angles when we moved our heads around.

Overall, this is a cheaper alternative to the Nvidia 3D Vision Kit, but it doesn't deliver as high-quality a 3D experience.

Photos: The LG Flatron D2342P delivered photos with somewhat washed-out colors that didn't approach the color depth of the PX2370 displaying the same pictures.

Viewing angle: The optimal viewing angle for a monitor is usually from directly in front, about a quarter of the screen's distance down from the top. At this angle, you're viewing the colors as the manufacturer intended them. Most monitors are not made to be viewed at any other angle. Depending on its panel type, picture quality at nonoptimal angles varies. Most monitors use TN panels, which get overly bright or overly dark in parts of the screen when they are not viewed from optimal angles. The D2342P uses a TN panel, and indeed gets very dark when viewed from below, and shifts colors when viewed from about 6 inches to the left or right.

Power consumption: The LG Flatron D2342P achieved fair power consumption, with a Default/On power draw of 37.1 watts, compared with the Samsung PX2370's 25.01 watts in the same test. In our Sleep/Standby test, the D2342P drew 0.62 watt and the PX2370 pulled a lower 0.27 watt. Based on our formula, the D2342P would cost $11.50 per year to run, compared with the PX2370's lower $7.65 per year.

Brightness (in cd/m2)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
LG Flatron W2363D-PF
333 
LG Flatron D2342P
264 
HP 2310e
234 

Contrast
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
HP 2310e
1,110:1 
LG Flatron W2363D-PF
1,053:1 
BenQ XL2410T
1,021:1 
LG Flatron D2342P
970:1 
Acer GD235HZ
881:1 

DisplayMate test performance
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
LG Flatron W2363D-PF
93 
LG Flatron D2342P
92 

Juice box
LG Flatron D2342P Average watts per hour
On (default luminance) 37.1
On (max luminance) 37.1
On (min luminance) 21.8
Sleep 0.62
Calibrated (200 cd/m2) 30.1
Annual power consumption cost $11.50
Score Fair

Find out more about how we test LCD monitors.

Service and support
LG backs the D2342P with a three-year parts-and-labor warranty, which covers the backlight for only one year. That's two years less than other vendors such as Dell offer. During the first year of warranty, LG offers repair service in two working days and pays freight shipping both ways for one year. During the second and third year of the warranty, customers pay to ship the monitor to LG and LG pays the return freight to the customer. LG provides live Web and e-mail chat as support options, as well as toll-free phone support.

Conclusion
The $350 LG Flatron D2342P offers 3D at a less expensive buy-in than other monitors like the BenQ XL2410T, which in addition to its $400 price uses the $150 Nvidia 3D Vision Kit to approximate 3D, bringing its total to a high $550. More expensive for sure, but Nvidia's tech delivers a high-quality 3D experience that the D2342P can't compete with.

However, if 3D holds little or no interest for you, the Samsung PX2370 offers better performance than the D2342P in every way and costs less.

LG attempted to offer affordable 3D with the D2342P and it has, but it's at the cost of making a product that can't compete with the best 3D and non-3D monitors.

LG D2342P
6.4

LG D2342P

Score Breakdown

Design 6Features 7Performance 6Support 8