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Samsung Syncmaster 172B

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      06.10.2004 14:06
      Very helpful



      A set of these 17” Samsung TFT monitors were recently supplied to my workplace with a batch of 5 computers, and it just so happened that one of them found its way onto my desk…

      Ah, the perks of working in an IT Department!

      It almost makes up for the fact that I’m stuck down the very lowest level of the office building and rarely see the light of day!

      I cannot give you an exact price for this particular monitor. However, using my extensive TFT screen knowledge, or in other words, taking an educated guess, I reckon you would probably pay somewhere around £320 to £350 for this particular screen.

      The monitor has a maximum resolution of 1280 x 1024 and will run in SXGA. The monitor will display 16.7 million colours making full use of the “True Colour” setting in Windows. It uses 0.8 mega pixel, 24 bit technology. It has 0.264mm dot pitch and a refresh rate of 25 milliseconds. The monitor is plug and play adaptable and has a RGB analogue input, which provides a high quality input from the display card.

      The dimensions of this monitor are 450mm by 460mm by 190mm. The overall weight of the monitor is 5.8kg. Overall these dimensions make for a very compact screen.

      The monitors we received were supplied in a black colour. This makes a nice change from the usual boring, “you can have any colour as long as it’s beige” approach we seem to get with most screens!

      The screen features a set of stereo speakers built in, which can be connected to the computer through an input at the back of the monitor. Also on the back on the screen are an input for a monitor lead and a power input. This particular screen gets its power from a small power pack (supplied with the monitor) which needs be plugged into a standard “kettle style” computer lead.

      On the front of the monitor are controls for altering the display. These consist of an on/off button, menu entry, menu exit and then four direction buttons for controlling navigation through the on-screen menus.

      In Use
      As with all flat screen monitors, the major advantage is the amount of space you save on your desk. This is due to the lack of depth of the monitor as there no tube in the back to take up lots of space. Place it on a desk and you will notice just how much space you are saving!

      The monitor is plug and play compatible, so it’s just a case of plugging the monitor cable into the computer and then hey presto! Well not quite, you’ll need to the power pack into the monitor before it will work! Anyway once you’ve done both of these highly complex procedures, as this monitor is plug and play compatible, it will do the rest of the work for you, setting itself up to the computer and even auto-positioning the picture correctly in the middle of the screen.

      In terms of the display quality, you really need to run this monitor at the maximum resolution of 1280 x 1024 to get the sharpest picture. In lower resolutions the display is perfectly acceptable, but isn’t quite as sharp as the maximum resolution setting. A downside with the 1280 x 1024 resolution is that you may need to upgrade your display card as not all cards support this higher resolution. I’m pleased to say that our computers in the office can support this resolution setting, which is handy!

      In common with most monitors these days, the on screen display is easy to follow and is split into logical areas which are easy to navigate.

      It is worth mentioning that these LCD screens pick up dust very easily (especially noticeable in the black colour), so plenty of wiping with the cloth was necessary only after a couple of days of the thing being on my desk!

      The speakers seem provide a crisp, clear sound but are lacking a bit in the bass department, due to their compact size. However, they are perfectly decent for the “ding” and “ting” sounds created by Windows!

      Reliability wise, I would hope these screens are as long lasting as the other TFT monitors we have in the office. As for long term reliability, once again I can’t comment on at this stage having only had this monitor on my desk for a week…

      In terms of value for money, I would say that these types of monitors are well worth the money just for the amount of space they save you on the desk. Also as TFT technology becomes more standard, the quality of this type of monitor is definitely improving

      I would definitely recommend this monitor as it looks the part, offers good performance and has reassuring backup of being produced by the very large Samsung corporation.

      Thanks for reading!


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