The best thing about the LG Flatron E2290 in our view is its aesthetic quality; however, that opinion isn't meant to diminish the value of the monitor's other features. The E2290 just looks that damn good. It has the thinnest profile of any monitor we've yet reviewed, a metallic chrome finish, and a unique-looking boxy foot stand with a reflective front juxtaposed with a thin metallic neck. Furthermore, it has a solidly designed OSD and a useful assortment of connections, and its performance, though not the best we've seen, is still great compared with other similar monitors.
The biggest stumbling block is the price. I understand that it must take quite an investment to engineer something so thin, yet still so functional; however, at the end of the day you have to ask, "What am I paying for?" When we consider that the 23-inch Samsung PX2370--which has better performance, just as many connections, and even more features--is available for $300 and LG is asking for $349 for the E2290, this question of value comes even closer to the forefront. If you've just moved into a brand-new condo at the top of a tall, contemporary skyscraper and want to impress your guests with something equally as modern and stylish, this is it. If you're not that person, we still recommend the cheaper, better-performing (but not as thin) Samsung PX2370 as the midrange monitor of choice.
Design and features
Thin is in! For the last few years, monitor vendors have pushed thinner and ever thinner monitors onto the market, culminating in what we have today, the "slimmest monitor ever." LG bestowed that title upon the LG Flatron E2290, and based on our experience, it quite easily lives up to that claim. The E2290's depth measures slightly more than 0.25 inch--less than half as thick as the Samsung PX2370's 0.75-inch depth and thinner than the SyncMaster XL2370's 0.65-inch depth. The bezel, as well, is a small 0.65 inch wide and the full panel width comes in at 20.2 inches.
Now, looks may not be everything, but with something being billed as the "slimmest ever," they obviously do count for something. The E2290 has a sleek chrome finish, with smooth, somewhat rounded angles. At first glance, the chassis appears a plain silver and from certain angles it retains that pale hue, but we later noticed the monitor has a dominant and cool-looking purplish tint to it. The neck is straight silver and the foot stand is 9.8 inches wide and 5.25 inches deep, with a height of 1.12 inches. The foot stand provides a very stable base when the monitor is knocked from the left or right sides; however, if hit from the back or front, it more easily topples. The distance from the desktop to the bottom of the panel is 3.75 inches.
The OSD (onscreen display) is located on the top of the foot stand and is designated by four white LEDs. The power button is also marked by an even larger LED light, so you won't have trouble finding it. The OSD follows LG's typical OSD design, offering a good amount of customization while remaining relatively easy to navigate. The options include controls for brightness, contrast, sharpness, and color temperature, with presets for sRGB, 6500K, 7500K, 8500K, and 9300K settings. There are also controls for adjusting the red, green, and blue values individually. Presets offer precalibrated color balance for Normal, Movie, and Internet as well as Gaussian Blur, Sepia, and Monochrome presets. The OSD also gives you access to three gamma settings.
Connection options include one HDMI, one DVI, one VGA, and a headphone jack. The connections are located on the back of the foot stand, embedded about 1.8 inches into it, making them more trouble to access than they should be; we'd much prefer if the connections were closer to the rear of the foot stand. Also, we noticed that the back of the left side gets overly hot, much more so than the right side.
|Design and feature highlights|
|Connectivity||DVI, VGA, HDMI|
|Ergonomic options||10-degree back tilt|
|VESA wall-mount support||No|
|Included video cables||DVI, HDMI|
|Number of presets||3|
|Picture options||Brightness, Contrast, Sharpness|
|Color controls||RGB controls, sRGB, 6500K, 7500K, 8500K, 9300K|
We tested the LG Flatron E2290 through its DVI input, connected to a Windows Vista PC, using the included DVI cable. The display posted a composite score of 93 on CNET Labs' DisplayMate-based performance tests. The E2290 saw mostly equal performance with the Samsung PX2370, showing evidence of deep blacks and a low level of backlight bleedthrough. In our color scales test, the E2290 easily distinguished between different shades of like colors.
Text: In text, we saw no color problems with black text on a white background. Fonts were clearly visible down to a 6.8-point 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 E2290 using the Blu-ray version of "Avatar." Although we did see deep blacks, when using the Cinema preset, we noticed that faces looked sickly compared with on the PX2370. We were able to diminish the green tint effect by lowering the green value to 42. We weren't able to get the color as accurate as on the PX2370, however.
Games: Because of our intimate familiarity with StarCraft II (SCII), it is our new favorite tool for judging color quality and vibrancy in games. SCII showed a lack of vibrancy in the normal and Cinema presets, but popped more in the Internet preset.
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 about the same level of streaking as on the PX2370, which is some of the lowest we've witnessed.
Photos: The LG E2290 delivered photos with a noticeable green tint, especially when compared with the more accurate and natural-looking faces we saw on the PX2370. Using the normal preset and bringing the green down to the low 40s improved things.
Viewing angle: The optimal viewing angle for a monitor is usually 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 from any other angle. Depending on the monitor's 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. As is typical with TN panels, we noticed a color shift when viewing the screen from about 6 inches to the left or right from center.
Recommended settings and use: When playing games, we found that while colors looked accurate, they really lacked the level of vibrancy we're accustomed to and the games looked pretty dull as a result. Neither the normal nor the Cinema preset was able to satisfy our vibrancy needs; however, after switching over to the Internet preset, we saw a level of vibrancy that, though not ideal, was the best solution available. The preset allowed the monitor to deliver a suitably vibrant image, but one that didn't pop like the colors on the PX2370.
For movies, we definitely noticed a green push in the Cinema preset, with faces exhibiting a comparatively sickly look. Fortunately, when we switched to normal and adjusted the green down to about 42, the E2290 delivered an image more in line with our expectations and faces looked healthier as a result. Compared with the PX2370, the black still had a slight green tint to it even after adjustments.
It would be an incredibly tall order to find a monitor that failed at performing general tasks, and indeed when you use Word or Excel, surf the Internet, or perform any other casual endeavor, the E2290 gets the job done without any problems.
On the other hand, although it does include an sRGB preset, the E2290 isn't suited to tasks that require very accurate color, given its TN roots. If you require precise color values, an IPS monitor like the excellent but much more expensive Dell UltraSharp U2711 is more appropriate.
Most importantly, if impressing guests in your new modern, contemporary apartment is your goal, the E2290 is more up to the task than any monitor we've previously seen.
Power consumption: The LG E2290 achieved good power consumption, with a Default/On power draw of 23.9 watts, compared with the Samsung PX2370's 25.01 watts in the same test. In our Sleep/Standby test, the E2290 costs 0.34 watts and the PX2370 pulled a lower 0.27 watts. Based on our formula, the E2290 would cost $7.37 per year to run, compared with the PX2370's $7.65 per year.
|LG Flatron E2290||Average watts per hour|
|On (default luminance)||23.9|
|On (max luminance)||23.9|
|On (min luminance)||13.6|
|Calibrated (200 cd/m2)||20.5|
|Annual power consumption cost||$7.37|
Find out more about how we test LCD monitors.
Service and support
LG backs the E2290 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, which usually offers backlight coverage for three years. During the first year of warranty, the company 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.