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Samsung SyncMaster 225uw 22in LCD - Samsung SyncMaster 225uw

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

So, let's see how the 225uw works out in use. Ergonomically, the lack of height adjustment is probably the SyncMaster 225uw's biggest failing. To make up for it, Samsung has implemented some of the easiest cable connections you're likely to find on any non-pivoting monitor. This is because the ports at the back (including power) are angled out, rather than down, making them simpler to see and connect. The one disadvantage is that cables protrude from the back a bit more than usual, but on the other hand this also makes them easier to keep tidy.

The headphone, microphone and powered USBs, meanwhile, are located on the left-hand side of the monitor for convenient access, where they are discreetly hidden behind the bezel. Of course an integrated webcam will never offer the placement flexibility of a stand-alone model, but it does save space and wires. In a nice touch, the web camera rotates inward when not in use, preventing dust or dirt from getting on the lens.

However, this is also a potential weakness. On our sample the hinge was loose (possibly due to previous use) and it was difficult to make the camera maintain its position. Camera quality is acceptable for the resolution, with sharp static images and, disappointingly, some blur over moving shapes. The dual array microphone is more impressive, picking up my voice clearly at a distance of over a metre despite ambient noise.

The speakers are actually slightly better than what you would likely expect considering their rating. At about half their maximum volume they don't distort too much, and they're capable of a modicum of base and treble. Most importantly, they're adequate for voice material, which is their intent. Together with its audio ports for non-intrusive office use, the SyncMaster 225uw makes for a complete communications device.

Moving on to the OSD, a major point of annoyance is that it appears to be impossible to switch off the menu's beeps. This is especially aggravating in a piece of hardware intended mainly for the office, and is not the only irritation. Unlike the fabulous implementation on the Toshiba Satellite A300-177 notebook, here the touch-sensitive buttons once again live up to my generally low expectations by being awkward and inaccurate. I understand Samsung wanting to keep the bezels of its display clean, but in this case buttons could easily have been mounted out of sight in the gap beneath the silver ridge.

As things stand, you have to apply the entire surface of your finger-tip to an area just above the actual icons on the bezel to get a response. And be sure to release in time, otherwise you'll accidentally move down five steps instead of one.

Overall, the 225uw's OSD is quite similar to that on the Samsung SyncMaster 226cw, except it lacks the options for dynamic contrast or overdrive, since this office monitor does neither, and due to its communications emphasis, the usual brightness/contrast button is replaced by a volume shortcut.

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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