Samsung 19in Lapfit LD190 LCD

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Product: LD190G 19in LCD Lapfit Display
Provided By: Samsung Canada
Price: Find Lowest Price Online

Introduction:

Samsung is no stranger to the LCD market, and they've had some great products and well as some that were not very impressive and even a few that were pretty controversial.  Today we are looking at a new display from them that breaks the mold in terms of standard features.  We have the 19" LD190G "Lapfit Display" on our bench today.  This display brings one main interesting features - it can be connected to your PC either by standard VGA or a USB2.0 connection.  Keep that in mind as we jump in.

 Front
Front
Rear
Back

 

First Impressions:

When Samsung offered us a chance to look at the LD190, I made sure not to look to deeply into reviews so that I would be unbiased when this little display showed up.  My first impressions were that the LCD was certainly very glossy - both the screen and the plastic housing.  The buttons on the front are all touch sensitive and the only button you can actually see is the power button.  This button is recessed while the other buttons appear "as if by magic" when you run your finger over the lower right side of the bezel.

Bundle
Bundle

 

The LD190 came bundled with a power cord, USB cable and a standard VGA cable as well as a quick install guide and a software CD for driver installation.  If you plan on using the standard VGA only, you won't need the driver CD, but if you plan to run the unit off the USB cable, the latest (non-beta) drivers are on the CD.  I installed the LD190 on my laptop which is currently running Windows 7 and the installer stated that my OS was not supported.  It suggested that I check over at DisplayLink and find a beta driver.  Indeed, a Windows 7 driver was available and I was up and running within minutes.



In terms of other operating systems, the Samsung LD190 works under Apple's OSX and there is a community project for Linux support as well.

 

Closer Look:

As stated previously the main focus of this display is for connecting to a laptop, and there are really not many exciting physical features on this unit.  A couple things worth noting are the video ports as well as the menu buttons however.

 Video Ports
Video Ports
 Menu Buttons
Menu Buttons

 

The overall look and feel of this LCD is very slick and the only thing that may be a drawback is the lack of a height adjustable stand.  As you could see at the top of this page, the stand mimics a desktop picture frame.

On the next page we'll take a look at the specifications before we dive into testing.


 

Samsung LD190 Features & Specifications:

To get a full list of the specs and features of this unit please head on over to the Samsung product page here. Below is a hefty summary that has been pulled from their page and pasted here for your convenience.

Features:

The Samsung LD190G wide screen monitors deliver enhanced productivity and expanded entertainment. Designed to fit perfectly with laptop PCs, they offer USB access to multi-tasking on the move.

perfect high speed performance
With a response time of 5 ms, you can be sure that your monitor will perform perfectly, even in the fastest moving scenes. This stunning, seamless motion imaging presents movies, games, and internet streamed content with precision and without the motion judder, blurring, and ghosting that can occur on a slower monitor, allowing you to enjoy a completely immersive viewing experience.

dynamic color, dramatic detail
The phenomenal 50000:1 dynamic contrast ratio achieves immaculate image integrity. Through intelligent automatic backlight adjustment, deeper black and brighter white tones are created, enabling every image to be presented with rich, realistic color and dramatic depth of detail.

see both sides of everything
Look to your right, then left. If gadgets, sidebars and movies feel clipped or crammed, you need a wider monitor. Like the Samsung monitor. It's wide enough to pull up two internet screens side by side. With excellent viewing angles, your eyes will move more easily across the screen. And with more space you can enjoy what’s there instead of wondering where it went.

Double the efficiency, double the entertainment.
Slim and stylish, Samsung monitors make a perfect match with your new notebook. Equipped with a bottom line stand and tilt function, Samsung Lapfit monitors sit neatly beside your notebook and can conveniently deliver the same sloped angle. Whether you have business or entertainment on your mind, setting up with dual monitors is easy with its USB hookup and allows you to synchronize screens to form one large display area and maximize your productivity. And with its wide view 16:9 ratio, full HD1080p and its single hotkey, designed to control brightness levels and minimizes eye fatigue, you always have the best view in the house.




choose your favorite view
Using the Color Effect feature gives you access to a range of photographic effects, enabling you to enjoy enhanced image interaction. The four color effects available, Grayscale, Green, Aqua, and Sepia, open up your options and allow you to choose the view that suits your mood for a truly tailored viewing experience.

Off Timer
The Eco-friendly Off Timer is an energy saving function that allows the monitor to be turned off automatically at any specified time. By using this feature, you can ensure that the monitor maintains its optimum performance level for an extended period of time, remaining reliable and dependable for the duration of its life.

Just plug and play
Samsung’s UbiSync technology makes it easy to connect your Lapfit monitor and notebook – just plug and play via the USB interface for dual monitor capability. And it’s just as easy to disconnect; the auto-restoration allows you to instantly and effortlessly return to using just one monitor. UbiSync makes sure getting larger screen size doesn’t mean a bigger headache.

intelligent Image Size function
The intelligent adjustable Image Size function gives you access to enhanced image enjoyment by enabling standard sized content to be viewed at its correct size on a wide screen. This eliminates image stretching and distortion, allowing you to enjoy images that are presented in their original format.

the key to comfort
The Custom Key function puts enhanced entertainment at your fingertips. By allowing you to assign your favorite function to the Custom Key, advanced image interaction is made available at the touch of a button. Simply select from the MagicBright, MagicColor, Color Effect, and Image Size functions and enjoy quicker access to the function you need.




Specifications:

Specs

 

On the next page we'll take a closer look at some of the features of this LCD as we start testing.


 

A Word About Testing:

In everything we try and be fair, accurate and as objective as possible when it comes to testing hardware.  In the past, LCD reviews were done completely subjectively, but we have purchased some equipment that takes some of this out of the equation.  Take a look at our LCD Testing methodology over here to get a better idea of how we test LCDs.

We won't spend much time in the menu; it is pretty standard although a little stripped down in terms of contrast, color adjustments and the like.  The only real setting in the menu that will help you tweak your screen is the "Brightness" control.  Other notable options are the MagicBright settings as well as the USB or VGA selection.

Color Profiles
Color Profiles
Video Choices
Video Choices

 

Color Accuracy: 

We started things off by breaking out the LCD Spyder and finding out how well this unit is set up and how well it produces accurate color.  We did this using both the USB and VGA connections and the results were identical.

 Target
Target
Uncalibrated
Uncalibrated
Calibrated
Calibrated

 


As you can see above, the color of the LD190 was pretty darn close to perfect and although the software created a new color profile for this display, I could hardly tell the difference between the calibrated and uncalibrated settings.  Once the test is done, you can choose before and after comparisons, and there was a slight difference.  The calibrated settings were slightly "warmer".

 

Contrast Ratio & Uniformity: 

With the display now showing "perfect", we proceeded to take our contrast readings.  As previously mentioned, the only setting available on the display was "brightness" and it ended up being set at 54%.  With this setting chosen and the display calibrated we set out to find the "real" contrast ratio of the LD190. 

 Black Spot
White Spot
Contrast Ratio
0.7 114 162:1

 

I know we may take some flak for the above results, but this contrast ratio is exactly what the consumer will see when the display is set up properly.  It doesn't come close to being 1000:1 and even when we maximize the contrast and brightness, we don't get much above 180:1.  Keep in mind that this display is still very nice, clear and doesn't burn your eyes with too much brightness.  Companies pad their specs, much like gamers pad their stats in their favorite online game.  It doesn't mean the product is bad, merely that specs are over-rated.

We use our luminance meter in a dark environment to measure brightness uniformity.  To measure brightness, we use a bright white screen and measure across the screen in a grid to get our readings.  The brightest spot is considered to be 100% and the blackest point (with a black screen) is considered to be reference 0%.  The other values are obtained by calculating the difference between the two.  The screen is often brightest near the center.

 3D LCD Map
3D Lighting Uniformity
 2D Lighting Uniformity
2D Lighting Uniformity

 

As you can see the backlight drops off in certain areas of the display, but never drops below 85% of the brightest point.  While that may sound like a lot, often other "premium" displays from other companies can vary as much as 30%.  The Samsung LD190 comes in with a maximum 15% variation.

On the last page we'll cover some real-world applications and see how it holds up playing movies as well as day-to-day tasks before we wrap things up.


Color Quality and Banding:

While the Colorimeter shows that the LCD has very good color accuracy, we fired up DisplayMate to see how the color scales and if there is "banding" when blending from one color to another.  Overall the color seems to be very good on this LCD and there is little to no banding visible.  When viewing a solid red gradient, there is a little banding visible, but it is so minor that it was virtually impossible to photograph.  Below are a couple of pictures of brightness scaling as well as color scaling.

 Brightness Scaling
Brightness Scaling
Color Scale
Color Scale

 

Performance - Text:

The majority of my use and is text and internet browsing and I used the LD190 in this regard as a third display on my laptop for several weeks and was very pleased with the overall text quality.  The resolution on this 19" unit is less than most 19" displays at 1360x768 and this gives it a bit of a larger text and font size.  I don't mind small text and to be honest, I'd prefer a little more real-estate that comes with higher resolution.


For general text and internet use, this LCD appeals to a wider audience however and the resolution promotes very legible text size for viewing web pages, documents and other text-heavy applications.

 

Performance - Video:

I didn't have much time to watch movies, but I did make sure to watch some movie clips on the LD190 using both the VGA and USB connections.  The VGA connection shows great performance and is a non-issue.  There are some bandwidth issues when using the USB interface however.  DVD movies and other 480p content looks great, but once you get into the 720p territory or larger, the display seems to drop frames and the content becomes sporadically pixilated.  It does have an "optimize for video" setting in the system tray, but it still can't stack up with a VGA connection.

  Triple Monitor
Triple Monitor

Performance - Gaming:

I'm spoiled when it comes to gaming on LCD displays.  I currently use a 30" Samsung 305T or a 245BW and am used to having things larger and running at higher resolutions than the LD190 can offer.  Once again, the VGA connection works great for gaming but the USB connection suffers bandwidth limitations.  That being said, there is absolutely no ghosting and gaming is crisp, vivid and flawless on the LD190 - as long as you use the VGA connection. 

 

Conclusion:

The Samsung Lapfit LD190 is a very unique display that is marketed at a unique demographic.  It offers basic LCD functions with a very basic resolution.  It doesn't have an adjustable stand, nor does it support DVI, HDMI or HDCP content.  What it does bring to the table is display connectivity via a USB cable.  This allows you to put additional displays on your laptop.  While most laptops support dual screens, the Lapfit gives you the ability to take things up a notch and add even more displays.  I've taken my Thinkpad T61 up to three displays and the added convenience is great.

Pros:

  • Compact design
  • VGA input as well as USB2.0
  • Accurate color and image quality
  • Allows multiple displays regardless of VGA/DVI ports
  • Stand folds into display for easy transportation
  • Great value for ~$130 online

 

Cons:

  • Doesn't play back 720p or greater video
  • Low contrast ratio 
  • Stand does not adjust

  BCCRating

Gold

 

I'd like to thank Samsung for sending us this display for the review.  It will be a shame going back to a mere two displays.  If you have any questions or comments, please post them in the forum at the "Comments" link below.