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Samsung SyncMaster F2380 - Controls, Image Quality, Value and Verdict

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers


  • Recommended by TR
Samsung SyncMaster F2380


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Controls are found in a small, central extension just below the lower bezel, demarked by a silver strip and subtle, white LED. Thankfully these are physical buttons rather than the frequently-problematic touch controls often found on more consumer-oriented displays. The main buttons lie neatly under you fingers and offer up crisp feedback. As well as menu navigation and VGA re-synchronising, they offer direct access to source, brightness and a customizable hotkey that is set to image presets by default, but can be set to anything you like. This latter is a great feature that we would love to see on every monitor.

Samsung's largely monochrome OSD is also easy to navigate, and gives you full control over RGB, Tone, Gamma and even response time overdrive. Color Effect, meanwhile, lets you turn everything being displayed into shades of black & white, green or sepia, which is rather gimmicky but may be useful in seeing the effect of certain filters without the need for image editing software.

So far so good, but what's the image quality on this affordable 23in cPVA monitor like? Surprisingly, it's both better and worse than its smaller sibling. It offers up the same excellent contrast, meaning you see plenty of detail at both light and dark ends of the scale, and this without the help of any glossy screen finish.

Once brightness was turned down from its ludicrous 100 percent default, colour settings were again reasonably accurate out of the box, and here there was no sign of the banding we found on the SyncMaster F2080. Backlighting is fairly even, though there is some slight backlight bleed from the corners.

However, the one point where the F2380 is genuinely weaker than the 20in cPVA model we looked at previously is in its viewing angles. Though vertical viewing angles are faultless, subtle but noticeable colour shift occurs once you get past 60 degrees horizontally, and on some colours even the slightest move off-centre is enough. More worryingly, there is minor contrast shift when sitting fairly centrally in front of the screen.

Let's just put this into context: even with these faults the F2380's performance is still so far above most monitors using TN panels that it's on a whole other level. Everything except response time is vastly superior, and as a productivity, multimedia, casual gaming and hobbyist photo display, this SyncMaster will do a fine job.Yet for hardcore FPS players and colour-critical work it's not the best choice around.

However, it's worth bearing in mind that, at the F2380's price point of just over £200, you're not exactly spoilt for choice when it comes to quality, Full HD panels of 23in or larger. The IPS-based NEC MultiSync EA231WMi, for example, might give you superior image characteristics and more connectivity choices (including a USB hub, audio throughput and DisplayPort) but is also £100 more expensive.

The Samsung's most likely rival, then, is BenQ VW2420H, which is available for as little as £180. You gain HDMI, audio through, and the energy-frugality and slimness that LED backlighting brings, as well as slightly superior viewing angles. However, you lose out on the adjustability, matte panel and finish, so it's a matter of horses for courses.


Samsung's Full HD, 23in SyncMaster F2380 doesn't quite live up to our high expectations, but at around £200 it's still one of the best monitors going.

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January 12, 2011, 3:55 pm

My advice to anyone looking to purchase a reasonably-priced IPS or PVA display would be to not hang around if they can find this in stock. Monitors such as this one, the Benq VW/EW2420 and the Viewsonic VP2365wb seem to debut, rocket in price then disappear from the shelves in a matter of weeks.


January 12, 2011, 5:41 pm


That's usually sound advice, though luckily here in the UK the F2380 has been widely and easily available since its release last year. It has been available for less than £200 though, so it might well go up even more...


January 12, 2011, 5:45 pm

Odd that you're only reviewing this monitor now. I've had one on my desk at work for well over a year.

I assume this monitor has been subjected to Samsung's infamous and irritating habit of changing panels without revising the model numbers, as my experience of this monitor is different to your findings.

I find the horizontal viewing angles to be pretty good, especially at this pricepoint. There is a slight colour shift past 60-ish degrees, but I certainly don't see the problem of some colours shifting with only slight movement off-center, nor do I see any contrast shift when sitting centrally.

However, it sounds as if your review sample was better in terms of black/dark area/shadow detail. On my monitor there is fairly bad black crush, which means dark areas of the picture lack detail. Early reviews of this monitor highlighted this issue, and no alteration of the display settings can cure the problem. I would immediately rule out my monitor for photo editing, as the black crush would make it impossible to judge contrast and black level alterations.

I really wish Samsung would stop with this panel lottery business. I wouldn't spend any of my own money on a Samsung monitor or TV, unless I was 100% sure what panel I was going to get.


January 12, 2011, 6:56 pm

I re-buy this http://www.trustedreviews.com/...

over the samsung F2380...


January 12, 2011, 8:01 pm


We had been hoping to get this monitor in only shortly after reviewing the { http://www.trustedreviews.com/... }, but due to all kinds of sample delays we didn't get a chance and had pretty much given up on it. As we recently saw it still widely available, however, we decided it was worth checking out despite being an older product.

Regardless of the panel, I reckon you'll still get a better overall experience than from any TN-based display, with the exceptions mentioned in the review.


Indeed, that is the best alternative I mention in the value comparison. But some will prefer the adjustability and matte finish of the Samsung.


January 12, 2011, 10:55 pm

I bought this last year on the strength of your review of its smaller sibling for just a shade over £180. I've not been disappointed and, like Metalax, I don't see contrast shifts, and only the slightest of colour shifts past 60 degrees. I also don't have a black crush problem as bad as the reviews suggested - it's hardly noticeable unless I'm working with a dark greyscale image. I wouldn't recommend it for professional work, but I agree with Ardjuna that it's fine for hobby photographers (such as yours truly).


January 13, 2011, 10:22 am

Best image quality at this price. Best looking monitor at this price (for me). But, one big minus, not suitable for hardcore fps or racing, flying etc. gamers, not 2ms.

For professionals? No way. Just a bit more decent than the crap swarm.


January 13, 2011, 2:28 pm


Lucky that you got when it was still cheaper!

Glad you're happy with it.


Indeed - at that price, it's simply one of the best options available, and I would even say it's a lot more decent than the "crap swarm" :)


January 13, 2011, 5:01 pm


It has nice image quality

But not the Best image quality at this price, the BenQ VW2420H has the Best image quality at this price and the best viewing angles.


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