Samsung SyncMaster XL20
- Excellent colour reproduction, ships with a hood, versatile stand, USB hub
- Supplied colour calibration tool doesn't have Vista drivers yet
For users who work with colour-sensitive applications such as image and video editing, this screen can't be beat. It was pretty much flawless during our colour tests and its viewing angles were excellent. If you're a pro, this screen is well worth considering.
Price$ 2,499.00 (AUD)
This monitor is designed for professional graphics artists and photographers. It's a 20in monitor with a native resolution of 1600x1200; it relies on LED backlighting, instead of fluorescent tubes, and it ships with a colour calibration tool.
The bad news is that the calibration tool, X-Rite's Eye-one Display 2, doesn't have drivers available for Windows Vista yet. A hood is also supplied in the package, which attaches itself to the top and sides of the screen to keep ambient light from reflecting off it.
This monitor is Samsung's first to use LED backlighting, which aims to produce more natural-looking colours, and a wider colour gamut, compared to monitors that use a fluorescent tube as a backlight, yet it doesn't have an exorbitant price tag. It also seems to reduce the monitor's heat emission slightly. During our tests, the screen's colours were superb and it did, indeed, produce less heat as we're accustomed to from a screen over 19in. Its power consumption will vary between 50W and 76W depending on how high the brightness level is set.
Different viewing modes can be used with this monitor: sRGB, AdobeRGB, in addition to emulation, calibration and custom modes. We used sRGB for our tests, which we found to be excellent.
Viewing photos on this screen was an absolute pleasure. The contrast, even in very dark photos, was accurate; intricate details in shadowed areas of photographs were perfectly viewable and subtle colours were easily distinguishable. Gradients didn't suffer from stepping and colours were vivid, without being overly saturated. Whites also looked pure; they weren't too bright and blown out, nor did they suffer from blue or yellow tinting. The greyscale tests in DisplayMate, as well as the colour gradient tests, pretty much showed this monitor to be perfect.
Likewise, we didn't notice anything untoward with the monitor's sharpness. With a resolution of 1600x1200 its dot pitch is small anyway, and curves and lines are rendered beautifully without any jaggedness. The large resolution allows big jobs to be viewed easily, but it means that users will have to sit fairly close to the screen to view all image details accurately.
One quibble we've had about LED-based monitors in the past has been their poor viewing angles. On this screen, the viewable angles are as good, if not better, than most screens we've seen. Indeed, the rated viewing angles of 178 degrees seem to be spot on the mark as we were able to view images from the side without noticing any colour shift or contrast changes.
As for the monitor's stand, it's very versatile: it can tilt, rotate, pivot and rise. Users can view their work either in landscape or portrait mode, but will need to manually change the orientation using the graphics card software. While the monitor does ship with a program that can automatically detect and re-orient the screen (Magic Rotate), we couldn't get it to run properly in Windows Vista. For connectivity, users can plug into the DVI-I or DVD-D ports, and a USB hub is also present on the screen for convenience.
The image can be tweaked extensively using the on-screen display program, which, apart from the usual luminance and individual colour adjustments, also allows for gamma, sharpness and colour tones to be adjusted.
The bottom line with the XL20 is this: if you want a relatively inexpensive LCD screen on which to work on important colour projects, then it can't be beat. Its colours were excellent during our tests and its viewing angles are second to none. The monitor is supported by a Zero Pixel Defect policy and a three-year on-site warranty, which includes a swap service.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Dell's luscious new 4K monitor is bold, bright, and HDR-infused
- Samsung's 49-inch mega-wide display may displace multi-monitor setups
- More high-end GPUs are now compatible with Dell's 8K monitor
- Dell's wild 8K monitor goes on sale with a just-as-stunning price tag
- LG's 4K HDR monitor gets a price and release date, heralding a new era for PC displays
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTWindows Dev Ops EngineerNSW
- CCSenior UNIX AdministratorNSW
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerACT
- CCIntegration ArchitectACT
- CCSAP CRM Functional AnalystVIC
- CCSoftware ManagerVIC
- FTTIBCO DeveloperVIC
- TPSolution ArchitectQLD
- TPFront-End DeveloperNSW
- FTDigital Sales Account Manager - Global Ecommerce BrandNSW
- FTAgile Scrum Master/TrainerNSW
- FTCitrix Engineer/Designer - AWS experience essentialNSW
- CCSecurity ConsultantVIC
- CCSAP ISU Functional ConsultantVIC
- TPBusiness Analyst | DETQLD
- FTSenior / Lead AEM DeveloperNSW
- FTCRM Technical Specialist (Oracle Eloqua)QLD
- FTSenior Business Analyst, FinanceNSW
- FTBI BA Consultant l Microstrategy, Business ObjectsNSW
- FTCRM Technical Specialist (Oracle Eloqua)VIC
- TPPHP Developer - Immediate startQLD
- CCWindows Server EngineerNSW
- CCTechnical ConsutlantACT
- FTService Desk AnalystNSW
- FTCRM Technical Specialist (Oracle Eloqua)SA