Shiny Pretty

So my new shiny pretty is a 19-inch…monitor. LCD monitor. Specifically, a Samsung Syncmaster 193P.

Quick take:

I have it hooked up via DVI and at native resolution (on Macs, you can specify other resolutions even with the DVI interface). I was able to play Unreal Tournament 2004 at full resolution and didn’t notice any issues beyond the detail and immersiveness of this screen–I think I actually get more area than the Dull CRT it replaces.

The default calibration on the Mac is pretty much dead on–nice and bright and with great contrast. Color gradients look better than any other LCD I’ve seen. I can, as usual, see JPEG artifacts more easily. Text is not as pretty as on a CRT at certain font sizes, but it is much more readable. (I just checked, and sure enough, Mac OS X had already switched to an LCD-optimized antialiasing setting. I also enjoyed reading about the driver installation and setup instructions for various flavors of Windows and Linux but not Mac OS X–It. Just. Worked.) Since the monitor size is fairly large compared to the resolution, I can see a little teeny bit of the mesh pattern of pixels and a hint of moir� in some flat color areas. Blacks are the blackest I’ve seen on an LCD. No dead or stuck pixels that I’ve yet detected.

Ergonomically, the monitor is very adjustable unless, as I do, you like it to sit a bit high. However, I was using a stand on every CRT I’ve ever used. I now have room to push the monitor back where I like it and stretch my arms out to the keyboard where they belong. However, the monitor adjusts along the z-axis as well (twisting the display to 90°). This is nearly useless for me as they don’t provide this software for the Mac (hello, one of your more loyal customer bases, Samsung). So it means that I’ve been twisting it a half a degree in each direction trying to find completely level.

Aesthetically it’s wonderful. A nice tannish silver which not coincidentally complements the color of both Mac laptops and G4 and G5 desktops. It works well with my charcoal electrostatic Monsoon speakers (the flat panels of the speaker world, and, by the way, well worth it–unbelievable the depth, richness, and lushness these electrostatics produce. I’d always thought electrostatics were dry and overly precise). It has a thin bezel, and the panel attaches to folding arm that rises from a round base. In the back of the base, under a lip, are three connectors: power, DVI, and analog. There is one button and a blue power light on the front. That’s it. All adjustments are made via the software.

The only place I’ve seen the dreaded ghosting is when switching between two Web pages with black backgrounds. I never saw this during the game I played. I’m prepared to live with it for the extra real estate.

It’s a little pricey but I’m satisfied I got what I paid for, and then some.

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One Response to Shiny Pretty

  1. Oscar says:

    The whole driver thing for monitors on windows and linux is a big lie – just a way for monitor manufacturers to pad their manuals. I’ve never had to install driver to get a *monitor* to work in linux or windows, it gets detected through PnP and configured accordingly.

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