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Samsung SyncMaster 204T

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January 31, 2006

Review Correction (02/01/06)- Our review mistakenly listed this monitor being reviewed as the "SyncMaster 240T," but the actual monitor reviewed was the "SyncMaster 204T." All of the errors have been corrected and we apologize for any confusion.

Overview


Review

At a very competitive price, the Samsung SyncMaster 204T is a very excellent choice for a LCD display. Its got a very big 20-inch display and looks stylish in any room. It is also excellent for a wide range of usability applications, such as graphic design and just casual computer usage. It should definitely be at the top of your LCD choices and our full review will tell you why.

The SyncMaster 204T comes in two colors, black and silver. Both look excellent in any room, but you'll probably want the color that goes best with your computer's other components. The LCD's stand is extremely flexible as well, enabling a full range of adjustments, including height, tilt, swivel, and 90-degree pivoting for viewing images in portrait mode. The 204T has two video inputs (DVI and analog) and comes with both of the cables. There is also a convenient cable management clip at the base of the stand keeps the cables managed and out of the way.

There are six very blended and stylish buttons, as well as a power switch, on the lower-right corner of the monitor's bezel. Two of the buttons let you adjust brightness manually without having to enter the on-screen display (OSD) setup menus and the "MagicBright" button lets you select from six different preset brightness modes (Custom, Internet, Sport, Game, Movie, and Text). Also, there is an Auto Adjustment button for use with an analog signal if you elect to use that over the DVI signal. A Menu button brings up the OSD, where you can manually fiddle with brightness and contrast settings, set color tone and gamma levels, reposition the screen image, and adjust image sharpness. If you don't want to mess with all the button's and on-screen menus, you can use the included Samsung MagicTune software to let you adjust monitor settings via your Windows desktop.

Viewing-angle performance was pretty much perfect, other than a slight loss of sharpness at close to 180 degrees horizontally and vertically, but no color shifting was present. With viewing DVD's, the SyncMaster 204T did an excellent job at displaying grays, whites and blacks. Pictures also displayed wonderfully when tested with Adobe Photoshop. There was also no apparent image "streaking" at any contrast level. However, the 204T didn't perform quite as well when we used an analog signal. Grayscale performance was mediocre and a white-level saturation test showed that the colors nearest to peak white were a tad washed. We recommend that if your computer's graphics card has a DVI input, you should use that because you will get an almost crystal clear superb performance from the 204T. This LCD has a response time of 16ms and if you are planning on playing a fast-paced action game, such as Doom 3, we recommend that you stick with a conventional CRT monitor, because they simply do a better job at displaying very fast image changes. This rule of thumb goes for all LCD displays, not just this one. Again, if you're only a
casual gamer or a non-gamer, the SyncMaster 204T will be excellent for you.

In conclusion, the Samsung SyncMaster 204T is one of the best LCD displays on the market if your an avid graphics designer, photo editor or a casual computer user. It definitely offers excellent picture quality for the money. The only person who shouldn't get this monitor is anyone who plays games constantly and in that case, they should buy a CRT monitor.

Bottom Line

Pros: Beautiful and stylish design, big display area, excellent image quality with a DVI connection, portrait and landscape viewing modes, great viewing angles
Cons: Mediocre picture quality if using an analog signal
Editors' Rating: 4 Out of 5

Editors' Choice

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