Samsung's BX2331 is a gorgeous design, but its image feels far too processed, and it's much too expensive compared to the competition.
23in screen size, 1,920×1,080 resolution, DVI: no, VGA: yes, HDMI:
Like many new LED-backlit displays, the Samsung SyncMaster BX2331 is incredibly thin and light, and Samsung has added its own design touches to make it an object of desire. The glossy black plastic base is similar to many other displays here, but the thin neck and bezel mean that the screen takes centre stage. Meanwhile, there’s an attractive textured finish on the rear of the case, so it’s ideal for front desks or open plan offices.
However, the thin design has its drawbacks: there aren’t any VESA mounting points for wall mounting, and you also have to deal with an external power, although it’s far smaller than those that come with rivals’ LED monitors. Another problem is Samsung’s irrational love of touch-sensitive controls. While they remove the need for unsightly buttons, placing them on the underside of the screen means they’re in just the wrong place should you decide to pick up the monitor.
Samsung has added a second HDMI port instead of including a DVI port, and thankfully has also included a DVI-to-HDMI cable in the box. With two HDMI ports, you could have both your PC and games console or Blu-ray player connected at the same time. A 3.5mm audio output lets you send audio received via HDMI input to a set of external speakers, although ideally you’d send both audio and video to an AV amplifier first instead.
We found the menu system clear and easy to navigate, using a standard Menu, Select and navigation button combination. As well as the usual brightness, contrast and colour controls, the menu is full of “Magic” options: MagicColor, MagicBright and MagicAngle. These we found universally useless; the first two caused dramatic changes that made image quality worse, while the latter is more hassle to use than simply moving the monitor itself.
To be fair, you also get a wide range of standard image controls, including brightness, contrast, colour temperature and gamma. However we found it hard to get a natural-looking image. Although contrast was good, the image had a blue cast and the backlight wasn’t even as bright as some CCFL-backlit monitors here.
Although it’s a beautiful design, the BX2331’s image seems over-processed, and it’s far too expensive.
|Viewable size||23 in|
|Horizontal viewing angle||170°|
|Vertical viewing angle||160°|
|Response time type||grey-to-grey|
|Wall mount option||no|
|Integrated power supply||no|
|Kensington lock lug||yes|
|Display extras||2x HDMI, headphone output|
|Power consumption standby||0W|
|Power consumption on||25W|
|Warranty||three years onsite|