By default, the monitor has 100% brightness and 75% contrast. When the contrast setting is increased above its default, details get lost in lightest color tones. To achieve a 100nit brightness of white I reduced the brightness and contrast settings to 31% and 33%, respectively. The monitor controls its brightness by modulating the backlight lamps at a frequency of 316Hz.
Color gradients look perfect at any brightness/contrast settings. There are also no problems with dark halftones at low values of contrast.
The gamma curves look good at the default settings, although the value of gamma is somewhat too high than necessary (the curves go lower than they should). The resulting image has excessive contrast. The characteristic bend in the top part of the diagram means that the monitor’s default contrast value is set too high and should be reduced by 5-10%.
When the brightness and contrast settings are reduced to yield a 100nit white, the gamma curves become normal, almost ideal.
The predefined color temperature modes offer a wide choice, although some people may think the Normal mode a bit too cold and the warmest Warm mode insufficiently warm. The setup quality is satisfactory. The difference between the temperatures of white and grays is about 1000K and smaller.
The color gamut doesn’t differ much from those of the above-described monitors except that the SyncMaster 931BW renders the sRGB space more accurately, without any problems with the most saturated blues and reds.
Response Time Compensation puts this monitor apart from the models I’ve described above. Its average response is as low as 4.4 milliseconds. The maximum is lower than 20 milliseconds and is achieved on one transition only. Most transitions take less than 8 milliseconds.
The compensation technology is accompanied with errors, of course. There is a low level of RTC errors in this monitor, yet I can’t say they are absolutely unnoticeable. Most transitions are performed flawlessly, but some have an error of 45%, yielding an average of 7.9%. Comparing the SyncMaster 931BW to other monitors on TN matrixes, its results are good. Generally speaking, an average RTC error of 10% is normal for TN technology.
Samsung’s monitors have traditionally featured a high contrast ratio, and this model is no exception. Its contrast ratio is higher than 400:1, degenerating to 200:1 at low brightness of white only.
All in all, the SyncMaster 931BW is a very good choice for people who are seeking a fast widescreen 19” monitor. Its appealing design, relatively low level of RTC errors, high contrast ratio, and acceptable quality of color settings make it appropriate for every user who doesn’t care about its inability to adjust the screen height and enable the portrait mode.