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Samsung SyncMaster 225UW

The letter U made me remember the SyncMaster 940UX, which is capable of receiving video signal via USB interface. Did Samsung make a 22” version of it? No, unfortunately. Well, the 225UW does have something to do with the USB interface, in a different way.

In its specs, it is an ordinary 22” TN-based monitor without Response Time Compensation.

The monitor’s exterior design is original. Although it’s not the first time Samsung uses black glossy plastic, the company’s earlier models were prone to have rounded-off shapes whereas the 225UW is angular. It doesn’t look bulky, though. Its black coloring makes it look smaller than it really is.

Of course, the glossy surface has its traditional drawback. Dust and fingerprints are more visible on it than on a matte surface. That’s why a soft napkin is included with the monitor for cleaning it.

The monitor’s stand allows adjusting the tilt of the screen. It can be replaced with a VESA mount if necessary. Take note that the back panel is absolutely flat while the connectors are placed in a niche so you can fasten the monitor right against a wall.

In the above-mentioned niche you will find a power connector, digital and analog video inputs, and a USB input. The monitor’s side panel carries a second group of connectors: two ports of the USB hub, a headphones output and a microphone input.

You may be wondering where the audio inputs/outputs the headphones and microphone are to be connected to the PC with? They are absent here. Besides everything else, the SyncMaster 225UW has an audio card with a USB interface to do without extra cables. Of course, a PC without a sound card is quite a specific solution today, but the 225UW may be valuable for making the connection simpler.

By the way, you don’t even have to install any drivers for the 225UW if you’ve got a modern OS. Microsoft Windows XP successfully identified all the devices available in the monitor.

The 225UW features integrated speakers which are hidden in the front panel inside the slit under the silver strip.

A web-camera is a third USB device integrated into the monitor, after the USB hub and the sound card. It is centered above the screen and can be turned up and down. There are small grids to the left and right of the camera – these are microphones.

The monitor has touch-sensitive buttons at the bottom of the front panel. They react sharply and only to your fingers. The buttons won’t respond to such things as an accidental touch of a cable. The monitor emits a quiet squeak on your pressing a button which gives you feedback the lack of which is a big problem of many other implementations of touch-sensitive buttons.

As opposed to ASUS’ monitors for example, the labels are written in paint and are visible always, not only when the menu is active.

The Power indicator is placed on the right. It is blue and of modest brightness. It won’t be distracting at work. The Power button is located nearby.

The monitor has a standard Samsung menu, clear and user-friendly. Quick access is provided to the auto-adjustment feature, to switching between the inputs, to the sound volume setting, and to the MagicBright modes.

The monitor has 100% brightness and 75% contrast by default. I lowered both settings to 40% to achieve a 100nit white. You should not increase the contrast above 78% as this distorts the reproduction of lights. The brightness is regulated by means of backlight modulation at a frequency of 367Hz.

Color gradients are reproduced by the monitor without banding.

The monitor’s speakers sound good. The sound volume is high enough for a workplace with a hint of low frequencies even. But of course, these speakers are no match even to inexpensive standalone speaker sets.

This is an example of a picture taken from the integrated web-camera (at a reduced resolution). The camera is not ideal, of course. It makes the center of the shot too bright and the edges of the shot too dark, but its color reproduction is quite adequate. Of course, the resolution of 2 megapixels is just a marketing trick. In reality, the quality of shots taken with such cameras is always limited by the quality of the lens rather than by the matrix resolution.

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