Onscreen Menu Interface and Functionality
The design of the onscreen menu has been thoroughly revised in comparison with Samsung’s earlier products although its interior structure has remained almost intact. The menu is good, pretty and easy to use.
The first section offers Brightness, Contrast and Sharpness settings (you shouldn’t tinker with the latter one because changing the default value worsens the image quality). You can also choose a MagicBright mode, adjust the monitor for analog signal and, somewhat surprisingly, switch between different response time compensation modes. The latter option used to be hidden in the general settings in the menus of Samsung’s previous products.
There are three RTC modes: normal, faster and fastest. The first mode turns RTC off altogether. You will see the practical difference between these modes in terms of effective speed and visual artifacts in the tests section of the review.
The next menu section is about color reproduction. Here you can turn on MagicColor and ColorEffect modes, adjust the color temperature and gamma of the onscreen image (there are three variants of gamma to choose from, without specific numeric values).
MagicColor boosts color saturation, making colors vivid but less accurate. Samsung’s monitors offer two MagicColor modes. In one mode this effect covers all colors. In the other mode, it covers all colors save for skin tones.
ColorEffect is a feature with dubious practical value. It can discolor and tone the image to get a green, brownish (sepia), bluish or just black-and-white picture.
The next menu section, Size & Position, allows setting the position of the image on the screen (at analog connection) or the position of the onscreen menu. You can also choose an interpolation mode here: stretch the picture to the screen proportions (16:9) or output non-widescreen resolutions with restrained proportions. In the Auto mode the monitor is guided by a list of standard resolutions which can be found in the user manual. Other resolutions are displayed with distorted proportions. The monitor cannot output visual content without interpolation.
The Setup and Reset section is so large that it does not fit into a single menu screen. It allows resetting the monitor’s settings to their defaults, setting up the transparency and language of the onscreen menu, specifying the time for the monitor to automatically start up or shut down.
There are also two very useful options here: LED On/Off and LED Brightness. The former selects the mode of the highlighting of the touch-sensitive buttons (turns on and off automatically or always on). The latter allows adjusting the intensity of that highlighting. I guess that most users will prefer to have a permanent soft highlighting rather than the default variant of bright highlighting that turns on when you touch a button.
In this menu section you can turn off the automatic detection of video input (the monitor can itself detect what input has a connected source of signal), specify the time to close the onscreen menu, and choose the operation mode (PC/AV) and function of the user-defined button.
The PC/AV mode affects the picture interpolation method. When you set it at AV, there appears an aspect ratio of 4:3 in the Image Size item of the Setup & Position menu section. This mode guarantees correct operation (without distorted proportions) at typical resolutions of home electronic devices.
The Customized Key option allows specifying the function of one of the buttons on the monitor’s front panel: choosing the necessary level of brightness (MagicBright), turning on the above-described MagicColor or Color Effect features, or switching the image interpolation mode. By default, this button is responsible for MagicBright and I guess this is the most optimal choice.
The last menu section shows information about the monitor’s current operation mode.