Samsung SyncMaster 2243BW Wide Screen LCD

Controls & OSD Options

The Samsung 2243BW is controlled by six buttons along the bottom-right edge of the monitor's bezel. At first glance, it appears that these are merely labels and the buttons must be hidden, possibly under the bezel, facing downward towards the desk. However, this isn't the case; the 2243 features touch sensitive button technology.

We were initially quite weary when we found out the buttons were touch sensitive. Our past experience with similar implementations haven't always been positive. Luckily, the buttons on the 2243BW work quite well. The buttons themselves offer no feedback whatsoever. They do not depress, light up or make any sounds to inform you that they have registered your input. However the monitor was quick to respond to commands so the lack of input response from the buttons wasn't an issue. It is worth noting that the touch sensitivity of the buttons is quite high. Sometimes it seemed they would register a button press a moment before our fingers even touched the surface of the bezel.

In practice, the buttons worked quite well and input was a breeze. However there is one major flaw. Like the rest of the text and symbols on the monitor, the buttons were labeled with a dull, gray, non-reflective paint. While this may help the overall aesthetic appeal of the monitor by maintaining the sleek, all-black appearance, it does creates a visibility problem. We found the button labels to be difficult to see, even when the room was relatively well lit. This lack of visibility, combined with the complete lack of tactile feedback, means the buttons are almost impossible to use in dim environments. We wished the buttons had back-lighting that would turn on when any one of them were activated. It is easy enough to stab at the corner of the monitor to activate one of the buttons, but navigating the on-screen menu system without proper lighting proved difficult and frustrating.

Samsung 2243BW OSD (On Screen Display)
Well Laid Out And Easy To Use


A sampling of Samsung 2243BW OSD menus

The Samsung 2243BW's OSD system is quite good. We found it easy to navigate and it offers a lot of options. Pressing the 'Menu' button brings up the OSD main menu. Vertical menu navigation and value adjustment are both achieved with the up and down arrow buttons. Horizontal menu navigation is achieved with the 'Menu' and 'Source' buttons, where the 'Source' button serves as the "right" button while 'Menu' acts as the "left" button.

Besides the usual brightness, contrast, gamma and color adjustments, the 2243BW's OSD menu also offers two menu options unique to Samsung monitors; MagicBright and MagicColor. The MagicBright menu consists of 7 presets for brightness and contrast. Each one is labeled with the presets intended purpose. "Text" for reading and writing text documents, "internet" for surfing the web, "game", "sport" and "movie". The "custom" preset is set at the factory for optimal all-purpose viewing. The last preset activates the screen's Dynamic Contrast capability. All of the presets, except Dynamic Contrast, can be customized and modified by the user. The MagicBright menu can be accessed on the fly by pressing the "down" button when not otherwise viewing the OSD. This will automatically bring up the MagicBright menu and allow you to scroll between presets. The menu automatically disappears after about 3 seconds of inactivity.

The MagicColor menu allows you to preview and active the MagicColor feature of the monitor. MagicColor is a dynamic gamma filter function that aims to enhance the colors displayed on the screen. The MagicColor OSD menu has four options; "Off", "Demo", "Full" and "Intelligent". In Demo mode, the screen applies MagicColor filtering to the left half of the screen while the right half does not have MagicColor activated. Full mode activates MagicColor filter for the whole screen while Intelligent mode offers a more moderate level of filtering. The color and gamma adjustment settings, including the MagicColor menu, are not available when Dynamic Contrast is enabled.

It is clear from Demo mode that MagicColor makes a significant difference in the colors the screen displays. However, we found that Full mode was too strong and it would often bring out colors too much, making certain things appear over-saturated. Intelligent mode was more consistent. Regardless of the mode used, users who care about consistent monitor calibration may want to avoid this feature.

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