We all know that LCD display quality varies greatly
between the different monitor brands, and within the range of
offerings from each company. As a general rule of thumb, we
here at PCSTATS like to think that companies which possess actual LCD panel
manufacturing capabilities tend to offer better products. Of that small
group of firms, Korean manufacturer Samsung Electronics is the world’s
number one LCD maker, followed by LG Philips. Taiwanese LCD panel makers AU
Optronics Corp (AUO) and Chi Mei
Optoelectronics Corporation (CMO) are the third and fourth largest in the
world, followed by the Japanese corporation Sharp Electronics (source:
KBS World). If
that seems like a cut and dry method of choosing a monitor, well, it
isn't. Things are a little more complicated because tier one LCD monitor brands
may use LCD panels from any one of these companies.
The Samsung Syncmaster 943B LCD display PCSTATS is testing in
this review is oriented towards business and cost-consious consumers, so it's
not surprising to us that it uses a 19" LCD panel made by AU
Optonics (model M190EG02), and not Samsung. The point we're making is that brand names really only serve as general guides. Samsung
may have a technically advanced 10th generation LCD panel fab, but it's nearly impossible
to tell who actually makes the LCD glass in that monitor you're admiring,
no matter what brand name is embossed on the plastic.
Brands do serve a purpose by assuring a certain
level of functionality, warranty and ergonomics. However, when it comes to picking out a good LCD
monitor in your budget, just focus on the specs and read a review or two.
Nothing can replace that kind of hands-on experience, especially if it comes from
a reviewer who has tested many LCD screens - ahem :-).
On the PCSTATS test bench today is the
new Samsung Syncmaster 943B 19" LCD/TFT monitor. The Syncmaster 943B is
a mainstream/business oriented LCD display with a competitive price tag of
about $290 CDN ($290USD / £60 GBP). The Samsung Syncmaster 943B offers users a luscious
black 19" screen (5:3 aspect ratio) with a native resolution of 1280x1024
pixels. The LCD panel has an anti-reflective non-glossy coating and
features a brightness rating of 300 cd/m2, contrast ratio
of 1000:1 (dynamic contrast of 8000:1). The panel boasts a 6ms G-to-G pixel refresh
time and a nominal pixel pitch of 0.294mm. The viewing angles are average, just 170°
horizontal by 160° vertical, indicating a mainstream panel at the heart of the 943B.
||Samsung Syncmaster 943B 19" LCD Display
(Dynamic Contrast Ratio:
Response Time: 5ms
Aspect Ratio: 5:4
USB2.0 Ports: No
Quick start guide, DVI and Analog video cable, AC
power cable, driver/manual CD.|
Of those specs,
the 1000:1 contrast ratio an 300cd/m2 brightness often indicate good 2D visual quality, and that's exactly
what we see looking into the Samsung 943B's pixels; velvety black backgrounds and
suitably vibrant colours at the native resolution of 1280x1024 pixels.
Encased in a rounded edge all black chassis with narrow bezels
around the screen, the Syncmaster 943B offers 80mm of vertical height adjustment, 30° of
panel tilt, 360° of swivel and a panel that rotates 90° for quick portrait-mode
viewing. The support stand is removeable, facilitating 75mm VESA arm mounting as desired.
The 19" Syncmaster 943B draws a moderate 35W power when
on, and less than 1W in standby mode. It does not have physical power switch to cut
out down on phantom power consumption. The monitor has no USB ports
The bezel has a novel touch sensitive buttonless
control panel. If you're disabled and use an artificial arm prosthetic, be aware
that the "buttons" will not respond to inanimate objects. The control panel takes a little getting used to as there is no
haptic indication where each button is located, and in darker environments this can lead to frustrating
OSD menu navigation. The icons are embossed in a dark gray paint, so
visually there isn't much contrast against the black plastic either.
There are six control buttons on the face of the
Syncmaster 943B display. Adjacent to the power button is a blue
indicate panel status. The
buttons are touch sensitive, yet unfortunately there is no haptic indicator to guide your finger
to the correct spot.|
The all-black bezel is 13mm wide, and user controls
consist of six keys. A broad array of user adjustments is
through the On Screen Display, and an illuminated status indicator is situated off to the far
right corner where it's least distracting. To curb potential theft the Syncmaster 943B has a
Kensington lock receptacle.
Samsung's 943B monitor is Microsoft Vista
and Apple Mac compatible. The display comes with a software manual on the
CD which includes handy links to the support website. Also provided are
a DVI and Analog video cable, and power plug.
Now that we've covered the basic specs, let's go in
for a closer look at this 19" LCD display...