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The color gamut of the 225UW is ordinary enough; it is inferior to the sRGB space in reds, but larger than it in greens. The two gamuts coincide in blues.

 

The average uniformity of white brightness is 6.8% with a maximum deflection of 16.0. For black, the numbers are 6.1% and 16.2%, respectively. The numbers are indicative of a rather non-uniform distribution of brightness, but there are no clearly outlined brighter or darker areas – the maximums would be higher otherwise. The pictures above show that quite clearly.

The gamma value is somewhat lower than necessary at the default settings for green and blue – the corresponding curves go higher than the theoretical one.

The curve move closer to each other at the reduced settings, but still go higher than the theoretical curve. This makes the image look somewhat faded.

There is a gamma adjustment option in the monitor’s menu. You can choose one out of three variants without specific numeric values. If you choose Mode 2, the curves go lower, restoring the saturation back to normal.

Lacking Response Time Compensation technology, the monitor is slow: an average response of 16.5 milliseconds GtG with a maximum of 30 milliseconds.

The color temperature modes are set up badly: every mode is too cold, the temperature reaching 8000K even if you select Warm. For most users the Warm mode is going to be the only acceptable choice but if the image looks bluish to you even in that mode, you have to set the temperature up manually. Besides, the temperature of white differs greatly from the other temperatures in every mode. This defect won’t show up if you use the monitor with the contrast set below the default value (75%).

The monitor’s max brightness and contrast ratio are at a normal level for a modern TN-based model.

Like other monitors from Samsung, the SyncMaster 225UW features MagicBright technology which means five presets you can switch between by pressing a single button. Each preset mode is meant to correspond to a specific usage of the monitor.

The presets are indeed adequate to the intended applications. The Text mode is not very bright just as you need for working with text (it may be somewhat too bright under mild ambient lighting, for example in the evening at home). The other modes are brighter. Well, I had expected that from Samsung. The MagicBright modes are accurate in nearly all of the company’s monitors. They are indeed handy and helpful at everyday use.

The contrast is slightly too high in the Game mode: the picture is bright but the lightest halftones are not distinguishable. I didn’t observe this problem in the other modes.

Summing it all up, the SyncMaster 225UW is surely an interesting, yet questionable, model. Its technical parameters are all rather average for today but it can appeal to the customer with its exterior design (the combination of black gloss with restrained shapes is unusual for Samsung), with the integrated web-camera and the USB-interfaced sound card, which not only makes it simpler to connect to the PC but also – if your software can do that – allows to separate audio streams, for example directing the output of your MP3-player to “grownup” speakers attached to the PC while the output of Skype and other such software is sent to the monitor only.

On the other hand, the 225UW is more expensive than other 22” models and the price difference is bigger than the price of a simple standalone web-camera together with a microphone.

Highs:

  • Superb exterior design
  • Appropriate setup of MagicBright modes
  • Integrated web-camera, microphone and speakers connected with a single USB cord

Lows:

  • Slow matrix
  • Inaccurate color reproduction setup
  • Rather high price

Recommended usage:

  • Text-based applications (documents, spreadsheets, Internet)
  • Video chats and video conferences
  • Movies and games that don’t require a fast matrix
 
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