Summary

Our Score

7/10

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Taste is very much a personal thing, as popular machines like the Asus Eee PC 901 and Inspiron 1525 (sequel to the impressive Dell Inspiron 1520) prove by being customisable in a large range of colours - I'll have pink please. But seriously, apart from shape, colour is one of the more important factors that has influenced design throughout the ages. The most gorgeously-shaped object can be ruined, for example, by a sickly-green matte finish. Conversely even a brick of a machine can be made more attractive by a glossy black coating, or something a little more creative.

In the technology market, certain ‘in' colours tend to dominate, and in the past few years most ‘cool' gear has come in black, silver or combinations of the two. Doubtlessly inspired by TrustedReviews, orange seems to be on the rise - especially in the gaming sector - and can be found in everything from Asus' XG station to Acer's new Predator Gaming PC. Like black though, red is a colour that never seems to lose its appeal, being the de-facto colour of Ferraris. And though some dislike it for being too in-your-face and garish, those are certainly not accusations that can be levelled at Samsung's latest "Touch of Colour" (ToC) range of designer televisions and monitors, with their subtle hint of red swirled into a black chassis.

Today we're looking at the cheapest way to get a touch of colour into your home, the 20in SyncMaster T200 monitor, which can be had for around £200. Its crystal "black rose" design is not the only thing up its red-tinged sleeve, however, as Samsung doubles the already far-fetched contrast ratio of the LG Flatron W2252TQ with a claimed figure of 20,000:1. What's even more unlikely is that this would give it a better contrast rating than Samsung's own LE32A656 TOC 32in LCD TV. But apart from that, we have the expected specifications for a 20in monitor, with the usual 1,680 x 1,050 resolution and 2ms response time.

Unlike most previous Samsung monitors, which came in two parts, the T200 actually comes in five. First of course we have the display itself, with a back-plate that you click in to hide the connectors once all cables are attached. Then comes a stand in two parts, which once set-up looks remarkably similar to the one on the SyncMaster Pebble 2232BW - but thankfully eschews that model's nightmarish ‘ball-hinge' for a simple click-in system. Finally there is a tidy little cable clip, which cannot be attached to the monitor but can keep up to four cables together and out of the way.

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