Review Samsung SM205BW LCD monitor

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#1
Wanting to upgrade my 19" crt to a LCD, there are so many LCD monitors around that I could look from now till doomsday and not make my mind up which is best so I decided on the price I wanted to spend (£250 max) bit the bullet and started looking. One that caught my eye was the Samsung 205BW for various reasons, good name, good refresh rate at 6ms, a choice of analogue and DVI in plus OcUK had it on special for £228 plus del. I checked a few reviews and couldn't find a bad one, they pretty much all said 'not great but good', for the money I wanted to spend I would be very lucky to find 'great'. One review said Amazon had it for £199.99 with free del woot! I kept looking and found it for the same price in PCWorld which meant I could have one today (28/01/07). I popped down to my local branch and they had one in stock so I bought it there and then.



It's very well packed, comes with all the connecting cables and a CD with drivers and setup software. I used the DVI cable, just plugged it in and away it went. The screen looked decidedly odd once XP had booted, all stretched out and it took me a minute to figure out the res was still set at my old monitors' size of 1152x864. I changed it to 1680x1050 (the 205bw's native res) and everything went back to normal looking. I do think it's odd that I don't get a selection of resolutions with the correct ratio of 16/10, in fact the only one that is correct is the maximum of 1680x1050, all others available distort the screen to a degree.
It was also said that there was some light bleed from the top, I can't see this at all in normal use but playing a DVD (Gladiator which has black bands top and bottom even on this widescreen monitor) there is a greying at the edges, most notably at the top but it's really not a problem once you stop looking for it, ie it doesn't interfere with the film.

Unusually for a 'budget' 20" this one will raise and lower on it's stand so you can both tilt it and erm raise or lower it to suit your veiwing angle. Here's a pic of it in lowered position, the one above ^ is raised. it's spring loaded acting as a kind of counter balance to make it easier to do.



I was concerned before I bought it that images would not look right, I'd heard that often colours would be wrong on LCD monitors. So far I have no complaints at all, photos I've looked at all seem to show full detail and good colour balance/range. When I get time and the extra desk space I'll connect the old crt and this one side by side, display the same image on both and check thoroughly. Then again maybe I won't, why spoil a good thing :)
I'm really impressed with it so far, the screen is the same height as my old 19" Hansol crt but makes a bit more use of it, it's also quite a bit wider (2.5-3 inches), not a duff pixel to be seen. Now that I've used Samsungs monitor set up program which is like adobe gamma but more involved and seems well presented, the colours are punchy and the brightness is just right. I think prefessional reviewers just have to find something to be negative about, to me this thing is just about perfect for my needs.

The only downside is that I'm likely to get RSI trying to get my mouse pointer from one side all the way over to the other!
 
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#3
Wots PQ and I don't have CS :)

Thanks for the powerstrip link that's just what I need!
 
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#4
PQ = picture quality and it's great, I got mine a couple of months back. Previously I was using a Sony LCD but I've found the Samsung colours to be much more natural.

The only drawback for this monitor is that it's 16.2 not 16.7m colours but then most of the cheaper LCDs with fast response times are now. TBH it doesn't make a big difference unless you're working with subtle gradients a lot.
 
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#5
PQ = picture quality and it's great, I got mine a couple of months back. Previously I was using a Sony LCD but I've found the Samsung colours to be much more natural.

The only drawback for this monitor is that it's 16.2 not 16.7m colours but then most of the cheaper LCDs with fast response times are now. TBH it doesn't make a big difference unless you're working with subtle gradients a lot.
Does the sharpness compare you to your CRT mate? :)
 
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#6
Much, much sharper than a CRT - assuming you run at the native resolution. Crisp as lettuce from the fridge (y)
 
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#7
I have to agree, The sharpness adjustment is set at 40% and it's pin sharp at that.

Now I just need the Beeb to sort out their website, the whole thing takes up exactly half of my screen, with acres of white to the right :)
 
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#8
I have a Samsung 215TW and it really is superb. Bit the bullet just before xmas and once calibrated with my Spyder it produces great results. More expensive than the 205 though but 21" screen diagonal which gives a little more desktop space.
 
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#10
I did look at that one but could not justify £360 odd squids when I'm saving for a new camera :)
 
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#12
Yes it's sore but it's one of the best at that price range. Also lots of inputs and if you are so inclined the xbox 360 looks great on it!

Not a gamer but have connected it to see what it looked like :)
 
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#13
Well, after reading steeps review, and after going around in circles over what LCD I wanted, I too went and bought this machine.

Simply stunning - and thats out of the box. Not yet connected over DVI but will do. Analogue is punchy, razor sharp at its native res, which I set up via powerstrip and best of all it cost just £199.99!

Ideally, I wanted a Dell Ultrasharp 24" for the higher res but this is a mighty fine interim buy, which I suspect will last me an age!

Thanks for the heads up.

Cant wait for my next booking now so I can do some PP on it! :nuts:

Diego.
 
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#15
Out of interest, what is the preferred connetion method?

Analouge or DVI - cant really see that much difference? :thinking:
I couldn't see a difference but the cable was longer so I use it , also If I'm feeling flash I can plug my 17" TFT in on the analogue channel for MSN/mIRC :D
 
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#16
That looks a mighty fine monitor and a seriously useful, vfm bit of kit Steep ... and you have put up a fairly comprehensive and helpful review ... (y)

I too have been thinking about a new screen since end of last year ... was thinking about the Dell 21" WS but that's hugely more expensive and not a lot bigger tbh ... might just look for one of these myself ... :D

Thanx much for the HU m8 ... ;) ... but obviously not from my BM ... :eek:

EOS_JD said:
I have a Samsung 215TW and it really is superb.
EOS/MrG ... As I was originally looking at it would a 21" really be worth the extra dosh guys ... :thinking: ... :shrug:


:p
 
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#17
I went for the 215TW as it rotates into portait mode & has very wide viewing angles.

but

The Gateway FPD2185W uses the same LCD panel and costs £299 from Staples :)


I would have bought it but there was zero UK stock at the time :(
 
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#19
I went for the 215TW as it rotates into portait mode & has very wide viewing angles.

but

The Gateway FPD2185W uses the same LCD panel and costs £299 from Staples :)


I would have bought it but there was zero UK stock at the time :(

I looked at the gateway machine at staples. Picture was a bit fluffy and I thought it was caught between two stools, ergo, is a TV or is it a monitor?

D.
 
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#20
I looked at the gateway machine at staples. Picture was a bit fluffy and I thought it was caught between two stools, ergo, is a TV or is it a monitor?

D.
Well the one I saw was crispier than crispy aromatic duck , they were probably not running at native resolution.:shrug:
 
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#21
Pete if you're ever down my way (Wellington) you're welcome to take a looksee at my 205BW to get an idea of sharpness.
 
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#23
I want to know why mrgubby backlit his monitor! :)
 
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#24
I want to know why mrgubby backlit his monitor! :)
Much easier on the eyes at night , I dont have any room light on & the 'wash' from the light illuminates the whole desk area in a soothing warm glow :)



//tart mode off
 
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#26
In an attempt to redeem myself - DVI is better as it's digital all the way but there's not much difference unless you get some interference which gives ghosting, etc. in the analogue. DVI also allows better handling of screen modes that don't fit the aspect ratio so you can stay 1:1 (big borders) or have the image scaled but keep the correct aspect ratio and so on.
 
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#27
Recently got myself a LG Flatron L2000CE which i can highly recommend also, excellent pic quality very sharp, height adjust, swivel base for easy side to side rotation, tilt and rotate to portrait as well, dvi and vga. V.good
 
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#29
I like the idea of backlighting monitor screens, but have another question...
I currently run a 17" CRT and a 19" LCD (similar physical sizes), purely to get a decent sized CS2 window on the LCD, and the tools and other program icons (plus email & browser) on the CRT - would a wide LCD (alone) be enough to cope with this?
 
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#30
I want to know why mrgubby backlit his monitor! :)

Wasn't it to light up his photograph hanging above the screen then ... :cautious:

Have to say though it does look well good lit that way ... :thinking:

Does the monitor come complete with the wall bracket MrG ... :thinking:

On the verge of spending even more dosh here now ... :puke:





:p
 
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#31
would a wide LCD (alone) be enough to cope with this?
Dunno m8 but for reference the BBC News web page takes up almost exactly half of my screen (the left half) when the browser is maximised. Resolution is as above 1680x1050.
 
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#33
I like the idea of backlighting monitor screens, but have another question...
I currently run a 17" CRT and a 19" LCD (similar physical sizes), purely to get a decent sized CS2 window on the LCD, and the tools and other program icons (plus email & browser) on the CRT - would a wide LCD (alone) be enough to cope with this?
I would say Not, but depends on what youre used to.
 
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#36
I went for the 215TW as it rotates into portait mode & has very wide viewing angles.
but
The Gateway FPD2185W uses the same LCD panel and costs £299 from Staples :)
I would have bought it but there was zero UK stock at the time :(
After searching the Internet, all Gateway's suppliers AND quizzing Gateway on their live tech chat (impressed !) we concluded there were none in the UK ... :crying:

So I popped out to PC World to check out their offerings ... they had nothing affordable at 20" or 21" tbh ...

So ... on my way home I nipped into Staples to see what they had on display ... bugger me if they didn't have the FPD2185W on the shelf ... not only that when I asked for a boxed one they confirmed they had another 'out the back' ... :thinking:

However when he brought it out it was actually a return from another customer ... I eventually got it with full warranty and for £269 ... :D ... and they still have the display model too ...!

Anyway ... I am now looking at you all (eeuuuwwww ! ... :naughty: ) on my new 21" monitor with a lower bank balance (or I will have once I've sorted the credit card) ... HeHe ... however I am well impressed, so far, with the overall quality and viewing pleasure it is providing ... A Happy Bunny I am ... thanks for the pointer Mr G ... :D

Only thing is it looks, overall, quite a bit darker than my lappy screen ... I was looking at Cedric's latest Great Tit on both and there is a marked difference in detail seen on the lappy over the Gateway ... so I guess I've gotta do some work on the colour/contrast/brightness stuff to get it right ... :thinking: ... any pointers here will be much appreciated ... :shrug:

I have used the PhotoFriday calbration tool recommended some time ago on here ... and the Blacks, Whites & Gray Scales in between look fine ...





:p
 
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#37
mrgubby, how did you hang your monitor? did U use any specific wall mount stand etc.
 
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#38
mrgubby, may I ask how have you hung your monitor? use any specific wall mount etc?
 
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#40
Ratbags are selling it for £150 now!
 
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