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SyncMaster T220

The SyncMaster T220 is identical to the previous two in specifications, save for the size of the screen. Perhaps the tests will reveal some differences?

The monitor had 100% brightness and 75% contrast by default. I achieved a 100nit white by choosing 40% brightness and 43% contrast. The brightness is regulated by means of backlight modulation at a frequency of 329Hz. Color gradients are reproduced perfectly at any level of contrast.

The color gamut nearly covers the entire sRGB color space and is somewhat larger.


The average nonuniformity of white brightness is 4.7% with a maximum deflection of 18.2%. For black brightness, the average and maximum are 6.9% and 24.5%: the sides of the screen are too dark and there are a few bright spots at the top.

The gamma curves look good at the default settings. There are no serious defects although the blue curve sags somewhat. As a result, blue halftones are going to have more contrast than necessary.

The curves improve at the reduced settings and even coincide in the right part of the diagram.

The SyncMaster T220 is just as good as the T190: its color temperature setup is ideal as TN matrixes go. The temperature dispersion among the different grays is not larger than a few hundred degrees. The temperature is very close to 6500K in the Normal mode just as required by the sRGB standard. Thus, the T220 has no problems with color reproduction.

I should limit my comment to the sample I tested, though. Unfortunately, setup quality varies too much in the home monitor class. The difference in color reproduction between different models of the ToC series is an example. Therefore I am not sure that all samples of the T220 model will be set up as well as this one. However, this is possible: the sample I tested had been taken from a retailer at random.

The CIE diagram with the results of the measurements testifies to the high setup quality, too. A small deflection towards greens can only be noticed in the Warm mode if you want to notice it. The deflection is acceptable in the Normal and Cool mode and is not conspicuous at all.

The maximum brightness is close to the specified 300 nits. The static contrast ratio is 600:1, which is a typical result for a last-generation TN matrix.

Like every model from the Touch of Color series, the SyncMaster T220 has five MagicBright modes differing in brightness (the Sport and Movie modes also differ in color temperature which is set at Cool in the former and at Warm in the latter). This is a handy feature for a home monitor because you can quickly increase the monitor’s brightness when switching from text-based applications to photos, movies or games and reduce it back afterwards.

The first two modes are rather too bright. For example, you need a brightness of 70 to 110 nits, depending on ambient lighting, to work in text-based applications comfortably. Here, the level of brightness is as high as 140 nits. So, you should set up the monitor manually for office applications, use the Text mode for viewing photos, and switch into the Internet and other modes for watching movies and playing games.

Color reproduction doesn’t change in the MagicBright modes. The brightness of the screen is the only changing parameter. The diagram above shows the gamma curves in the brightest mode (Game). You can see that they are no different from the gamma curves at the monitor’s default settings.

Like the two previous models, the T220 has three response time compensation modes: Off, Mode1, Mode2. When response time compensation is turned off, the monitor is as fast as models with a specified response of 5 milliseconds. Its response time average is about 13 milliseconds (GtG) but there are no RTC-provoked artifacts.

Response time compensation is enabled fully for some halftones and disabled for others. As a result, the response time average is reduced to 9.4 milliseconds (GtG) with a maximum of 30.9 milliseconds. This longest transition is between white and a very light gray – the ghosting is not conspicuous on such transitions. The other transitions are shorter than 20 milliseconds.

The response time compensation mechanism is not ideal: its average miss is 3.1%. The maximum miss is 46%. These errors are not annoying but may be conspicuous.

Surprisingly, there are still transitions with disabled RTA even in Mode2. The total number of such transitions has reduced so the response time average is only 4.9 milliseconds (GtG) with a maximum of 19.1 milliseconds.

Although the number is close to 5 milliseconds, you should not think that the monitor’s Mode2 is comparable to models with a specified response time of 5 milliseconds. It is actually far faster. The difference is in the Gray-to-Gray method of measuring response time. The response time of 5ms monitors is measured using the less accurate ISO 13406-2 method and, as I wrote above, corresponds to the T220’s RTA Off mode. When measured according to the GtG method, the monitor has a response time of 13 milliseconds in that mode.

The level of RTC errors is higher in Mode2: an average miss of 10.5% with a maximum of 47%. This is quite a high value considering the zero contribution of those transitions for which RTC is disabled.

Anyway, the SyncMaster T220 is a good monitor thanks to its neat color reproduction setup, which is a rare property among modern home-oriented models.

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