Summary

Our Score

7/10

Review Price free/subscription

Samsung SyncMaster D190S 18.5in LapFit Display - Samsung D190S 18.5in LapFit Display

Getting onto that all-important image quality, things are a bit of a mixed bag. For all the photographers and digital artists out there thinking they might have found the ideal secondary display on a budget, as with pretty much every TN monitor out there the D190S isn't it. Colour gradients display noticeable banding and this SyncMaster put in a very poor greyscale performance with quite a few tones lost at both ends of the scale. Text isn't as sharp as we might have liked, perhaps due to the use of an analogue input rather than a digital one, but is passable for most uses.

Having said this, viewing angles are not too bad for a TN and the anti-glare screen coating works a rare treat in avoiding those annoying reflections while still leaving colours fairly bright and punchy. The Dynamic Contrast mode, meanwhile, makes films more of a pleasure than they would otherwise be. Basically, for office work and entertainment, the SyncMaster D190S is more than adequate. As long as you're not dealing with projects that require colour-accuracy, it can enhance your productivity immensely.
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If you have a netbook or notebook with a display diagonal of less than 13in the idea makes even more sense. Whether it's typing, playing a game or enjoying a film, the difference between a tiny screen and an 18.5in one are significant. On this note, gamers will also be pleased to hear there is no sign of ghosting, or at least so little that 99 per cent of people won't be concerned by it.. Aside from all this the D190S weighs less and uses less electricity (with an apparent 22W maximum) than a traditional monitor and is ideally positioned to fit in with your note/netbook due to its lower vertical height.

The only question remaining is whether it actually presents good value for money. With an MSRP of £99.99 it's a pretty safe bet actual retail prices will be lower, but even at full price it's still cheaper than an equivalently-sized monitor. However, it's worth keeping in mind that high-resolution 19in monitors like the 1,680 x 1,050 ViewSonic VX1962wm are available for not much more, offering better image quality and digital input.
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So though to some extent it's a horses for courses thing and we're not blown away with the quality of Samsung's first effort, we certainly like the direction these products are taking. Not only that, but for many users the SyncMaster D190S will be the ideal solution as is.

Verdict

A stylish display that's tailored to be paired with your notebook or netbook, Samsung's SyncMaster D190S has a lot of potential and lives up to most of it. It's lighter and uses less electricity than a 'normal' monitor, is easy to operate and has reasonable viewing angles. If you can live with its image-quality faults it's definitely worth checking out.

Scores In Detail

Value
8/10
Image Quality
6/10
Features
5/10
Design
8/10

Our Score

7/10
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