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Samsung SyncMaster 961GW

I’ve got yet another widescreen monitor from Samsung for this review. The SyncMaster 961GW is almost the same as the 961BW but features a glossy matrix and a lower power draw (38W against 42W).

This Samsung has response time compensation, too. I hope its implementation is better than in the previous model. The table lists the static contrast ratio but the monitor also supports dynamic contrast technology (its specified value is 3000:1).

This monitor is a kingdom of gloss. It even comes with a neat microfiber napkin for cleaning. It is only with this napkin and monitor care products that you can keep this beauty from dust and greasy fingerprints. For all its pretty appearance and increased contrast, the glossy matrix reflects every light source behind your, which may be a nuisance. You should keep this in mind when you are choosing the place to install your SyncMaster 961GW. It would be a mistake to place it with the screen facing a window or a wall-mounted lamp.

As for its design, the monitor is superb. The sharp outline of the case transforms smoothly into the stand. The metallized Power button is the only eye-catching element as the rest of the buttons are placed on the bottom edge of the case. The monitor is pretty although some people may prefer something more modest – and less easily dirtied.

Besides being pretty, the stand is also highly functional. Its two hinges – at the points where the “leg” is fastened to the base and to the case – allow to tilt the screen and adjust its height from 30 to 120 millimeters. The monitor’s case just hits against the desk in the bottommost position, hiding the stand. You can also rotate the screen around the vertical axis or pivot it into portrait mode although few people would use a TN matrix in this mode because the poor vertical viewing angles become poor horizontal viewing angles, which is no good at all.

If you are not satisfied or if you want to wall-mount the monitor, you can replace the stand with a VESA-compatible mount.

The monitor’s got a standard selection of connectors in the recess under the top hinge: analog and digital inputs, and a connector of the integrated power adapter.

Save for the Power button (highlighted with a mild blue rim), the control buttons are hidden on the right of the bottom edge of the case. Unfortunately, it is hard to read the labels on the front panel and you have to find the buttons blindly. The buttons are placed at an appropriate distance, which helps. Like on many other monitors from Samsung, quick access is provided to the brightness setting, to choosing a factory-set MagicBright mode, to switching the inputs, and to the automatic adjustment feature.

The menu is the same as the above-discussed Samsung has, but offers color temperature modes. Besides, it offers a gamma setup option, MagicColor and MagicBright modes – I will discuss them all shortly.

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