Samsung SyncMaster 173S (LSHS)
The case of the first model of the new 173 series is a full analog to the above-described 172V: the control buttons are placed at the bottom edge of the case, and the power button is in the middle. The base is the same as we saw in 172N (that is, more functional): it allows rotating the screen around the vertical axis, tilting the screen and turning it into the portrait mode.
The viewing angles are typical for a TN+Film matrix: a horizontal deflection of 50° makes the onscreen image appear yellowish and lose contrast. White gets darker and somewhat bluish when the screen is viewed from above; when you look at it from below, all colors seem dark and blue transforms into green to some extent. This is not that dramatic in reality, as you may think after reading my description. Of course, you notice these color defects at work, but they don’t cause any serious discomfort.
SyncMaster 173S comes with one (analog) video input. This is the last similarity between our hero and 172V, because the quality of auto-adjustment was impeccable.
The menu includes four color temperature settings, but the traditional “sRGB” option is now replaced with “3D Color”. So, the “User Adjusted” option by default produces a color temperature of 5990K for white and 8290K for gray. “Bluish” means 6030K white and 8880K gray. “Reddish” means 6010K white and 7710K gray. The new “3D Color” option gave out 6060K white and 8290K gray. I chose the “Reddish” setting for my tests, as other settings have a too high temperature of gray.
By default, we have 80% brightness and 50% contrast. By setting these controls to 15% brightness and 16% contrast, we achieve a screen brightness of 100nit.
The color curves at default settings show that there is too much red in light tones (the monitor doesn’t distinguish between some lightest red tones), while blue is high in the middle of the range.
When the screen brightness is reduced to 100nit, these deficiencies vanish, but I still cannot say the color curves have an ideal shape. Some tones from the middle of the range are reproduced darker than they should be.
The response time is average: lower than specified on black-to-white transitions. At maximum, the pixel rise time is 30msec.
The contrast ratio is a little lower than of the 172V, but higher than of the 172S. The level of black floated around 1nit, going somewhat down at the minimum brightness only.
So, the first monitor of the new series brings nothing interesting to us. All its parameters are similar to what we saw in its predecessors. Comparing it to 172S, I’d say the engineers managed to improve the contrast ratio considerably. SyncMaster 173S can be also compared with 172N as they have similar characteristics and functionality. They show very similar results in the tests, so you can regard 173S as a 172N in a different case.