It's ultimately a question of how far your budget will stretch, but if you can afford it, go for the L245W - your computing life will improve no end
24in screen capable of HD
Price leap from 22in
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At both ends of the price scale, monitors are getting bigger. It's tricky to find screens smaller than 17in being offered on the high street, while prices continue to tumble. This is a good thing. Whatever you use a PC for, you can never have too much desktop space.
Games and multimedia really come alive on a bigger display, and for more mundane applications, a wide-format desktop makes it possible to display two or three documents side by side. The 24in on offer with the L245W come in a native resolution of 1920 x 1200, which is capable of all HD resolutions up to 1080p. The monitor has plenty of extra features too.
Picture-in-picture functionality allows you to connect two devices and view the output of one of them in the corner of the screen. The entire screen can also be rotated and viewed horizontally or vertically. This is now a standard feature on screens of this size, however, and only useful with specific applications.
The rear contains ports for analogue VGA, component or HDMI connectors, though this is the first screen we've seen without DVI. The majority of computers don't have HDMI output so, instead, LG has bundled a DVI-to-HDMI cable with the screen.
HDMI offers the same digital picture that you get from DVI plus support for HDCP content and an audio signal. For ease of use, we would have preferred both, but expect to see this trend pick up in the future. There are also a pair of USB 2.0 ports and a digital audio jack on the side. There are no speakers built into the monitor, but the audio signal of HDMI can be routed through this jack to an amplifier.
The L245W is a great monitor. The picture quality is excellent, but the real question is whether these 24in are worth the premium over 22in panels that cost less than half the price. The difference is that the smaller displays only go up to 1680 x 1050, and have fewer extras. If you have the budget then this really is a no-brainer.
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