Samsung’s new ’53 Series monitors, dubbed ‘Aqua’, have yet another new eye-catching design. At the foot of the 19in SyncMaster 953BW’s screen sits a clear Perspex strip, beneath which the usual control buttons can be found. Looks-wise it’s a winner, but we’d question the practicality – the etched labels are hard to make out.
That aside, the design is more fetching than that of most 19in LCDs, with a glossy rounded black base to add to the sleek look. But the real headline grabber is inside.
We still aren’t entirely convinced by the merits of ever-increasing dynamic contrast ratios – which adjust the dynamic range up or down to suit the type of scene being displayed – but if that gets you going, the 953BW boasts a whopping 8000:1. We can’t honestly see a difference between this and, say, a 3000:1 model, but the 953BW did display an impressive level of detail in our tests.
Then there’s the 2ms grey-to-grey response time, which strengthens the Samsung’s appeal for entertainment lovers. We tried out some frenetic Crysis battles, as well as films and animations, and saw no blurring or artefacts during fast motion. The 1440 x 900 resolution is pretty standard at this size, though.
Our one issue concerned the backlight, which, as well as being patchy at the top corners, was noticeably brighter towards the bottom of the screen. This manifested itself in significant bleeding at the bottom, and a bluish tinge to our black test screen that we couldn’t completely eliminate.
Other than that, the 953BW sailed through our DisplayMate tests using the HDCP-compliant DVI connection (VGA is the only other), with excellent contrast and smooth gradients. The menu allows for individual colour tweaking, so you may want to warm up the tone a little.
Samsung monitors are usually superb, so it surprises us that we aren’t entirely convinced by the 953BW.
It’s impressive enough to look at, but the backlight issues and the relatively high price of $265 mean we prefer the superior resolution and solid performance of the $10-cheaper, A-Listed ViewSonic VX1940w.
This Review appeared in the September, 2008 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine
Source: Copyright © PC Pro, Dennis Publishing