Samsung SyncMaster 710N & 711T LCD Display Reviews

Admin - 2007-02-12 21:29:25 in Monitors
Category: Monitors
Reviewed by: Admin   
Reviewed on: March 23, 2005
Samsung
Samsung
Price: 711T MSRP $625 USD & 710N MSRP $600 USD
Introduction
Welcome back to another OverClockersClub.com review! Today we've got not one but 2 LCD monitors from Samsung. Both come from similar product design, but what makes them tick? Which monitor is best suited for what? As always, there's only one way to find out, so let's get right into it.

To begin, a bit about the individual monitors from Samsung:

Samsung SyncMaster 711T Monitor

"The Samsung SyncMasterTM 711T is a 17-inch TFT-LCD offering razor-sharpness and innovative features. An analog and digital monitor with a 0.6" ultra-thin bezel and wall-mount capability, it delivers a 1000:1 contrast ratio, 0.264mm pixel pitch, 1280 x 1024 resolution, scanning frequency of 30-81 KHz horizontal and 56-75 vertical, and 170/170 degree horizontal/vertical viewing angle."

Specifications
711T

Model 711T-Black

Panel Type a-si TFT/PVA
Size 17"
Pixel Pitch (mm) 0.264
Brightness 250 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio 1000:1
Viewing Angle (H/V) 178/178
Response Time (ms) 25
Aspect Ratio 4:3
Interface Analog/Digital

Frequency Horiz. Rate (kHz) 30-81
Vert. Rate (Hz) 56-75
Bandwidth (Mhz) 140

Resolution Maximum 1280x1024

Colors Supported 16.7 Million

Signal Input Input Video Signal Analog RGB, DVI Digital Link
Sync Type Separate H/V, Composite H/V, SOG
Input Connectors 15pin D-Sub, DVI-D

Plug and Play DDC 2B

Power On/Working (Watts) 34

Wall Mount VESA® 100mm (optional)

Cabinet Color Front/Back Black
Available Colors Black

Dimensions (W*H*D) Physical (inches) 14.6 x 15.9 x 7.9
Packaging (inches) 20.0 x 16.0 x 9.4

Weight Physical 12.8 lbs
Packaging 17.6 lbs

Features Special Pivot Technology, Built-in Power Supply, Narrow Bezel, MagicTuneTM, MagicBrightTM, Height adjustable
Included

Warranty Parts/Labor/Backlight (yrs) 3/3/3


Samsung SyncMaster 710N Monitor

"The Samsung SyncMaster™ 710N is a 17-inch TFT-LCD offering razor-sharpness and innovative features. An analog monitor with a 0.6" ultra-thin bezel and wall-mount capability, it delivers a 600:1 contrast ratio, 0.264mm pixel pitch, 1280 x 1024 resolution, scanning frequency of 30-81 KHz horizontal and 56-75 vertical, and 160/140 degrees horizontal/vertical viewing angle."

Specifications
710N
Model 710N-Black

Panel Type a-si TFT/TN
Size 17"
Pixel Pitch (mm) 0.264
Brightness 300 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio 600:1
Viewing Angle (H/V) 160/160
Response Time (ms) 12
Aspect Ratio 4:3
Interface Analog

Frequency Horiz. Rate (kHz) 30-81 (Analog)
Vert. Rate (Hz) 56-75
Bandwidth (Mhz) 135

Resolution Maximum 1280x1024

Colors Supported 16.2 Million

Signal Input Input Video Signal Analog RGB
Sync Type Separate H/V, Composite H/V, SOG
Input Connectors 15pin D-Sub

Plug and Play DDC 2B

Wall Mount VESA® 100mm (optional)

Cabinet Color Front/Back Black
Available Colors Black, Ivory

Dimensions (W*H*D) Physical (inches) 14.6 x 15.0 x 6.9
Packaging (inches) 17.9 x 17.2 x 5.6

Weight Physical 9.9 lbs
Packaging 13.5 lbs

Features Special Built-in Power Supply, Narrow Bezel, MagicTuneTM, MagicBrightTM
Included

Warranty Parts/Labor/Backlight (yrs) 3/3/3
Closer Look
So, on first look the only difference in the packaging is the size. The 711T has a larger box, but both monitors have the same suitcase packaging that is standard for their LCD monitor line. As with the previous monitors, everything is safe and sound inside. As an additional note: the 711T case is pretty heavy compared to the 710N.

 

Standard Samsung packaging, 711T on the left, 710N on the right.


711T WHAT'S INCLUDED
The difference between the inclusions on the 2 monitors are fairly slim.
  • Pivot Pro manual and software
  • SyncMaster manual and software
  • Warranty forms
  • DVI monitor cable
  • D-sub monitor cable
  • Power cord
  • Syncmaster 711T




710N WHAT'S INCLUDED
  • SyncMaster manual and software
  • Warranty forms
  • D-sub monitor cable (comes attached but is detachable)
  • Monitor base (with instructions)
  • Power cord
  • SyncMaster 710N




So, now the weight thing makes sense, the base of the 711T is much more robust then the little plastic thing they've included with the 710N. Installation 711T
So the 711T was very simple to install - largely plug and play, the drivers installed easily from the CD, and the additional software was click and install too, very simple. With the 711T you have the choice of having an analog or digital connection. Since I have the ability to, I went right to digital - I've found in the past it allows a slight performance increase in terms of clarity and helping to eliminate ghosting.


Closer Look 711T
So, let's take a closer look at the 711T itself:



 


So with these you can see the more robust base on the 711T, as well as the small width of the screen. The width of the screen isn't the smallest we've seen from Samsung, but the 711T has the power converter inside the monitor instead of having a seperate converter outside the monitor (as we saw in the SyncMaster 173P).

The base actually provides the ability to raise and lower the height of the screen itself, as well as rotate so you can have a vertical screen instead of the normal horizontal screen. The Pivot Pro software provided has a simple click-and-rotate dropdown menu that provides great ease-of-use. The benefits of a vertical screen are found mostly in wordprocessing (I'm using it writing this article) and surfing the web. More vertical space = less scrolling, plain and simple.

 


Another benefit of the 711T's already useful base is the ability to rotate it, with a wonderful swivel ring on the base.




Installation 710N
Once again, installation was simple. Installing the base of the monitor was easy, the instructions were good and it pretty much involved turning a thumbscrew. Attaching the monitor was plug-and-play, and drivers and software was easy to install. With the 710N being an Analog-only monitor, we didn't have the option of going digital like we did with the 711T.

I should mention here that I don't really like the 710N monitor base. Its lightweight, it doesn't have a big footprint, and if I ever bump my desk the monitor wobbles and looks like it might tip - it hasn't yet but its a worry I'd rather not have.


Closer Look 710N
So, with the monitor installed, let's take a closer look at the design.

 


So, the 710N is a little more simple then the 711T. The monitor is virtually identical, featuring the same width of the monitor, and once again this is caused by the integrated power converter. The 710N lacks where the 711T shines in terms of functional design. The 710N is at a fixed height, doesn't have the same rotation-ring the base of the 711T has, and does not rotate, thus explaining the lack of PivotPro software. Closer Look 710N & 771T
The tiny differences are what seperate these 2 monitor designs.



On the left we have the digital and analog connections of the 711T and on the right, the analog-only connection of the 710N. Virtually identical.



Again, on the left we have the monitor function buttons of the 711T, and on the left the same of the 710N. Only difference: 711T has an additional function attached to allow switching between monitor sources (Analog vs Digital). Both menus are virtually identical, well designed and easy to navigate, with your standard options (brightness, contrast, etc.).


Software
With the same software that we're accustomed to with the SyncMaster LCD line, MagicTune has got a bit of a facelift, but the functions are still the same.

When you open the program, you're presented with the MagicTune main page, starting on Picture menu with Brightness as the first choice.

In the Picture submenu, it allows you to manipulate the Brightness, Contrast and Resolution much the same as it would through the monitor's front buttons, with a simple slider to increase or decrease the settings. Also, it allows you to choose the MagicBright setting (Text, Internet, Entertainment or Custom)





In the Colour submenu, it allows you to change the tone of the screen (Warm, Normal, Cool), control the actual RGB colour, and Calibrate the screen colour with a simple wizard that walks you through the calibration methods.





On the last of the calibration submenus, the Image menu allows you to set up the quality of the screen (the Auto Setup button works wonders too) as well as the position of the screen, if for whatever reason you need to have your LCD monitor off-center.



The last 2 submenus are Options, which allows you to add (or remove) a task tray icon for MagicTune, as well as choosing what language you'd like it to be; and Support, which gives you links to the MagicTune website and the User Manual, as well as other basic software version information.

Overall, the MagicTune software is quite useful, allowing detailed calibration for the best possible viewing (and gaming) experience.

Moving on! Testing: The Numbers
Pixel Pitch: similar to dot pitch, the pixel pitch refers to the size of one full pixel unit. However, since all transistors are currently similar, LCD monitors of similar size and max resolution will have similar (identical) pixel pitch. As with dot pitch, a tighter pixel pitch will produce a sharper image. At 0.264mm, both the 711T and 710N will have a basis for a sharp image at the standard size for pixel pitch in the LCD field right now

Brightness: This determines the maximum brightness of an LCD screen in candelas per metre squared. A higher rating helps with both image clarity and colour in high-brightness environments. The 710N comes in on top with a brightness rating of 300 cd/m2, with the 711T coming in behind at 250cd/m2. This was a pretty noticible difference, the picture on the 710N came across as better defined. Brightness is also related to Contrast Ratio, Viewing Angle and Response Time.

Contrast Ratio: "Contrast ratio, most often talked about with LCD monitors, is the measure of the difference of brightness levels between the brightest white and the darkest black. A good contrast ratio of 120:1 easily displays vivid colors, while ratios as high as 300:1 support superior grayscaling." (Source: NEC) The 711T actually comes in on top with this one, with a HUGE contrast ratio of 1000:1. The 710N comes in behind with a still more then adequate 600:1 ratio, sitting both monitors in the top of the class.

Viewing Angle: More people are getting to know this one, being the angle from side-on and top-down which the monitor is still viewable. Once again, the 711T comes in on top, with a viewing angle of 178°/178° , ousting the 710N with a still respectable 160°/160°

Response Time: This is where the truth lies for gamers. The rest is important, but largely inconsequential if the response time sucks. Luckily for us, Samsung is committed to making quality monitors. With the 710N coming in a huge lead with a miniscule 12ms response time, the 711T is left behind with a largely standard 25ms response time.

Another important part of LCD monitors is that every once in a while you'll see a monitor with a dead pixel. Not a huge problem, but a major annoyance over the long run, and largely indicative of the monitor's overall quality. As we've seen with all of the previous Samsung monitors, both the 710N and 711T came to me with no dead pixels (found through running solid-colour screens on the monitor). Once again indicating the attention to detail in production that is very important for monitors of this quality.

So, the numbers are great...what does this mean when you're playing Half-Life 2 or Doom 3 and the quickness of your trigger finger is sometimes all you can rely upon?


Testing: Gaming
With this testing, it is unfortunately largely subjective, with there being no way to really objectively measure the quality of a gaming monitor other then looking at the numbers. But, I'll strive to do my best (meaning: I'll just have to play a lot of video games. I love this part of the job!).

So, after extensive gaming, and getting a number of outside opinions from people used to gaming, but on CRT as opposed to LCD, we've come to a large conclusion that:

The 710N is the better gaming monitor. Simply put, its the response time. In terms of extensive gameplay, and simply looking for a monitor that's going to allow the quality of gaming on a CRT monitor with the benefits of the smaller LCD screen (can anyone say LAN party?) the 710N came well ahead with virtually no ghosting whatsoever, whereas with the 711T ghosting often became visible in fast gameplay - especially the classic ghosting game CounterStrike (if you monitor can withstand the fast paced environments in this game, its good to go). Conclusion
So, pretty heavy competition from all sides.

PHYSICAL FUNCTIONALITY
In terms of overall physical functionality, the 711T came in ahead, with the excellently designed base that really was the base for the monitor's quality. With a bit of added usefulness in being able to choose a Digital or Analog connection, the 711T came in a bit ahead in this category.

PERFORMANCE - The Numbers
This was a pretty even split, with both monitors clocking in at above-expected stats in all categories, but with the 710N really taking the cake with a 12ms response time.

PERFORMANCE - Gaming
Last but not least, gaming. This was largely a test for ghosting in fast, FPS games like Doom 3 and HL2. The 710N response time really paid off here, with no ghosting in the faster games, whereas with the 711T it was visible, but not overwhelming in the least. Overall, the 710N was better for FPS games.

FINAL JUDGEMENT
In all honesty, the monitors both have their downsides and their benefits. I'd like to argue that the 710N is a great monitor for heavy gamers and LAN Partiers. With a ligher weight, exceptional response time and better-then-average stats in all the other categories, the monitor allows a good symbiosis for the gamer on-the-go. With the 711T, we have an excellent monitor for the MMORPG gamer for games like World of Warcraft and the Saga of Ryzom. With excellent, crisp colours and a still respectable 25ms response time, the 711T performs well enough to be a good monitor for those of us not fragging on a regular basis.

Overall, I'd say the competition was too close to declare a 'winner'. We simply have 2 monitors tied for first, and both equally able to more then please their owners. Again an excellent showing by Samsung with 2 strong monitors. All it takes now is perfecting the details.

711T Pros

  • Very functional, sturdy monitor base
  • Excellent contrast ratio and viewing angles
  • Sharp, vivid colours
  • MagicTune software

 

711T Cons

  • 25ms response time




710N Pros

  • 12ms response time
  • Overall above-average stats in all relevant categories
  • Sharp, vivid colours
  • MagicTune software

 

710N Cons

  • Weak, wobbly base