Samsung SyncMaster 2243BW Wide Screen LCD

Subjective Analysis

Test patterns like those offered by Everest can be extremely useful for gauging a monitor's ability and also for calibration purposes. This is especially useful to people who need their monitor to be perfectly calibrated for work with publishing and photography. However most people don't purchase a monitor exclusively for "work" so we'll look at some real-world tests with high definition video content next, to give you and idea of how well the monitor stands up to "play".

Samsung 2243BW: Subjective Tests
HD Movie Playback, Gaming and General Use
HD Movie Playback: We watched a number of DVDs and HD video clips to see how the monitor would handle video playback. We quickly found the MagicBright presets to be extremely useful. We found the Custom preset to be a bit lacking, especially while viewing darker videos, or dark scenes in a movie. The Custom preset was simply too dark and a lot of detail in darker scenes were lost and indistinguishable. Luckily some of the other presets were quite accommodating.

We found that the Game, Sport and Movie presets were very useful for videos. The Sport preset was bright and vibrant with a slight blue bias, which made watching sports and nature scenes a joy. The Movie preset was darker with a yellowish tint that helped to bring out details in many darker clips. The Game preset falls in somewhere between the two. We also tried the MagicColor filter during our testing and we found it to be hit and miss. The Full mode was too strong and it caused many scenes to over-saturate. The Intelligent mode was much better, although it too would occasionally overdo it.

Overall, viewing videos on the Samsung 2243BW was pleasant. While we were able to comfortably watch videos without fiddling with the MagicBright presets, we found the presets to be extremely useful and they make the 2243BW a very versatile screen for viewing video.

Gaming Test: To see how the Samsung 2243BW handled some fast-paced gaming, we played a few rounds of Call of Duty 4. This game is especially taxing on monitors for three reasons. First, the game involves fast-paced action that often has objects moving very quickly across the screen which tests the monitor's response time. Second, the game has many dark maps where details can easily be lost among the shadows, which could easily cost you your virtual life. Lastly, the dark environments are broken up by bright flashes of gunfire and explosions, which cause high-contrast situations that easily reveal ghosting and blurring.

While the 2243BW isn't a gaming monitor, we were pleased that it performed admirably during our gaming sessions. Despite a 5ms response time, which isn't as good as the 2ms response times that some gaming monitors sport, the 2243BW still proved to be plenty fast enough for FPS gaming. Throughout our testing, we never noticed any ghosting, blurring and other visual oddities caused by a slow monitor.

Like during movie testing, we found the MagicBright presets to be very helpful for gaming. Before joining a game of CoD4, we set the monitor to the Game preset, which increases the monitor's brightness and contrast compared to the Custom preset. We found that this setting performed well in games. With further experimentation, we found that the monitor's Dynamic Contrast feature provided the best results during our rounds of CoD4. We also gave the MagicColor filter another chance and we found that it worked much better, although the Full mode was still too strong for our tastes. In the end, our favored setting was to enable Dynamic Contrast, as it seemed to provide the most vivid images in both dark and well-lit environments.

General Usage: We used the Samsung 2243BW extensively for several weeks. During this time, we performed a wide variety of tasks with it, from browsing the web and spreadsheeting to image manipulation and writing this article. The 2243BW handled all of these tasks perfectly. Once again, the MagicBright presets came in handy. The "Text" and "Internet" presets are perfect for their respective scenarios. The Text preset sets the brightness very low so long hours in front of a word processor won't burn your eyes out of their sockets. The Internet preset increases the brightness and contrast slightly to make viewing images and streaming video more pleasant, but the screen remains dark enough that our eyes remained comfortable after long hours spent browsing high-contrast web pages.

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