The onscreen menu is Samsung’s standard one. It has not been changed for the professional XL24. It is handy and logical. Why should it have been changed?
Well, the values of different parameters are usually expressed in physical units in professional monitors. For example, color temperature is expressed in degrees Kelvin. The photo above shows you the color temperature menu of the XL24. There are names, but not specific numbers. What does this Warm1 mean? 6000K or 5400K? More or less? You just don’t know it.
Of course, this is not a problem if the kit includes a calibrator you can set any color temperature with, yet I’d prefer to see specific numbers here.
The manual color temperature setup is not good, either. You are supposed to choose the balance of red, green and blue “by eye.” For comparison, NEC’s professional monitors from the UXi series allow to set color temperature up in degrees Kelvin whereas the ColorVision Spyder3Elite has a special mode for setting the balance accurately using the monitor’s own setup options. Alas, the XL24 and the Eye-one Display 2 offer neither of the two opportunities.
As for special menu options, I can only note the option of disabling the indicator LEDs on the front panel.
The monitor has 70% brightness and 80% contrast by default. I achieved a 100nit white by reducing both to 60%. Of course, Brightness and Contrast can only be regulated in the menu in the Custom mode. In the other modes they are set up during calibration in Natural Color Expert. The monitor regulates its brightness by means of pulse-width modulation of the power of the LED backlight at a frequency of about 1.4kHz.
Color gradients are reproduced without flaws.
Of course, the most interesting test with XL series monitors is the measurement of their color gamut. I performed most of the tests with a ColorVision Spyder Pro calibrator, but measured the color gamut with the Eye-One Display 2 included with the monitor. ColorVision calibrators lower than Spyder 3 do not identify the coordinates of green on extended-gamma monitors correctly.
The result is impressive indeed. The picture shows you the two standard color gamuts, sRGB and AdobeRGB, and the color gamut of the SyncMaster XL24 as measured in the Custom mode.
The XL24 is obviously far superior to sRGB and larger than AdobeRGB in greens and reds. An ordinary monitor with fluorescent lamps is somewhat smaller than sRGB and AdobeRGB in reds, so if you put it next to the XL24, you will see the latter display a deep and pure red whereas the ordinary monitor will have a parasitic orange huge in its red.
Although the diagram suggests a bigger difference in reproduction of greens, it is actually red that strikes the eye, so good this color is on the XL24. Of course, if you take a closer look, you also notice that the ordinary monitor’s green has a yellowish hue in comparison with the XL24. Moreover, the XL24 is better at displaying turquoise and yellow-orange hues.
To check out the monitor’s ability to emulate other color gamuts, I switched it into sRGB mode. As you can see, the result is perfect: the white (the measured gamut of the monitor) and black (the standard sRGB color space) triangles just coincide. Take note that the XL24 will produce a somewhat different picture in this mode than monitors with fluorescent lamps do because their color gamut does not exactly coincide with sRGB in reds and greens. Well, you can use the Emulation mode to calibrate the XL24 in such a way that it corresponded to a specific monitor in terms of color gamut.
The XL24 also provides a coinciding color gamut in the AdobeRGB mode.
The monitor’s white brightness is very uniform: an average deflection of 1.4% with a maximum of 6.1%. This is three to four times better than with most other monitors. I guess this model is set up individually at the factory for uniform brightness (NEC’s professional monitors also feature such technology). This supposition is confirmed by the fact that black brightness, which cannot be set up at the factory in the same way, is worse: an average deflection of 4.6% with a maximum of 26.4%. You can easily see the brighter spots of the backlight on the black screen.