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Samsung SyncMaster 226BW
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.