The Flatron L1730S is controlled with the buttons you find at the bottom edge of the case. The labels on the front panel are easily readable, and the buttons themselves are recognizable by touch and easily pressed, so you shouldn’t have any problems setting this monitor up.
I can’t pass by the fact that the new monitor series from LG has a redesigned menu and an improved version of the exclusive LightView technology. The menu has become brighter (but without any unnecessary flamboyance) and user-friendlier, while LightView has acquired custom settings. In other words, if you need two modes (for working with text and for playing games, for example) but none of the presets satisfies you, you can create your own mode and enable it with a single press of the appropriate button.
The last thing I want to mention is that the Flatron L1730S supports control over the Display Data Channel/Command Interface (DDC/CI), like the famous Samsung 173P that had no control buttons whatsoever. As you remember, no additional cable is required for that (no need to attach a USB cable like you had to do with CRT monitors once), and you only have to install a special control utility (the forteManager utility is used with LG monitors).
By default, the brightness setting of the monitor is set to 100%, the contrast to 70% (this is yet another difference from older LG models which used to have both brightness and contrast settings at their maximums by default), and by setting them both to 40% I achieved a screen brightness of 100 nits (1 nit = 1 candela per square meter). The brightness is controlled by means of modulation of the power of the backlight lamps at a frequency of about 325Hz.
I have no complaints about the monitor’s way of reproducing colors – they are bright and saturated, without any serious artifacts like stripes in smooth color gradients.
The color curves have a most accurate look – the Flatron L1730S fully reproduces the entire range, only the blue component is slightly higher compared to green and, especially, to red. By the way, I want to clarify one thing: as I mentioned in my article X-bit’s Guide: Contemporary LCD Monitor Parameters and Characteristics, the color-reproduction quality is a complex parameter that cannot be described with a single graph. Moreover, this quality is perceived subjectively (I’m speaking about the purely home use, not about the printing and publishing industry where precise colors are a must – some people like bright colors of PVA matrixes, but others prefer softer tones of S-IPS ones). The color curves actually describe two characteristics only: the ability of the monitor to reproduce the full brightness range for each color and the balance of gray, so you shouldn’t rely on them alone as a single criterion of the color-reproduction quality of a monitor.
The monitor’s package and its front panel proudly declare “12 ms Ultra Fast Response Time”. This statement is actually the main attraction in these monitors – until that LG’s monitors have had a response time of 16 milliseconds or higher.
Alas, my measurements proved different – the matrix has a stable response time of 16 milliseconds on “black-white-black” transitions (12ms+4ms) and as high as 28 milliseconds on “black-gray” transitions, which is actually no record. Thus, I must confess that at least some of available Flatron L1730S samples have 16ms matrixes rather than the touted 12ms ones. I don’t think that this difference of 4 milliseconds is crucial, but the fact of the manufacturer’s misleading the users isn’t right at all.
The contrast ratio of the monitor was about 200:1, but dropped to 150:1 at the minimal screen brightness. This is natural since I had to drop the contrast setting (which affects the brightness of white color, leaving black color more or less intact) to achieve a screen brightness of 100 nits.
Thus, the Flatron L1730S is going to make a good and inexpensive home monitor, but you shouldn’t expect fast responsiveness (at least until they do begin to install 12ms matrixes into these monitors) or good contrast from it. In spite of the latter fact, the color reproduction of the L1730S is very satisfying for a monitor of its class.