The Good Elegant design; excellent image quality.
The Bad There are no menu buttons on the screen; DVI only
The Bottom Line The Fantasy Ring looks amazing and has an image quality to match. We found it difficult to make mistakes when using the Windows desktop or watching movies on a daily basis, which was a great display quality
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Most LCDs are quite unusual in design, but not this one. The LG Fantasy series is designed not only to look good, but also to have outstanding image quality. Does it keep its promises, or will it be a matter of style over substance?
If you don’t like the look of the Ring, there may be something wrong with you – the overall consensus at CNET.co.uk is that it looks great. The bezel, which rotates around the screen, is only 15 mm and is covered with a glossy, piano-black coating. This trim extends to the back of the monitor, which is evenly glossy. You won’t find the unattractive holes and stickers you see on most monitors.
The stand is finished with the same piano-black finish, but noticeably, it has a massive hole – hence the name “Ring”. This flaky gut is bright red and lights up when the touch sensitive power button is pressed. Another button underneath the bottom panel is to turn the light on and off. It’s ridiculous, but we found ourselves playing with it independently.
A touch sensitive power button is a nice touch
By eliminating clutter from the back of the screen, LG had to add a key to accommodate power ports and DVI. It hangs up to 250mm of cable, and while it is another wire that can be plugged in, it also creates a nice talking point since the key is stylish to fit into the rest of the monitor, with a black piano finish and red surround.
The image quality of the ring is consistent with its stylish design. It looked really good for everyday use – the text was sharp, the colors were true to the comparison with the excellent Dell UltraSharp FP2405FPW that we use every day, and it really came into our own when we gave it some high definition movies. The quoted 4ms response time has helped it to display even fleeting scenes without blurring, and it has the perfect contrast as you would expect from a quoted 2000 figure: 1. Light colors shone on dark areas close to blacks, as we have seen on any TFT displays.
Our subjective thoughts were justified when we ran our standard DisplayMate tests – he had no problem distinguishing between black and almost black, or white and almost white. In addition, he was perfectly able to distinguish such shades – we really could not find any bugs with the monitor in this regard.
In an effort to make the Fantasy series as aesthetically pleasing as possible, LG has decided to remove any button found to be irrelevant. There’s a power button, a light switch and all. Without the OSD (OSD), you need to install the software on your PC to adjust things like brightness and contrast for a little while.
19-inch monitors usually have limited resolution, and the ring is no different. Users are limited to 1,280×1,024 pixels, which is normal for everyday use, but you won’t get the benefits of widescreen aspect ratios. Windows Vista takes full advantage of widescreen like most movies, so it’s strange that the Ring is a traditional, almost square shape.
Unusually there is no D-Sub port. Instead, you get a DVI port, but unfortunately, HDCP is not supported, so you won’t be able to watch copy-protected movies in hi-def mode. You can still connect the monitor to a D-Sub video card, but you will need to use an adapter that you do not get in the box.
Unreliable users may also argue about the lack of screen setup. There is no adjustment for pitch, turn or turn – what you see is what you get. In particular, lack of height adjustment can cause some ergonomic headaches, but it cannot be solved by adjusting the height of your chair or placing the screen on a pile of books.
The Fantasy Ring looks amazing and has the image quality to match. We found it difficult to make mistakes when using the desktop or watching movies on a daily basis, such as its excellent image quality. If you are looking for a new monitor, you have a few extra pounds, so as not to spare the lack of a widescreen screen, you should tie it.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Kate Maysfield