All monitors from Samsung’s 9xx and 7xx series use a new onscreen menu now. It looks much better than the older version and is easy to use, but the settings have remained the same: brightness, contrast, and four color temperature variants. Somewhat unusual is the option of controlling the gamma correction coefficient (this setting can take three values, from “Mode 1” to “Mode 3”).
Pressing the appropriate button, you invoke the MagicBright menu that offers three brightness/contrast presets (the fourth variant, Custom, denotes the ordinary settings of the main menu). You cannot change these presets, but you can use the MagicTune utility, available also with any other modern monitor from Samsung, to control the monitor from Windows. This utility allows you to create your own presets and to invoke them with a few clicks of the mouse.
By default, the monitor’s brightness and contrast settings are both set to 80%. By setting them both to 50% I achieved 100nit screen brightness. The monitor controls its brightness using pulse-width modulation of the backlight lamps at a frequency of about 370Hz.
The quality of the image as produced by the SyncMaster 913N left me rather indifferent. The viewing angles visually seem a little narrower than with the above-described LG L1930SQ (of course, there’s no sense in comparing the SyncMaster 913N to monitors on matrices other than TN+Film). The colors are rather pale, and wide stripes are discernible in smooth color gradients. On a closer look you can also notice a light edge to the right of vertical black lines on a gray background – I drew your attention to this problem in my earlier reviews of other new monitors from Samsung. It’s impossible to get rid of that light edging by manual setup of the phase – the image sharpness degenerates considerably at the settings at which there’s no edging.
The color reproduction setup is normal. The color curves are not very smooth, but they don’t betray any serious defects.
The response time is good, 12 milliseconds minimum, but don’t comply with the specification which promises 8 milliseconds. In comparison with the main competitor, I mean the L1930SQ from LG, Samsung’s monitor is a little faster on both black-white-black transitions (on which the specified response time is in fact measured) and intermediate transitions.
The contrast ratio is acceptable, but not very high. The max brightness is average, too, despite the specified 300nit.
Thus, the SyncMaster 913N looks like an average monitor on the whole. It is definitely better than the mediocre Acer AL1912, but somewhat worse than the LG L1930SQ, even though the LG monitor has a slightly higher response time. The main disadvantages of the SyncMaster 913N are narrow viewing angles and low color reproduction quality.