Pebble: a small, rounded stone, often worn smooth by the action of the elements. Or so you would think. Of course, in this case, Pebble: a rather large, rounded PC monitor, worn smooth by the action of designers and marketeers. Indeed, Pebble is the standout name Samsung has chosen for part of its recent LCD monitor and television range. Inevitably, this monitor still carries the name SyncMaster, and model number (2232BW), but there's just something cool about being able to say you're browsing the net or playing a game on a Pebble.
So what can another 22in monitor do to distinguish itself in an already overcrowded market? Perhaps offer a superb quality IPS or MVA panel as opposed to the usual cheap TN? Or how about full-HD resolution? Not quite. However, what the 2232BW supposedly does bring to its corner is a dynamic contrast system and fast 2ms panel in a gorgeous package. To find out if this is enough to compete against the contenders in its size-class, read on.
This iteration of the SyncMaster comes with all the cables to match its inputs, VGA and DVI, and thankfully a nice cleaning cloth. I say thankfully because this is one accessory you will be using a lot - the 2232BW's finish is remarkably resistant to fingerprints, but dust shows like a fluorescent flea on dark carpet. For its Pebble monitor range, Samsung has decided to port some of its rather spiffing television styling to computer screens, and the results are very pretty indeed.
Featuring the same hard curves and smooth edges as its namesake, I am tempted to compare the Pebble to some sports-car or other. Its looks are that sleek, with a piano-black mirror finish that mercifully doesn't extend to the panel's coating. Overall, it's not hard to see why the 2232BW won Samsung a 2007 iF Product Design Award. The only thing that spoils its svelte curves slightly is the Samsung logo in white lettering across the lower bezel.
The OSD buttons are labelled on the front of the monitor across the lower bezel, but before you cheer at how much easier this makes operating the settings, or groan at the aesthetic crime of it, let me tell you that they're a mixed blessing. On the one hand, they're just clear enough to read in bright light without being in your face, therefore leaving the Pebble's looks unmolested. On the other, in dimmer light they're simply illegible. But kudos to Samsung for daring to stick them on the front of a designer monitor nonetheless, and saving us some neck-ache.