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SyncMaster XL30

Taking its start from the small 20-incher, Samsung then made its series of LED-backlight monitors complete in terms of diagonal length by introducing not only the XL24 but also the 30-inch XL30.

Excepting the screen size and resolution, its parameters are similar to those of the XL24. The XL30 is based on a 30-inch S-PVA matrix with a color gamut of 123% NTSC, a native resolution of 2560x1600 pixels, a maximum brightness of 200 nits, a contrast ratio of 1000:1, a response time of 6 milliseconds (GtG) and viewing angles of 178 degrees in every direction.

The high resolution imposes limitations on the graphics card and cable which must support dual-link DVI. Otherwise you won’t be able to get more than 1920x1200. This shouldn’t be a problem, though. An appropriate cable is included with the monitor or can be bought in nearly every computer shop. And dual-link DVI output has been provided by every graphics card for at least three generations. Basing on my personal experience I wouldn’t recommend you to use a very cheap card, though. Even if it formally supports dual-link DVI, there are may be image quality problems in practice.

You will not be able to connect the XL30 at its native resolution to integrated graphics cores or notebooks. They have only one DVI channel and do not support resolutions above 1920x1200.

Well, interpolation in the XL30 is set up in such a way that there is an absolutely sharp image at 1280x800: every line just has double thickness. So, you can work with this monitor and single-link DVI cards more or less normally if you want.

The SyncMaster Xl30 is large and heavy for an LCD monitor. It weighs as much as 14 kilos. The exterior design is identical to the XL24. The case color is matte black.

Like with the XL24, the case is thick as it has to accommodate the LED-based backlight and its cooling. Comparing the XL series monitors with Samsung’s ordinary monitors following a similar exterior design (for example, SyncMaster 215TW or 225BW), the XL series has an additional insert between the front and panel panels of the case that makes the monitor thicker.

The stand allows to tilt the screen and adjust its height from 90 to 170 millimeters. You can also turn it around the vertical axis and pivot the screen into portrait mode. The stand can be replaced with a standard VESA mount (that is rated for a weight of no less than 15 kilos).

The monitor is equipped with a DVI-D connector. It doesn’t support analog connection at all. There is a USB hub near the video input. It provides four USB ports, two of which are located at the back panel.

The XL30 needs a cooling fan which is hidden deep within the case. You can only see numerous vent grids from the outside.

The remaining USB ports can be found on the side of the back panel. You can use them for flash drives even though without much convenience – you can only find these ports blindly or by looking behind the monitor.

30-inch monitors – and the XL30 is no exception – offer very simple controls. There is no onscreen menu proper. The only setting you can change is brightness. I guess the reason is the low performance of current processors that would not be able to process information at 5.5Gbps in real time considering the user-defined settings.

Well, the XL30 differs somewhat from other 30-inch monitors. It offers a Mode button that selects a color gamut emulation mode. The current mode is shown on the panel under the buttons. The selection of modes is the same as with the XL24: without calibration, with calibration plus maximum color gamut, and three emulation modes.

The monitor’s brightness is regulated by means of pulse-width modulation of the backlight LEDs at a frequency of 1.4kHz.

Included with the monitor are a sun visor trimmed with black velvet on the inside, an X-Rite Eye-One Display 2 calibrator, and Natural Color Expert software.

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