Articles: Monitors

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Samsung SyncMaster 173P+ and SyncMaster 193P+

Samsung’s SyncMaster 173P and SyncMaster 193P have already been reviewed on our site in the articles called "New LCD Monitors from Samsung. Part II " and "Closer Look at the 19" Monitor Features. Part III ". The “plus” versions of those models feature a response time compensation block.

Both monitors we obtained for our tests were colored black. The aluminum front panel and the stand are painted a matte black color, except for the edges that remained just polished. The rest of the case is made of a smooth and shiny black plastic. The monitors both look gorgeous and what is important they are user-friendly meaning that the painted front surfaces do not reflect light back, while the polished edges are too narrow to detract your eyes from the screen. This once again makes me recall with distaste some monitor manufacturers that just can’t distinguish their models in any other way but painting them high-contrast colors and adding shiny chromium insertions.

These two monitors are identical to their “plus-less” predecessors in design. The stand has two hinges that permit to turn the screen in almost any direction. The video inputs and the power connector are located at the back of the stand.

The monitors both carry a single button. It is a Power button which also switches between the inputs (on a long press). The button is highlighted with a mild blue LED at work. The monitor is fully controlled through the MagicTune utility which I described in detail in the review of the SyncMaster 173P. I only want to give you a piece of good advice: our monitors came with MagicTune version 3.6 which took as much as 293 megabytes of disk space after installation. It turned out that most of this space was occupied by dll- and chm-files that support the various languages the utility was translated into. If you leave just the files for the language you use (make sure to choose this language in the utility’s settings before deleting the unnecessary files!), the disk space required by MagicTune becomes a much more modest 36MB.

In my previous reviews I also mentioned the DDCcontrol utility that allows controlling these button-less monitors from under Linux. The utility has matured by now, acquiring a graphical interface (GTK+) and an applet for the Gnome Panel. It supports a large list of monitors, including the 173P+ and the 193P+ (the full list of monitors and graphics cards supported can be found on the project’s website in the documentation for the current version of the utility).

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