Virtually all IPS monitors these days claim full 24-bit color support, meaning they can at least on paper reproduce 16,777,216 colors, generally abbreviated as “16 million colors”. The Lenovo ThinkVision LT3053p uses an Advanced High Performance In-Plane Switching (AH-IPS) screen that has 30-bit support for a theoretical display of 1.07 billion colors covering 99% of the Adobe RGB color gamut. According to Lenovo, mainsteam monitors on average cover only about 78% of the Adobe RGB gamut. Lenovo supplies a large snap-on hood that blocks light from coming from above or to the side of the monitor for the best color rendition.
However, as long as you don’t have a window behind you, you’ll probably be happy with the display without the hood. While Lenovo didn’t provide a colorimeter with this review unit, each LT3053p ships with a sheet detailing its performance on Lenovo’s calibrations tests:
With color and gamma tested at 25 points on the screen, my review unit was subjectively perfect. Not a one of the 4 million pixels was stuck on or off that I could see, and the colors were simply amazing: by contrast the display of my older Dell UltraSharp looked subtly washed-out, with a distinct orange cast. The difference was almost as dramatic as comparing a standard IPS monitor to a TN monitor. If you’ve been using a TN monitor, the LT3053p will rock your world.
How can you effectively use 2560×1600 pixels? One way is to combine the displays from two computers. The Lenovo ThinkVision monitor supports a picture-in-picture (PIP) feature that lets you place a secondary display from another input at any corner of the screen. You can choose from different sizes; this shot shows the display from my Hackintosh at the lower right, at the largest size available.
Alternatively, you can select picture-by-picture (PBP) mode. With each image allocated 1280 pixels of horizontal space, they’re actually large enough to be usable, although if you plan to do a lot of work this mode it would be best to set the resolution on each computer appropriately. In this image the Hackintosh and PC are both set to 2560×1600, which obviously must be scaled down to show in PBP mode. This makes screen icons and text too small be to usable.
And remember those keyboard-and-mouse labeled USB ports in the previous section? This is what they’re for: you can use the upstream USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 connectors to connect to two different computers, and control them with a keyboard and mouse plugged into the labeled ports on the monitor. Pressing a single switch on the front of the monitor switches the keyboard and mouse between the two computers, as sort of a poor man’s KVM. The only restriction is that each computer’s video must be connected to a different port on the back of the monitor (you select the port to use for the secondary display when you configure it), and the DVI and HDMI ports can’t be the two ports (apparently they use the same internal connection circuitry or something).
I’ll give my final thoughts and conclusion on this monitor in the next section.