Like the Dell Crystal, the 23-inch Samsung SyncMaster P2370, available for about £210, would look perfect in any contemporary art gallery. Unlike Dell, however, Samsung doesn't require you to take out a second mortgage to obtain a monitor with style.
Design and features
The P2370 adheres to Samsung's typical monitor design, with enough eye-pleasing tweaks to give it a unique look. The display measures about 25mm in depth, which is impressively thin, since most monitors of this size measure well over 50mm. The bezel measures 32mm on the sides and 44mm on the bottom, where a light grey Samsung logo resides. On the edge of the bezel is a plastic transparent overlay.
The neck of the display looks unusual. It's made of transparent glass with bluish crystals at the bottom. The glass reflects the crystals, which creates a blue hue within the neck. The effect is subtle but makes the P2370 stand out from the crowd. The oval footstand is 279mm wide and 191mm deep, but, even with such a wide footstand, the display wobbles considerably, even with just a small shove. This is due partly to how slender the display is. It weighs less than 4.5kg.
The bottom of the bezel sits about 57mm from the desktop, but, unfortunately, this screen height isn't adjustable and there isn't a screen rotation or pivot option for portrait mode. The capability to tilt the screen back 25° is the only ergonomic feature included.
If you were thinking of connecting the display to your standalone Blu-ray player, think again. To cut back on costs and to keep the monitor as thin as possible, Samsung includes a single DVI-D as the sole connection option. HDMI or even VGA connections are not included.
Pressing your finger against the bottom right-hand corner of the bezel brings up the hidden on-screen display. The white, glowing buttons disappear after a couple of moments of inactivity, but there's an option in the OSD to show them at all times for easier calibration in the dark. You can also set the OSD to remain on-screen for 5, 10, 20 or 200 seconds.
The OSD array consists of menu, up and down, enter and auto buttons. 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', allowing you to change the red, green and blue attributes individually. There are seven presets, including 'custom', 'text', 'Internet', 'game', 'sport', 'movie' and 'dynamic contrast'. Each preset changes the colour temperature and/or brightness of the display to match the task at hand. While not as intuitive as Dell's recent, brilliantly designed OSDs -- sported by the G2410, for example -- the P2370's OSD still doesn't take long to get used to.
The P2370's 16:9 aspect ratio supports a 'Full HD', 1,920x1,080-pixel native resolution. This is in line with the trend among more and more monitor vendors of moving from 16:10 to 16:9, because high-definition content -- in particular 1080p movies -- can fit onto a 1,920x1,080-pixel screen without distorting the image.
We tested the P2370 with its DVI connection. The display posted a composite score of 93 in our DisplayMate-based performance tests, besting the 23-inch Dell SP2309W's 90. The P2370 got nearly perfect scores in our colour tests, revealing only a slight flaw in its colour-tracking capability. The colour-tracking test shows how accurately a monitor can replicate the grey scale. The P2370's representation of the grey scale had a slight reddish hue that kept it from being perfect.