Of course, since this is a Samsung product, we'd hardly expect it to appear in anything but piano black. As ever, this is an attractive if slightly high-maintenance choice, and makes the monitor appear even sleeker than it already is. And though one wasn't included with our early sample, we're sure Samsung will provide its usual lint-free cleaning cloth to keep the D190S nice and shiny.
Its sleek lines make for an attractive display whether viewed from the front or back. Only the model name and number and of course the Samsung logo spoil the clean bezel, which is quite thin (2cm) except at the base (where it's 4cm). There are not even any buttons to spoil its coherence. As you might have guessed from that, we're dealing with touch-sensitive controls here, but that's not a negative as their implementation is near flawless.
The power button is the only one which is normally visible as a slightly recessed hollow. Its shape means it's comfortable to press and its incredibly high sensitivity allows even the lightest touch to turn the display on. Once on, the recession has a small red-backlit power icon which is very unobtrusive. Pressing anywhere within a few centimetres to the left of the power button calls up the other 'buttons', which appear as red-lit icons in the bezel. This is a very stylish effect and the beauty of the controls isn't just skin-deep either, as the menu is incredibly easy to use.
As expected of Samsung, the OSD is logically laid out and its unusual sparsity makes it even simpler to use. All you get is Brightness, MagicBright, Image Size and Language; can't ask for simpler than that. Brightness is fairly self-explanatory while MagicBright offers a selection of presets: NotePC, Internet, Movie and Dynamic Contrast. The latter's presence is surprising on a monitor with the SyncMaster D190S' ambitions, and even more surprising is that it works rather well - though the display still doesn't justify its supposedly native 1,000:1 contrast ratio, let alone the ludicrous 20,000:1 Dynamic figure.
Aspect options are similarly limited, with Image Size only offering a choice between Auto and Wide. Auto stretches material while maintaining the aspect ratio and Wide does so without caring about distortion. While there's no actual 1:1 pixel mode, fairly good scaling means Auto will do nicely in most scenarios; even feeding the 1,366 x 768 SyncMaster an 800 x 600 signal everything came across clear and sharp.