This article first appeared in HWM Mar 2012.
The IPS235V is an IPS (in-plane switching), LED-backlit LCD monitor from LG, which despite its 'lower' model number, is a newer model compared to another crowd favorite, the IPS236V. It comes factory calibrated, and there’s even a quality assurance report to show for it - a rarity among 23-inch monitors. Out of the box, you need to first fix the stand base to the stem that’s protruding out from the bottom. There’s nothing fancy about the plastic base: a slight curve adds a dash of contemporary feel to an otherwise standard monitor design. While you can’t adjust the height, you can tilt the panel +15 to -5 degrees up or down.
The side and top bezels come in just under 2cm. A power and six other unlabeled buttons reside under the frame toward the bottom right. The only markings are some dashes on the bezel to indicate their relative positions, which really aren’t that helpful in the dark. Pressing any of them brings up an on-screen menu showing you the respective functions each button performs; thankfully, the tabbed menus that follow are easy to navigate. There are quite a number of picture settings that you can tweak beyond the usual fare of brightness, contrast and sharpness controls. For example, black level offset can be changed if you’re using an HDMI connection, and gamma can be set from 1.8 to 2.6. Also present is a user mode where hue and saturation for six colors can be adjusted. Other presets include Movie, Text, Photo, and sRGB. If you’ve a second monitor, you can easily extend or clone your desktop using the bundled software. For multi-taskers, you can even split a screen in half to show two webpages.
Input-wise, you get one each for D-Sub, DVI-D, and HDMI; cables for the first two inputs are included in the box. When using an analog connection, image adjustment will be carried out automatically during first power up. For subsequent adjustments, you’ve to reach for the Auto button. The IPS235V is pretty bright from the get-go: our Spyder3 colorimeter gave us a reading of 240cd/m2. For color-critical work, we prefer calibrating our monitor to about 120cd/m2. To achieve that, we had to drop the brightness setting to 28. Our test unit had a slight deficiency in the blues initially, but this was remedied after calibration. Overall screen uniformity was good, and only very minute backlight bleed was detected. The lower third was on average a few nits dimmer than the center, but you won’t notice it. We’ve no issues with how text looked despite the panel’s anti-glare 3H coating, but your mileage may vary. Ghosting effects, while present, was minimal; it certainly didn’t stop us from enjoying our games or movies.
Compared to the Dell UltraSharp U2312HM, which offers a built-in 4-port USB hub, DisplayPort input (instead of HDMI), and height-adjustable stand, the IPS235V’s feature set seems a bit lackluster. Still, its combination of good image quality and great price makes it hard for anyone shopping for a 23-inch monitor to ignore.