The LG IPS236V is a showcase of great features, but the headline act has to be its high-quality In-plane Switching (IPS) display panel which delivers wider viewing angles and considerably better image quality than the more common Twisted nematic (TN) panels found in low-cost monitors.
With a 178 degree viewing angle both horizontally and vertically you’ll find that colours are consistent across the screen and unlike on TN panels, don’t appear to shift and dim towards the edges of the screen or in response to movements of your head. The result is rock solid accuracy and strain-free viewing.
All of this technology is fine for the geeks who will appreciate it, but this is very much a consumer display and as such needs to look good in the home. LG’s design team has worked wonders here, putting as much effort into the products looks as they would into a TV set. Its Gentle curves, transparent details and touch sensitive controls add a distinct air of luxury and expense.
Thanks to its LED backlight, the panel is impressively slim and light, making it easy to move around or pack away.
Setting up a monitor via an on-screen menu can often be a frustrating experience, but the IPS236V is effortlessly simple to use. Touching any one of the row of six small white dots along the bottom of the bezel brings up a large, clear menu directly above them with menu selections aligned with the dots. In this way you’ll never find yourself fumbling for the right button or struggling to read legends printed next to them.
Part of our monitor test regime includes using a Datacolor Spyder 3 calibrator to measure the display’s characteristics. Part of this process involves making adjustments in the PC’s graphics output to compensate for inaccuracies in the monitor. However the IPS236V is so accurate to begin with, that almost no such adjustments had to be made. It’s one of the most accurate consumer-level monitors we’ve seen. Even those without calibrators will therefore be able to edit photos with some level of confidence. Even if this level of accuracy isn’t important to you, you will surely notice that this display looks very much better than even the best TN panels.
The display’s 23 inch panel makes the monitor a little more compact than a standard 24 inch model but it supports the full HD resolution of 1,920 by 1,080 pixels, delivering a very crisp and clear image. It also features a hard anti-glare coating. A headphone socket, VGA, DVI and HDMI inputs are provided and mounted horizontally from the rear the slimness of the chassis is facilitated by the use of an external power adapter.
While the quality of the display is high throughout, the stand doesn’t match up to that of a truly professional monitor. It may be pretty, but it doesn’t include a height adjustment or pivot function and the amount of tilt available is rather small.
Such a combination of style, features and performance makes the LG IPS236V a superb monitor which becomes almost incredible when you consider the £150 asking price.
This review was edited on 28 Feb 2012, with a reference to built-in stereo speakers removed, as this monitor does not include any. Thanks to reader Tony Smith for pointing out the error.