capsule review

Samsung 192T

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder 192T 19IN LCD Monitor (Samsung-192TSILVER)

Samsung 192T
Artwork: Rick Rizner, John Goddard
The 192T is mounted on Samsung's double-hinge stand. In addition to providing full tilt adjustment and reasonable height adjustment, the stand also collapses so that the bottom of the screen bezel can rest on the stand's base. You can then tilt the panel from a position perpendicular to the desktop to flat against it, facing up. Analog and digital video inputs, plus an audio input for the integrated stereo speakers, are at the back of the monitor's base--a location that is far easier to reach and far less likely to cause cable clutter than the back of the LCD panel, where most vendors mount such input jacks.

Though the 192T's double hinge is flexible, it also feels imprecise and mushy. For example, whenever we adjusted the tilt of the screen, the hinge had a tendency to spring back slightly after we removed our hands. We had to push the screen past the desired position in the hope that it would spring back to the angle we wanted (which it rarely did). The panel on our review unit was tilted noticeably clockwise, and as the 192T doesn't pivot, we could find no means to straighten the screen out.

Image quality was about average for a large LCD, relative to the other models we've tested. This model did a better job displaying text than graphics. Colors were strikingly deep, but they were a bit oversaturated. In our test photograph of a fruit tart, for example, blueberries didn't have the subtle shades of blue we've seen on better displays. Cranking up the monitor's contrast level helped a bit, but doing so caused problems on other test screens. Flesh tones in one test photo already had an unnatural reddish tint, but increasing the contrast only made those skin tones look worse.

Samsung bundled its Natural Color calibration software with the 192T. This wizard-based application allows the user to tweak monitor settings and create a correction profile by eye (without an optical sensor), by making adjustments based on several screens designed to highlight aspects of display performance. Though we admired Samsung's attempt at designing wizard-oriented exercises, we had trouble knowing whether we had completed some of them successfully, and they didn't noticeably affect color performance. For comparison, we also tried calibrating the monitor with GretagMacbeth's $240 Eye-One Display package, which uses software and an optical sensor; with that setup, colors improved considerably after calibration.

The CD-ROM bundled with the display carried a thorough, well-designed manual in HTML format--including a great interactive section explaining how to use the monitor controls. One of the controls, called MagicBright, allows you to quickly toggle through four brightness modes: a user-adjustable level and presets for viewing text, Internet content, and "entertainment" (games and DVDs). Typical of most speakers built into monitors, those on the 192T sounded weak and a bit tinny.

Nicely priced for a 19-inch display, the 192T is better for viewing text than graphics. The flexible stand may be a bit too clever, as it is harder to use than it should be.

Samsung 192T

19-inch screen, 1280 by 1024 native resolution, 17 by 8.7 by 17.6 inches, 12.1 pounds, TFT panel, analog and digital inputs, integrated speakers. Three-year warranty (including backlight), 24-hour daily toll-free tech support.

Séan Captain

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder 192T 19IN LCD Monitor (Samsung-192TSILVER)

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