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The brightness and contrast settings are set at 100% and 90%, respectively, by default. I achieved a 100nit level of white by lowering both to 40%. The monitor’s brightness is regulated by means of backlight modulation at a frequency of 375Hz.

Color gradients are reproduced perfectly.

The monitor’s color gamut is standard enough, being about as large as the sRGB color space. It doesn’t differ from regular LCD monitors excepting the few models that feature LED-based backlight or lamps with improved phosphors.

 

The average nonuniformity of white brightness is 6.1% with a maximum deflection of 14.1%. The average value is somewhat worse than usual but the maximum is quite good, indicating the lack of zones with conspicuously different levels of brightness. Indeed, the picture above shows you that the monitor produces a uniform picture with the center and bottom of the screen being somewhat brighter than the rest of it.

It is worse with black: an average of 7.3% with a maximum of 20.4%. The bottom of the screen is definitely brighter.

The gamma curves are all right at the default settings but not without minor defects. Particularly, the level of contrast is too high for blue.

The curves improve at the reduced brightness and contrast but go higher than the theoretical curve in the left part of the diagram. It means that darks are displayed brighter than they should be, and the resulting image has less contrast.

The color temperature setup is sloppy. The temperature dispersion between the levels of gray is over 3000K in two out of the three available modes. The Warm mode is more or less acceptable although many users will consider it cold. The Normal and Cool modes produce a picture with a definite bluish hue.

The brightness and contrast ratio are quite normal for a modern monitor. The monitor is not as bright as TV-sets. You won’t be able to watch movies comfortably under bright daylight. For other conditions this level of brightness should be enough.

The monitor offers Samsung’s traditional MagicBright technology that allows you to switch between different image modes differing in brightness, contrast and color temperature settings. MagicBright is preferable to many similar technologies (ASUS’s Splendid or NEC’s DV mode, for example) because it does not affect color saturation, gamma curves and other deep color reproduction parameters. Therefore you do not harm your monitor’s color accuracy by using MagicBright. Samsung has got another technology for enhancing color saturation. It is called MagicColor and works independently from MagicBright.

As the table above suggests, the three available MagicBright modes are set up correctly. The Text mode is indeed as bright as necessary for working in text applications. The Internet mode is somewhat brighter, and the Entertain mode makes the monitor as bright as it can be. Thus, many users won’t even have to set the monitor’s brightness and contrast manually. You can just use the available MagicBright modes.

The response time average is 14.0 milliseconds (GtG) which is normal for an RTC-less matrix. The longest transition takes 25 milliseconds. That’s enough for movies and office applications, but not for dynamic games.

Thus, I could find only two serious drawbacks in the SyncMaster 225MW. It has poor color temperature setup and a brighter bottom of the screen when displaying black. Both problems are far from catastrophic, though. As a result, the 225MW is quite an interesting offer for people who need a pretty home monitor with an integrated TV-tuner and a full selection of video inputs. Its price is not low, but ordinary LCD TV-sets with the same screen diagonal but a lower native resolution, often without a DVI or HDMI input, cost about the same money.

Highs:

  • Memorable appearance
  • Generous selection of video inputs and an integrated TV-tuner
  • Correct setup of the MagicBright modes
  • Picture-in-Picture
  • Remote control included

Lows:

  • Unfriendly onscreen menu
  • Sloppy color temperature setup
  • Slow matrix

Recommended usage:

  • Text-based applications (documents, spreadsheets, Web)
  • Movies and games that don’t require a fast matrix
  • Can be used as an LCD TV-set
 
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