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Samsung SyncMaster 226CW

We talked about this monitor in an earlier review but that was a presale sample which was not to make to the shelves. Today I will test an off-the-shelf sample.

Judging by the specs, it is a TN-based monitor with Response Time Compensation and dynamic contrast mode (this explains the high specified contrast ratio). What sets it apart from the other monitors in this review is that the 226CW features backlight lamps with improved phosphors that ensure a larger color gamut.

The 226CW has the same exterior design as the SyncMaster 226BW. The two are very similar in their specs except for color gamut. The 226BW has an ordinary, sRGB-like, color gamut.

The stand allows adjusting the tilt of the screen. It can be replaced with a standard VESA mount if necessary.

The monitor has analog and digital inputs. Its power adapter is integrated into the case. The connectors are placed in a niche covered with a decorative panel.

The control buttons can be easily found on the right of the bottom edge of the case. Their labels are written on the silver strip on the front panel. It’s easy to read them. The Power indicator is designed as a circle around the Power button; it is shining in blue at work (rather brightly) and blinking in sleep mode (without getting less bright or changing color).

That’s a standard menu of Samsung monitors except that it doesn’t offer preset color temperature modes. Instead, you can set it up manually using three sliders (red-green-blue). Moreover, the MagicColor feature, which used to increase color saturation, is now replaced with Color Innovation which seems to do the same.

Quick access is provided to the automatic adjustment of analog connection, to switching between the inputs, to the brightness setting and to the MagicBright modes.

By default, the monitor has 100% brightness and 75% contrast. To achieve a 100nit white I selected 30% brightness and 40% contrast. You shouldn’t set the contrast setting higher than 75% as it leads to the loss of light halftones. Color gradients are reproduced without banding.

The small viewing angles of the TN matrix have an odd effect on the reproduction of yellow: if you take a look at the screen from below, yellow appears to have a greenish tincture. Moreover, yellow has this tincture at the sides of the screen even if you are sitting right in front of the monitor at a distance of 50-60cm from the screen.

This is a rather annoying effect. What’s surprising, I’ve never seen it in my tests before. Yes, TN matrixes can’t have large vertical viewing angles, but it was a surprise for me to see them have such a strong effect on color reproduction.

I should note that Samsung may ship the same model with matrixes from different manufacturers and of different revisions, especially as there is something to correct in this case. However, you can only be sure the monitor is free from this effect if you check it out at the shop. It is the most conspicuous on yellow.

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