TechSpot

SyncMaster 226BW

By MetalX
Jan 15, 2008
  1. Hello everyone, I’ve decided to write a review for the new Samsung SyncMaster 226BW 22” widescreen LCD monitor I purchased on boxing day. Well, I’ll start with the tech specifications.

    22” Viewable Area
    1680x1050 Resolution
    3000:1 Dynamic Contrast
    700:1 Real Contrast
    300cd/m² Brightness
    2ms Response Time

    [​IMG]
    As soon as I got the monitor out of the box, I thought, “Wow, that’s a beautiful screen.” I just think that Samsung has come up with a very nice design for the screen. It’s very smooth, with rounded edges and a very slick, shiny black border surrounding the screen. There’s a little silver extension at the bottom of the screen which contains the OSD buttons and labels. The power button is surrounded by a nice blue glow, although I thought the button felt a bit loose in its socket.

    [​IMG]

    I turned the screen around and took a look at the rear panel connectors. It ships with the basic VGA and DVI plugs, along with a power plug. Nothing special here. The monitor is, however, HDCP compatible, and I believe it is the only 22” monitor to support this feature.

    I plugged it in to my PC and compared it to my old Acer AL1916W 19” LCD that I already owned. The first thing I noticed was that the Samsung was significantly brighter. The second thing was that the colors were a lot more vivid. The third thing was that everything was far too blue. The display, or at least the one I got, was rather inclined to display everything with a bluish tint. It took a few moments of tweaking in the OSD before I was able to sort that out.

    [​IMG]
    As for the OSD on the screen, I found it to be very comprehensive. It has a variety of functions. The usual brightness/contrast are present, along with color tone and control and gamma settings, and a neat feature called MagicColor. MagicColor is the Dynamic Contrast setting of the monitor, and it can be set to either off, Full, Intelligent, or Demo. Demo is interesting because it splits the screen in two and shows the standard contrast ratio on one side and the new dynamic contrast on the other so you can do a direct comparison.

    The monitor performs extremely well in games due to its 2ms response time. Overall, games just looked better than the 1916W. The brights were brighter, the darks were darker, and the colors seemed more vivid. However in some cases the dynamic contrast enhances the image too much and the colors get too bright. This happened to me playing Age of Empires 3. The water would often look far too blue and the trees would look unnaturally green. But usually the dynamic contrast enhances the image.

    It also looks great when my 360 is hooked up to it. The monitor scales HD resolutions very well. 720p scales up quite nicely, and 1080p scales down too. Most movies looked great on the screen as well.

    One major flaw however was that when watching movies with dark scenes in them, the monitor was often too bright and the scenes were distorted. I don’t know why this happened in movies, because it didn’t happen in any game I tested on it. Also, the screen features a plastic panel that covers up the back where the cords plug in. It seems like a good idea, but mine wouldn’t stay attached, and had taken to popping off in the middle of the night, waking me up.

    Overall, I’d say this is a great monitor, one of the best in the 22” category. It has great image quality and color, the dynamic contrast works quite well for the most part, and the monitor just looks really nice.

    I’d give it a 9.5 / 10

    (I can't take credit for those pictures, I didn't take them, I google'd them... I know, I'm lazy :D)
     
  2. Frostmonkey

    Frostmonkey TS Rookie Posts: 25

    I just purchased the same monitor at the end of December and I haven't looked back :) Every game I've played has looked markedly better, movies look amazing too.

    No comparison to my trusty old Rosewill 17" LCD lol.
     
  3. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    I just bought the SyncMaster 245BW sweet!
     
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