Unfortunately but not unexpectedly, the T200 doesn’t manage to live up to its claimed 20,000:1 contrast rating. That’s not to say it’s bad, as for a TN-panel it actually does quite well – just don’t expect it to take over from rival LCD technologies, let alone plasma, anytime soon. Dynamic Contrast doesn’t improve things much, but doesn’t cost you any dark detail either, so you might as well leave it on for movies and games, where you will get decent if not good blacks without the loss of detail we see on so many LCDs. This is borne out in our DisplayMate tests, where the SyncMaster T200 showed some of the best TN greyscale results since the wide-gamut Viewsonic VP2250wb.
Viewing angles are also quite good, with one glaring exception: whites can turn to pale yellow when moving your view even slightly off-centre. This immediately rules out the Samsung for any kind of graphics work, which is a pity considering its strengths. In addition to superior greyscale performance, you also get a virtual lack of banding and only the merest hint of dithering. On the other hand, the T200 suffers from backlight bleed from the entire lower edge and towards the centre of the upper border of the screen.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that the T200 produces very little heat and is energy efficient, using 40W maximum and less than 1W in standby. So what we are left with is a monitor that looks great (if you like the design) and has above average image quality for a TN, despite the white-yellow colour shift. However, for around the same money, the HP w2207 offers an extra two inches of screen real-estate (albeit with somewhat inferior image quality), more physical adjustability than you can shake a stick at, and an integrated two-port USB hub, all wrapped up in a good-looking case.
Samsung’s new “Touch of Colour” design might not work quite as well on its T-series monitors as its LCD TVs, but the SyncMaster T200 is very attractive nonetheless. In the stylish casing comes a TN panel that also impressed despite some conspicuous flaws, and as with most designer monitors, adjustability is limited. If you can live with the drawbacks though, the T200 could be just the thing for everyday use, gaming and movies, and just plain looking good.
Score in detail
Image Quality 7