The headline-grabbing figure is its 10,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, but in real-world use it’s the brightness that most impresses. The 400cd/m2 maximum is lower than that of the Asus, but side by side there’s only one winner. The Samsung’s whites are blinding, and while this does result in a slight bluish light bleed at the bottom of a black screen, we’ll take that compromise.
You can reduce this by lowering the brightness in the OSD, and the 2493HM makes use of a set of touch-sensitive buttons on the front. The colour tone is slightly warmer than the Dell, with a tiny tinge of magenta in our tinting test, making for vibrant movies and games. Crysis in particular had the perfect blend of sharpness, saturation and detail. It’s not as oversaturated as the other two premium LCDs, but that makes for far more natural colours.
We found this contrast made for superb results in our black-level test, with even the lowest grey tones visible on the black background. In the caves of Moria this translated to a tremendous level of detail, and every shadow and wrinkle from our test photos was reproduced. It’s a little less impressive at the top end, but if you sacrifice some brightness it can be remedied.
The design of the 2493HM is the best on show too, with the firm’s trademark glossy black bezel and rounded lines. The stand swivels almost a full circle, and lifts 100mm, tilting and pivoting 90 degrees, while the choice of HDMI, DVI or VGA inputs is enough for most users. Two USB ports on the stand cater for peripherals, and there’s a 3.5mm output to complement the solid 2W speakers.
The Dell may have all the bells and whistles, but with design and image quality like this for less than $600, the Samsung SM2493HM deservedly takes the crown this month.
Superb image quality and design at a good price