The minute you take the Samsung out of the box it looks a bit special. Although weâ€™re not huge fans of silver bezels, the SyncMaster 213T pulls it off with aplomb. Although the bezel is quite slim, the display itself looks larger than most of the competition, but there is a very good reason for this. While the other displays on test sport 20.1in TFT panels, this Samsung has a 21.3in panel. In fact this is the same panel that was in the excellent ViewSonic VP211b that we reviewed last year.
When we reviewed the VP211b we thought it was the best LCD monitor weâ€™d ever seen, and looking at the same panel in this Samsung, that opinion still holds true. In this group test the Samsung definitely rises to the top when it comes to image quality. For general Windows work this screen is superb, producing vibrant and bright colours â€“ although the colour temperature is somewhat on the cool side, we actually prefer this, and you can of course configure the temperature to meet your exact needs anyway. When editing digital images the SyncMaster 213T excelled with excellent colour accuracy and near faultless tonal gradations. This ability was confirmed when we fired up DisplayMate and found that there wasnâ€™t a single test screen that could phase the 213T. The 256 level colour ramp test proved to be smooth as silk, while the 256 level intensity ramp proved equally exemplary, with no hint of colour in the mid range â€“ a problem that affects many LCD screens. Put simply, the panel in the SyncMaster 213T is just as impressive today as it was ten months ago in the ViewSonic VP211b.
Superb image quality aside, the 213T still has a lot going for it. The stand is very well designed, although still not as impressive as the ViewSonic VP range stands. The footprint is a reasonable size, considering the large screen, and the central column allows for dampened vertical movement like the ViewSonic. At the rear of the column is a single cable tidy which makes a good attempt at keeping the wires out of view. As well as vertical movement, the screen can also be tilted forwards and backwards, as well as smoothly panning left and right. To round the physical movements off, the screen will pivot into portrait mode â€“ this is particularly useful if you need to work on a very long document, or if youâ€™re cutting and pasting between documents as we have to when uploading articles to the TrustedReviews website. You do get a copy of Pivot Pro to facilitate the pivoting function â€“ itâ€™s good to see added value software included, but to be honest most graphics card drivers will let you pivot your display these days.
At the rear of the 213T youâ€™ll find a power socket, a D-SUB input and a DVI input. Thereâ€™s also a hard power switch. The front fascia is adorned with six buttons â€“ the power button toggles between on and off, while the menu button will bring up the OSD. Once inside the OSD the + and â€“ buttons will navigate the menus and adjust the settings, while the exit button will jump you up the menus and eventually take you out of the OSD. The auto button will auto-adjust the screen if youâ€™re using an analogue input â€“ this worked very well, and the SyncMaster 213T managed to lock onto analogue display signals without problem. When not in the OSD the + and â€“ buttons will adjust the brightness and the exit button will toggle between the video inputs.