Samsung SyncMaster 710N (SAS)
The more expensive model, the SyncMaster 710N, has a different case and much more attractive looks. The base allows controlling the tilt and height of the screen; the portrait mode is also available in my 710 SAS sample, but not in all 710N monitors. The portrait mode is designated by the second letter of the full model name: “A” means availability of this model, while the “S” models (SSS and SSN where the last letter indicates black-silver or a white color scheme of the case) use the base like the one in the above-described 710V. There are also ASKS and ASKN models which use a base that looks different than in SSS and SSN models. It is prettier, but has no additional functionality (i.e. it allows only to change the tilt of the screen). You can read the meanings of the letter indexes of Samsung’s monitors at the manufacturer’s website.
The big base makes the monitor rather bulky. Like the 710V, it has one analog input and an integrated power adapter.
The control buttons are located in the bottom left corner of the front panel; the power-on button is placed aside and doesn’t hinder you during the setup process. The menu is the same as with the 710V. The Gamma Mode 1 setting is the closest to gamma 2.2.
By choosing the “Cool” color temperature setting, you get 8140K white and 11,890K gray colors. “Normal” produces 5400K white and 7880K gray colors. “Warm” yields 5180K white and 6950K gray (light-gray tones have a distinct pinkish hue at this setting). The “Custom” setting by default gives you the same temperatures as “Cool”. As you see, this monitor isn’t free from the problem with a big difference between the temperatures of white and gray.
The auto adjustment of the analog signal works fine; the color-reproduction quality is good as TN+Film matrixes go, without any serious visual artifacts. The main defect of the monitor is the white shadow to the right of vertical black lines on a gray background. This defect was less visible and strong with the SyncMaster 710V. This shadow doesn’t bother you if you’re working with black text on a white background, but it’s more noticeable in menus that have a gray background. The higher the monitor’s brightness, the stronger this effect is.
By default, the brightness and contrast settings are set to 80%; to achieve a screen brightness of 50% I dropped these settings to 50% each.
Alas, the color curves look depressing even at gamma compensation settings closest to gamma 2.2: the middle of the range is down, while the lights are up and are poorly reproduced.
The response time measurements don’t add any advantages to this monitor. Despite its 12ms specification, it has a full response time of 15 milliseconds (but its 10ms pixel rise time is the same as with regular 12ms matrixes). The black-gray transition is made in 29 milliseconds at the maximum, which is too high even for a good 16ms matrix.
The contrast ratio is good for a TN+Film matrix, though. It is 250:1 at the low brightness settings, and 400:1 at the maximum settings.
The Samsung SyncMaster 710N is in fact an improved version of the SyncMaster 710V – with a better contrast ratio and a more functional base (height adjustment and, in some models, portrait mode). Otherwise, the two are equals, and I can recommend the SyncMaster 710N as an office monitor. If you’re looking for a home monitor, you may want to consider other offers first. The most serious problem of the 710N is the above-described light shadows – you should pay attention to it when shopping.