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Still, at least the rest of the 2263DX looks the part. From the side, its outer edges appear quite thin, though as you move along the back, the chassis slopes to a rather deep centre that culminates in the retention mechanism for the UbiSync 7 arm. The top of the bezel is slightly curved, as is the bottom, which is bordered by a recessed transparent plate that covers the OSD controls and power button.
All the controls are touch-sensitive, though the degree of sensitivity appears to vary. For instance, the power button is eminently sensitive, whereas the others require careful presses. Even worse - like on the 225uw - the accompanying button beeps can't be switched off, so extensively adjusting your screen in the office might shorten your life expectancy considerably as you drive despairing colleagues into going postal.
As on all recent Samsung monitors, image adjustments are extensive, and include MagicBright and MagicColor. The OSD itself has a wealth of options and is thankfully simple and easy to use. The monitor's buttons include shortcuts for source and volume, and the return of a rare but welcome feature: the customizable shortcut button. This versatile little button can be set to link to MagicBright, MagicColor, Color Effect (where you can make the entire screen black-and-white, sepia, blue or green) or Image Size (aspect ratio).
Unfortunately, image quality has not progressed dramatically since the 225uw. For everyday use, the screen is fine. But though the 8,000:1 claimed contrast ratio is already a bit more modest than the ludicrous 20,000:1 figure given by Samsung for its T200 monitor, it's still not low enough to be realistic. The 2263DX performed poorly in our greyscale tests, struggling to differentiate the subtle differentiations between shades at the highlight and lowlight ends of the greyscale. There was also visible dithering on dark colour tones. On the positive side, there was only a mere hint of backlight bleed along the lowest edge of the screen, and text remained quite sharp down to 6pts.
The 2263DX is one of those monitors where you can leave the dynamic contrast (found under MagicBright) set to 'on' for movies, since colours are not oversaturated, and the screen doesn't display the subtlest dark details anyway. However, the Movie setting is to be avoided, as it adds a distinctly yellow tinge to the overall picture. Samsung quotes a grey-to grey 5ms response time, and viewing angles are as bad as usual on a TN display, especially from the top. So with some strong points and a few serious weaknesses, the 2263DX ends up about middle of the pack for a 22in monitor.
But of course it does have a few extra features, mainly the webcam, which is a distinct improvement on the 2.0-megapixel effort in the SyncMaster 225uw. Actually, the images it produces are easily as good as the Microsoft LifeCam VX5000, which is not a bad achievement considering that was a standalone webcam. The included software also makes Microsoft's effort look particularly poor. You get far more software adjustability, and genuinely useful features like face-tracking and auto-zoom - even the gimmicky 'visual effects' are in a different league. These include one for making everything look like a charcoal drawing, and another which overlays your face with a famous persons' and then mimics your head movements, albeit rather basically. Samsung also includes ArcSoft's MediaImpression software for editing music, pictures and video.