The only problem with the design is that the 2232BW doesn’t just have the looks of a TV, but the ergonomics as well. And that’s most definitely ”not” a good thing. Samsung’s ‘revolutionary ball hinge’ is aptly named, as trying to assemble the three parts of the Pebble was something of a nightmare. Compared to the wonderfully easy click assembly of, say, BenQ’s 22in X2200W, having to spend ten minutes sweating and cursing to get a base properly fitted is a demoralising experience.
This might have been forgivable if the ‘revolutionary’ system actually led to increased flexibility, but here the 2232BW betrays its TV-styling ambitions by featuring almost no adjustability whatsoever. You get tilt, and that’s it. It doesn’t really get more basic than this. On the bright side, the rigorous assembly process left me with no doubts of the Pebble’s excellent build quality, with strong plastics that don’t flex or creak under excessive force.
Personally, I would choose features over looks anytime, but for those of you who prefer the reverse (that’s you MacBook Air users – ed.), this is one classy display (even if you will need to find a few telephone directories to put under it). Now I’m beginning to make the 2232BW sound like the Barbie doll of the monitor world; all looks and no intellect. Let’s hope at least the former holds true for the panel.
Actually, at first glance the SyncMaster 2232BW seems to have both, as we find good colours complemented by the intelligent dynamic contrast and MagicColor systems. Except, much like Barbie, the dynamic contrast system really isn’t that intelligent. Unlike for example on the recently reviewed LG Flatron L206WU, it doesn’t seem to have a particularly positive effect on movies and games, and that’s the only material I would consider it for.
However, the SyncMaster 2232BW does have some tricks up its sleeve. First of all, there are the seven MagicBright presets, which, while nothing to write home about, are mostly well-balanced and accessible at the touch of a button. The Text mode is suitably dimmed to give you hours of typing pleasure without causing undue fatigue to your eyes, though I preferred Internet to the Movie and Game modes for… well, movies and games. As a matter of fact, if you want to retain dark blacks, forget the Movie and Game modes exist, since they crank brightness up to maximum.
Secondly, we have the MagicColor System, which not only makes a discernible difference, but does so mostly to the good. Obviously, when doing work that requires colour accuracy, it’s best left off. It also introduces very slight banding, but this is so minimal you probably won’t notice during normal use.