Sharp LL-172G-B review

Price when reviewed

It’s imperative when buying a monitor that you get the best quality for your budget, and Sharp’s newest and most stylish model yet should keep you happy on every front. The black bezel is slim at 18mm, and set off nicely by the silver stand and control bar.

Sharp LL-172G-B review

The 16ms response time all but eliminates lag, giving DVDs and games a crisp clarity even in fast-action scenes. The native resolution of 1,280 x 1,024 is also welcome; the larger the Desktop the better. Brightness too is acceptable at 300cd/m2. There’s no reflective coating either, so the screen’s ideal for use in brightly lit offices.

Further evidence of Sharp’s design finesse is demonstrated with the neat cable-tying system and well-designed stand. The splayed feet provide a solid base, with a lockable height adjustment of around 70mm. It may not swivel, but it tilts and turns through acceptably wide arcs. Turning the screen shows off its wide viewing angles: text is still readable at around 70 degrees off-centre. The supplied DVI cable is also welcome; these can cost up £20 to buy separately.

Using a DVI connection provides sharp results, but even using the D-SUB input we were hard pushed to find any faults. Colour and greyscale ramps showed no banding, indicating excellent colour handling. The Sharp is also better than most at retaining the richness of dark areas, further adding to our confidence in using it for photo editing.

We were slightly concerned with the weak showing of yellow and cyan in a colour spectrum. This won’t affect image quality too much though. The LL-172G-B does have trouble rendering near-white against a white background. This is a common problem with TFTs, though, and again won’t detract much from overall image quality.

The Sharp matches the previously A-Listed Iiyama ProLite E431S for image quality, and also for the awkwardness of its OSD. But you can’t have everything, and it does allow control over white balance and a gamma curve control, useful for getting the display just right.

With image performance equal to that of the Iiyama, we like the Sharp LL-172G-B. It’s £20 cheaper too, and you get the stylish stand and superior looks. The ProLite E431S has been our favourite 17in TFT monitor for almost a year, but this screen from Sharp is rather special and so takes its place on the A List.

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