Lenovo is known far and wide for their business-oriented notebooks and desktops, and it’s a shame considering the quality of their monitor line. A recent addition to the lineup is the L200p, a 20.1″ mid-range LCD that wouldn’t look out of place in a conservative business office or a hip and modern shop with an industrial bent. With an ecofriendly bent, is this display with your time? Read on for our full review.
- 20.1″ diagonal widescreen LCD display
- 16:10 aspect ratio
- Inputs: 1 VGA, 1 DVI (HDCP compatible)
- Resolution: 1680×1050 WSXGA+
- Response time: 5ms
- Contrast ratio: 1000:1
- Viewing angle: 160º horizontal, 160º vertical
- Brightness: 300 cd/m2
- Optional Lenovo Soundbar support
- Kensington Lock slot for security
- ENERGY STAR 4.1 and TCO ’03 compliant
- EPEAT-Gold certified
- Power consumption: 42W (max)
- Weight: 13lbs.
- Dimensions: 18.5″x9.6″x14.4-18.8″ (WxDxH)
- Three year limited warranty
The Lenovo L200p monitor can be found for $269.99 or less.
Build and Design
Lenovo has recently bifurcated their product lines with respect to design. The new consumer-centric offerings, typically branded under the Idealine of products, have modern stylings with shiny trim. The business line falls under the Thinkbranding and keeps the industrial and conservative appeal with squared-off edges and matte finishes. The L200p definitely falls under the latter of the two groups, but goes for an updated look with the rounded base.
The back of the L200p is all business, and follows the same styling trends we’ve seen before, most recently with the L197 Wide. The recessed edges on the rear of the monitor are tricks Lenovo uses to make the display seem a lot thinner than it actually is. The stand ships with a plastic ring attached to keep the stand from shifting during transport. The indentation below the top of the screen is actually a handle to aid in carrying the monitor around. It’s nice to have, and helps to keep you from bumping it into things unnecessarily.
It’s interesting that even on the back of the monitor, Lenovo has chosen to brand it a couple of times. The display is removable from the included stand and can be mounted on any stand or display mount that’s VESA compatible. The display can be raised or lowered easily with just a couple of fingers thanks to the hydraulic support. Raising the L200p can lift it from 14.4 inches to 18.8 inches tall. The screen can also pivot around the center, allowing a user to view webpages and documents in portrait mode for easier reading.
The base itself is fairly chunky despite the rounded front edge. The unusual shape serves as a counterweight to the hefty monitor above, and it’s underside finish helps to grip the surface on which it rests. While the stand itself is difficult to turn, the display isn’t, and can shift 45 degrees in either direction for better viewing. In addition, the display can tilt backwards up to thirty degrees, which is handy if you like to stand up and use the computer.
The L200p features both digital and analog ports, in the form of DVD-D and VGA connections. Looking from the back of the display, the video inputs are located to the right, while the power in, taking a standard PC power cable, sits on the left.
One of my favorite aspects of the monitor, and something that I wish more displays would have, is a built-in cable management system on the back of the display. Made of just a few simple loops of plastic, the hooks keep the video and power cords from splaying out everywhere behind the monitor.
The control buttons are arranged in the shape of a wave in the lower-right hand section of the monitor. From right to left, they control power, bring up the menu, select right, select left and exit. The blue, green and yellow symbols above the buttons offer secondary functions if pressed when the menu isn’t on the screen. The left-most button cycles between analog and digital inputs as well as an auto select feature which intelligently decides which connection is being used. The green button activates the auto-adjust function, which attempts to correct phase and clock issues, amongst others, when the display is connected via an analog cable. Finally, the button beneath the yellow sun icon lets users quickly adjust brightness levels without having to dig through several menu layers.
Lenovo’s L200p offers a worthwhile image, with a few caveats. Like all TN panels, the L200p does suffer chromatic aberrations and color shifts when viewing medium to extreme angles, both horizontally and vertically (apologies for the moire).
When viewed from extreme horizontal angles, the screen develops a yellow cast to its display. It’s still completely usable, but it’s defintely noticeable.
When viewed from the top, the color starts to wash out a little bit, though again, it isn’t bad. The opposite is true, however, if you look at the monitor from an extreme low angle, as almost the entire screen becomes inverted. Again, this isn’t much of a surprised given the display’s TN panel nature. When viewed head on, the display works well, and it’s rare to look at a computer monitor from any extreme vertical angle. I wouldn’t recommend using the panel for color critical functions, but in everyday usage, it works fine. I played a few rounds of Left 4 Dead on it as well, and didn’t notice any tearing or color shifts.
In a typical office setting, I like monitors to be pretty bright even though it accelerates eye strain, so I cranked the L200p up to its brightest setting for most usage. At that level, it drew 42 watts, the stated max in accompanying product documentation. If you have a dimmer environment, or are simply concerned about power usage, turning the brightness down to a value of 0 (which does not turn the backlight off) caused the display to use a much more respectable 16 watts of electricity. Surprisingly, at the low brightness setting the monitor was still easily usable in a moderately bright room. If you were to use the display in darker environments, you could easily save 30 watts just by turning the brightness down.
While Lenovo’s L200p is geared toward business and commercial usage, average consumers would do well to take a gander. At $269.99, it’s definitely pushing the higher-end of the market for what you can spend on a typical 20″ flat panel display at this point. At the same time, however, the 20″ panels that sell for $100 less usually don’t get the same sturdy construction, clean if business-oriented design or acceptable poor pixel performance policies (with Lenovo, as little as 5 pixel issues can get a replacement panel sent out).
While there are certainly cheaper displays out there than the L200p, and there are better displays, you’d be hard pressed to find a better, cheaper display. At lower brightness levels the power use is actually lower than the 19″ eco-model we reviewed from Lenovo, and this screen also includes pivot, tilting and can be raised or lowered. In the end it’s a solid monitor that will do well with general office usage and some gaming.
- Solid construction
- Lots of orientation adjustments: raise/lower, pivot, tilt, etc.
- Acceptable power usage at the bright end, outstanding power usage when dialed back
- Easy to switch between inputs
- Sometimes difficult to attach VGA/DVI cables
- Significant color shifts at extreme angles thanks to TN panel
- Pricey for a 20″ LCD
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