Samsung SyncMaster 730MW review

Price when reviewed

With its attractive looks, this LCD TV turned more than one head when it arrived in the PC Pro offices. And it isn’t just the aesthetics that have been thought through – design is apparent when plugging it in too, with the array of ports and sockets conveniently arranged and labelled.

Samsung SyncMaster 730MW review

Our technical tests revealed some slight lapses though. Using the D-SUB input we saw some jitter in pixels and, more worryingly, two patches of blurriness likely caused by a timing error. The greyscale ramp also showed banding. Using the DVI input solved these problems though. Even over the D-SUB, colour ramps are generally excellent; smooth and even with no banding. Colours in general are vibrant thanks to the high 400cd/m2 brightness and good contrast. It’s a big improvement on the SyncMaster 730MP, so much so that we’d be happier editing photos on the 730MW.

We were also pleasantly surprised by the absence of lag on the 730WM. Its quoted 25ms response time is 9ms slower than the 730MP, yet this widescreen version performs better.

DVDs are a joy to watch on this screen. Artefacts were scarce, and the vibrancy and lack of lag made gaming enjoyable. The widescreen 1,280 x 768 resolution also adds to the pleasure, although some games might stretch.

The OSD has plenty of options for TV, and all are accessible via the sturdy remote. This thoughtfully designed device makes it easy to switch between the myriad input signals, change settings, and perform a range of standard TV tasks. Viewing angles are sufficiently wide that a group of people can comfortably watch. To complement the integrated TV tuner, Samsung has fitted a pair of 5W speakers. They’re loud enough for general use and sufficiently good to cope with playing background music.

Criticising this screen is difficult. Image quality is plenty good enough for work and play, while the OSD offers all the options you’ll need. The plethora of ports, integrated TV tuner and decent speakers go some way to justifying the £354 asking price – but not all the way. And the size is a problem; 17in isn’t big enough for a living room. But despite that, and the lack of height adjustment, it’s a great screen.

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