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Samsung SyncMaster 244T - Samsung SyncMaster 244T
The 244T comes in two flavours; black and silver – Samsung sent me the silver model for review. Personally I prefer black monitors, but a black display won’t conform to the TCO ’03 standard, whereas this silver model does – the black version is only TCO ’99 certified. That said, the older TCO standard would never put me off buying a monitor.
Despite housing such a large panel, the bezel surrounding the screen is very slim, which makes the display look even larger than it actually is. In the bottom right corner are control and power buttons. The menu button brings up the OSD, while the up and down arrows allow you to navigate the menus – the up and down buttons also double as shortcuts to the MagicBright settings and brightness control. MagicBright offers preset brightness levels called Entertain (presumably for watching movies), Internet (for browsing) and Text (for office applications) – there’s also a custom setting, which I configured manually and never switched from. The Select button also doubles as a source switcher when not in the OSD, while the Auto button will auto-adjust the screen when using an analogue input. The final button is Picture in Picture, allowing you to keep an eye on one source, while you’re using another.
Talking of sources and inputs, the 244T is pretty well stacked. As well as the HDCP compliant DVI port, there’s an analogue D-SUB port. Xbox 360 owners will be happy to hear that there is a set of component video inputs, while composite video and S-Video ports are also in evidence. There’s also an integrated USB 2.0 hub with one upstream and two downstream ports – this is particularly handy if your PC is on the floor under your desk. Considering the high-end nature of this monitor I would have liked to have seen dual DVI ports, at the expense of the D-SUB port – as long as one of them was a DVI-I port, it could accommodate an analogue signal as well as a digital one.
The screen is mounted on a central column that expands out to an oblong footprint on your desk. There’s an impressive range of vertical movement – it’s also nicely dampened, allowing you to move the screen up and down with the force of one finger. The screen will pan just as easily on the column too, while to top it all off you can even pivot the display. Samsung has even ensured that users don’t accidentally smash the screen into the desk when pivoting it – you need to raise the screen above a certain height before you can pivot it. The downside of this safety feature is that you can’t then lower the screen down to desk level when it’s in a portrait orientation. That said, you’re more likely to be using the portrait mode for some kind of presentation, unless you want to get a sore neck while craning to see the upper half of the display.