Samsung SyncMaster XL2370 review
The LED backlight has been talked about as the next step forward in desktop TFTs for some time now, and Samsung’s latest gives us a good opportunity to see how it works in a mainstream consumer model. The SyncMaster XL2370 is a 23in TFT with Samsung’s customary glossy black finish and thin-necked stand, and behind the 1080p panel sits a 250cd/m2 LED backlight.
With many 350cd/m2 and even 400cd/m2 models available that figure may not look impressive, but the technology has its strengths. It’s efficient, drawing less power (31W on the desktop) and producing less heat than CCFL (cold cathode fluorescent), which allows the body of the monitor to be thinner than usual. But the more noticeable benefit is the increased contrast, as the LED backlight can basically be lowered to zero for a totally black pixel.
Hooking it up to our test PC and firing up DisplayMate, the XL2370 didn’t jump out as any different from previous SyncMasters. Indeed, the black level was a tad bluish and uneven, while colours were a little muted next to more vibrant models. But images and text were sharp, gradients were perfectly smooth and, of course, there was no backlight bleed at any of the edges.
Video clips and games looked very good, but we were conscious that we weren’t pushing the Samsung to its limit until we enabled the monitor’s ludicrous 5,000,000:1 “Mega” dynamic contrast ratio. The result was like every previous dynamic contrast setting we’ve seen, but ramped up to eleven.
Dark scenes got darker and light scenes got lighter, to the extent that some variable scenes were genuinely headache-inducing. And it seemed to want to show us how dark it could go: the opening scene of Wall-E had it schizophrenically flickering as it tried to work out what brightness space should be; a response time test featuring a white box bouncing round a black background saw the backlight switch off entirely.
Admittedly it’s an extremely appealing TFT in terms of design, with a glowing touch control panel and a transparent edging to the bezel, and the choice of DVI and HDMI ports is wise on the rear. The power supply is external, which helps to keep the thickness down.
With dynamic contrast disabled, which is the only practical way of using this screen, your big benefits are the reductions in size and power draw. And while these are undoubtedly appealing, they’re hardly enough to justify a price tag that’s a good £70 higher than Samsung’s excellent SM2494HM.
|Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Pixel response time||2ms|
|Dynamic contrast ratio||5,000,000:1|
|Horizontal viewing angle||170 degrees|
|Vertical viewing angle||160 degrees|
|Speaker power ouput||N/A|
|TV tuner type||N/A|
|Upstream USB ports||0|
|USB ports (downstream)||0|
|3.5mm audio input jacks||0|
|Other audio connectors||Optical S/PDIF out, 3.5mm audio out|
|Internal power supply||no|
|Peak power consumption||31W|
|Colour temperature settings||Cool, Normal, Warm, Custom|
|Swivel angle||0 degrees|
|Pivot (portrait) mode?||no|
|Dimensions||571 x 190 x 423mm (WDH)|
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