A good, usable computer display with nice cable connectivity and a few chinks.
I recently received my new Samsung SyncMaster T240HD. It replaced my old Samsung SyncMaster 206BW as my main monitor, delegating the other one to the sidelines.
Unpacking the SyncMaster gives the main screen, some cabling (D-Sub and HDMI, though no DVI cable was included in my set), manuals, driver CD, remote control (with batteries), and the monitor stand. There, the typical Samsung stand design was evident: a base plate that’ll be attached to the neck of the stand with a hinged screw.
Differing from normal stands, though, is that there is no way to completely and securely attach the neck to the screen. The screen is just plugged on top of the neck and left that way. The instruction booklet even has a nice “don’t put it upside down, or it will fall off” graphic.
From a display viewpoint, there’s not really much to bicker about it: 1920×1200, 5ms reaction time. Works well with everything; there’s lots of connectivity, facing straight back out (instead of down): DVI, D-Sub, Composite, HDMI, SCART, coaxial input, 3.5mm audio input and optical audio output. At the side, there’s an additional HDMI in, a Common Interface slot, and a headphone exit.
The MagicBright settings (which allow you to adjust saturation, brightness, etc.) are all quite intuitive. The only feature that -by design- just doesn’t really work for me is the Dynamic Contrast setting. The only situation where this might work is when purely using Office applications and browsers; if you ever watch a movie or play a game, it gets irritating as hell when the screen changes it settings as soon as the overall brightness changes.
Also included in the screen is a TV tuner; it comes without an antenna, so you’ll need to either hook up an aerial (via Common Interface) or a coaxial cable. After that, the automatic channel search works like a charm, and after that, you’ll have an alphabetically sorted list of channels.
Of course, the main problem here in Germany is that most channels don’t carry HD, so you end up having to sit quite a bit away from the screen as to not make the image look like something from times past.
The other, much bigger, problem is the diminuitive and undersized speakers. Fiddling with the equalizer alleviates the problem slightly, but it still sounds rather tinny, especially if you’re used to either a 5.1 system or just a good television set.
Another slight bug with the speaker output is that I probably have some cable interference close to it which will make the speaker emit a buzzing noise. Switching to the external speakers (or to the TV and back to external if already on external) will cure the problem, but it has to be done every time after the monitor was turned off.
From a design viewpoint, thi monitor is quite nice: there’s the lacquered appearance with a tint of red, and a transparent cover that stands out on the upper and lower edges. The active LED is a little fleck of colour at the bottom right hand side, and not as actively annoying as most other status indicators. The control buttons are placed off the right hand side, which is a bit of a dredge to get used to. I ended up using the remote for everything.
In regard to the mounting and foot options, it’s a bit low on features. The only thing it allows is to swivel the display on the base. There is also no integrated VESA wall mounting, but there is an adapter plate to create VESA compatability.
Overall, it has a few kinks, but considering the price, it is a very good set.