Samsung Electronics is a major manufacturer of TFT LCD panels and LCD monitors and we’ve been including products from Samsung into every our roundup of LCD monitors, but this time we will have the entire article dedicated to them.
Moreover, the models we are going to introduce to you today either recently appeared in shops or haven’t yet become available at all, which makes us even more excited about them.
One of the monitors to be reviewed was quite a unique thing for our test lab as we haven’t yet encountered a monitor with a pixel response time of 12msec. You will also see three monitors with an integrated TV-tuner today – we have rarely met them before. We have no ready testing methodology for TV-tuners, so I will only inform you about the functionality of these monitors and test them as usual.
Samsung SyncMaster 172X (SDS)
SyncMaster 172X is one of the most anticipated monitors from Samsung. This is the first company’s monitor with a specified response time of less than 25msec. Moreover, “less than 25msec” means 12msec here rather than the already usual 16msec! And this is the full response time!
The design of the case is gorgeous, resembling the case of SyncMaster 171P, which was developed by the Porsche design studio especially for Samsung. The case itself is silver-colored with dark-gray insertions on the base and a dark-gray panel with control buttons at the bottom edge, under the screen. The monitor is compact: the framing around the screen is only 1cm wide, while the case itself is only 2cm deep. As far as I remember, this is the thinnest and smallest monitor I’ve ever tested in our labs.
The Z-shaped “Dual Hinge” base supports this model as well as it supported 172S, 172B and 172T series, although it has been modified for the 172X. Like the entire case, the base is thin and elegant – the older version seems bulky compared with the new one. To keep the control button on the base, the engineers had to append a small “box” at the back of the panel.
The stand allows changing the height of the screen (at the minimal height, the bottom of the case just lies on the base) and its tilt from zero (vertical position) to 90° (the screen is folded into a single thing with the base). Regrettably, the portrait mode is not available, it is only for expensive SyncMaster models (173T and 173P). If necessary, you can hang the monitor on the wall by folding the base and using the fastenings included with it. You won’t need any additional corbels – the monitor sticks to the wall with the bottom surface of its own base.
There are both analog and digital inputs, but you receive only one cable – an analog D-Sub. The power adapter is external and I consider this fact an advantage, since this reduces the monitor dimensions and allows locating the monitor on the table in a more comfortable way (we have a thin low-voltage cord running to the monitor, rather than a thick 220V power cable). The power adapter can be placed somewhere where you don’t have a chance to trip over it – behind your desk, for example.