In fact, Samsung has presented a comprehensive line of LCD monitors for any application. The low price sector, the category of the so-called “office” models, is represented by various models from four series – V, N, S and B – that I reviewed in previous articles.
Until recently, the niche of gaming monitors with a fast matrix has been empty: all LCD monitors from Samsung with a TN+Film matrix had a response time of 25msec, while other manufacturers had long been shipping 16msec models. I have already mentioned it numerous times that the advantages of 16msec matrixes are not so big as they seem at first sight, but the release of such a monitor is of a significant marketing value for the company. Now this niche is filled with the SyncMaster 172X. Moreover, Samsung’s debut in the market of gaming LCD monitors turns to be highly successful. On the one hand, the 172X is relatively expensive, but it is worth this money with its compact design, excellent image quality (for this type of the matrix), digital input and compatibility with MagicTune. Thus, you should consider the 172X if the response time parameter matters a lot for you.
The SyncMaster 173P, the first monitor without control buttons, is an impressive model, too. The lack of control buttons is easily compensated by the MagicTune utility. Otherwise, the 173P is an excellent monitor for work – I have no questions about the image quality, while its design has practically no analogs among third-party models and among Samsung’s own products. Again, this monitor will be good for work, but if you are into computer games, make sure that the responsiveness of its PVA matrix suits you. This model will hardly be a good choice for people who don’t run Microsoft Windows: so far, there is only the Windows version of MagicTune available.
The SyncMaster 173T can be viewed as a cheaper alternative to the 173P if you do not need the elegant design of the 173P. These two models match each other in their functionality and parameters (both: claimed and real), but the 173T comes in a simpler case, typical for inexpensive monitors from Samsung.
The name of the SyncMaster 174T shouldn’t mislead you into thinking that this is a top-end model. The T index used to denote expensive monitors with PVA matrixes, but the 174T, in spite of its digital input and the portrait-mode base, stands on a level of an office monitor. If the price difference between the 174T and the 173T is not important to you, you should consider purchasing a SyncMaster 173T.
Appendix: Chromacity Coordinates of RGB filters (CIE x,y)
The color profiles I created during my tests can be downloaded here, but I’d like to remind you that you should better calibrate the monitor yourself (if you have this opportunity), because monitors of different shipments may have varying characteristics.