Product Type: Samsung LCD monitors
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A credit to Samsung's reputation
Samsung Syncmaster T220
Member Name: dannylee
Samsung Syncmaster T220
Date: 07/11/11, updated on 07/11/11 (32 review reads)
Advantages: Brilliant picture quality, great aesthetic 'homely' design
Disadvantages: Check the manual properly before going all Tommy Walsh on the stand, which luckily I avoided
Boy am I glad to own one of these. If I had to put up with all the other LCD screens I see every day on the work run, I'd have to lift all my information through comparitively fluffy, fuzzy and dull monitors. 2 years on from initial purchase, as my first ever LCD screen the Samsung has earned a bit of brand loyalty. Chosen with pre-researched popular opinion taken on board, I'm glad to now pass on my own praises for a great premium screen.
Unpacking the Syncmaster from it's carry-handle box brings to attention how large 22 inches really is in display terms. Beautifully clad in a partially transparent, curvy shell. Stylishly adorned with a subtle gradient of red colouring emanating from the bottom lip. In fact, the more observations I make the more it sounds like a full-blown premium television design scaled down for desk use, in that the attention to design evident in Samsung's large screens does indeed extend to their computer accessories too. Instead of looking boring and business-like, we get affluent and presentable - qualities which can serve both the home and the business. Speaking of style concerns, there's only one button on the front face and that isn't a traditional push-button but is instead operated by touch. Swiping your finger across the tiny white power symbol is all it really takes to switch off and on. Whilst it lacks the physical feedback, I find using it to be a rare occasion over just powering off at the plug. So, until it's time to switch off for the night, a soft orange glow seemingly 'bakes' the button to indicate power on. There are certainly no distracting exposed LEDs or garish backlit buttons on display. Attention to subtle detail and design such as this shows that you don't lose any form when choosing function.
At first, the way the metal-backed stand didn't sit perfectly flush to the rest of the screen had me downright confused. Confused enough, actually, to make me think I'd been supplied a duff component and was about to do some wholesale metal grinding until I took one last look at the instruction manual and realised that it's not meant to be perfectly flush. Although the stand and screen were solid and sat perfectly stable on the desk, the 2-3mm protrusion was enough to throw me off-course a bit. Call off the DIY squad - it's seemingly by design, allaying my fears. Proof enough, I can bolt my fairly strong force-feedback steering wheel to the same bit of wood my screen is perched and I do not witness a Rolf-Harris approved wobble-fest when playing my beloved racing simulations.
When fine-tuning the display of the Samsung you've got 5 buttons tucked behind the front bezel, on the right hand side. Pressing the top one, 'menu', will bring up an on-screen directory which also indicates what each button is so that you can do just about anything without needing to physically see them. All the standard settings such as brightness and contrast are present, and as I speak mine are sitting in the mid-range. Rather than some other monitors which sit at the high-end of the brightness/contrast spectrum, this can sit in the middle with plenty of maneuvering room either way. However there are many more extras to explore, such as 'MagicBright', which contains a few presets to change the baseline settings of the brightness and contrast - of which one will surely suit you. RGB settings are there, of course, and 'MagicColor' offers limited presets if you don't want to manually define the tones of the display. Colour tones and effects are available to play with, including 'warmth' tones or 'grayscale' and 'sepia' - though just as they are to be played with, they're admittedly not much more than toys and serve no real use that I have witnessed yet. Gamma, sharpness and even the brightness of the little power button glow I described earlier can be adjusted. There's a lot in this monitor that a user can influence if they really want to. Most are fire-and-forget settings but it's important for a premium monitor to have a large range of customisation. What may seem fine for me may be dull and underlit for you, and vice versa - but no matter, for you're covered regardless of preference.
So, at 22 inches, it's no tamagotchi. Enough for a native resolution of 1680x1050, you will find that nothing ever looks undefined unless it's by design. This monitor is my weapon of choice for browsing and editing large photographs and images in Photoshop and working on colourful, graphical projects by eye. I also play my fair share of games with this screen and find it to be the crispest, most pronounced image I've ever had. The matt-effect screen itself is a crucial design choice for eliminating reflections and sunlight from bleaching image, making it friendly for use in a bright room. Gloss-finish screens found with some other manufacturers may look nice sat in the corner of the room, but are less user-friendly when actually being used due to reflecting anything and everything back at you. At night, the LCD is of high enough quality to remain pin-sharp even when displaying very bright text on a dark background. Older LCD's seemed to be washed out in my opinion, and is one of the reasons I held off so long getting one myself - the apprehensions turned out to be totally unfounded from day one of ownership of the Syncmaster. From high quality videos and pictures in the day to dark and drab survival horror games in a dark room at night, In all types of games and videos the Syncmaster brings a 2 dimensional image as close to 3 dimensional as can be done, simply through the brilliant reproduction of constrast and colour. If I absolutely had to draw upon an apt and well-used phrase, it's that this screen is pixel perfect every time.
As a product, it's a job well done. When someone wants a recommendation for a screen with a certain spark, Samsung will ever get my vote. Unfaltered for pictures, video, text, games, colours - everything. If you're prepared to pay a little more than ordinary make-do screens, it'll live up to Samsung's reputation and more importantly it'll justify your extra dosh.
*Edit: One useful thing I've omitted is that this screen is not wall mountable with your bog-standard mounting kits. There are no 4-point threaded holes on the back of this particular monitor.
Summary: Great monitor, justified value for money
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