Samsung SyncMaster 225MW
This model is more expensive than the NEC MultiSync LCD225WNX but surpasses it in functionality. I guess the enhanced functionality covers the difference in price with interest. First of all, the SyncMaster 225MW has an integrated TV-tuner, antenna input, and a remote control. All of this allows you to use it as a TV-set apart from a computer.
As a PC monitor, the SyncMaster 225MW has ordinary specifications. It has a native resolution of 1680x1050 like typical 22-inchers. Its matrix does not have response time compensation. I’d like to note that its brightness of 300 nits is lower than what is usually declared for TV-sets and monitors positioned as multimedia products (they have a specified brightness of 400-500 nits so that you could watch movies on them under any ambient lighting). Well, 300 nits should also be quite enough for any situation except for direct sunlight.
The exterior design is something new because Samsung’s home-oriented models tend to have rounded shapes whereas the 225MW is obviously angular, with barely rounded-off corners. Well, I have already met this design in the SyncMaster 225UW.
The glossy black plastic of the front panel is adorned with a decorative chrome stripe at the bottom. The downside of glossy surfaces is known to everyone. Dust, greasy fingerprints and scratches are all too visible on it. On the other hand, such monitors are eye-catching and thus popular among buyers.
The stand is angular as well. Its functionality is limited to adjusting the tilt of the screen.
You can replace it with a VESA-compatible mount. You can see the required threaded holes around the word Samsung in the photo above.
Besides the above-mentioned TV-tuner with antenna input, the monitor offers D-Sub and DVI connectors, a HDMI interface, a line audio input, a component video input, and even a SCART.
There is a second group of connectors on the side panel: composite and S-Video inputs for analog video. Thus, this monitor is equipped with every video interface you may meet with in modern computer and home appliances!
The 225MW has touch-sensitive controls whose labels are centered below the screen. The Power button is placed apart from the others on the right of the decorative chrome stripe. A blue indicator of power is located near it. The indicator is shining constantly when the monitor is turned on and blinking in sleep mode.
Quick access – with a press of a button bypassing the onscreen menu – is provided to the sound volume, to switching between the inputs, to the automatic adjustment at analog connection, to choosing a TV channel, and to turning on Picture-in-Picture mode.
The touch-sensitive buttons work well, without false reactions or misses. There is only one thing I can complain about: the labels are painted in low-contrast paint and almost invisible in semidarkness.
The onscreen menu is hardly user-friendly. Samsung traditionally uses a TV-oriented menu in its monitors equipped with video inputs. Such menus do not work well in computer monitors. The menu’s first tab is where you can choose the input to use and rename them but it is faster to select an input with the Source button, especially as Samsung’s monitors can identify what video inputs are connected at the moment and do not switch between the unconnected ones. As a result, you have to press as many as six buttons to get through to the Contrast setting, for example. The menu doesn’t remember the option you changed last.
Fortunately, the SyncMaster 225MW offers two ways to solve the problem of the unhandy menu. You can use the MagicTune program to control the monitor from Windows or you can use the included remote control. The latter works for both computer and TV modes and helps navigate the menu much faster than when you use the monitor’s own controls.