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pasarcik
10-15-2007, 12:53 PM
6227

Samsung 226BW Review

Introduction:

I purchased the 226BW from Newegg for $278 after rebate as a replacement for an 8 year old Optiquest V95 19 inch CRT. I was reluctant to change to a LCD panel after doing a bit of research as many felt LCDs were inferior to CRTs. Time marches on and whether to change or not wasn’t a realistic option as CRTs are getting quite difficult to find. So I chose a medium priced panel in a wide format based on a recommendation from another user and online reviews.

Specs:

Monitor Size: 22in.
Viewable Size (inches): 22.0
Horizontal Viewing Angle (degrees): 160
Vertical Viewing Angle (degrees): 160
Maximum Resolution: 1680 x 1050 75Hz
Brightness/Luminance: (cd/m2)300
Contrast Ratio: 3000:1
Response Time: 2ms
Energy Star Compliant
16.7 million display colors
Horizontal Frequency Range: 30kHZ - 81kHZ
Vertical Frequency Range: 56Hz - 75Hz
15-pin mini d-sub VGA connector
DVI-D (DVI Digital) connector
Case Color: Black
Weight (lbs): 10.8
Width (inches): 20.3
Height (inches): 16.6
Depth (inches): 8.6
Power Consumption: 55W
DVI(HDCP)
Contents: Monitor & Simple Stand, Quick Setup Guide, Warranty Card, User's Guide, Monitor Driver, Power cord, D-sub Cable, DVI Cable
Parts Warranty: 3 years
Labor Warranty: 3 years

Setup:

The 226BW was a breeze to set up. I was happy to discover that my package came with both the DVI and d-sub VGA connectors. I chose the DVI to connect to an ATI graphics card in a PC running Windows XP Pro. I powered the computer down, switched monitors and rebooted. When prompted I loaded the cdrom and installed just the 226BW driver. At the desktop I navigated to the properties window and changed the screen resolution to 1680x1050 pixels, 32 bit. I never installed the included software, Natural Color and Magic Tune, as I felt they wouldn’t be needed in an image processing environment.

Pros:

The onscreen Menu is easily accessible from buttons located at the bottom of the display.
The 226BW is easily profiled. I used an inexpensive ColorPlus 1.0.3 Spyder with the contrast set to 50 and the brightness set to 89. With the ColorPlus Spyder one has to set the contrast and brightness manually and I was confused as to what settings to start with as the default settings of 75 and 100 seemed a bit extreme. The settings I used came as recommendations from the following site: http://www.prad.de/en/monitore/review/2007/review-samsung-226bw-part11.html. Using the LCD tests found here: http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test, I discovered I achieved very good results with those settings.
Using the Ilford profile for Ilford Galerie Classic Paper I found that my screen image and print have a very close match.
I liked the quality of the colors and the deepness of the blacks.
No dead pixels.
The horizontal viewing angle for image editing is quite acceptable in my opinion.
The 226BW takes up far less desk space than my 19” CRT while offering the same visual height (11 ¾”) and a wide view with a true width of 18 3/4”.
Cons:

The height of the monitor cannot be adjusted. One can only tilt it up or down or swivel from right to left. Being tall, I found this to be a small problem at my work desk. I solved it by building a small wooden base 6 inches in height. This places the middle of the screen at eye level while sitting comfortably and keeps the screen face at a 90 degree angle to my line of sight.
The 226BW is a TN type panel and because of this, the vertical viewing angle is very small, much smaller than advertised in my opinion. I get an area one third the height of the screen in the middle with a gamma of 2.2. The top third is darker and the bottom third brighter. This means if you view an image spanning the full height of the screen you will get a variance in contrast and brightness across the image. Because of this I try to minimize the effect by doing a final check of an image at a reduced scale (around 25% in CS2) before I send it to the printer. I’ve read that S-IPS or S-PVA panels have wider vertical viewing angles though I’ve never compared them to know how big the improvement is. The small vertical viewing angle was the biggest disappointment.
There is a very small amount of backlight bleed along the edges. I haven’t found this to be much of a problem though some complained about it when viewing DVDs.