The monitor’s got 100% brightness and 75% contrast by default. I selected 50% brightness and 55% contrast to achieve a 100nit brightness of white. The brightness is regulated by means of pulse-width modulation of the power of the backlight lamps at a frequency of 200Hz.
Color gradients are reproduced perfectly at any settings. The backlight is quite uniform, but you can see two narrow lighter bands along the top and bottom of the screen on a dark background.
The gamma curves look good. They lie in a dense group hardly deflecting from the theoretical curve for gamma 2.2. The monitor reproduces the entire color range without losing details in lights or darks.
This color temperature setup is good. There is less than 1000K of difference between the levels of gray, which is acceptable in monitors of this class. As a minor drawback, the Warm mode yields not warm, but normal colors, its average color temperature being about 6500K. Anyway, I guess most users are going to prefer this mode (or the slightly colder Normal, depending on the ambient lighting).
The response time average is 4.7 milliseconds. This is fast, yet not as fast as promised by the manufacturer. This result comes from the surprisingly long transitions from, for example, grays into white (the farthest line of columns in the picture above). This is rather strange for a TN matrix for which transitions into white are usually among the fastest.
The RTC error average is 15.7%. This is quite a lot and the resulting artifacts are going to be not just visible, but disturbing. The maximum error is as gross as 92.7%.
The SyncMaster 206BW sports an astonishingly high contrast ratio of almost 500:1! It’s even hard to believe this is a TN matrix because such numbers are typical of VA ones whereas regular TN matrixes have a contrast ratio of 300:1.
Strictly speaking, the SyncMaster 206BW is not an improved SyncMaster 205BW because it has got a different case, RTC mechanism, and dynamic contrast mode. Alas, its pros such as an appealing exterior, good response time and accurate color reproduction are accompanied with cons like a too high level of RTC errors and a simple stand without screen height adjustment. The response time doesn’t make it to the declared 2 milliseconds too, by the way. If the mentioned problems do not frighten you, the SyncMaster 206BW can make a good home monitor capable of handling games and movies as well as office applications (you shouldn’t forget about the narrow viewing angles but it’s a common defect of all TN matrixes rather than of the 206BW only).