Not so very long ago, the typical flat-panel came with a contrast of just 300:1 or 400:1. The contrast ratio is a measure of colour depth and improving this figure has long been an aim of ambitious manufacturers. But these low ratios didn't remain the apogee of LCD technology for long and today's ordinary screens come with a contrast ratio of 600:1 or 700:1. However, no other company has shown quite the guile of LG, choosing to boast that its latest 19in flat-panel has a startling 3,000:1.

The feature responsible is called DFC (Digital Fine Contrast), a function that assesses the input image and automatically adjusts the contrast ratio so that it's optimum for covering the range of colours needed. This, according to LG, results in a potential contrast ratio of 3,000:1. This logic doesn't necessarily follow, but the resulting images are undoubtedly vivid and full of colour. You can manually alter the DFC and the menu system allows you to compare the old picture with the new.

Not that DFC is the only aspect of this screen that aids colour quality. The 2ms response rate is extremely fast and is measured using Grey-To-Grey, which is particularly demanding and should result in a slower figure. It's arguable whether the typical user needs to go any faster than 8ms, but 2ms should be enough even for picky gamers. Given the L1960TR's fantastic movie capabilities, it's surprising that this isn't a widescreen model. 22in and 24in widescreen versions are soon to appear in this range but, for now, 1,280x1,024 is your lot.

The styling is slick and we guarantee you'll frequently fight the urge to let your finger hover over the triangular power on/off button. This screen isn't just interesting to look at from the front, though. Its pointed rear is likely to cause favourable comment.

LG L1960TR: Specs

  • 19in flat-panel
  • native resolution 1,280x1,024
  • 0.294mm pixel pitch
  • 2ms response time
  • 3,000:1 contrast ratio
  • 170/170 degree viewing angle
  • brightness 300cd/m2
  • DVI connector
  • speakers
  • 3-year onsite warranty
  • 430x226x427mm
  • 4.6kg
  • 19in flat-panel
  • native resolution 1,280x1,024
  • 0.294mm pixel pitch
  • 2ms response time
  • 3,000:1 contrast ratio
  • 170/170 degree viewing angle
  • brightness 300cd/m2
  • DVI connector
  • speakers
  • 3-year onsite warranty
  • 430x226x427mm
  • 4.6kg

OUR VERDICT

Whether the LG offers a genuine 3,000:1 contrast ratio is debatable. But what's important is that the image quality is good and here the LG leaves no doubt. Colourful pictures and sharp text, combined with a strong design aesthetic and a fast response rate amounts to a first-class screen. Only the lack of widescreen resolution support is likely to disappoint.

Find the best price