A different screen to the rest on review in this category, the Samsung SyncMaster 172W doesn't have a 4:3 aspect ratio, but is instead a widescreen format display. Its highest natural resolution also differs, from the standard 17in 1,280 x 1,024 to the lower 1,280 x 768, but it really loses nothing in that conversion.
In fact, the SyncMaster 172W took top honours is almost every category of our tests, and rated the highest of all monitors in this entire Labs. From such auspicious beginnings it's no surprise that we've awarded this monitor with the winner title.
Drilling down into its performance, it rated the highest scores for colour combinations, colour tracking, colour scales, white level saturation, pixel tracking, brightness, and the dark-grey scale tests. It also scored the highest when we rated its DVD and gaming capabilities, and rated perfectly with its viewing angles. Out of 19 tests that looked at the screen quality, this display scored five out of five for 11 of them, and four on a further seven. The only area where the screen failed slightly was a minor problem with ghosting in high colour contrasting, but you probably wouldn't notice it.
This display also has an excellent raiseable neck (like its smaller 15in model), with all the plugs (power, DVI and D-Sub) hidden in the back of the base. The SyncMaster 172W is a great screen with great design.