Samsung impressed our test jury once again with its SyncMaster 244T. This wide-screen display collected enough performance points to push it to the high end of our favourites list. It's also a cool-looking piece of hardware, with a thin silver bezel.
- Colour reproduction and text
- Limited height adjustment may not suit all
The Samsung SyncMaster 244T offers a very nice image with some useful features, though shorter people may find the minimum height of thestand doesn't suit their needs.
Price$ 1,799.00 (AUD)
On our juried performance tests, text was razor sharp. Common office documents and Web pages were enticingly readable. Indeed, the SyncMaster 244T's scores in this section of our tests made it one of the crispest monitors we've seen to date. Furthermore, it showed impressive graphics reproduction. Consistently bright and vivid reds, yellows, and blues seemingly popped out of the monitor, wowing the judges. Flesh tones in photos of a racially mixed group portrait looked natural, avoiding the oversaturated or washed-out skin colours that some monitors reproduce. A nice balance of brightness and colour settings give the unit strength in many areas. Even in our difficult greyscale test, the LCD showed a wide range of distinguishable dark and light shades.
Video performance was excellent, in line with a monitor of this calibre. In our Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl DVD test scenes, the SyncMaster produced good skin tones. This was most pronounced in scenes that exhibited the main character's darker tan and the rest of the cast's lighter skin tones. The swaths of soldiers' red uniforms looked rich, though we found backgrounds and scenes in the dark slightly noisy. Ghosting is very minimal in action sequences--and more pronounced when the camera pans--but nothing out of the ordinary for LCDs.
Samsung includes a pleasing plethora of physical adjustments to accommodate a variety of users. A button behind the base locks down the monitor, preventing accidental height adjustments, although it also makes such adjustments harder. You have to stand up, push down on top of the bezel, and push the lock button to release it. Only then can you move the screen up and down. This is slightly awkward, especially compared with other monitors that merely slide vertically. The SyncMaster's pivoting--allowing portrait orientation of the wide screen--is a much easier affair, however, and certainly a welcome feature for those who view long vertical documents. The monitor includes software for the pivot feature, letting you rotate the bezel clockwise and then adjusting the orientation of your operating system's desktop to a vertical or portrait mode. The panel also swivels and tilts.
The bottom of the bezel is about 5.5 inches from the desk, one of the highest clearances of 23-to-24-inch monitors we've seen to date and a potential concern for shorter users. Desktop ergonomics prescribe a sitting position where one's eyes are level near the top of the monitor's bezel. The high clearance may push some users to a height where their feet are off the ground while sitting.
On-screen display adjustments are very extensive. In addition to having presets for brightness (what Samsung calls MagicBright), the monitor also gives colour presets in the MagicColor Pro section of the on-screen controls. There, you can change hue, saturation, and gamma value, which is normally found in separately installed colour correction applications. Among its many inputs, which includes both DVI-D and VGA (D-Sub) connections, Samsung also offers component, composite, and S-Video inputs to support the 244T's picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture features.
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