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Samsung SyncMaster 245B 24in Monitor - Samsung SyncMaster 245B
The real differentiating factor between the 245B and every other 24in widescreen monitor we've reviewed is the fact that it utilises a TN panel, rather than an S-PVA panel. The big advantage to TN panels is that they are far cheaper than S-PVA or S-IPS panels, but the downside is that the image quality and viewing angle are rarely worth shouting about. Unfortunately, the 245B doesn't break the mould, and when it comes to image quality this screen is no match of pretty much any of the other 24in monitors we've reviewed.
First up, the viewing angles can only be described as poor in both the vertical and horizontal planes. If I stand up while maintaining my view of the screen it becomes noticeably darker – it almost looks like a dark sheet is being drawn up over the image. Viewing from the side is slightly better, although there's still a drop in brightness and discernable colour shift.
When it comes to image quality the 245B also struggles to compete with other 24in displays. There's noticeable compression when viewing high resolution photos, and no amount of adjusting can trim it out. Colours also have a slightly over saturated look to them, which often results in a loss of detail. Surprisingly, the 245B didn't appear to be well setup out of the box, which is unusual for a Samsung, but after some tweaking and adjustment, it provided a reasonable image for Windows work.
Firing up DisplayMate brought no surprises. The Dark Grey-Scale test faded to black far too quickly and no amount of adjusting could rectify this. Of course if you stood up or viewed it off plane, the intensity seemed to drop properly, but then all the greys looked green. At the opposite end, the Low Saturation Colours test showed that the 245B had problems at the high intensity end too, with the two percent bar completely lost in the white background. The Colour Tracking test once again highlighted strong hints of green and yellow in what should have been greyscale blocks. The Colour Scales also managed to trip the 245B up, with an uneven drop off at the low intensity, and a distinct drop in colour purity, also at the low intensity end.
Of course I never expected the 245B to excel at colour accuracy, seeing as it uses a 6-bit panel rather than an 8-bit one. This means that the 245B has a maximum colour palette of 16.2 million colours, but only through the use of dithering. Even then, a true 8-bit panel will give you 16.7 million real colours.