If the T240HD is a competent if slightly middling TV, it continues in a similar vain as a monitor. In our monitor tests, it struggles to produce dark level details, with dark grey shades fading to black and lighter ones to white and some red/brown contamination in darker grey shades.
Colour production is largely solid, though there’s a hint of banding in the middle of the 256 colour scale. On a positive note there was a pleasing lack of backlight bleed, with only a sliver of light from the bottom edge detectable under normal viewing conditions. Likewise, uniformity across the panel is decent – the bottom left quadrant appears slightly brighter than the top section but it’s no worse than any monitors we’ve seen at similar price points.
Where the T240HD does excel is in sharpness. Text in particular is sharp and well defined all the way down to 6.8 point Arial and this detail is borne out in high definition video and games, where there’s a pleasing crispness and clarity to images. There’s a 1:1 pixel mapping mode, labelled simply as ’16:9′, so 1080p sources are displayed properly with no scaling, though anything less than 1080p is scaled to fit the screen while retaining the original aspect ratio.
Motion handling is a little less impressive and like SD content, the lack of a typical TV’s more advanced picture processing is at fault. Slow panning shots produced a slightly irritating level of judder and games like FIFA 08 or Pro Evolution Soccer 2008, titles that are quite challenging in terms of motion, highlighted the ghosting and smearing that to an extent is unavoidable in an LCD monitor or TV.
Despite some obvious weaknesses, however, we still come out rather liking the T240HD. Not enough, perhaps, to recommend it unreservedly, but nothing we’ve seen combines the style and versatility of a TV with the practicality of a monitor as well as it does. It boasts prodigious connectivity and though not outstanding as a TV or a monitor, it’s more than good enough for most needs and offers a resolution that can handle high quality sources and make them look good, too.
It may not be the best TV or monitor around, but as a combination of the two the Samsung T240HD is pretty decent and if its versatility and style suit your needs, there can be little arguing over the price either.
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