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Samsung SyncMaster 206BW

We have already studied Samsung’s 20” monitor series based on TN matrixes. It consisted of SyncMaster 203B, 204 and 205BW models then, none of which had Response Time Compensation and thus could not be considered fast by today’s standards. The new SyncMaster 206BW is meant to fill in the niche.

Besides the response time of 2 milliseconds GtG, the monitor features a dynamic contrast mode. Samsung specifies two contrast ratios, static and dynamic. The specified viewing angles, measured by the contrast ratio reduction to 5:1, are identical vertically and horizontally, but the vertical angles are narrower than the horizontal ones in practice as is always the case with TN matrixes.

The monitor has a black glossy plastic case (your fingerprints are going to be just too visible on it) but the matrix has a traditional matte glare-free coating. A decorative silvery strip goes along the bottom edge of the case. The monitor is quite attractive overall.

As opposed to the SyncMaster 205BW, this model uses a most simple stand that only permits to change the tilt of the screen. You can replace it with a standard VESA mount if necessary.

The monitor is equipped with analog and digital inputs, and an integrated power adapter. As opposed to most of the models described above, it lacks a USB hub.

The control buttons are located on the bottom edge of the case but are accompanied with icons and labels on the silvery strip of the front panel, so there’s no problem with finding the button you need. Still, I’d prefer that the icons were painted some color because it’s hard to discern the labels in semidarkness even though they are pressed in light-gray plastic.

The Power button is placed apart from the others and is itself a conspicuous decorative element. The Power indicator – designed like a blue ring around the button – is not too bright or irritating at work, but begins to blink in sleep mode, which may be annoying. You can’t disable the indicator – this feature is only available in Samsung’s next monitor series (one model from it is discussed at the end of this review).

Quick access is provided to switching between the MagicBright modes (with predefined values of brightness, contrast and color temperature), to the brightness setting, to switching the inputs, and to the automatic adjustment of signal when the monitor’s analog connection is in use.

The onscreen menu is standard for Samsung’s monitors with this diagonal size. It is neat, logical and easy to use, offering an ordinary selection of setup options.

The Dynamic Contrast mode, available among the MagicBright modes, enables the appropriate technology (the manual adjustment of brightness is locked in the menu after that). Dynamic contrast is turned off in the other modes, including Movie, although I guess this name would be most appropriate for that technology because there’s no use for it other than watching movies.

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