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Samsung SyncMaster 2243BW

The SyncMaster 2243BW belongs to a new series of business monitors with screen diagonals of 19 to 22 inches. We already discussed the 20-inch SyncMaster 2043NW and 2043MW and will soon test 19-inch models of the 943 series. Right now I will introduce to you a 22-inch model from this family.

Samsung’s entire 43 series includes monitors for office use, so the specifications are not surprising. It is quite logical that the 2243BW is based on a 5ms TN matrix without response time compensation.

By the way, besides SyncMaster 2243BW, Samsung also offers two 22-inch models in the 43 series: the 2243NW that lacks a digital interface and the 2243WM that has integrated speakers.

Such a series had been called for because Samsung had got carried away with fanciful monitors shining with glossy panels. Such monitors look splendid at home, but not so in the office. Glossy plastic is impractical and easily gets dirty. It doesn’t fit into an office environment well. Furthermore, fanciful design solutions often contradict the rules of ergonomics. For example, very few of Samsung’s home monitors provide screen height adjustment.

Contrary to modern home monitors, the SyncMaster 2243BW features a purely utilitarian, functional design. There are no extras here: a matte black plastic case, a square shape with somewhat rounded-off corners, perfectly visible captions on the touch-sensitive buttons, and a neat stand. This product is not ugly. I would even say that you can’t discuss the 2243BW in terms of pretty-ugly because its exterior design just does not attract any attention and does not give you a reason to talk about beauty or ugliness.

What we can talk about here is functionality. The stand allows you to tilt the screen and adjust its height from 60 to 140 millimeters. You can also turn the screen around its vertical axis and pivot it into portrait mode. You’ll have to put up with the poor viewing angles of the TN matrixes in portrait mode, though. The horizontal viewing angles are much better, and they exchange places with the vertical viewing angles then.

The monitor has analog and digital interfaces. Its power adapter is integrated into the case.

The touch-sensitive controls are located in the bottom right of the front panel and have clear light-gray captions. The buttons work well, without false reactions or making you search for the proper way of applying your finger to them as the earlier models of monitors with touch-sensitive buttons did. A blue LED is placed to the right of the Power button. It is shining constantly at work and blinking in sleep mode. You can’t turn it off.

Quick access is provided to switching between the inputs, to the automatic adjustment feature, to the Brightness setting, and to the MagicBright modes. To be exact, the latter is the default feature of the programmable button called Customized Key.

This is Samsung’s traditional menu for monitors without additional video inputs. It is logical and user-friendly. I can find no fault with it.

Beside ordinary settings, the menu offers a gamma adjustment option (you can choose out of three values), a color saturation enhancement mode called MagicColor (it yields vivid but inaccurate colors), and Color Effect modes. Color Effect feature can discolor the image in different ways, producing a black-and-white, greenish, bluish or sepia picture. The result looks funny, but I can’t think of a practical application for it.

As I noted above, one of the monitor’s buttons can be redefined. You can do this in the Customized Key item of the onscreen menu. This button can be assigned the job of switching MagicBright (by default), MagicColor or Color Effect modes, or the interpolation method for nonnative resolutions (full screen or with restrained 4:3 proportions). You cannot turn interpolation off altogether, which might be useful if you have to work at 1280x1024, for example.

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