IMPORTANT: Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, be advised that every author perceives these factors differently. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer revisions that occur after publication which could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on this conclusion, as it represents our rating specifically for the product tested which may differ from future versions. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate.
Some enthusiasts were horrified with IBM sold their personal computer division to Lenovo. Surely the Chinese could not match the enviable reputation for quality and features IBM had spent decades building? Well, as it turns out, they can: ThinkPads and other Lenovo products are now just as accepted as they were under IBM’s tutelage. The performance of this monitor is exceptional: sure, you can construct a larger desktop from two or more smaller, much less expensive monitors, and if you don’t require ultimate color accuracy and display quality, then there are 30″ panels that are several hundred dollars cheaper. But I found I was quickly spoiled by this monitor’s size and stellar image quality.
I spent two weeks with this monitor on both my Hackintosh and Windows computers. The response time is easily fast enough for action gaming, with no noticeable motion blur. The LED backlighting is utterly even, without noticeable bleeding around dark areas or screen corners.
The construction quality is excellent: the included stand is sturdy, simple to attach, and easy to use, and provided a wide range of height, tilt, and rotation adjustments. There’s not much to comment on for the rest of the monitor, except to note that the plastic casing fits perfectly, the logos are precisely aligned, and the switches on the front worked well.
Aesthetically, I wish Lenovo had done a bit more. While monitors are utilitarian things, the “black plastic rectangle” theme is too prevalent. Dell, for example, continues to trim their high-end monitors in classy brushed aluminum, but Lenovo has stuck with plain matte black plastic. Still, it’s not an unhandsome beast…just plain. Somehow I think that a monitor this exceptional should show it a little more.
Functionally, this monitor excels as well. I like that Lenovo recognized that even in the second decade of the 21st century, sometimes you might need to plug a VGA source into your display. And having every current digital video source– DVI, HDMI, MHL, and DisplayPort– available as well future-proofs this monitor for the next decade or so. It’s also nice to finally see a USB 3.0 hub in a monitor, and the ability two switch the keyboard and mouse between two computers connected to different inputs could be very useful in some situations. The stand deserves special notice, since engineering a stand to hold a 25+ pound monitor at any angle reliably, and yet still be easy to move and position, does require some extra work. Of course at this price level one expects perfection in all the details.
Value is the big issue here, given the $1,500 MSRP. There must be some demand for this monitor since it’s sold online for $1,542 (Amazon|Newegg) as I write this, but I suppose to the people who need displays of this quality, it’s worth it. Still, it’s priced far out of the reach of most enthusiasts: while it’s demonstrably a better monitor, it’s still hard to justify for non-professional users.
My only complaints about this monitor are the overloaded function switches and the price. If you don’t require ultimate color accuracy, but want the large size, there are less expensive 30″ monitors available. However, I think the Lenovo ThinkVision LT3053p may have forever spoiled me for anything less.
+ Amazing image quality and color fidelity
+ Massive 2560×1600 screen shows a LOT of information
+ Supports every video input format you’ll ever run across
+ Internal USB 2.0 and 3.0 hubs
+ PIP/PBP functions with keyboard and mouse switching
+ Excellent stand
- Typically fiddly button/menu controls
- Very high price