My family always seems to get excited when a new piece of technology arrives…well, at least I do. My goal has always been to see how technology can be best integrated into the family lifestyle. And then I share the experience. When I received the LG 23ET83 touchscreen monitor a few weeks ago, at first I struggled to figure out a place to showcase (and use) this elegantly designed touchscreen monitor. For some time, it simply sat on our dining room table (despite my wife’s complaints) and was used by me when I worked at home. But now it has a new home, believe it or not, in my kids’ bedroom and not truly as a computer monitor but rather as a multi-function display.
For starters, I was impressed by the design of the LG 23ET83. It’s clean. The body is a pure white. The bezel around the display is black. It is unassuming yet the design inspires a modern touch. And, to capitalize on the “touch” aspect, this is not a traditional computer display…it is touch-enabled, assuming that you have Microsoft Windows 8 running. With Windows 8, suddenly the monitor transforms into an interactive touch screen, complete with an on-screen keyboard (which you can see above). But, you must have Windows 8 installed.
Let’s jump directly into the setup. In the back, there are a series of ports available for use. You have the traditional VGA connector which is fine for extending or mirroring the display from any laptop, Mac or PC. But there are some other ports that make this display truly multi-use. There are 2 HDMI ports, a USB port and audio out (for headphones or speakers as I will explain a bit later).
In order to enable the multi-touch features of the monitor (multi-touch only works with Windows 8), you need to ensure that your computer is connected to the monitor via a USB cable, otherwise, the display is “dumb” and will only react to touches by leaving fingerprints on the screen. But all that you have to do is simply plug in the USB cable – there is no other software that you need to install in order to enable the multi-touch capabilities. You can, however, install additional display drivers on your computer to ensure that the native resolution of 1920×1080 is used. This is true HD 1080p resolution.
The monitor measures 23″ diagonally and has a wide-screen aspect ratio, perfect for viewing widescreen HD content and movies. It is an LED backlit display which means that the colors are quite vibrant, crisp and clear. In order to get the best display, you need to be sure that you have it set at the optimal resolution. To get a bit geekier here, it is an IPS (In Plane Switching) display which means that the liquid crystal display is distortion-free as well as viewable from various (extreme) angles.
I found this display to be a pleasure to work with. It was easy on the eyes and the contract ratio of 10M:1 really came through with dark darks and, as I said, vibrant colors. And, it has a very small footprint in that it is quite thin from the side.
Using the touchscreen interface took some getting used to. But it was actually kind of fun being able to interact with web pages or the OS by simply clicking on the screen. The on-screen keyboard was easy enough to use (but a bit awkward at times giving the angle of the display). But the touch capabilities support 10-points, meaning that all of your fingers could be used for typing, for example. Scrolling is accomplished via 2 fingers and there are other finger commands to zoom and do other interactions. It works much the same way a tablet does.
A Truly Multi-Use Device
I was using this LG display for a couple of days but soon realized that there was probably much more that I could do with it. And that my kids could benefit in the process. My children, lucky them, have a Roku box in their room where they watch Netflix on the weekends. We have the Roku connected to a very old and small TV. I checked the back of the Roku and noticed that there was an HDMI port. Hmmm. Perhaps I could upgrade their “theater experience” from a 4:3 small display into a 16:9 32″ HD display. That would be cool! So, I moved the LG 23ET83 into their room and had them clear out the bookcase where the old equipment was.
The problem was, the monitor does not have built-in speakers. It does, however, take audio through an HDMI connection and then you can output the audio via the headphone jack in the back. So I rummaged around and found a 2-speaker/subwoofer combo from another computer set-up I had, and connected the audio headphone jack to the speaker/subwoofer combo. The rest is movie-magic!
Within just a few minutes, we were streaming “Cake Boss” in full HD glory, complete with a good 2.1 sound. I left the USB and VGA cables connected in case my daughters wanted to hook up their laptop to the display. (The bookcase is actually an old baby changing table that has a panel that slides out that traditionally holds a baby changing pad – this panel can now be used to hold the laptop!) Regardless, my kids were ecstatic on their theater upgrade (and we moved their old TV to our kitchen to replace a smaller TV that was there previously.) Everyone was a winner in the family!
So, as you can see (literally), the LG 23ET83 is a great, multi-purpose display that is good for multiple scenarios!
While the accompanying documentation is a bit sparse and I didn’t actually realize that you could simply plug the display into a Windows 8 computer and instantly have the touch screen enabled, the setup is extremely simple. Once I figured that out, the rest of the set-up was essentially a no-brainer. Having multiple input types (VGA and 2 HDMI ports) allows you to connect multiple devices (as I did with the Roku box). The LG 23ET83 is not cheap, in any meaning of the word. It is solidly crafted and nicely designed to be easy on the eye. But it also has a hefty retail price of $549. You can currently pick it up on Amazon for about the same price of $549 but as this is a newer product, I would expect the price to drop slightly in the coming weeks. Once it is set up, you can pretty much forget about it. And the nice thing is, it is very Energy Efficient so it will automatically turn itself off if it is unused after a pre-defined amount of time.
Overall, I was quite impressed with the display quality, the multi-touch aspect and the multi-use of this LG touchscreen monitor. It truly looks like a high-end HDTV but has many more capabilities than a “dumb” display because it is touch-screen.
Disclosure Text : I have a material connection because I received a gift or sample of a product for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was/am not expected to return this item or gift after my review period. All opinions within this article are my own. More information can be found in my About page as well as here.
HTD says: LG’s design and features in the 23ET83 Touchscreen monitor make it a multi-use device for the entire family!