Samsung SyncMaster 730BF review

Price when reviewed

The 730BF is a TN (Twisted Nematic) TFT with a grey-to-grey response time of 4ms, placing it among the fastest monitors on the market – theoretically, at least. Fortunately, our tests bore this out – there was just the faintest ghosting effect in our technical response time test. However, note that the 730BF’s viewing angles aren’t the best: beyond 45 degrees the brightness starts to drop off.

Samsung SyncMaster 730BF review

There are a decent range of colour customisations available. Getting to these is relatively simple, thanks to the well-designed OSD. There are no temperature options more specific than Cool, Normal and Warm, but you can at least see the effect your changes will have before you OK them.

With the colours left at their default (Normal), we found white-level saturation was a slight weak point; this shows itself as very light greys appearing white. However, colour tracking and pixel tracking were nearly flawless.

Samsung’s MagicColor is also included, which claims to enhance select colours, such as skin tones, and there’s a split-screen mode to demonstrate the difference between the two. Unfortunately, the only difference we could find was that MagicColor oversaturates warm colours while leaving white colours washed out.

We’ve no complaints about build quality: nothing about the 730BF felt flimsy. And although not the most stylish TFT we’ve seen, a detachable cover on the back hides the DVI-D, D-SUB and power ports and keeps things neat – particularly useful if you decide to mount the SyncMaster using a standard VESA bracket.

Where the ViewSonic VP171s-2 wins over the 730BF is with its added features. Unlike the VP171s-2, Samsung’s offering doesn’t support pivoting, and the height isn’t adjustable. The stand’s only real plus point is a good degree of tilt adjustability.

Despite the Samsung’s technical abilities, its features and price leave something to be desired when you can buy the VP171s-2 for almost the same price. Unless you can find the 730BF for significantly less cash, stick with ViewSonic.

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