Samsung SyncMaster XL2370 review
The Samsung SyncMaster XL2370 is a gorgeous-looking display. Just 15mm thick at the edges, it has a clear plastic edge around its bezel and a similar design on the base, with a clear plastic stand. At the rear are DVI and HDMI inputs but - unusually - no VGA.
The svelte display is made possible by LED backlighting, which proved bright and even across the entire 23in panel. The 1,920x1,080 resolution provides plenty of room for multiple windows, including video and photo editing, and there's an unusual optical S/PDIF output along with the minijack headphone socket.
We're not big fans of the touch-sensitive LED controls, which are fiddly. They're below the screen next to the On/Off button (which is also touch-sensitive), and there's a menu option to turn off the LEDs unless you're actually using the menu, which can be confusing.
The menu system itself is clear and large. As well as brightness and contrast, there are 'MagicBright' presets (such as text and movie) and 'MagicColor'. However, below MagicBright are Coarse and Fine controls that remained greyed out whichever options we chose. Also, turning on MagicColor under the Color menu greys out all the controls in the Picture menu, which isn't an obvious mechanism.
MagicBright proved quite useful, although we chose the Intelligent setting rather than the Full setting, which we found over-saturated colours. On the Intelligent setting, it made colours much more vibrant, perfect for movies and games. However, it's best to turn it off if you're working on pictures or video, where natural colours are better.
Image quality was superb, with excellent contrast. Although we detest Samsung's use of the word mega to describe the dynamic contrast ratio and the fact that the company refuses to divulge the standard contrast ratio, we must admit that blacks are deep. Also, the dynamic contract setting isn't as intrusive as some. While it tends towards a darker image, it reacts quickly to changes in brightness so there's no noticeable change in luminosity.
With superb image quality and design, the Samsung's only real problem is its price. It costs almost £100 more than LG's similarly good-looking E2350V and almost £150 more than BenQ's excellent 22in G2222HDL. Unless you can find it significantly cheaper, it's poor value.
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