We took a look at the 21.5in Samsung SyncMaster 2233SW and 23in Samsung SyncMaster 2333SW in our labs. Both monitors faced our rigorous technical test, as well as testing them with DVD playback and gaming to check colour vibrancy and accuracy.
The Samsung 2233SW - Design
The 2233SW is a very attractive, TV-like package. Matt black, with a clear plastic trim, it also has a natty little cable tidy at the back to keep all the wires tucked up out of the way.
Despite the plastic chassis, the shape and styling help keep it stable and rigid - there's only a tilt adjustment, however.
Fine-tuning the picture for first use quickly became frustrating - hitting one of the buttons on the side pulls up the menu and turns them into softkeys, but pressing the right button is an entirely hit-and miss affair. Once into the on-screen display, however, the well-designed layout assists in finding and adjusting the settings to your liking.
The picture quality makes up for any frustration, however - this is a very good monitor. Although there was a slight amount of banding in our technical gradient tests, the range was almost entirely linear and the screen displayed the darkest blacks and whitest whites clearly. Games looked vivid and colour accuracy was excellent in technical tests and DVD playback. There's a moderate amount of bleed from the backlight, but it can be reduced somewhat by lowering the brightness settings.
Overall this is a fantastic monitor.
The Samsung 2333SW - Bigger brother
If you were to assume that the 2333SW is identical to the 2233SW with a larger screen size, you wouldn't be far wrong. Take the base specifications, for example: like the 21.5in model, this 23in model has a 1920x1080 resolution, giving it a 16:9 aspect ratio. 16:9 is starting to dominate in LCD monitors, where previous versions were 16:10, and we're expecting a lot more 16:9 models through our labs this year.
Features & Design
Features, too, are a match with its sibling. It has DVI and VGA connections - no HDMI despite the 1080p resolution - and a cable tidy.
It doesn't stop there - the design is the same sturdy and functional construction, with gorgeous piano black finish and clear contoured plastic beneath.
At this point, you may be wondering whether there are any differences at all, apart from the screen size increase and the corresponding price tag increase to go with it.
The answer is, fortunately, no.
Screen quality is as excellent as with the 2233SW. The gorgeous display has no flaws worth speaking of, and it's an excellent monitor at a good size and price.
We're impressed with the entire batch of Samsung monitors we've seen lately through our labs - we've long been disappointed that they haven't gone with a more advanced LCD technology such as IPS, but they're proving their own regardless.