Samsung SyncMaster 173B
The integrated speakers distinguish this box from 173S one, which we have just discussed. Otherwise, we’ve got a similar case on the same base. Recalling 172S and 172B models, I had hoped for this monitor to have a PVA matrix, but it comes with an ordinary TN+Film one.
Anyway, the viewing angles are better in SyncMaster 173B than in 173S: at least you can look at the screen from above without serious image worsening. The onscreen image is still dark when viewed from below (although not very much so), while looking from aside you will notice that the white color is somewhat yellowish. On the other hand, the image is perfectly seen even when your line of sight is parallel to the screen.
SyncMaster 173B is a multimedia monitor, with the audio input and headphones output placed in a row with the control buttons on the bottom edge of the case. The buttons you used to control the brightness with now serve for adjusting the sound volume.
The color temperature is selected from four settings: “User Adjusted” (by default, it means 5560K white and 7570K gray), “Reddish” (5540K white and 7050K gray), “Bluish” (5580K and 8110K), and “3D Color” (5560K white and 7480K gray).
SyncMaster 173B comes with the brightness control set to 80% and the contrast set to 50%. By setting them to 30% and 27%, respectively, we get a screen brightness of 100nit. Somehow this monitor doesn’t have the option of quick switching between “Magic Bright” modes.
The color curves are rather shabby: there is too little red, so the monitor doesn’t distinguish between some dark tones of red. Blue is, on the contrary, too high, and irregularly so: the ratio of blue and red depends on the particular stretch of the dynamic range.
The measured response time was formally higher than the value specified by the manufacturer. However, you can see from the graph below that there is no clearly defined slump of the response time on bright tones, which is a characteristic trait of modern matrixes. Overall, the pixel response time by this monitor equaled 30msec, and that’s quite a good performance.
Can’t say anything new about the contrast ratio. It’s like with the previous SyncMasters, deviating between 150…200:1 (the level of black is about 1nit).
SyncMaster 173B is not the much-anticipated replacement for the 172 series models on PVA matrixes, but rather a slightly improved 173S, with better viewing angles and integrated speakers. It’s quite probable, though, that 173S will use a matrix like 173B in the future (maybe some batches of 173S come with such matrixes already), and the two monitors will only differ by those integrated speakers available in the 173B.