The BX2231 is the first monitor I purchased specifically for gaming. I was looking for a monitor with a decent refresh rate, response time, resolution, and size. I love products from Samsung, they always exceed my expectations. This was what I thought a budget monitor - it was quite cheap, had a nice 1080p LCD display, 2ms response time, and 70Hz refresh rate. It's got a non glare screen which is brilliant when gaming - no more sun blinding you or your screen! I initially planned on mounting this monitor to a wall, however I decided to save money and use the stand the monitor comes with. I was really worth it - the stand is to sturdy, robust, and has a nice tilt back angle too. It has many settings which you can fine tune to your requirements, to make the picture nicer and crisper if not already! The gloss black finish looks really nice, however it must be dusted frequently or it'll build up fast. The power button as well as the settings for the monitor are easily accessible, with touch sensitive buttons along the bottom of the screen. I've crated this monitor between lans, and it's survived all the transport, with nothing but a mouse mat to protect it!
This monitor has a neat feature, which automatically adjusts the settings, like brightness, contrast, and gamma, called MagicBright. Also feature packed is something called MagicAngle, which allows the image to display and look the same, whichever angle you view it from. This is quite cool if you've got people gathered round your monitor showing them a video or something.
The screen rim is also quite small, so most of the product is pure monitor, not rim! I've seen monitors where the rim of the screen is a good inch at least - this is about 1cm - which is excellent, so it takes up less space than is needed. It's also a really slim monitor.
This also caters to your input options - it comes with 2 HDMI ports, and a VGA port, all of which are robustly built into the back of the monitor. The inputs are nice and secure, and hold your video cables tightly so you don't accidentally knock them out if you pass the back of the monitor.
People that have read my reviews in the past will know that when it comes to electrical I am a huge fan of Sony products but I have to say that when it comes to TV`s and PC monitors I cannot see past Samsung in the main.
I have three PC`s, I have the main one in my house which sits in my living room and it has an Acer 26 inch monitor, then I have the one I use in my studio and my gaming one in my own little study at home, both my gaming PC and the one in my studio have Samsung monitors my gaming one has a 24 inch Samsung B2430H and the one at my studio has the Samsung SyncMaster BX2231 monitor which is the one I am reviewing today.
The Samsung SyncMaster BX2231 is a 22 inch monitor and although Dooyoo have it listed as an LCD monitor it is in fact an LED monitor, well actually it is an LCD display with LED backlight technology. Samsung say their monitors are the only ones to date that offer true LED BLU displays making them stand head and shoulders above the rest.
The reason I went for this particular monitor for my studio is that I need exact colour reproduction from my monitor so that what I see on the screen is what I will see in print when I am finished editing otherwise I would have a good looking photo on screen that would perhaps have colour faults when printed.
LED monitors such as this one offer a super high contrast using a technology called mega dynamic contrast, this monitor has the highest level of contrast ratio currently available which gives the images on the screen a truly outstanding clarity way above any other monitor I have used.
Although I do not use this particular monitor on my gaming PC yet I intend to use one soon as this monitor's 2-millisecond response time makes it excellent for gaming and watching movies, I have played a few games on my PC in the studio when things have been quiet and there is no blurring or ghosting visible with this monitor at all, I have also watched the odd streaming TV program or two during quiet times and the quality of the viewing experience is excellent, I am tempted to say it is as good as watching my massive Samsung plasma at home.
For the green party supporters out there this monitor will offer something you will approve of and I guess we should all take into consideration, this Samsung monitor reduces power consumption by 40%, it does this by reducing the number of LED and defaulting to standby power.
As well as saving energy this monitor also saves space, it is an ultra slim monitor that when wall mounted barely sticks out at all and when standing on a unit it looks so sleek as the stand is also reduced in size from the earlier LCD models and is stunning glossy black it looks fantastic too.
The monitor is an HD one so as well as being able to connect via the traditional VGA method it can also be connected via HDMI if your PC has an HDMI port, the HD viewing on this monitor is every bit as good as it is on HD TV`s and the colour suport of 16.7 million colours allows everything on the screen to be seen in as vibrant a way as possible.
There are many other pieces of technology that go into making this screen as good as it is, things like "MagicBright" which automatically optimises brightness, contrast and gamma correction, based on the mode you choose, and "Magicangle" which allows the picture to remain the same quality whatever your viewing angle to the screen is, those of you with older LCD monitors will know that if you look down onto the screen or at it from the side you get a darker image and a different colour look, this is another thing that is great for in the studio as the customer will sit to the left of me to view their images and I can now rest assured they are seeing them as clearly as I am right in front t of it.
For me the important things in any monitor should be how it looks, the space it will take up and the picture quality on screen and the Samsung SyncMaster BX2231 gets top marks on all those fronts, it also gets top marks on installation and ease of use, it is a simple plug and play monitor so if you are using XP or anything later than XP it does everything for you. If you are living in the dark ages or just feel more comfortable with older operating systems then fear not there is a drivers disc with the monitor so you can install it no worries.
Ease of use sort of depends on what you want to tinker with, there are lots of menu settings on this monitor but if you want to just plug it in and use it as it comes then you can. If you do choose to tinker with things then read the manual and follow the on screen instructions and you really cannot go wrong.
With everything this monitor has going for it you might well be thinking it will be very expensive but it actually isn't at all. It can be bought from Amazon (which is where I got mine) for under £200, well £188.90 is exactly what I paid for mine, a quick look on Amazon tells me it has come down in price, it is now £188.64..... another great Amazon bargain!!
Anyway at less than £200 this monitor gets top marks for value for money too from me and I really would urge you to have a look at this monitor if you do a lot of photo editing, gaming or watching movies or TV on your PC because you really cannot go wrong.
THE SAMSUNG BX2231 SPCIFICATIONS:
Product Description: Samsung SyncMaster BX2231 - LCD display - TFT - 21.5"
Device Type: LCD display / TFT active matrix - LED backlight
Colour: Gloss black
Dimensions (WxDxH): 51.2 cm x 19.7 cm x 38.5 cm - with stand
Weight: 3.2 kg
Diagonal Size: 21.5" - widescreen
Max Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Video Format: 1080p (FullHD)
Display Positions Adjustments: Tilt
Colour Support: 16.7 million colours
Response Time: 2 ms
Image Brightness: 250 cd/m2
Image Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
Digital Video Standard: High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI)
Signal Input: 2xHDMI, VGA
Microsoft Certification: Certified for Windows Vista
Power Consumption Operational: 18 Watt
TO SUM UP:
At 22 inches in size this monitor would once have been classed as massive but these days it is about average in size but it is way above average in everything else that it offers. It is stunning to look at even when off with its mirror like glossy black look, it is super thin and takes up little space, it offers excellent HD viewing at super fast refresh times and at any angle.
I have had mine for a little over three months and I am very, very happy with it so much so in fact that I intend to replace my gaming PC`s monitor with one of these in the very near future and I have personally recommended this monitor to family and friends.
BUILD QUALITY 9/10
EASE OF USE 8/10
PICTURE QUALITY 10/10
VALUE FOR MONEY 10/10
Thanks for reading.