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Samsung Monitor Showcase

Samsung Updates TOC Range, Introduces New PVA Monitors

Recently we were invited to a Samsung product showcase, where the focus was on computer monitors. Aside from the new SyncMaster EcoFit and LapFit ranges, both of which we've already reviewed, there was the 22in 2233RZ 120Hz 3D monitor which uses nVidia's powered glasses, and a few other pleasant surprises.

In my very limited time with the 2233, I found the 3D did work, but not quite well enough to make this reviewer want to give up his 24in PVA for a 22in TN. Still, as always we'll let you know our definitive verdict in the review which is coming soon.

Of the complete newcomers, first we have Samsung's latest Touch of Color (ToC) 16:9 'Lavender' range. Available in sizes between 20in (1,600 x 900) and 23in (Full HD), these are quite similar to previous ToC TNs in terms of specifications.

However, as far as design is concerned their aggressively-angled "gem-cut" styling is a dramatic departure from the soft curves and rounded angles of previous Samsung ranges. These sharp lines are complemented by "sunset" colours incorporated in the bezel and a new red-backlit touch control system.

The highlight of the show though was Samsung's new Navy range. Anyone who knows their monitors will tell you that TN technology, with its poor viewing angles and colour reproduction, simply isn't good enough for image manipulation - and even entertainment is markedly better on monitors using superior PVA or IPS panels.

If you're this discerning, the Navy range is for you. The 20in (1,600 x 900) F2080 and 23in (1,920 x 1,080) F2380 deliver brand-new cPVA panels offering true 178-degree viewing angles and a stunning native contrast ratio of 3,000:1 (150,000:1 Dynamic), all while using a mere 45W (for the larger F2380).

Professional quality is not just limited to the panel either, with an industrial-looking chassis that feels incredibly solid yet remains quite slim, sporting a narrow 15mm bezel and only 2.7cm at its sides. It also offers VESA wall mounting.

Connectivity comes in the form of twin DVI-Ds and a single VGA input, and the weighty aluminium stand doesn't disappoint either with 130mm of height adjustment, generous tilt and swivel, and of course pivot. Adjustments were perfectly smooth, and both Navys looked and felt like premium products.

Best of all, the pricing is anything but premium, with the F2080 coming in at a low MSRP of £199.99 and its bigger Full HD sibling at an even more tantalising £259.99. Colour us impressed.

Ohmz

May 18, 2009, 6:26 pm

I gotta avoid these 16:9 panels. Why oh why would I want to lose 120 vertical pixels for some better movie watching (a rarity on my PC)? Damn this weird obsession!

Gordon394

May 18, 2009, 6:40 pm

@Ohmz because you also gain more horizontal pixels? Give and take...

Ohmz

May 18, 2009, 6:45 pm

@ Gordon, so lose 120 and gain 20? Something doesn't quite add up...

Gordon394

May 18, 2009, 6:47 pm

Depends on the size of monitor you want. On a typical 22in 16:10 panel you get a native 1680 x 1050 resolution. On a 22in 16:9 panel you generally get a native 1920 x 1080 resolution.

Ohmz

May 18, 2009, 6:51 pm

@ Gordon, I was referring more to 1900x1200 than screen size. I don't really care if it's 20 inches or 23 inches as long as it's a good resolution. I can see the confusion now!

TechVegan

May 18, 2009, 7:22 pm

@Ohmz:


Unfortunately, 16:9 is slowly becoming the industry standard, and one of the reasons is that panels are slightly cheaper to produce. Another is convergence between monitor and television standards (which will hopefully clear up a lot of the confusion regarding resolutions and aspect ratios).


But I'm with you on mourning the slow demise of 16:10, for productivity and RTS games alone...

Xiphias

May 18, 2009, 8:31 pm

With the demise of CRTs and the lack of new 4:3 monitors it does appear that cost rather than suitibility is the driver of the monitor market. Unfortunately, the technology doesn't appear as if it'll mature any time soon so we'll probably be putting up with this nonsense for a while.





@Gordon: But it's perfectly possible to make 1920x1200 22" panels, the only reason 22" 16:9 panels use that resolution is because 1280x720 would be too coarse at 22".





Oh, and has Samsung hired any NEC designers recently? That navy shot looks like it should have an NEC badge on it, apart from the square base.





I wonder what these new cPVA monitors are like in terms of black-crush. 3000:1 contrast ratio sounds nice, although this being Samsung I'll wait until it's actually verified before I believe it. At those sorts of price I'd expect pretty rudimentry software though - the 1:1 support and an autopivot are probably nonexistant.

Helmore

May 18, 2009, 9:16 pm

Damn I was also hoping for some new nice 1920x1200 resolution monitors. Something that is around 23" in diameter, consumes less than 40 Watts and has a refresh rate of 120 Hz. would be awesome. Just make sure it's using a PVA or IPS based panel.

Xiphias

May 18, 2009, 10:17 pm

@Helmore: Don't forget the perfect black levels, height adjustable stand that goes down to the desktop, great interpolation and perfect 1:1 mapping for every resolution. (H-IPS with A-TW would be my choice)

xenos

May 19, 2009, 2:23 am

*Cough* BenQ FP241W





Whats with all this 16:9, its a pain in the arse for a workstation.





The HP 24" IPS ain't bad either if you can deal with the stand. (Sorry cant remember model number.)





Have to say I haven't seen much else recently that comes close to either in terms of being the right size, price and quality.

Xiphias

May 19, 2009, 4:15 am

The FP241W doesn't have great black levels by today's standards though, I heard it described as silvery blacks. Also, what's wrong with the stand on the HP LP2475W? The TFTCentral review described it as very smooth and while the height adjustment doesn't go quite as low as it could it seems very good overall.





My main issue with the HP LP2475W was that it apparently has white glows in the corners on a black screen as well as the quality assurance troubles that have been reported.

TechVegan

May 19, 2009, 3:02 pm

@Xiphias:


Why not refer to our own review, which also praises the stand (and the rest) ;) {http://www.trustedreviews.com/...}.





As to the quality issues, the comments make for interesting reading.

stranded

May 19, 2009, 3:18 pm

I hope these monitors will have a decent image quality. Finally Samsung begins to seem interesting to me in terms of product design. Seems no ridiculous curves and red lines anymore.

TechVegan

May 19, 2009, 7:02 pm

@stranded:


Oh, the red lines are still there with the Lavender range :)


But I must admit that to me, the Navy range holds greater visual appeal with its industrial, rugged looks.

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