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Samsung SyncMaster 930BF-Black LCD Monitor Review


Installation & Software
You really can’t get any simpler than this. Plug in the monitor via your preferred port (D-Sub or DVI-D), fire up the computer, and install the software. It was all very easy, especially with the drivers, which were self installing and didn’t even require a reboot. The one CD that came with the package had everything you would need. It contained safety instructions, introduction, setup, monitor adjustment, troubleshooting, specifications and information. They were well covered and simple to understand. Samsung also kindly included two applications besides the drivers: Natural Color and Magic Tune. The latest version of Magic Tune performs a wide variety of tasks and adjustments for the monitor including brightness, contrast, resolution, Magic Bright (providing 6 different brightness levels to fit your needs) and everything is wrapped up in a simple to use interface. You can also change the color tone, gamma, or you can use the calibration tool. One feature I found interesting is the ability to control the sharpness of the image. Natural Color 2.0 is a simple tool that helps you adjust the screen color through a series of tests, mostly comparing two images and tweaking the colors this way. The color preference and gamma curve can also be accessed via Natural Color 2.0.

After everything said, what do you do right after you buy that shiny new LCD monitor? You go home, set it up and test for dead pixels. I used the Dead Pixel Test, and after a few moments of close scrutinizing, I found none! Going back to the first seconds of use, when I powered my rig on with the LCD attached for the first time, everything was a blurry haze until I set the resolution to native (1280x1024). However most LCD displays behave like this (under any other resolution than native), so that didn’t bother me. Another aspect that I took note of is the brightness of the screen, which lit up my dark room. I then adjusted it down to a softer 60%. The picture was also very sharp and of good quality. To test the color quality and form an initial opinion, I went through some user posted digital art at www.depthcore.com . Everything was looking great until I noticed that what was meant to be black was not of its true color. If a really dark shade of grey and black were compared side by side, the first would seem darker than actual black. This fact might throw you off a bit if you are into art or design, or extremely picky for that matter. Don’t chuck this monitor into the bucket just yet; I have set up some further tests.

Model Name:   SyncMaster 930BF-Black
Model Number:   930BF
Panel Type:   a-si TFT/TN
Viewable Size:   19"
Pixel Pitch:   0.294mm
Brightness (Typical):   270 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio (Typical):   700:1
Viewing Angle (H/V, Typical):   160°/160° (CR>5)
Aspect Ratio:   4:3
Interface:   Analog/Digital
Response Time (Typical):   4ms (Gray-To-Gray)
Native Resolution:   1280x1024
Max Colors:   16.2 Million
Input Video Signal:   Analog RGB, DVI Digital Link
Sync Type:   Separate H/V, Composite H/V, SOG
Input Connectors:   15-Pin D-Sub, DVI-D
Max Power Consumption:   38 Watts
Wall-Mount Interface:   VESA 75mm
Emission Std.:   TCO '99
Bezel Color:   Black/Black
Net Dimensions:   16.6"(W) x 16.8"(H) x 7.9"(D)
Weight:   11.2 Lbs
Special Features:    MagicBright™, MagicTune, MagicColor, Built-in Power, Fast Response Time (4ms G-to-G), Safe Mode

I’ve had some people ask me about the cord lengths recently, so I measured them. The DVI and VGA cables are roughly 72” or 180 cm. The power cord however is only a few inches shorter.

  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Software & Installation
  3. Testing & Conclusion
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