Design and Build
In this picture doing the rounds on the Internet,
the black bezel around the screen looks much slimmer than it really is.
First of all, let's get one thing straight. LG claims that the black frame around the screen is just 1.2 mm thick—which is true—BUT, it doesn't look as slim as what certain product visuals doing the rounds on the Internet may lead you to believe. The screen panel doesn't actually go right up to the outer bezel, as looks to be the case in the mock-up above, since a black band has appeared in-between the two (see below).
The "slim bezel" is therefore not quite as super-skinny as it looks in the picture above, where a graphic designer has simply stuck an image over the top of the monitor's bare frame.
Otherwise, the IPS237L is a pretty stylish device design-wise with its blend of matte and glossy plastics. From the side, the casing is less than 2 cm thick, bulking out up to 3.5 cm where the connections are.
Connections comprise two HDMI entries, a VGA input and a headphones socket. Note that this can out an audio signal inputted via one of the HDMI connections but the VGA port doesn't input an audio signal. On the whole, the connections are nothing out of the ordinary but they're sufficient for hooking up a Blu-ray player or a set-top box alongside your PC.
One of the HDMI ports has been loaded with Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) support, which means it can input 1080p video with audio via a micro-USB-to-HDMI cable. Some smartphones, like the Samsung Galaxy S3, are compatible with this standard.
Another plus point of this LG monitor's design is that the IPS screen panel ensures vertical viewing angles that are much wider than with TN technology.
Colours and Contrast
When it comes to colours, this 23" monitor doesn't do a bad job out of the box. The default colours are relatively accurate (Delta E = 3.7), even if the gamma could be a bit more evenly balanced (distribution of brightness levels). The settings available in the onscreen menu don't offer any real options for for improving things without drastically reducing the contrast (760:1 by default), which is already below average compared with most other monitors we've tested (850:1).
So, as it stands, the IPS237L will be perfectly fine for non-specialist users, but anyone doing things that require spot-on image quality (photo editing, graphics design, etc.) may not be entirely satisfied.
However, there are still two possible solutions for improving image quality in the IPS237L. First, you can download a calibration profile. Second, you can use the colour calibration software supplied by LG (see inset) ... so long as you have a colorimeter to use it with.
This 23" monitor proved a little disappointing in our responsiveness tests, as it has a few problems with reverse ghosting (basically, moving objects are trailed by ghost images in opposite colours). To get rid of this, you'll need to go into the onscreen menu—which, by the way, could be a bit simpler to use—and switch the "Response Time" setting from "Fast" to "Standard".
Once you've done that the ghosting time drops to 15 ms on average, which is certainly better, but this is still a monitor that's more suited to office computing than gaming. In fact, for gaming—particularly in FPS games with loads of fast movement—the ghosting time needs to be very low to display fast-action images smoothly.
The average input lag of 29.7 ms is nothing to worry about, though. Any delay between your commands and the corresponding onscreen actions will be too low to be noticeable.
- IPS screen, wide viewing angles
- Slim bezel (approximately 1 cm)
- HDMI entry with MHL support (for connection to a compatible smartphone)
- Below average contrast (760:1)
- Reverse ghosting is visible with out-of-the-box settings
- Response times could be better
On paper, the LG Flatron IPS237L looks to be full of good ideas, but this monitor proved rather less convincing in practice. That said, it would still be suitable for non-gamers or anyone who's not bothered about 100% accurate colours. Plus, screen viewing angles are nice and wide, and MHL support is a rare feature in the current monitor market ... if that's something you'll find use for.