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.