Samsung has in recent years grown to dominate the both the TV and monitor markets, so if anyone should be able to do a good job at putting both of them together in one unit, it should be the Korean manufacturer.
If you’re strapped for space a hybrid makes a lot of sense, both practically and technically. After all, LCD technology was originally designed for monitors, before it advanced sufficiently for it to become practical for larger TVs. What’s more, ever since PC monitors began to offer a native 16:9, 1,920 x 1,080 resolution rather than 1,920 x 1,200 (16:10), the line between a TV and monitor display has blurred even further.
The SyncMaster B2230HD is billed as a 22in monitor, but actually sports a display size of 21.5in, for the pedantic amongst us. It's certainly not the first of its breed we have looked at, and most recently cast our eye over the similarly-sized Samsung SyncMaster LD220HD TV monitor.. Meanwhile, on the pure TV side of things we looked at the 23in Acer AT2356 and 22in LG 22LU4000. However, this Samsung has some notable advantages over the LD220HD and an online price of just over £200, making it one of the more affordable of its ilk. So has Samsung again managed to bridge the gap between TV and monitor successfully?
Aesthetically, there’s no doubt that it’s a success. It’s clad in Samsung’s traditional shiny black plastic finish and the bezel’s curves are easy on the eye. The transparent curved edging with a blue light that projects down into it at the bottom is particularly stylish at this price point.
There are no physical buttons on the monitor, and we found the touch sensitive controls sometimes unresponsive – so instead we relied on the rather plasticky but functional remote control. The OSD display is large and illustrated with colourful icons – it’s clearly designed to be used at a distance and does involve a lot of scrolling up and down.
The B2230HD is arguably a little on the porky side compared to some designer monitors and many LED-backlit models, but considering it has to pack in a lot of TV-related connectivity, it is reasonably proportioned. It weighs in at 4.91Kg and Samsung has thoughtfully built a handle into the rear of the chassis, making it easy to pick up and carry.
Setting up the screen couldn't be easier – you just pop the stand into the oval base, slide the screen into place on top, and then tighten it all down with the screw underneath. Of course, for the price you wouldn’t expect any kind of height adjustment, though you can angle the display back 20 degrees and very slightly forward. It also has VESA mounting capability if you want to secure it to a wall, and there’s a Kensington lock hole at the rear.