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You might remember, way back in the misty depths of 2010, we reviewed Samsung's SyncMaster F2080 and came away rather impressed. In fact, the F2080 was a runner up for Best PC Monitor in our Awards 2010. Aside from its slightly slow response time, the only thing we didn't like about it was its sub-Full HD resolution, a lack fixed by its bigger F2380 sibling. Well, that's the screen we're finally reviewing today.
With full adjustability, a high-quality, 1080p, 23in cPVA panel, multiple digital inputs and, best of all, costing just a smidgen over £200, will this be another winner? When it came out there were no alternatives to inferior TN at under £300, but now there are a few options, such as the recent BenQ VW2420H, which offers an A-MVA panel combined with LED backlighting for well under £200. So let's see how this Samsung holds up in today's market.
Since the F2380's chassis is essentially the same as that of the F2080, it's no surprise that it's just as easy to set up. Merely clip in the base, tighten a thumb-screw, and you're good to go. Build quality of the stand is top notch, with the base being rugged matte plastic and the arm made of metal. The screen's bezel is constructed from the same plastic as the base, but unfortunately its back is quite flimsy, displaying significant creak and flex. However, though disappointing it's not really an issue, as all the bits that matter are adequately tough.
As far as looks go, the F2380 is unapologetically angular and matte black throughout, giving an industrial impression we're rather taken with. It's not only visually pleasing but much better at concealing dust and fingerprints, and prevents distracting reflections too.
Ergonomics are also excellent. Height adjustment is 5.5 to 18.5cm off your desk, there are generous amounts of tilt and swivel, and pivot is also on the menu. Adjustments are very smooth and, aside from pivot, can all be performed using just one hand.
Connectivity is also good. Since this monitor is part of Samsung's 'Professional' series, it's not surprising that there's no HDMI, but you do get dual DVI inputs to cover all your digital needs. There's also an analogue VGA port for hooking up older machines and netbooks. Samsung provides both DVI and VGA cables, and connecting them is easy as pie with the display pivoted. It's also worth noting a physical power switch at the monitor's back, which is always a welcome touch.