Samsung SyncMaster 172V
The V series is the cheapest monitor series from Samsung Electronics. It is somewhat similar to the above-described Samtron 72V, but the case design differs: the control buttons are on the lower edge of the framing, rather than on the front panel. The base is the same that the one Samtron has; it is compact, low-profile, allows changing the screen tilt only. The input port is only one, analog.
“Thanks” to the TN+Film matrix, we have worse viewing angles than PVA matrixes provide. The image is yellowish when you deflect along the horizontal by 50-60°. The vertical angles are acceptable, but still share the common defects: when viewed from below, the image gets dark, and when viewed from above, the white color appears somewhat bluish and dark, too. Overall, I couldn’t find a position for my eyes so that black and white could be evenly distributed along the vertical axis of the screen.
The menu offers three color temperature settings: “User Adjusted” (be default, 6040K white and 8300K gray), “Reddish” (5860K and 7320K), and “Bluish” (6090K white and 9710K gray).
The remarkable thing about this monitor is that I couldn’t set SyncMaster 172V to catch the signal: depending on the position of the “Fine” slider, there appeared artifacts (such as heavy ripples on a single-pixel tessellation) either in the center or along the borders of the image.
By default, the brightness control is set to 50%, and the contrast to 80%. A screen brightness of 100nit is achieved by setting 10% brightness and 20% contrast. Brightness is regulated by power modulation of the backlight lamp with a frequency of 1kHz.
The color curves look good, although the contrast is too high at default settings.
When the contrast control is down, this defect vanishes, but red is low and that’s why the color temperature of gray is much higher than of white.
The response time is surprisingly good – 18msec at the maximum settings, while the specified value is 25msec. It is also much lower on black-to-gray transitions than in the above-described monitors from Samsung.
The contrast ratio is good: the level of black is 0.5nit at the minimum brightness. When the brightness grew up, it was about 1nit, which is normal for a monitor of this class.
Although SyncMaster 172V is way too cheap compared with other models from Samsung, it is a worthy rival to some of its costlier brothers. However, this is the case when the electronics suffered most from the cost cut, which resulted in a poor setup of the signal: I couldn’t make this monitor produce a stable image. Thus, 172V is an alternative to cheap LCD monitors from less known manufacturers: the quality from Samsung is usually better. On the other hand, if you have some money in your pocket, you’d better skip this monitor over. Besides that, I wouldn’t recommend SyncMaster 172V to integrated graphics users: since the graphics quality is worse in case of integrated solutions, the shortcomings of the monitor may really be visible only on special adjustment tessellation pics.
I also promised to compare SyncMaster 172V to Samtron 72V. They have similar-sounding names, but SyncMaster has a faster matrix, while Samtron provides a better signal setup. Otherwise, the two monitors are really very similar.