Samsung SyncMaster 171T
I was much surprised to see this model in stores as it uses the fresh PVA matrix (used in SyncMaster 172B and 172T models, see our article called Closer Look at 17” LCD Monitors Features: Pixel Response Time), but installed into a case of the older design, which seemed to have gone forever with models like SyncMaster 171S and 171B. What’s more, this model is a really interesting offer, since there is a shortage of 172B/T models and a lack of new models on PVA matrixes (the highly anticipated SyncMaster 173P hasn’t yet reached the stores).
So, the distinguishing features of the monitor case are wide framing, bulky and long base, integrated power adapter and control buttons placed on the left. This case has its advantages, though. Unlike the cases of the 172B and 172T models, it allows rotating the screen around the vertical axis and turning the screen into the portrait mode.
The monitor features two inputs, DVI and D-Sub. Well, the “T” in the name denotes exactly the availability of the DVI interface.
SyncMaster 171T uses a PVA matrix, which features gorgeous viewing angles. If you look at the screen at an angle of 50 degrees and more, the black color becomes just a little lighter, while white loses its brightness. Colors are not distorted, and you can clearly see the onscreen image up to an angle of 175-178 degrees (the framing prevents you from getting a higher degree). Thus, these are the best viewing angles of all LCD monitors I’ve ever seen. The color reproduction is beyond criticism, too. Moreover, the display truthfully displays 16.7 million colors (unlike the 16msec matrixes with a color resolution of 18bit that offer 16.2 million colors due to dithering).
By default, we have 50% brightness and 80% contrast. When both settings are at 29%, the screen is 100nit bright. Brightness is controlled by modulation of the backlight lamp with a frequency of 520Hz.
The menu is Samsung’s standard one (if you saw one, you saw them all). Three color temperature settings are available: User Adjusted (corresponds to 5950K for white and 6570K for gray), Reddish (5800K and 6100K) and Bluish (6210K and 7090K).
The color curves are nearly perfect, there’s nothing to comment on:
The same is true for 100nit screen brightness:
The specified response time is 25msec. My measurements give out 26msec, with the pixel rise time equaling the pixel fall time (this reduces the ghosting effect). But this is when we deal with black-white transitions. When gray color comes up, the situation worsens immediately. The pixel rise time skyrockets to reach 120msec (!). So, although the matrix is fast enough, according to the official specs, it will produce a noticeable ghosting effect in dark scenes.
The brightness and contrast ratio parameters are gorgeous, too. With a maximum brightness of about 220nit, the contrast ratio never got below 400:1. At 100nit screen brightness, it was close to 900:1!
Summing up, I would say that this is a perfect LCD monitor for work. Its only disadvantage is a very high response time on dark tones, but we get excellent viewing angles, very good color reproduction and excellent, deep black color instead. Unfortunately SyncMaster 171T doesn’t suit for playing dynamic games. But if you want a monitor to work with, consider this one seriously.