The 20in widescreen monitor has become very popular over the past year or so, and it’s easy to see why. With more and more games supporting widescreen aspect ratios, a decent size, widescreen display with a high, but still graphics card friendly resolution seems like the perfect solution. But Samsung has pushed this concept just a little bit further with the SyncMaster 215TW, which sports a 21in widescreen panel rather than the more usual 20in.
Despite the fact that the SyncMaster 215TW sports exactly the same 1,680 x 1,050 resolution as all the 20in widescreen monitors out there, that slight increase in physical size really does make a big difference. I know this because right now I have the 215TW sitting on my desk next to the SyncMaster 205BW – Samsung’s own 20in widescreen model (a full review of which will be published soon). Obviously I’m not getting any more desktop real estate with the 215TW, but subjectively it’s just more pleasant to work with than a 20in model.
One thing that has really annoyed me with previous 20in widescreen monitors like the BenQ FP202W, ViewSonic VX2025wm and even the impressive NEC MultiSync 20WGX2 is the lack of adjustment in the stands. But Samsung has addressed this issue with the 215TW, making it far more versatile than the majority of 20in widescreen displays on the market. For a start there’s height adjustment at your disposal, as the screen slides smoothly up and down the central column – this was probably my biggest criticism of the previously reviewed 20in screens. Next up is a very smooth panning motion thanks to the swivel pad built into the base of the stand. This is particularly useful if you like to have dual monitors on your desk, making it easy to get the perfect viewing angle, while it also help if you want to show a colleague something that’s on your screen.