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The monitor has 100% brightness and 75% contrast by default. I achieved a 100nit white by selecting 30% brightness and 34% contrast. It is undesirable to increase the contrast setting above 70%. There are minor distortions in the reproduction of lights even at the default 75%. The monitor’s brightness is regulated by means of backlight modulation at a frequency of 376Hz.

The monitor’s color gamut is peculiar. Most monitors coincide with the sRGB color space in blues, but the triangle of this monitor is shifted upwards. As a result, it differs but little from others in reds and greens, but produces a slightly lighter blue than other monitors.

The gamma curves are good at the default settings except for one thing: the characteristic bend in the top right of the diagram indicates an exceedingly high contrast. It means light halftones are displayed like pure white.

This problem disappears when you reduce the contrast setting. The curves are neat enough now although do not coincide with the theoretical curve for gamma 2.2 (it is black in the diagram).

The color temperature is set up well. It deflects considerably on pure white which is the consequence of the high level of contrast. Otherwise, the setup is good. Most users are going to prefer the Normal mode.

According to my measurements, the contrast ratio of the matrix is rather average. You can compare this to the above-discussed monitors from NEC that delivered a contrast ratio of 500:1 and higher in some modes.

I noted the MagicBright technology above. It is very helpful if you use your monitor for multiple applications. MagicBright allows you to switch the monitor for a higher brightness to play games or watch movies and then switch it quickly back to the previous level of brightness without having to tinker with the menu settings. Of course, the usefulness of this technology depends on how correctly the modes are set up because the user cannot fine-tune them.

Well, it is all quite good overall although the Text and Internet modes are too bright. Their brightness should be lower by about 20% if they are to be used according to their names. So, I guess you should set the monitor up manually for text-based applications and switch into a MagicBright mode for games and movies.

The color reproduction quality is the same in the Text, Internet and Sport modes as at the default settings. The contrast setting is increased to 90% in the Game and Movie modes although the monitor has problems reproducing lights even at 75% contrast.

That’s not a big problem, but you should be aware of it if you care about color reproduction.

Besides MagicBright technology, the same button can enable the dynamic contrast mode in which the monitor is adjusting the level of backlight brightness depending on the onscreen image. If you need this feature – it is only useful in movies – you should know that the SyncMaster 2043NW comes in two versions. The version with the LS20MYNKB code doesn’t support dynamic contrast technology.

The last test is the response time measurement. The monitor is declared to have a response time of 5 milliseconds. This indicates the lack of response time compensation and, accordingly, a rather slow matrix.

Indeed, the monitor turns to have an average response time of 12.7 milliseconds (GtG) with a maximum of 23.1 milliseconds. But the black-white transition takes 3.7+1.3=5.0 milliseconds, exactly as written in the product specs.

So, the SyncMaster 2043NW is a good and inexpensive office monitor that has a neat and nice appearance as well as a good setup. The main drawback is the lack of a digital interface. While modern discrete graphics cads easily handle 1680x1050 resolution, integrated graphics cores may have problems with image quality. You should be aware of that if you want to buy this monitor.

Highs:

  • Good color reproduction setup (for this product class)
  • Neat and stern exterior design

Lows:

  • No digital input
  • Slow matrix

Recommended usage:

  • Text-based applications (documents, spreadsheets, Internet)
  • Viewing and simple editing of photographs
  • Movies and games that do not require a fast matrix
 
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