Samsung SyncMaster 215TW – 21in Monitor Review - Samsung SyncMaster 215TW Review

Adding to an already impressive array of adjustments on offer, the 215TW also offers a pivoting function. This means that you can rotate the screen 90 degrees into a portrait aspect ratio. This can be handy if you happen to be working on a very long document and you want to have as much of it viewable as possible. Pretty much every graphics card driver includes a pivoting option these days, so there’s not even any need for bespoke software to make use of this feature.

Samsung is well ahead of the competition when it comes to future proofing – the DVI port on the 215TW is HDCP compliant, a feature that I first saw on the Samsung SyncMaster 244T. With Vista just around the corner, you’re going to need an HDCP compliant monitor if you want to watch any protected content. Add to this the fact that HD-DVD and Blu-ray drives should be hitting the market very soon, and the need for an HDCP compliant monitor becomes even more apparent.

As well as an HDCP compliant DVI port, the 215TW also has an analogue D-SUB port and a set of component video connectors. The latter makes the 215TW an ideal partner for an Xbox 360 – again, I’ve seen no other monitor in this category sporting component video inputs. There are left and right audio inputs to complement the component video connection, while a 3.5mm mini-jack is also present for the PC inputs.

As if all those rear inputs weren’t enough, there are more connection options at the side of the display. Here you’ll find composite video, S-Vide and corresponding audio inputs – so you should be able to connect pretty much anything to this monitor.

With the mention of audio inputs you’ve probably already guessed that this monitor has integrated speakers. I’ve never really been impressed by any integrated speakers in desktop monitors in the past, and I’m afraid that my opinion hasn’t changed. The speakers in the 215TW are weak and tinny and their use is best avoided. On the plus side, there’s a headphone socket located on the left of the front fascia, which is handy if you’re PC is located under your desk. It’s not surprising that the speakers don’t sound great as they’re absolutely tiny, so much so that you don’t even notice them.

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