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Samsung SyncMaster 2043NW

Samsung is updating its monitor series regularly. Recently the company has been introducing mostly home-oriented models shining with glossy plastic but now it’s time for business-class models featuring a more restrained exterior. The SyncMaster 2043NW is the junior 20” model of the new series.

Judging by the specs, this is yet another ordinary TN-based model without response time compensation. The declared viewing angles are wide especially as Samsung claims them to be measured using the honest method, i.e. for the contrast ratio reduction to 10:1. Does it mean TN matrixes have made a breakthrough?

Well, yes and no. On one hand, the technology is indeed progressing. TN matrixes are becoming better with each year, also in terms of viewing angles. But on the other hand, if you recall the measurement method, the viewing angle of an LCD matrix is the angle at which the contrast ratio in the center of the screen equals 10:1. Clearly, the specified viewing angles improve if the specified contrast ratio is higher. The contrast ratio of TN matrixes has really increased in the last years – this trend is confirmed by our tests.

Thus, TN matrixes of 2008 are better than TN matrixes of earlier years. However, this manufacturing technology cannot match S-IPS or PVA yet.

The monitor has a compact and neat black case. The plastic and the surface of the matrix are matte. This model comes in other colors as well, the front panel being matte silvery or glossy black. I guess the monitor looks best in the matte black version, though.

The stand allows you to adjust the tilt of the screen (the adjustment limits are illustrated by the picture above) and to turn it around the vertical axis.

The default stand can be replaced with a standard VESA mount. The photo shows the round cap that hides the fastening holes.

Like the above-discussed NEC AccuSync LCD203WM, this model is only equipped with an analog video input. But unlike the NEC, the SyncMaster 2043NW produces a sharp picture. For the monitor to set up accurately, I only had to press the Auto button. No further adjustment was necessary. I should note that I tested the monitor together with a Sapphire Radeon X1650 Pro graphics card. If you connect it to an integrated graphics core, the quality of the analog signal may be worse.

Touch-sensitive buttons are a characteristic trait of Samsung’s new series. The buttons are as many and placed in the same manner as in many previous models from this brand but you don’t have to press them now. Just touch them softly with your finger. The buttons respond correctly to every touch without misses or false responses. You don’t have to adjust yourself to these buttons or find a specific position for your finger. A quick sequence of touches is also processed correctly.

The onscreen menu is Samsung’s standard one. It is clear and handy. Among special functions I can note MagicBright (factory-set image modes I’ll discuss later), MagicColor (increases color saturation automatically), and ColorEffect (a few discolored modes; this feature is funny but its practical purpose is vague).

The button that used to select MagicBright modes in Samsung’s previous models can now be redefined in the monitor’s menu. Besides switching the MagicBright modes, it can now switch ColorEffect and MagicColor modes and, which may be most useful for some users, choose the interpolation variant for non-native resolutions (two variants are available: with the native aspect ratio of 16:10 and with an aspect ratio of 4:3).

The LED indicator is blue. It is not very bright and does not distract the eye. The LED is blinking in sleep mode. You cannot turn it off.

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