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Samsung SyncMaster 223BW

The reduced-size matrixes – with a diagonal of 21.6 inches – have entered Samsung’s line-up, too. The SyncMaster 223BW has this screen diagonal notwithstanding the number 22 in its name.

These are the specs of a regular TN-based monitor without Response Time Compensation.

The 223BW is externally identical to the SyncMaster 226BW we’ve discussed in our previous 22-inch roundup: a black glossy case, a light-silver strip along the bottom edge, and a large chrome Power button. It’s hard to tell that the 223BW is somewhat smaller even if you put the two models right next to each other. The difference is very negligible indeed.

The stand allows adjusting the tilt of the screen. You can replace it with a VESA mount if you want. Note that the screen can be turned backward, but not forward. So it is not going to be convenient to watch movies on it while you’re resting on a sofa, for example.

The SyncMaster 223BW is equipped with analog and digital video inputs. It doesn’t have integrated speakers and thus doesn’t have a line audio input.

The control buttons can be found on the bottom edge of the case. They are labeled on the front panel – the labels are pressed out in the plastic of the decorative silver strip. The buttons are handy, but there soon appears a greasy smudge from your fingers on the black plastic above them.

Samsung’s typical onscreen menu is intuitive and user-friendly. Among its settings I can single out the MagicColor option which increases color saturation. The rest of the options are traditional enough. There is no option to choose interpolation mode – the image is always stretched out to full screen.

A special menu is provided for the MagicBright technology, a set of predefined combinations of settings you can switch between by pressing a single button. Besides the different combinations of brightness and contrast, you can choose a dynamic contrast mode here.

The image undergoes certain changes in the Dynamic Contrast mode. Not only dynamic contrast proper is enabled (it is the automatic adjustment of the backlight brightness depending on the displayed image) but also color saturation is increased. The MagicColor settings (this technology is responsible for making colors more saturated) are blocked, which doesn’t look right to me. The adjustment of the backlight brightness is not connected technically with the adjustment of color saturation, and I don’t understand why the two should be combined together so that you can’t enable dynamic contrast without also enabling MagicColor.

The monitor has 100% brightness and 75% contrast by default. I achieved a 100nit white by selecting 25% brightness and 35% contrast. Dark halftones are always distinguishable irrespective of the contrast value. Lights are distinguishable too whatever contrast you select up to the maximum (in most monitors you shouldn’t lift the contrast setting up above the default value).

The brightness is regulated by means of backlight modulation at a frequency of 193Hz.

Color gradients are reproduced perfectly at the default settings. Barely visible banding appears in them at reduced values of contrast.

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