Samsung SyncMaster C23A550U review

Barry de la Rosa
29 Aug 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

A clever idea, but image quality is below average for the price



23in screen size, 1,920x1,080 resolution, DVI: no, VGA: yes, HDMI:

We've seen USB displays before, but the C23A550U takes advantage of USB3's extra bandwidth to transfer more than just a picture. Not only can you drive the display via USB, but you can also route your network connection and audio through the monitor, turning it into a docking station with a built-in display.

Samsung SyncMaster C23A550U rear ports

Once you've installed the monitor's USB drivers, the C23A550U is a useful dock. You can plug a mouse and keyboard into the two USB2 ports, your network cable into the 10/100 Ethernet port and use the USB3 ports to connect devices that need extra speed such as external hard disks.

Samsung SyncMaster C23A550U left ports

USB3 support on your laptop or PC isn't required, but it's highly recommended. Connected via USB2, we saw average speeds of 30MB/s when transferring files from an attached external disk to our test PC; when we connected via USB3 the speed went up to 86MB/s. The network connection is only 10/100 rather than gigabit, though.

When the monitor was connected over USB3 we could watch a Blu-ray rip of Casino Royale , but if we transferred a large file across the network connection at the same time we started to notice dropped frames and sound stuttering.

Samsung SyncMaster C23A550U right ports

The C23A550U's stand adjusts vertically, and Samsung claims it goes high enough to be visible above your laptop's screen, but it didn’t go high enough to clear our laptop's 15.6in display. It just about goes high enough so you can use a netbook below the monitor, though.

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