The larger widescreen flat-panels might be getting more publicity these days, but there's definitely a place for a high-quality 19in screen. Given that the display is one of the few parts of your PC that you're going to be using all the time – and that you might well hang on to it even after jettisoning the rest of the setup – it's important to choose carefully. You could do a lot worse than the LG L1960TQ.
It isn't particularly big on features, admittedly. The stand isn't height-adjustable and there are no pivot facilities, while onboard speakers have been omitted. There is, however, a DVI (digital visual interface) besides the RGB port, and those who like their flat-panels to be stylish will appreciate the LG's eyecatching polished base and pointed power button.
Not all of the specifications jump off the page in the same way. The brightness rating of 300cd/m2 is decent but no more than most competing flat-panels are offering, while the viewing angles are a little modest. Even within these parameters, the image quality deteriorates slightly if you move from side to side. And, like any standard 19in flat-panel, the native resolution of 1,280x1,024 seems skimpy when compared to the expansive resolutions boasted by many of today’s 20in-plus models.
However, where the LG does put clear space between itself and its rivals is with the contrast ratio: a stunning 2,000:1. This screen potentially packs in a huge amount of extra colour detail. In actual testing, this massive advantage didn't result in the spellbinding image that you might expect, but the LG offers very decent picture quality. Text definition is sharp and colours are bold and bright. Those looking for a dark and intense image might not quite find the colours to their taste, but the majority will find this to be a very good model.