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Well, you can give up the control buttons altogether and use the Windows-based forteManager program instead. However, forteManager took about 50 seconds to launch on my PC (not a weak configuration running Windows XP SP2) and its interface isn’t quite user-friendly. About two thirds of the program window is occupied by a help text while the settings sliders take a modest place on the right.

This is a traditional LG menu, handy and logical. It’s got all the necessary setup options, including the option of disabling the Power indicator, and remembers the last changed setting, which is very convenient if you are setting your monitor up using a step-by-step approximation method (change your settings – evaluate the image – adjust the settings a little more – until you are fully satisfied with the result). So, I wouldn’t have any complaints about the way this monitor is controlled if it were not for the strange – from a human physiology standpoint – position of the control buttons.

Quick access is provided to switching between the inputs (the Up button) and between the f-Engine modes (the Down button), and to the automatic adjustment feature. There are four preset f-Engine modes: Normal (regular settings without any additional processing of the signal), User (here you can change the degree of the additional processing), Text and Movie. These modes do not just change the values of brightness and contrast. They process the signal, correcting the color reproduction and color saturation. It depends on your particular taste if you are going to like the result of such processing.

The monitor’s got 100% brightness and 70% contrast by default. To achieve a 100nit brightness of white I selected 50% brightness and 49% contrast. The brightness is regulated by means of pulse-width modulation of the power of the backlight lamps at a frequency of 200Hz.

Color gradients are reproduced correctly at the default settings but get striped when the contrast setting is reduced.

The gamma curves look good. They go close to each other, save for the slightly sagging blue curve. The monitor has no problems reproducing dark or light halftones.

Alas, the color temperature setup is not so good. Yes, it can be so despite the neat look of the gamma curves in the diagram because the curves are normalized to go out of the point (0, 0) and come to the point (255, 255) and some information may get lost in the process. That’s why we measure color temperature specially.

So, you can see that the monitor yields too cold colors. The average temperature is over 8000K even in the 6500K mode, which is the warmest available. There is also a 1500K difference between the temperatures of white and gray. The former problem can be solved by adjusting the temperature manually, but the latter issue can only be corrected with a calibrator. And it doesn’t seem right to buy a calibrator for setting up an inexpensive monitor with a TN matrix.

The response time average is 13.6 milliseconds. The longest transition takes as long as 26.3 milliseconds. This is just what you can expect from a matrix without Response Time Compensation. The specified response time of 5 milliseconds is only achieved on the transition from pure black to pure white.

The monitor has a contrast ratio of 300:1, which is normal for a TN matrix. I measure the static contrast ratio, not the dynamic one, which is specified by the manufacturer for the L204WT. The dynamic contrast mode is only useful for movies. It doesn’t do for work or even for games.

Summing it up, the L204WT is superior in its characteristics to the above-described BenQ FP202W V2 but inferior to the HP L2045w in both color reproduction setup and ergonomics. Thanks to its low price it may be interesting for people who process text in various office applications, but if you want a fast matrix or good reproduction of colors, you should look for them elsewhere.

 
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