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Samsung SyncMaster 226BW - Samsung SyncMaster 226BW

By Benny Har-Even



  • Recommended by TR
Samsung SyncMaster 226BW


Our Score:


The OSD is fairly comprehensive. You’d expect the Brightness and Contrast controls but there are many colour other adjustments available too. The Magic-Color option provides a colour boost, with a demo mode splitting the screen in two to show its effects - more on that later. Color Tone lets you choose between Cool, Normal, Warm and Custom and you can manually adjust the Red, Green and blue Colour levels and Gamma. In the Image adjustments option you can adjust Sharpness. Coarse and Fine are also listed available but these options are not adjustable.

Pressing the second OSD button from the left brings up the MagicBright menu with each press selecting one of seven presets – Custom, Text, Internet, Game, Sport, Movie and Dynamic Contrast.

I set up the monitor on my desk as a replacement for the Acer AL3316w 22in model, and even aside from the much more aesthetically pleasing housing I could tell straight away that the image quality was better. The viewing angle was superior with the whites of the screen not fading to yellow when moving off centre, which was an immediate plus. General Windows, Office and browser use was excellent with 226BW delivering a bright clear white, while text was sharp and easy to read.

The figure imprinted at the top right is a claimed Contrast Ratio of 3000: 1 but only when the Dynamic Contrast preset is selected. This setting actually automatically brightens or dims the monitor depending on the content, which sounds great. However, I would recommend avoiding this setting. This boosts colours at the top end, but it merely makes for overblown images, which aren’t great to look at.

If a display is too bright it makes prolonged viewing more stressful so the Text or Internet settings turned down the brightness level so you can sit in front of the display for longer periods. If you’re gaming or watching a movie then the Sport or Movie settings are preferable. In the other modes you’ll be getting a contrast ratio of 1000:1 which isn’t bad for a desktop LCD monitor.

Indeed, when watching both standard definition and high definition content I was impressed by the detail and contrast on offer particularly in darker scenes with good motion. The screen also isn’t as overly reflective as some displays are.

The native resolution of 1,680 x 1,050 is just shy of full HD in terms of vertical resolution, so it’ll have to scale down for Full HD and scale up for 720p content, but the screen dealt well with both.

The Magic Color option I mentioned earlier does what it says on the tin but like Dynamic Contrast it washes out the high end so you lose subtle colour graduations. It makes Windows more vivid but I would make sure it’s turned off when photo editing.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Matt Allen

September 11, 2016, 1:02 am

I have had mine since 2007, and it has been fantastic! Very reliable, excellent picture quality, and quick response time of 2ms so no ghosting, well ahead of it's time and I'm still using it today, I too had to replace the capacitors which you would expect for a 9 year old piece of hardware, but it's running great again now. Infact I have ordered another off ebay to have a dual monitor setup!

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