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Having just criticised its touch-sensitive controls, I am obliged to mention that the 225uw's power button is a notable exception, as it is almost too easy to use. It consists of a wider strip cleverly integrated into the aforementioned silver ridge, with a very modest little blue LED beside it. Not only is this power strip a design success, but even the lightest touch anywhere along its large surface will activate it.
Naturally, image quality is still the paramount factor in even a multi-function display, and here I found the 225uw to be generally good. To get the biggest negative out of the way, the monitor confirms its low contrast rating by completely failing to distinguish subtle whites or blacks. There was also some brown tinting over specific grey shades and slight backlight bleed from the lower bezel, though none of this makes this Samsung unsuitable for its intended use, or prevent you from enjoying the occasional film or game.
In general, colours are a bit more accurate than usual (as long as you leave the MagicColor system turned off), since even in Samsung's Movie mode they are not as over-saturated as we often find on TNs. Sharpness is good, and even small text is perfectly legible. Viewing angles are also a slight bit above average for a screen based on TN-technology - not that that means they're particularly note-worthy.
In terms of competition, the SyncMaster 225uw instantly distinguishes itself from other 22in monitors sporting webcams by stepping up from the usual 1.3 to 2 Megapixels, though if you want a quality feed you'll still have to buy a separate web-camera. The above-average integrated microphone and multiple inputs all running from a single USB connection are also impressive, and while the panel is not going to win any prizes, it's more than capable for its intended purpose. But at around £240, it does charge a premium for its features.
Aimed primarily, though not necessarily exclusively, at the business sector, Samsung's SyncMaster 225uw combines all the features necessary for virtual office communication in a stylish 22in monitor. Sadly, its average panel and high price mean you'll only want to consider it if you specifically need what it offers.
Scores In Detail
- Image Quality