Over the last few years LG Display have been pushing ahead with the delivery of affordable IPS (In Plane Switching) panels to their manufacturing partners, including Dell and HP. Following this we have seen the introduction of some pretty impressive monitors which have really hit the sweet spot of price and performance for many people. LG have also introduced their own ‘self-branded’ economical IPS screens including the popular IPS6 and IPS5 series. Rather confusingly the IPS5 series was actually launched more recently than the IPS6 series – and the major addition here was the inclusion of certified factory calibration as standard which theoretically meant less ‘tweaking’ was required by the user. There was also a fair aesthetic overhaul with a more conventional glossy black plastic look in place of the ‘old glass coffee cup’ style of the 6 series.
LG has continued doing things in reverse with their announcement of the IPS4 series. Very little information is currently available about these monitors such as the screen sizes that the series will encompass. We can confirm that the models in the new line-up will be the IPS224V and IPS234V which is depicted in the image below. The appearance may be quite similar to the 5-series at first glance but there are some notable differences. The stand is flatter (without an upward curve) and is an ‘irregular quadrilateral’ shape rather than rectangular. The bezel is a smooth glossy black rather than having a ‘brushed metal’ effect. The buttons are again tactile rather than touch-sensitive but are downward facing and it would seem that the power button will be red as standard rather than blue.
Basic specifications of the IPS234 are similar to the IPS5 series counterpart– WLED backlight, 23” IPS panel, 1920 x 1080 resolution, 250 cd/m2 rated brightness and 178/178 degree viewing angles. LG also specifies a 14ms response time for the panel used which is brought down to 5ms with grey to grey acceleration. This should certainly be treated with some caution as we have seen from the likes of the IPS235V that performance may be a bit slower than that in practice. Some distinguishing features of LG’s IPS4 series includes that the DVI port, HDMI, VGA and a headphone output face backwards rather than downwards which can make for easier connectivity whilst requiring right-angled connector heads if you want to wall mount. The rear of the monitor (below) appears flatter for the most part with a honeycomb-textured pattern, although there is again provision for VESA mounting. LG are also including something dubbed ‘Dual Smart Solution’ which is a feature to make setting up dual monitors much simpler whilst allowing the user to use a functional taskbar on each screen and automatically sizing windows appropriately.
Now time for a little speculation. It is known that LG are updating their IPS panel lineup throughout 2012. The IPS224V and IPS234V will most likely be using the LM215WF3 and LM230WF3 ‘AH-IPS’ panels, respectively. Given the market, panel availability and previous series launches along the same lines it is also possible that a 20” IPS204V featuring the LM200WD4 panel and a 1600 x 900 resolution will be released. Although the panel lineup includes some 24″ and 27″ models these are not likley to be included in this series for reasons of price and product positioning.