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Samsung SyncMaster P2370HD - 23in HDTV Monitor - Samsung SyncMaster P2370HD
As usual with the ToC range, the monitor's controls are touch-sensitive, activating as red LED icons when you press the control area and fading out a few seconds after your last press. They match both the bezel's tint and the red-backlit power 'button' nicely and Samsung has included the option to turn them on permanently, as well as giving you full control over their brightness level.
Not that you'll likely be using the monitor's controls too often; with all the experience Samsung has in making remotes for televisions, it's no surprise that the responsive unit provided here is fairly impressive. Its ergonomic, tapered shape fits the hand comfortably and it takes two AAA batteries so you can use rechargeable ones. The large, colour-coded buttons have a lovely soft feel while offering positive feedback and though not backlit their logical arrangement and distinctive shapes make them easy to use in the dark.
Whichever method of control you use, the P2370HD's large, colourful menus are a joy to navigate through. Clear icons are accompanied by short descriptions of each function and layout is logical. The Picture menu offers all the adjustments you could wish for, including backlight level, brightness, contrast and sharpness, colour and even tint. Little touches like 'colour' actually being spelled with a 'u' not only denote attention to detail on Samsung's part, but also proper European firmware. A separate Setup menu controls extra functions such as the Game Mode and Child lock, while a dedicated Tools button on the remote provides convenient access to aspect ratio and image plus audio presets.
Onto the most important bit: what's the panel's image quality like? Initial first impressions were so-so. Greyscales suffered from a noticeable reddish tinge and though gradients were relatively smooth there was evidence of dithering, where processing attempts to make up shades the panel can't natively display. Basically the P2370HD has all the hallmarks of TN-panel based displays.
More disappointing was some noticeable backlight bleed from the top and bottom edges, which will be noticeable if watching a film in a darkened room. However, on the positives side the P2370HD (red tinge aside) handles subtle greys tones better than many contemporaries, producing plenty of fine detail in HD pictures. And, though vertical viewing angles are as poor as ever, horizontal ones are excellent, so - as long as you tilt the display correctly - viewing from the side is pleasant. Another plus is that even the smallest fonts are pin-sharp, an area hybrid monitors like this are typically stronger than a normal TV might be.