Samsung SyncMaster 172X LCD Monitor ReviewFormer staff writer - May 4, 2004
Once again, we meet Samsung’s briefcase style shipping box. I’m personally a big fan of these boxes, because they’re small, durable, and easy to carry. Once again everything arrived undamaged and ready to go.
Inside the box we find everything necessary for using this monitor:
I’m still trying to properly comprehend how small these monitors are, it is really amazing. The 172X is another tiny monitor, this time boasting the slogan ‘Narrow and Slim’, which in all honesty seems a bit redundant to me, but at least this monitor certainly suits the bill.
The Narrow and Slim part comes in two different sections, in my opinion. First we have the depth of the monitor itself, which is basically nonexistent. The screen itself is less then a finger-width in depth and the base isn’t that much bigger. Overall the monitor is extremely non-intrusive, in terms of overall desk space covered, which is helpful if you like to have lots of stuff spread all over your desk, or if you’re a student like me, it’s helpful for research, because without the CRT, I probably have 300% more desk space for books and notes.
For the other part, we have the actual style of the monitor itself. The monitor has a very narrow bezel around the outside of the screen itself. I really like this look; it lends a lot to the style of the monitor with the thin bezel in an attractive silver colour to accent the rest of the monitor’s colour. As well, one big difference in this monitor is that there are actually adjustment buttons on the bezel. Again, Samsung has opted for unobtrusive, simple and functional buttons. Along the bottom bezel we find mounted on the underside 7 buttons. From left to right, we have a button labeled ‘Auto’ which auto adjusts the screen when using the RGB connection. Using the DVI connection, it comes up as ‘Auto Adjustment Not Available’. Next we have Exit, which exits any menu you’re in. Menu brings up the menu screen bringing up all the basic functional adjustments the monitors have these days, such as brightness, contrast and screen size and placement adjustments, again, when using the DVI connection, the screen size and adjustment options aren’t available, simplifying usage (since the monitor does it automatically to begin with). Next comes the power button, then + and – adjustment buttons used to navigate the Menus. Finally, we have the MagicTune button, which is a wonderful button that automatically switches between the different MagicTune presets (User Adjusted, Text, Internet and Entertain) which makes switching between screen brightness much easier, and hence much easier on the eyes over time. All of the buttons are easy to press, and easy to find with your fingertips. Samsung even took the time to add small feet to prevent mashing your buttons when adjusting your monitor.
The connections for the monitor are at the back of the base, and include DVI-D, a 15-pin D-Sub (Analog) and power connections. The back is very similar to the SyncMaster 173P monitor, keeping it simple and tight.
The 172X offers a lot less in the way of adjustment then the 173P – only vertical and back/forth tilt with this one – simple stuff. The adjustment is stiff to begin with, but gets worked in over time. One problem I did have was that the monitor wasn’t able to adjust to a very tall vertical height. I’m a pretty tall guy at 6’2”, and I felt that I was looking down at this monitor, unfortunately. Again, this was a bit of an adjustment from one monitor to another, but it was an unfortunate drawback.