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Samsung SyncMaster 193P

The SyncMaster 193P is the elder brother of the already tested SyncMaster 173P (for details see our article called New LCD Monitors from Samsung. Part II). Like the 173P, this monitor has an excellent silvery-white case which is both functional and beautiful. The back panel of the case and the stand are made of smooth white plastic without a single vent hole (this solution became feasible because the power adapter is external); the front panel is made of aluminum.

Like the above-described SyncMaster 920T, the 193P uses a Dual Hinge base which allows to change the tilt and the height of the screen (at the min height the screen actually lies on the desk – I guess owners of high desks or of “lying” system cases with the monitor on top are going to appreciate this). The tilt can be regulated in a wide range – you can even fold the monitor up into a single entity with the base. Thanks to that, it’s easy to wall-mount the 193P – the fasteners are enclosed. The portrait mode is available, too.

The connectors are all on the rear of the base, but are not hidden as in the SyncMaster 920T. This monitor is equipped with an analog and a digital (DVI-D) input.

The distinguishing feature of the SyncMaster 193P is the total absence of any buttons on the case, save for the Power button (it also switches between the inputs – you have to press and hold it for several seconds to do that). The button is sensory – you can just touch it with your finger and it is highlighted with a mild blue LED. As for controlling the device, you have to do it using the Windows-based MagicTune utility. Unfortunately, there is yet no such utility for other operating systems (I mentioned the ddccontrol project in my previous review – it’s dedicated to development of such a program – but alas, there’s not much progress done yet).

As for the Windows users, they are unlikely to regret the loss of the control buttons. Practice shows that MagicTune is not just a dull copy of the onscreen menu, but an independent and handy tool for setting your monitor up. Beginner users should be among the first to appreciate it: MagicTune offers various tips and even a Setup Wizard, which an ordinary onscreen menu just cannot do. But I already described this program in my reviews of Samsung’s monitors, so let’s get right to the tests.

By default, the monitor has 80% brightness and 50% contrast. To make the screen shine with a luminance of 100nit I dropped these settings to 39% brightness and 40% contrast. The menu – or, rather, the MagicTune utility – offers three color temperature settings: “Normal” proved to give out 6640K white and 7780K gray; “Cool” produced 7630K white and 10,440K gray; “Warm” yielded 6120K white and 6380K gray. The color temperature setup isn’t perfect, but quite acceptable: the difference between the temperatures of white and gray is noticeable, but is not as huge as with many other LCD monitors. Of course, you can also set up the color temperature manually, using three R-G-B sliders. The color reproduction is subjectively good: the colors are bright and saturated on the screen. Stripes in smooth color gradients are hardly discernable.

This monitor comes with the older menu which has only three color temperature variants rather than a dozen, as in the SyncMaster 920T. This is natural since the 193P, although belongs to a higher class than the 920T, was released much earlier.

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