- Excellent build quality
- Low power use
- Doesn't get hot at all
- Auto-adjust light distracting
- Color shifts at extreme angles
- Pricey comp. to other options
While Lenovo is traditionally known for their business line of Think-branded laptops and desktops, they also put out a number of Think-branded accessories. Their Thinkvision line of displays in particular has become synonymous with quality and innovation, and the Lenovo Thinkvision L2440x is no exception. Read on for our full review.
- 24.0-inch (609.6 mm) viewable image size
- Native resolution: 1920 x 1200
- Brightness: 300cd/m2
- Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
- TN Panel, 5ms response time
- 170 Degree Horizontal Viewing, 160 Degree Vertical Viewing
- Supports High Definition Content Protection (HDCP)
- VGA,DVI and DisplayPort inputs
- Four USB ports
- Analog audio out
- Triple input (analog or digital connections) allows attachment to multiple systems
- Meets 100 mm VESA standard for mounting
- Detachable base for wall or arm mounting (other mounts sold separately)
- Optional sound bar
- Available in business black
- Kensington Lock slot for security
- MSRP: $469
- 3-Year limited warranty
The Lenovo L2440x LCD monitor has a suggested retail price of $469.99 as of the time of this writing.
Build and Design
The Lenovo L2440x LCD is striking similar to its little brother, the L2440p, that we reviewed a few weeks ago. The monitor is colored in what Lenovo calls its “business black”, a charcoal grey color that’s a little lighter than the Thinkpad black with which most users are familiar. The design is definitely heavy on the industrial side of things, which is fitting when one considers the business heritage of Lenovo’s products. Industrial does not mean boring or ugly, rather the L2440x cuts a striking profile, especially when looking at it from the side. The stand for the display is big and chunky, with a hemispherical base that does a great job in keeping the monitor from tipping over in one direction or another. It’s important to have a sturdy and capable stand for a monitor like this because not only is it fairly large at 24 inches, it can also be tilted to and fro and even swiveled ninety degrees on its axis. This can put a lot of strain on stands, as well as tip over a monitor that isn’t securely held to the working surface.
Continuing around to the back of the monitor, the display is mounted to its included stand with a VESA-compatible pattern and held in place with four standard Phillips screws — no proprietary fasteners. I know we’ve been talking about the stand for a couple of paragraphs, now, but it really is well-designed. Instead of a sliding bar mechanism seen on most monitors, Lenovo chose to go with a cylindrical lifting device that raises and lowers very easily. It’s one of the easiest monitors to adjust, position-wise, we’ve had in for review. In addition to raising and lowering, the L2440x can tilt both forward and back, enough so that a user can actually use the monitor standing up and not experience too much in the way of color shifting.
For browsing large documents or web pages, the display can actually be tipped on end and rotated ninety degrees. While this is certainly handy for some uses, the panel is TN-based, which means it experiences color shift at extreme angles. Unfortunately, “extreme angles” in this case mean that when rotated vertically, the color is not uniform and is dark or otherwise miscolored at the top and bottom. It’s worth noting that the ability to rotate the monitor around makes it a lot easier to switch connections, both video and USB, without having to stand up and turn the monitor around.
One thing that can be said about Lenovo is that they are, if nothing else, practical. At the top of the monitor in the rear is a handle, making the L2440x easier to lug around than many monitors. This handle can be found on Lenovo’s business monitors, desktops and usually their workstations. Unfortunately it seems to be disappearing in their consumer-oriented displays and computers, and it’s a real shame. Every single monitor should have one of these; it makes it much easier to keep from banging it around when moving it to another room or taking it out of the box and setting it up.
The left side of the monitor shows off the USB ports; in addition to a fourth in the bottom, the monitor features a built-in hub. Next to where the USB cord from the computer is inserted are the video ports, and Lenovo made this monitor as compatible as possible with VGA, DVI and even DisplayPort connections. They also put a DisplayPort cord in the box, a nice gesture since even those with DisplayPort connections rarely have a compatible cord.
In the lower-right hand corner of the front is where Lenovo put all of their buttons. Arranged in the same waving style we’ve seen on several of Lenovo’s monitors lately, the buttons provide quick access to all of the functions like brightness, input switching, image position, color switching and more. The input switch and brightness, as well as auto adjust (when connected over VGA only) are available with a single button press, without having to dive into a bunch of menus.
To start, it must be said that the Lenovo L2440x uses a TN panel. TN panels are known for being fast, so good for gamers, but “poor” viewing angles and color reproduction. Poor is in quotes because it still hits more than 90% of the angles offered by higher-end competitors like *VA and IPS panels.
In the case of the L2440x, viewing angles are adequate (save when using the monitor vertically) and colors look very nice compared to many displays we’ve seen. Unless looking head on, there is a distinct color shift in essentially all sections of the display, which isn’t too surprising. Black levels across the display are excellent.
An important facet of any display that is usually overlooked is the backlighting system. Lenovo stepped away from the usual miniature cold cathode fluorescent lights that light up the vast majority of LCD monitors and went instead with energy efficient LEDs. This introduces a number of advantages over traditional displays. The LEDs don’t suffer from the color cast that many fluorescent systems do, which affects how well the monitor can render colors. Everything looks absolutely crisp and clear on this display, with very bright whites and vivid colors. The L2440x is a matte display instead of glossy. Panel finish seems to be a love it or hate it sort of argument; there are camps that hate matte finish and prefer the wet, glistening look of glossy displays, and there are those who hate glossy’s super reflective nature, preferring instead the scattering effect of a matte finish.
One very cool effect of using the LED backlighting in this display is that Lenovo’s monitor is completely free of backlighting issues and irregularites. On a completely black display, there wasn’t a single section of backlight bleed that we could detect. Backlight bleed is when patches of the monitor are brighter than others, which can be really annoying which playing a dark game or watching a dark movie. Fortunately, it wasn’t an issue this time around.
One aspect of the display that is really interesting is the way Lenovo decided to handle brightness adjustment. While there is a button that lets users set a starting level of brightness, the display has an auto-adjustment feature. When the monitor is displaying content, whether documents, webpages, photos or games that are brightly colored or white, it amps up the brightness of the display so that the light colors pop and white things look more white. If that content is replaced with something much darker, the display instantly dims. It’s a little disconcerting, since the monitor will dim, brighten, dim, brighten, as applications are moved around. If you rapidly move content from monitor to monitor, you can watch as it happens. It’s definitely a useful feature, but it would be nice if there was a way to disable it or at least adjust it. Unfortunately, it’s built-in to the monitor’s firmware.
Power and Heat
As discussed earlier, Lenovo went with an LED-based backlighting system for the L2440x. These kinds of lights are often called “green” options since they use drastically less electricity than their CCFL-based cousins. As an example, the Lenovo L220x that we reviewed last year had an average power consumption of 70 watts. The L2440x averaged a draw of only 26! That’s pretty astonishing for a 24-inch monitor. Thanks to its auto-adjust feature, when displaying very dark content, the display’s electricity usage drops down to a mere 19 watts. Very bright content can drive that number up to 35 watts or so. Still, even on max brightness and displaying a white screen, that number is less than many options on the market. Since it doesn’t use too much electricity, you might expect that it doesn’t put out much in the way of heat — and it doesn’t. The monitor barely gets warmer than room temperature, whether in the back or right smack dab in the front. It’s a welcome relief from some monitors we’ve had in for review that cook the user while displaying their content.
The Lenovo L2440x is probably the best TN-based monitor that is available for purchase today. At 24 inches and with a resolution of 1920×1200, it offers a high resolution display yet is large enough to show detail without forcing users to squint painfully. The color reproduction is good enough that anyone save advanced photographers and those who do print work will be satisfied. The LED backlighting means that the display stays cool and uses much less power than competing models. Lenovo succeeded in making this a very environmentally-friendly display by cutting down on toxic construction materials; the monitor scored an EPEAT-Gold rating and even ships with a low-halogen power cord. A matte screen means that the monitor can be used in diverse lighting environments without needing to swivel your head around, trying to avoid bright spots of glare.
While the L2440x is a good monitor, there are a couple of downsides. It really is too bad that Lenovo decided to go with a TN panel. With a monitor this big, color casts often come into play, especially when the display is oriented vertically. Another panel would help to overcome this issue. That would have driven up the already high display, however, which is already up there at $469.99 for a 24-inch TN-based monitor. Additionally, the auto adjust backlight feature can be distracting at times, and it would have been nice if Lenovo added a menu option that let users disabled it. Still, these few negatives are really not too bad in the face of how just how nice this monitor is. It may be a little pricey, but Lenovo’s support has traditionally been top-notch, and the build quality of this monitor is simply outstanding. If you’re looking for an eco-friendly display, the L2440x should be on your list.
- Excellent build quality
- Low power use
- Doesn’t get hot at all
- Versatile stand
- Auto-adjust light distracting
- Color shifts at extreme angles
- Expensive compared to competitors offerings