capsule review

Samsung SyncMaster 740BF

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder SyncMaster 740BF

Samsung SyncMaster 740BF
Artwork: Rick Rizner, Chris Manners

Samsung's latest 17-inch display, the SyncMaster 740BF, offers some unique extras that set it apart from other displays. For instance, it comes with Samsung's MagicTune software, which walks you through the process of adjusting color, brightness, and other settings. The unit also includes Magic Rotation, which automatically rotates the image when you pivot the screen. (The monitor itself doesn't pivot.). The 740BF does tilt easily, however, though that's the only adjustment you can make.

The Samsung performed well in our image-quality tests, scoring at the front of the pack in the test group. Text in a Microsoft Word document looked crisp, and white text on a black background was particularly easy to read. The display also showed bright hues in a photo of fruit and in a group portrait, with realistic colors.

But otherwise the $339 (as of 2/16/06) 740BF is a fairly basic monitor. It doesn't offer certain extras such as USB ports, and its design is fairly unadorned. Despite its simplicity, though, it's still worth recommending.

According to Samsung, the 740BF has a superfast 2-millisecond response time. However, even though screens with lower response times should theoretically deliver less motion artifacting, in our real-world motion tests we noticed no discernable difference in motion quality between this display and models with 8ms or even 12ms response times.

Kalpana Ettenson

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At a Glance
  • This display performed well in our tests, showing clean text. Included MagicTune software makes screen adjustments a breeze.


    • Tilts easily, and has a clean look


    • Doesn't pivot
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