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Samsung SyncMaster 225uw 22in LCD review

Ardjuna Seghers

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Samsung SyncMaster 225uw 22in LCD
  • Samsung SyncMaster 225uw 22in LCD
  • Samsung SyncMaster 225uw 22in LCD
  • Samsung SyncMaster 225uw 22in LCD
  • Samsung SyncMaster 225uw 22in LCD
  • Samsung SyncMaster 225uw 22in LCD
  • Samsung SyncMaster 225uw 22in LCD
  • Samsung SyncMaster 225uw 22in LCD
  • SyncMaster 225UW Widescreen LCD Monitor - 22" - 1680 x 1050 - 16:10 - 5ms - 700:1 - Black

Summary

Our Score:

7

Samsung certainly looks to be staying at the cutting edge of design. Its daring new crystal ‘touch of colour' black rose televisions, like the Samsung LE32A656 32in LCD, are proof of this. In fact, this design is proving so favourable that it is being implemented in its monitors, like the T200 (of which a review is coming soon!). With red and orange all the rage these days (for another example just take a peek at LG's Scarlet TVs), it's easy to forget that plain old black can still make for a timeless look to be reckoned with.

That's exactly what you get with the Samsung SyncMaster 225uw. The moment I took this monitor out of its box, I was in love. Maybe it's because of the dearth of monitors that aren't afraid to be square, but the 225uw's chunky yet stylish profile instantly appeals. Yes, the corners are curved a bit, but the whole thing just looks like a solid slab of pure coolness. This is the kind of monitor you might expect to find in the film ‘Equilibrium', to match the daunting architecture.

Though Samsung refers to it as ‘lacquered', the 225uw's finish consists of a similar high-gloss piano black to most of the competition. Thanks to a combination of clean, broad lines and a complete adherence to a single coating, it manages a sense of class many others lack. No inlays, strips or bases in other materials to be found here; the only exception being a very slight, narrow silver ridge set in the lower bezel, which enhances rather than detracts.

The 225uw's sense of solidity is helped by a not inconsiderable weight of nearly 8Kg, though build quality is not as reassuring and the 225uw creaks audibly when any pressure is applied. The monitor comes in one single piece, so no assembly is required. However, you can detach the stand for wall mounting, and it is compatible with any 100mm x 100mm VESA mount. The stand itself is again a flat square, and feels eminently solid. The 225uw offers no swivel, height adjustment or pivot (though a very generous amount of tilt), but that's somewhat forgiveable considering this monitor brings some unique features to the desk.

On the back of the display you'll find a USB connector in addition to the usual VGA and (HDCP compliant) DVI ports. In addition to carrying data to a two-port integral USB hub, it powers all the SyncMaster 225uw's extra features. It carries audio to twin 1.5W hidden speakers, supplies the 3.5mm microphone and headphone jacks, and drives a 2.0 Megapixel web camera and built-in array microphones.

The 225uw's panel specifications certainly seem low-key compared to most other 22in TN monitors on the market. A 700:1 contrast ratio doesn't sound very impressive when compared to the 10,000 dynamic figure claimed by the LG Flatron W2252TQ we reviewed previously, while a 5ms response time seems positively pedestrian. But here one needs to keep in mind two things: first, that the 225uw is oriented mainly towards business users, and second, that these could well be real specifications, rather than over-inflated marketing specs.

Lyle

July 22, 2008, 12:36 am

I have had one of these for about 3 weeks now and I would have to agree with this review overall. I couldn't find any reviews at the time I ordered it, so I kinda went with the features and the Samsung reputation, although the low contrast (700:1) did raise a bit of a red flag--as well it should have as it turns out. The contrast is indeed a bit disappointing and regular size text is not as sharp as it is on my 4 month old IMac 24 inch (by a long shot!) nor even as clear as on a 3 year old 19" LG display at work. But the webcam, integrated mic and speakers do work great for video calls on Skype, which was one of my goals for this new PC after the great integrated experience on the IMac. I am looking to order a bunch of these for work, for video conferencing, and for that they would be great, but for everyday email or word processing, the text quality is a bit hard on the eyes I would say. (Maybe I don't have all the tweaks just right yet..for eg it was really lousy before I found the LCD tweak in Windows, now it is just mildly lousy) On the up side I was able to get a great deal on it through pricematching on the ncix.com website (vancouver canada). They had it on sale for 270 Canadian which was what initially caught my attention, but with pricematching I actually got it from ncix for $230 Can (about the same in US$ these days) Which is great and makes it a much better value than the review above if you can get a price like that. But I still am looking for a similar deal in another similarly equipped 22 inch monitor (good webcam, mic and spks) perhaps from other maker, with improved display quality, and then I'll give this one away to someone in my extended family who will be very happy I'm sure. Anybody know of another display that fits that bill?


thx


Lyle

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