The OSD menu Samsung uses takes a bit of time to get used
to, mainly because four horizontal control panel keys are needed to navigate and
toggle different options. The OSD itself isn't particularly complicated and most
of the visual options are redundant if you connect the display to a PC via the
DVI video cable.
On paper the Samsung SyncMaster F2380 seems like the perfect compromise for those looking
for an upgrade from the poor colour accuracy and viewing angles of cheap widescreen
TN-LCD panels, but at a much more reasonable price than a 23" professional IPS or
PVA panel. For $340
CDN ($320 USD, £200 GBP), you're getting 1920x1080 resolution, a 3000:1
contrast ratio and a pair of digital inputs.
When using the 23" SyncMaster F2380 display it's difficult to not be immediately impressed by the
panel brightness and contrast. Black levels are excellent, with very little
backlight bleed-through. When placed next to a LCD display based on a TN panel
or next to a CRT monitor, the Samsung SyncMaster F2380's C-PVA panel looks more
vibrant and lifelike.
It's only on closer inspection that image quality problems
start to rear their ugly, inaccurate heads. While Samsung claims that the
SyncMaster F2380 display can manage 178-degree horizontal/vertical viewing
angles without colour or brightness distortion, there's noticeable washout with
dark colours and shadows. Looking at the monitor from a ~30-45 degree angle
it's clear where the screen starts to shift. This makes the Samsung F2380
difficult to recommend to graphic designers
or imaging professionals that need to gauge colour fidelity accurately.
For regular folk though, it's quite a good LCD display for the
On the other hand the 8ms grey-to-grey pixel response rate makes the F2380
problematic for fast-paced gaming and motion. The ghosting is noticeable enough
to make fast moving objects and rotating viewpoints blurrier than they should
be, which can make those with especially sensitive eyes motion-sick.
So if it's not
for graphic designers nor really for gamers, who is this LCD
display good for then? Just about everyone else, really.
Samsung's 23" SyncMaster F2380 is
great for watching movies on thanks to its widescreen 16:9 aspect ration, and
can be hooked up as an HDTV with the purchase of an HDMI-to-DVI adapter. That extra
widescreen real estate is also great for displaying multiple documents
side-by-side, which can increase productivity at the office.
The physical design of the Samsung SyncMaster F2380 also deserves some
praise. The height-adjustable swivel/pivot/tilt stand is very versatile, and
both the neck and base of the stand can be removed if you want to mount the
monitor on an articulating arm. The exterior of the SyncMaster F2380 is
unobtrusive, with a simple matte black finish, square base and thin bezel.
If you're looking to upgrade the monitor for your home or work PC and want to
move up to a display with first-class brightness and contrast levels, the
Samsung SyncMaster F2380 is an ideal LCD. It's priced fairly competitively
against equivalently-sized TN-based LCD widescreen displays, and performs well
as long as you don't need extreme refresh rates or colour accuracy.
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