First Look Review: Samsung SyncMaster 971P

8 Nov, 2006 By: Ron LaFon

19" LCD monitor offers excellent features for a moderate price

SyncMaster 971P
Pros: Great design; high-quality image.
Cons: Resolution may be too low for many CAD users.
Price: $379.99 MSRP


Samsung has introduced the SyncMaster 971P, a 19” LCD monitor capable of a maximum resolution of 1280x1024 that is designed for the commercial and retail segments of the hardware market.

The SyncMaster 971P features a very attractive design with a high-gloss black acrylic bezel and a unique triple-hinged stand that lets users fold the monitor flat or into a variety of positions. A blue LED power button is located at the end of the stand, which also allows the display to pivot for portrait (vertical) mode. Also incorporated into the innovative stand is a USB hub with one upstream and two downstream connectors for easily attaching devices. The stand is stable in operation and includes a variety of innovative solutions for handling cables and connections.

The Samsung SyncMaster 971P is an economical, compact and very stylish 19” monitor with a maximum resolution of 1280x1024.

The Samsung SyncMaster 971P features a pixel pitch of .294mm on the SPVA panel, along with a typical brightness rating of 250cd/m2. The typical contrast range on the 971P is a very high 1500:1, and the rated gray-to-gray response time is a speedy 6ms. The panel has a 5:4 aspect ratio and offers viewing angles of 178° both horizontally and vertically. In addition to the USB connectivity in the base of the display, the SyncMaster 971P has both a 15-pin D-sub connector and a DVI-I connector for attaching the display to your system. The maximum power consumption for the display is 36W, though it uses less than 1W in DPMS mode.

We used DisplayMate to run the Samsung SyncMaster 971P through its paces at Cadalyst Labs, and found that it produced excellent scores in brightness, focus, convergence, geometric distortion and raster rotation. The contrast of the SyncMaster 971P is outstanding, well above what I would normally rate as excellent. Color purity was within what we would consider to be a normal range, though yellows were a bit dull and reds were slightly on the orange side; this was slight and certainly not enough to warrant a deduction.

At no point during testing was any flicker visible, and black-to-white continuous tone ramps were displayed with minimal banding. The slightly coarse .294mm dot pitch made type in small point sizes difficult but not impossible to read -- in general, type was easily read at sizes of 9 points or larger.

The functions of the monitor can be controlled by the included software or by pressing a button that’s located at the right front of the stand, offering a good range of configuration options.

The pricing for the Samsung SyncMaster 971P is a very affordable $379.99, which includes a full three years of warranty coverage for parts, labor and the display backlight. Although the maximum resolution of 1280x1024 is a bit on the low side for standard CAD/engineering applications, there are certainly applications where the SyncMaster 971P can be useful — particularly with the display’s generally excellent specifications, compact design and moderate price.

About the Author: Ron LaFon

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