capsule review

Samsung SyncMaster 193p+

At a Glance
  • Samsung SyncMaster 193P+

    PCWorld Rating

    Update to the 193p includes limber physical adjustments and button-free tuning, but its image quality doesn't measure up.

Samsung SyncMaster 193p+
Artwork: Rick Rizner, John Goddard

Design-wise, Samsung's SyncMaster $549 193p+ follows in the footsteps of the successful SyncMaster 193p. It has the same tilted, round stand--newly colored a shimmering silver--with a dual hinge to support the pivoting screen. The 193p+ updates its predecessor's button-free bezel with a finish that matches the stand. Its software package, though slightly different, appears comparable to the old version. However, the most important aspect of this monitor has gone astray: Its image quality does not meet the standards set by the 193p.

Our jurors complained that the 193p+ cast a greenish tint on many of our test screens. These testers also found it difficult to read the gray-on-black reverse type in our Microsoft Word screen and the small type in our Microsoft Excel screen. With these problems, the 193p+ earned a so-so text rating of Good. It fared worse on graphics. Jurors complained of a "dingy," "blotchy" appearance on our white screen test. They deemed our photo screens of a fruit tart and a group portrait "dark" and "murky," pointing out lost detail in dark areas of the group portrait. For graphics, the 193p+ earned a lackluster rating of Fair.

Although the SyncMaster 193p+ did not receive the very lowest scores of recently tested monitors, it did fall into the lowest 10 percent. With most 19-inch LCDs garnering ratings of Very Good for text and Good or better for graphics--and one less-expensive model, the NEC MultiSync LCD1970GX, receiving a rating of Outstanding for both--the SyncMaster 193p+ looks like a poor bargain.

MagicTune, Samsung's replacement software for on-screen display (OSD) tools, has changed from the version in the 193p. The earlier MagicTune was made by Portrait Displays, maker of Pivot Pro screen pivoting software. In the 193p+, Samsung introduces a new, Samsung-made version of MagicTune. Although the program still allows you to adjust brightness, contrast, and color tone (with a sliding bar that goes from blue to red), the interface may not be quite what you remember from the old MagicTune. This may be a matter of taste, but I preferred old version. Our shipping unit arrived with Pivot Pro; Samsung says that later units will ship with different screen pivot software.

Samsung gives the SyncMaster 193p+ a gray-to-gray response time spec of 8 milliseconds and a rise-and-fall response time of 20ms. Like all other recently reviewed 19-inch LCDs, this monitor received a rating of Average on our motion tests.

This update to the successful 193p line of displays includes both limber physical adjustments and software-based, button-free adjustments, but its image quality doesn't live up to the family name.

Samsung SyncMaster 193p+


19-inch screen, 1280-by-1024 native resolution, 15.6 pounds, one analog and one digital input; height, swivel, pivot, and tilt adjustments; TCO'03-compliant. Three-year warranty (including backlight); 24-hour daily tech support.
$549
800/726-7824
www.samsung.com

Laura Blackwell

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Update to the 193p includes limber physical adjustments and button-free tuning, but its image quality doesn't measure up.

    Pros

    • Pivoting and screen adjustment software
    • Button-free adjustments

    Cons

    • Murky images
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