Hardware

First Look Review: Samsung SyncMaster 204B

22 May, 2006 By: Ron LaFon

Highly recommended 20.1" LCD monitor offers excellent display, fast response time, good design, all at a decent price


Samsung recently released the SyncMaster 204B TFT-LCD monitor, a 20.1" monitor featuring a default WXUGA resolution of 1600x1200. Response time is a relatively fast 5 milliseconds, which is apparent when working with fast wireframe and shaded rotations.

The SyncMaster 204B has a brightness rating of 300 cd/m2 and a typical contrast ratio of 800:1, combined with a dot pitch of 0.255mm. Designed for home and

Samsung SyncMaster 204B
Pros: Very good image quality, stable mounting, attractive design, well-designed menu system, relatively fast response time.
Cons: None significant.
Price: $629.99 (ESP)

Samsung
800.726.7864
www.samsung.com

business use, the 204B has a very compact mounting mechanism that, combined with the ultrathin bezel on the panel, makes the monitor seem much smaller than the size of the panel indicates. The stand is removable, and you can mount the monitor using a standard VESA 100mm wall mount. Despite its compact size, the stand holds the panel very well, with no wiggle even when the panel is pivoted to portrait (vertical) mode. The stand also can be adjusted for height, tilt and swivel. The display has comfortable 160-degree horizontal and vertical viewing angles. The SyncMaster 204B is available in silver and black versions.

SmartBLOCK
The Samsung SyncMaster 204B is a 20.1" TFT-LCD monitor delivering 800:1 contrast ratio, 0.255mm pixel pitch, 1600x1200 maximum resolution and 160-degree H/V viewing angle.
On the test bench, the SyncMaster sailed through our tests with ease, showing no sign of flicker or ghosting, even on difficult display tasks.

In addition to running a full range of tests with Displaymate software, I used the 204B for a number of projects while it was in-house. Each time I used the monitor I was impressed with the display quality -- which should make this an excellent display for extended use. Colors are very good, as are brightness and contrast. All the little extras that go into making a display noteworthy come together in the SyncMaster 204B.

The SyncMaster 204B uses Samsung's MagicTune technology, which gives users control over color adjustments using a mouse. MagicTune communications from the software to the monitor are handled through the standard video cable, and users can save the various display profiles for fast and easy recall as appropriate to their particular needs and uses.

A well-designed on-screen menu simplifies adjustments in conjunction with six buttons located at the bottom right of the thin bezel. The functionality of these buttons, from left to right, are menu, contrast/down, brightness/up, source, autoadjust and a power toggle with an indicator LED. Connectivity options include dSub and DVI-I connectors, although there are no USB ports on the display.

An accompanying CD-ROM includes a user's guide, drivers, Natural Color, MagicTune and MagicRotation software for the SyncMaster 204B display. Warranty coverage is standard three-year parts and labor, including the backlight, and includes year-round, 24-hour toll-free technical support. In addition, Samsung offers an optional three-year Advanced Replacement Program, three-year repair and return or exchange and three-year shuttle exchange for hassle-free repairs.

The Samsung SyncMaster 204B monitor is currently available at retail locations and through Samsung's distribution channel, with an estimated street price of $629.99. With its excellent on-screen display, good design, fast response time and moderate price, the Samsung SyncMaster 204B earns Cadalyst's Highly Recommended rating. Highly Recommended.


About the Author: Ron LaFon


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