Lenovo L197w Review

by Reads (16,155)

The green movement has taken the world by storm, and the electronics industry is no exception.  With rising prices, people have taken to cutting costs where they can. To this end, Lenovo has come out with the L197w widescreen display.  With it’s staid, industrial features and ecologically-inclined attitude, is it worthy of a spot on your desk?

Specifications

  • 19″ diagonal widescreen LCD display
  • 16:10 aspect ratio
  • Inputs: 1 VGA, 1 DVI (HDCP compatible)
  • Resolution: 1440×900 WXGA+
  • Response time: 5ms
  • Contrast ratio: 1000:1
  • Viewing angle: 170º horizontal, 160º vertical
  • Brightness: 250 cd/m2 
  • Optional Lenovo Soundbar support
  • Kensington Lock slot for security
  • ENERGY STAR 4.1 and TCO ’03 compliant
  • EPEAT-Gold certified
  • Power consumption: 22W (max)
  • Weight: 9 lbs., 2oz.
  • Dimensions: 17.4″x7.05″x15″ (WxDxH)
  • Three year limited warranty

The Lenovo L197 Wide monitor can be found for $249.99 or less.

 

Build and Design

Lenovo has long been known for their low-key, almost industrial product designs, and the L197 widescreen monitor does nothing to buck the trend.  The dark grey blends in with surroundings very well.  While the panel itself seems almost larger than its 19 inches, the base doesn’t take up much room on the work surface.  The monitor comes detached from its base for shipping, but the two pieces slot together easily.  A standard VESA mounting surface also means that you won’t be limited to the accompanying support.

The chunky hinge is more than sturdy enough to support the weight of the monitor; it provides a very usable range of adjustment.  Unfortunately, this monitor has no means by which to adjust the vertical height.  The circular hinge goes a ways toward alleviating this issue, but it would have been nice to have a raiseable stand.  The display can tilt -4º to the front and 30º to the back.

The back of the L197 Wide is just as spartan as the front.  The monitor slopes inward a couple of inches back from the edge, granting an almost sleek appearance.  The minimalist nature continues down to the connections, with power on the left half of the monitor and video (one VGA, one DVI) on the right.

The front of the monitor features a control panel with five buttons that operate the on-screen display.  There are no options that specifically control the backlight, but you can modify brightness, contrast, and alignment as well as color temperature settings.  The button on the far left swaps between the VGA and DVI inputs, so you can easily use this display with two separate computers.  There’s also an auto-adjust button, in case your display becomes misaligned or otherwise askew.

 

Image Quality

The L197 delivers a respectable image.  It was very green when first connected, but fortunately the on-screen display lets you independently adjust the red, green and blue values for the monitor.  The monitor also seemed very dim under bright office lights, though things improved after upping the brightness and contrast to almost 100.

Like most TN panels, the L197 has the best image quality when viewed head-on.  From the sides or even top looking down, however, details and image quality remained largely untarnished.  It wasn’t until viewed from the bottom up that colors really began to invert.

Again, even when looking at extreme angles, the picture quality remained relatively unaltered.

Our display came with no dead pixels.  Fortunately Lenovo has a relatively lenient pixel policy when compared to some manufacturers; as little as 5 or fewer problem pixels will get a panel replaced.

 

Power Consumption

This is the area in which this display truly shines.  Lenovo has made a concerted effort in increasing power efficiency and it shows.  The L197 boasts 22 percent less power use in typical usage and 34 percent less power use at maximum over its predecessor, the L194.  While Lenovo states a range of 17 to 21 Watts, I never once saw it change from 19W while using it.  It also manages to consume less than a watt while in standby. 

 

Conclusion

The new Lenovo L197w monitor is a new step in bringing ecologically-inclined display technology to the masses.  While obviously geared toward business and corporate users, general consumers can also take advantage of the great build quality and phenomenal power usage.

While I wouldn’t recommend this monitor to someone working with photos or prints, or another arena in which color management was very important, it works very well with traditional business and office applications.  Text is clear and crisp and while not an intended application, even the occasional HD video will display acceptably well.

 

Pros

  • Tremendous power efficiency
  • Sturdy construction
  • Dual inputs make switching between multiple computers a snap
  • Simple buttons make adjusting image quality easy and quick

Cons

  • No vertical stand adjustment
  • Even at brightest, display may be dim for very bright environments
  • Display is relatively thick for an LCD


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