generation Samsung Syncmaster 173P LCD monitor was a
sleek white unit that could pivot its screen around 180 degrees to be viewed as a portrait,
or fold up in to a compact package and mounted to the wall. Its'
17" screen was bright, crisp, and a pleasure to work on. The new Samsung 173P+ incorporates all
of the original models best physical attributes, along with a better contrasted 17" LCD panel and
8ms gray-to-gray pixel response time. Samsung has essentially switched out the old LCD glass with a panel
that is a bit faster, and left the remainder pretty much as it was.
times are primarily a concern of gamers, or in situations where applications
do a lot of continuous scrolling. Where a pixel response time
of 16ms or less is preferred for the discerning gamer, 25ms to 30ms is
more than suitable for standard computer work and DVD watching. These measurements used to be a
clear cut, but now the situation is now becoming rather confusing. Pixel
response rates have traditionally been
defined by the rise-and-fall times of a single pixel changing state from 'on'
to 'off,' and back to 'on' (the time it takes one pixel
to change from black to white, and back to black), but in an effort to lower
times many manufacturers are now quoting gray-to-gray pixel response times.
"Gray-to-gray" means the millisecond value is a measure
of the time it
takes a single pixel to change from one shade of gray to
another.... but without an approved standard from the Video Electronics Standards
Association (VESA) for all companies to adhere by (as to what "gray" represents at either side
of that scale), the measurement is rendered effectively meaningless.
little 17" screen of the Samsung Syncmaster 173P+ boasts a native resolution of
1280x1024 pixels. Its industry standard dot pitch of 0.264mm makes for a crisper
image from the a-si TFT/PVA panel than many 19" LCDs can muster. The Samsung
173P+ does retail a bit higher than the average 17" LCD will, priced about $570USD,
but it does offer up a contrast ratio of 1500:1 and brightness value of 270 cd/m2.
Viewing angles on the Samsung 173P+ break the barrier at
178 degrees horizontal/vertical. The unit accepts both 15-pin Analog and DVI
digital video connections, though DVI is naturally the preferred standard. Power draw is listed
at 40 Watts while in use, less than 2 Watts in standby. A 75mm VESA
mounting plate is included
in the box along with wall mounting hardware and all the necessary cables to run
|| Samsung 173P+ LCD Display
Manual, digital video cable, analog video cable, power cable and AC
adaptor, software, VESA 75mm mounting wall
The Samsung 173P+ is intended to work in tandem Magic
Tune 3.6 software (WinXP, 2K, ME) to control its display attributes. On the plus
side, this leaves the 20mm-wide aluminum bezel on the front of the display
completely free of control buttons. The downside is that users have to install
yet one more program just
to configure a monitor. The only button remains is the power button, and it
it is a touch sensitive control rather than push-button. The button responds to the
touch of skin, so glove wearing or otherwise covered fingers will not
work. A small blue LED status indicator flanks the power
According to Samsung, the
Syncmaster 173P+ boasts several magical qualities: Magic Color, Magic
Contrast, Magic Rotation, Magic Stand, Magic speed 8ms with RTA Technology,
MagicZone, MagicTune, and MagicBright2.
|The power button is touch sensitive. Touch
and hold it for a few seconds to set the 173P+ to cycle between the Analog
and Digital video connections.|
The majority of these 'Magic'
features either enhance certain colour characteristics or brighten the screen
for specific tasks like watching a movie, playing games, or viewing
Magic Rotation is interesting because it automatically
senses when the 173P+ display has been rotated 90 or 180 degrees, and displays a
small info box stating the rotated angle. In our tests however, the desktop
did not automatically rotate with the screen, even though the Samsung online
documentation seems to suggest this as one of its capabilities... For that, another program called PivotPro must be
Under Windows 2000 the PivotPro software worked well, but with Windows XP SP2 we were
unable to get it working reliably. Regrettably, the pivot aspect of the 173P+
ended up being frustrating and largely non-functional on a WinXP-SP2 test computer
due mainly to what appears to be software incompatibility issues.
But on the bright side, when looking at the screen
of the Samsung 173P+, bright colours are vibrant and the black areas of the
screen are dark so that text and images stand out very well.