Samsung SyncMaster 931c review

£159
Price when reviewed

As you might expect from its sleek styling and glossy black bezel, the SyncMaster 931c is the dearest 19in monitor here by some distance. Unfortunately, the screen itself doesn’t offer good enough quality to justify the £159 price.

Samsung SyncMaster 931c review

It isn’t a widescreen, which instantly makes it seem outmoded in this Labs. But even if you’re looking for a standard aspect ratio, you’ll probably need to do a bit of tinkering out of the box, as we found the default colour balance was cold and scenes tended to be a little too dark. With a lowly 250cd/m2 maximum brightness, you can’t do much about the latter problem. Rather than specific colour temperatures, the 931c offers a choice of Mild or Brilliant settings, which essentially just raise the red level to give more warmth; we preferred to use the custom setting and adjust the individual colours ourselves.

The black level was good, but we noticed some backlight bleed at the top and bottom edges, a problem we couldn’t quite eliminate without lowering the brightness to an unacceptable level. It’s a shame, because the level of detail in our test photos and videos was generally quite high, and we had no issues with blurring in fast-moving scenes.

The OSD is large and clear to read, even if the bottom-mounted buttons are annoying. Also, the stand offers little adjustment and the side bezels’ width of 21mm makes it less suitable as one of a pair of monitors. It costs a full £65 more than the 19in Mirai DML-519W100, so although it’s a good-looking TFT, the Samsung offers nothing to persuade us to spend this much money on it.

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