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Samsung SyncMaster 226BW review

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Samsung SyncMaster 226BW
  • Samsung SyncMaster 226BW
  • Samsung SyncMaster 226BW
  • Samsung SyncMaster 226BW
  • Samsung SyncMaster 226BW
  • Samsung SyncMaster 226BW
  • Samsung SyncMaster 226BW
  • SyncMaster SM226BW 56 cm 22" LCD Monitor 1680 x 1050 - 16:10 - 2 ms - 0.282 mm - Black

Summary

Our Score:

9

It’s taken a long time but we’ve finally got our hands on a 22in monitor from Samsung. Over the last few months we’ve looked at number of examples from Miria, IIyama, Viewsonic and Acer but with a strong presence in the PC display market many people will be considering Samsung’s effort – the 226BW.

If the decision was based on looks alone then the Samsung would have things wrapped up before we even left the starting blocks. Over the past couple of years Samsung has really raised the game when it comes to display design and the 226BW takes no prisoners in that regards. The glossy black bezel with pleasing curved edges is beautifully offset by a smart silver power switch at the bottom right with a cool blue light present behind it. A silver strip runs underneath, with the OSD commands subtly imprinted and the buttons hidden underneath.

The Samsung logo and model name are placed at the bottom centre and top left respectively, but I don’t see the need to have specifications such as ‘2ms’, and ‘3000:1 Dynamic Contrast’ permanently etched on as well. After all, if you’ve bought the monitor there’s no need to keep advertising the specs to you forever.

The stand is not height adjustable but it is circular, which is a simple method of getting the whole display to rotate. It does tilt forward and back and it is wall mountable with 100mm VESA standard holes. There are no extras such as USB ports or built-in speakers and round the back connectivity is straightforward too – just VGA and DVI.

On the up-side the DVI port is described as HDCP compatible, the only 22in we’ve seen that does, which gives it a huge boost over its competitors. If you have any intention of watching Blu-ray or HD DVD on your PC at some point in the future, HDCP support is a necessity, which immediately rules out the competitor 22in displays that we’ve looked at so far. There’s no HDMI connector, but converters are easily available.

Samsung has the rear ports completely covered by a plastic cover, which ensures that even with everything plugged in, it looks clean and elegant even from the rear.

Neither the manual on the CD nor the Samsung Web site reveals the technology used in the panel. The headline figure is the 2ms grey-to-grey response time, which normally infers that the panel is a basic 6-bit TN. However, the quoted figure for the amount of colours configurable is 16.7m, which is only possible from an 8-bit panel. Either way, the viewing angles are less than that available from IPS panels – just 160 degrees both horizontally and vertically. However, in reality that’s enough for most users and good enough so that people don’t have to be right in front of it. However, you still can’t view from too far above or below.

StevenSane

August 5, 2014, 5:56 am

Samsung 226BW. Mine came with an HDCP sticker on it BUT it's not really. Don't be fooled.

How_delightful

February 22, 2015, 4:19 am

I bought this SS-226BW in 2007 and it still runs like new (2015). I don't care what HDCP is until its something I need on a PC monitor for Office and light gaming. It also survived crossing the Earth and handled a few earthquakes admirably.

Matt

January 10, 2016, 2:45 pm

Crazy all this is coming back around.

I've had mine since 2006... still excellent, if a bit dim compared to the much brighter screens available today. The HDCP compliance was a great hidden gem -- Netflix, iTunes and all the others require HDCP monitors if you're driving it off a laptop like I do, for example.

I'll be looking for some thing bigger soon, I just hope whatever I find is as reliable as this old dog has been.

Slawomir Kortas

April 2, 2016, 5:10 pm

Have had mine since 2007, that's 9 years ago and I still use it every day. Found this thread as I was looking for VESA mount dimensions. 100mm it is. Gonna hang it in my home office soon.

Mine does have a small flaw, however. Some time ago the monitor wouldn't turn on. I had to physically unplug it from the power strip, and plug it back in for it to power on. Now, it will "die" every few days like that. Usually it will just respond to the power button, but every other week or so, I have to switch off and on the power strip for the monitor to work. I have of course exchanged the strip already, and the power cord itself, too. It's the monitor for sure. Doesn't bother me much, 9 years of service is a good track record.

Alvar

July 19, 2016, 6:39 pm

Same! Though I had to replace capacitors in its power supply. Maybe take yours apart to see if they are blown as well?

Slawomir Kortas

July 25, 2016, 2:53 pm

Alright, you talked me into it Alvar. Got my SyncMaster apart and waiting for all new capacitors. No visually blown caps, but we'll see if new ones help.

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