Lenovo’s L12721sw, the Ideal Monitor that I Always Wanted but Couldn’t Afford — Until Now

My first color monitor was a Commodore 13″ VGA 1084S (“S” for built-in stereo sound) CRT monitor for my Amiga 1000 and it cost around $750. Along the way I have also splurged as much as $900 for a 17″ ViewSonic CRT and $900 for a 19″ ViewSonic LCD monitor. In the meantime, I discovered the convenience and productivity provided by a dual monitor setup that allowed me to view two pages of text or two open applications side-by-side. I accomplished this with an expensive Acer AL1912 19″ monitor ($199) and built another from parts that I bought on eBay. I guess that you could describe it as a dual-monitor setup on the cheap.

Dual Acer AL1912 Monitor Setup with Windows 8

The monitors were getting old and the color balance and fluorescent backlight level of each was slightly different. They also had large bezels, a large desktop footprint, and two sets of cables to manage. I was reduced to manually adjusting the brightness, contrast, and color balance because auto adjust was producing unbalanced results. Still, it was a nice setup and I soldiered on with it. Nevertheless, I had taken to eyeballing those new-fangled wide-screen LCD/LED monitors, but they were prohibitively expensive. Moreover, a single wide-screen monitor had to match the screen size of the dual 19″ monitor setup and provide side-by-side full pages of text so it had to be large–27″–and the larger a monitor, the more it costs.

Much to my chagrin, several recent events hastened the replacement of the dual monitor setup:

  1. Windows 8 – with Windows 8, you cannot spread the desktop over dual monitors like you can with other recent Windows iterations. You can only have Metro UI running on the left and the traditional desktop running on the right (or vice versa). This was the dagger to the heart of my budget setup. Sure I could have Internet Explorer 11 (Metro UI) opened on one monitor and any other Windows desktop application open on the other but it just didn’t cut it like having two Windows desktop applications running side by side.
  2. Lenovo – I spotted the Lenovo L12721s W 27″ LCD/LED monitor on sale for $299.99 plus free two-day shipping on Amazon Prime.

Reviewers be damned, I purchased this monitor sight unseen, mainly because I have come to trust the quality of Lenovo products, and Lenova, by the way, has risen to the position of the number two PC vendor in the world (just behind Hewlett-Packard) and it certainly wasn’t by accident. The out-of-box experience was delightful. Aside from the fingerprint-magnet but attractive piano-black finish, it was a beautiful piece of work with no dead or frozen pixels, and with an attractive anodized aluminum stand. I also found out that it had built-in speakers that could further eliminate the clutter of my powered JBL “Creature” speakers (I kept them anyway because they are cool) and marveled at the narrow bezel, touch controls, and just about everything else.

How is the quality? When I turned it on, the first thing that went through my mind was LARGE–and–BRIGHT–it literally lights up the room at night. Even though I am positive that monitor reviewers have found something lacking with the display quality, I have no complaints, However, keep in mind that online reviewers have a tendency to compare products to the in-class benchmarks (i.e.: usually the most expensive) and generally do not take price into consideration because they are not paying for the review units with their hard-earned cash.

The Bottom Line

With the Windows 8.1 upgrade and the new monitor, I can now view:

  1. Two full-page Metro UI apps side-by-side.
  2. Two full-page desktop apps side-by-side.

I couldn’t be happier with the price vs. performance of the Lenovo L12721s W. Be forewarned that its low price is due to the fact that it has been discontinued and there are only a few left available on Amazon.com. Get one while you still can.

Lenovo L12721s W Specs from Amazon


The super slim and stylish Lenovo LI2721s W allows edge-to-edge viewing. Its fully functional 27” screen with IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology offers unparalleled visual quality from any angle. And the durable grade A+ glass and non reflective screen ensure perfect clarity.


  • 1920×1080 Resolution @60Hz
  • IPS LED Panel
  • 250 cd/m2 brightness
  • 14ms response time
  • Dynamic Contrast Ratio of 10M:1
  • Typical Contrast Ratio of 1000:1
  • 178/178 viewing angle
  • VGA+DVI+HDMI input signals
  • Audio out
  • 100×100 mm vesa mount
  • 1.67″ x 17.5″ x 24.6″ (D x H x W)
  • 5.80Kg/ 12.79lb

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