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Samsung SyncMaster P2370HD

Monitor Roundup: 23"-25"
By
TV

The anti-TN brigade will be horrified, and for once, the felling is mutual. In general, you look straight at your computer monitor, which limits the problem of TN screens that dip to black when viewed from below.

Handling

Samsung's P2370HD is the combined television/ monitor version of the P2370.  Looking at both, it's difficult to distinguish them, especially from the front.  The external design of the two models is identical, with a bezel and cradle in glossy black plastic standing on a transparent stand.  

The differences are more obvious from the side, where the HD version is a few centimetres thicker, and at the back. 

While the P2370 only had a single DVI port, there's a whole collection of different inputs and outputs.  There are DVI, VGA and HDMI ports, component video and an HD TV tuner.  For sound, there's two 3 W speakers, a headphone out jack and an optical audio out.  In short, just about everything we can think of.


Gaming

Samsung has chosen a 5 ms TN panel for this screen.  First-person shooter games like Quake, Unreal or Call of Duty could prove difficult.  To be more precise, you might find it difficult to tolerate the blurry rendering of fast-moving objects.  However, it's responsive enough for other users, and office use, web browsing and non-FPS titles.



The input lag is under two framers per second, and will therefore go undetected during your multiplayer games.

Colors

When we tested the P2370, we gave Samsung the maximum score in this section, as its factory settings managed to combine accurate colors with a high contrast ratio.

The results here were a little less impressive, though.  With the average gap between the colors requested by the graphics card and those actually displayed on screen--the deltaE score--of 2.4, it still does pretty well.

If you're used to reading our tests, you'll know that's it generally thought that when deltaE is below 3.0, the discrepancies are only noticeable to those with a trained eye.  Even the very best monitors won't get it below 2.0

The contrast ratio is close to 990:1.  That's an excellent result when you remember that average screens rarely get above 750:1.

Films

Today, the big problem for computer monitors--even combined monitor/TVs like this--is video.  The upscaling is disastrous.  To help you understand exactly what that looks like, take any image on your computer, and zoom in.  You'll find it gradually gets more and more blurry.  The edges of people and objects are also problematic, producing small gradations known as the staircase effect.

Upscaling of a 575p source.  The results are relatively close to what we'd find on an average TV

We can't deny that Samsung has made progress with the P2370HD.  Although upscaling is still not as good as what a decent LCD television would do, it's a lot better than previous attempts.  The staircase effect has been largely reduced, and you can't see any problems from a distance of 1.5 m.  At that distance, you can enjoy an excellent quality image.

There's still a lot of work to do before monitors can rival TVs, but this is already an improvement on previous generations.

Samsung SyncMaster F2370HD
ProsCons
  • Lots of connectivity options
  • Accurate colors
  • High contrast ratio
  • HD TV tuner
  • TN panel, so poor vertical viewing angles
  • A VA panel would have been better for films

The P2370HD isn't perfect, but so far, it's the best monitor/television hybrid that we've tested.

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