The Samsung 2243BW has an understated design that is quite typical of workhorse LCD monitors. Covered from top to bottom with a plain, flat black paint, the most exciting visual feature of the 2243BW is the white Samsung logo on the bottom bezel. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, we found the 2243BW to be quite attractive in its own way and we can definitely appreciate the 2243BW's minimalist design. While it isn't as fancy or flashy as some multimedia monitors, the 2243BW's simplistic design will be at home in a wide variety of environments.
The 2243BW features a very thin bezel that is about half an inch all the way around. This means it is an excellent candidate for multi-monitor setups where the thin bezel will minimize the disruptive space between panels. A blue power LED is located at the bottom right corner of the screen, at the end of the row of touch-sensitive buttons (more on those later). There are no other LEDs on the 2243BW. The power LED emits a gentle blue glow when the screen is powered on and flashes when the screen is in a power-saving state. Located at the top right corner of the bezel is a painted-on label touting the screen's 8000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, along with TCO'03 and Energy Star stickers.
The sides and back of the 2243BW are equally plain and simple. The top of the monitor is lined with a row of vents which help the monitor dissipate the heat generated by its back-lights. There are also two other rectangular vent areas at the bottom of the screen, located at each corner. In the bottom-right vent is a standard Kengsington Lock port. The stand is attached to the monitor via a VESA 75mm compatible mount.
The 4-way adjustable stand that came with our 2243BW is quite a robust unit although definitely not the best we have seen. The stand offers tilt and height adjustment, although both of these adjustments have rather limited ranges of movement. The screen can only tilt around 15-20 degrees up or down and the height is only adjustable by about 4 inches. The screen can also be pivoted 90 degrees into portrait mode, however the stand's height adjustment is too limited to allow this without also tilting the screen upwards. Lastly, the base of the stand can rotate 360 degrees.
Overall the base of the stand is very firm and stays planted where you place it, but we found the screen to be free to wobble around. Any time we touched the screen it would wobble on the stand for a moment, although it never seemed like it was in danger of toppling over. We were a little disappointed that the stand didn't have built-in cable management features but it did come with a small cable clip to help tie the various power and input cables neatly together. Overall, we liked the stand and found it to be average in quality. It should be perfectly acceptable except in situations where it will be adjusted frequently.
The 2243 series only offers basic DVI and VGA inputs. This means it is limited to monitor duties since there is no way to hook up component or composite video cables without an adapter. Considering that the 2243BW isn't being sold as a multimedia solution, this is perfectly acceptable. The 2243BW doesn't have a built-in USB hub like some other monitors on the market, but the 2243BWX's stand does. Judging from the diagram in the manual (the 2243BW and 2243BWX share the same manual) the 2-port USB hub is completely contained in the stand so it is theoretically possible for any 2243 series monitor to have a USB hub, however we have only found specifications listing the BWX with a USB hub.