The 23-inch, 1080p Samsung SyncMaster F2380 monitor sells for as low as £225 from online retailers. It also offers two DVI ports, one VGA, full four-way ergonomic adjustments, and a cPVA panel that affords it a wider viewing angle than the £300 Samsung SyncMaster XL2370.
The F2380 has a matte black chassis and an angular aesthetic, with fairly sharp corners and edges. The panel is 25mm deep but the back of the display, which houses the backlight, connection options and ventilation system, extends another 41mm, bringing the full monitor depth to about 66mm. The panel measures 544mm wide, and the surface of the screen has a slightly frosted and smooth matte finish. The bezel measures 15mm wide on all sides.
The rectangular footstand measures about 244 by 218mm. When we knocked the panel from the side, it wobbled, but we never felt it was in danger of toppling over, especially with the screen adjusted to its lowest height. With the screen at this position, the distance from the bottom of the bezel to the desktop is 64mm. At the highest setting, the distance is 193mm. The panel swivels about 45 degrees left and right and tilts back about 25 degrees. The panel also pivots 90 degrees to the left for portrait mode.
Samsung includes only two types of video-connection options on the F2380: two DVI ports and one VGA port, all located on the back of the panel. There are no HDMI or USB ports. Accessing the connections proved fairly easy, especially given the monitor's pivot feature.
The F2380's on-screen display has the same design as that of the XL2370. The OSD button array consists of 'menu', 'up', 'down', 'source' and 'auto' buttons, with each button located on the bottom-middle of the bezel. You can easily differentiate between the buttons with your fingers. The up and down buttons also double as brightness and preset shortcut buttons respectively.
Picture options consist of brightness, contrast and sharpness. You can also set the colour tone to 'cool', 'normal', 'warm' or 'custom', letting you change the red, green and blue attributes individually. It has seven preset settings, including 'custom', 'text', 'Internet', 'game', 'sport', 'movie' and 'dynamic contrast'. Each preset changes the colour temperature and brightness of the display to suit the task at hand.
The F2380's 16:9 aspect ratio has a 1,920x1,080-pixel native resolution. The 16:9 monitor trend currently sweeping the market has given many smaller monitors higher resolutions than they were capable of at a 16:10 aspect ratio. A 22-inch monitor with a 16:9 aspect ratio now has a potential high-definition, native resolution of 1,920x1,080 pixels, as opposed to 1,680x1,050 pixels.
Doesn't look on the bright side
We tested the F2380 with its DVI connection under the default custom preset. The display posted a composite score of 96 in CNET Labs' DisplayMate-based performance tests. The F2380 scored well in all of our colour and uniformity tests except in three areas: the colour-tracking test, in which it revealed a slight reddish tint; the dark-screen test, in which it showed backlight bleeding in the top corners of the screen; and the extreme-greyscale-bars test, in which we found the display crushed dark grey, making it difficult to see dark detail.