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Samsung SyncMaster 961BF

This is a very fresh model, introduced at this year’s CeBIT. Continuing the 960 series, it differs from its predecessor 960BF with a lower response time (2 instead of 4 milliseconds GtG) and with support for dynamic contrast mode. The viewing angles are measured by a contrast drop to 5:1, so you shouldn’t foster any hopes here – there have been no breakthroughs in TN technology from this point of view.

This monitor looks stern and elegant with its black glossy case the metallized Power button stands out on and with the sleek outline of the stand that smoothly transitions into the case fastening. A certain drawback, the glossy plastic gets dirty too easily.

The case is fastened to the stand like in the above-described NEC LCD195VXM+. There are two joints where the “leg” is fastened to the base and to the case. This leg allows adjusting the screen height from 25mm to 110mm above the desk. The rest of adjustment options – tilt, rotation around the vertical axis (using a circle in the sole of the stand), and portrait mode – are all available, too, as you might expect from an expensive series model.

The set of connectors located in a recess under the point where the stand is fastened to the case includes analog and digital inputs, and a connector of the integrated power adapter.

The control buttons, except for the Power one, are placed in the bottom right of the case. It’s easy to use them thanks to the distinct labels above. Like other monitors from Samsung, this one provides quick access to the brightness setting, to the MagicBright feature, to switching between the inputs, and to the automatic adjustment.

The monitor’s got a standard menu, like the one of the above-described model, except that it offers a new MagicBright mode called Dynamic Contrast.

By default, the monitor’s brightness and contrast are set at 100% and 75%, respectively. To achieve a 100nit brightness of white I reduced both brightness and contrast down to 28%. The monitor controls its brightness through pulse-width modulation of the backlight lamps at a frequency of 340Hz.

The backlight is generally uniform with small darker areas in the corners visible on a solid-color fill. This is not conspicuous in ordinary applications, though.

Color gradients are reproduced without banding. Darks do not merge into black whatever contrast value you choose, but lights become the same as pure white when you increase the contrast to 80% and above.

 
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