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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to move up to a bigger monitor for some time now, and the Samsung 22" 225BW just went on closeout sale at Future Shop for $300. They're rated very highly so I bought one. I hooked it up to my 15" PowerBook Al, and was I ever dissappointed. The text quality was very poor; uneven in darkness and having a dot matrix look about it. The text is much sharper on my 20" Dell, even though it's smaller. I also had a lot of trouble adjusting the colour, brightness and contrast of the Samsung.

This was quite a dissappointment, and the monitor is going back tomorrow. I'm wondering whether others have found the same with this Samsung or whether I might have gotten a defective monitor. Anyone out there have any experience with the 225BW?

Now I also wonder if the 22" 1680 x 1050 is just a bad size/resolution combination on a Mac? Maybe I'll just have to hold out for a 24" monitor with higher resolution.
 

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Odd. Samsung makes quality panels. Even their retail lines are decent. It may be defective. I wouldn't give up on it if you can get a replacement as it's decent price for a Samsung panel with good reviews.
 

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We had exactly the same experience the 225 is really marginal at best. Take it back.

The 226 on the on the other hand is a real treat - very fast.

215T still ranks as our choice in that category for colour and text...you can afford it Dr. Fox and your eyes will thank you ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies, Macinist and MacDoc. I ended up taking the 225BW back. I brought my PowerBook with me so I could try a few of the display monitors they had hooked up, including another 225BW. It was better than the one I brought back, but the text still looked dot-matrixy. An Acer 22" was better calibrated for the PowerBook, but otherwise similar in text quality. The 226BW was better than either, but I don't like glossy screens or finishes. A 24" monitor I tried was better as one would expect with its higher resolution, but I'm not interested in spending that much money for a monitor right now. I'm sure the Samsung 215T would be a good monitor, but it's only 1" larger than my Dell, which has a much better picture for text viewing than any of the 22 inchers I examined today. I'd say the same about the 20" Apple cinema ADC monitor you sold me, MacDoc. Both the Apple and Dell have lower brightness and contrast, and slower response times than any of the newer monitors, but I don't have any problems with brightness or lag time on either of them and they both have nicer pictures as far as I'm concerned. Maybe those monitor specs matter if you're playing games or doing heavy graphics.
 

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The 215T will blow away any other monitor for text tho the Dell 20" is okay in that regard and the vertical rotation is a treat with the right video card.

BTW "larger" is a marginal idea - the pixels get blockier as there are not any more pixels on a 22 than a 20".
 

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The thing that gets me about all of this is that all of the 22" LCDs (and the 27") that I've looked at have the same max res that a 20" has. This of course means that they have fewer pixels per inch than the 20"s and look more pixelated. When you put the next to a notebook the difference is really obvious. most notebooks have much higher density of pixels in the display. Even my 3 year old PowerBook has a higher pixel/inch than my Dell 20" panel.

When will we start to see higher res screens, not just bigger screens for stand alone panels? ( I'm guessing the next rev. of cinema displays )

Z.
 

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Mmmmm not sure what you are getting at.

23/24" have more pixels than a 20/-22" but with similar DPi values.

DPI is a choice - too tight and text gets pretty small tho that's adjustable.

22" seems okay with a good screen tho a poor panel shows quickly as Dr. Fox discovered - 27" for a native 23/24 I think is pushing it.

I'd like to see the gap drop - you can buy 2 x 215Ts pretty much for the price of a single 244T.
 

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...... by the sounds of FOX's thread, price is a factor as well it seems. If I'm somewhat correct, although the 215TW is probably the best you can get in that class you won't find one anywhere near $300. I haven't seen retail below $500 on them. It's really odd about the 225BW - I know several people that have them with their macs and pc's and they are really satisfied.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It is really odd about the 225BW. The reviews on it are very positive, both the extensive ones and the user reports. The only issue mentioned with it is some backlight bleeding, and this wasn't the issue at all for me. A few user reviews mentioned the difficulty in getting the settings right on a Mac, and I did have that difficulty. I used the calibration tool on the Monitors pref panel, and just couldn't get the contrast - brightness settings to match the calibration criteria and the best I could do to match it gave what appeared to me to be false colour (relative to what I see on my Dell or my 20" Apple ADC). I'm sure that didn't help when looking at text on the monitor, but the poor text quality was not just a function of the settings.

There have been a lot of threads about the panels used by LCD manufacturers, and how the quality of an LCD model can change as a result of going to a different supplier. Samsung is one of the brands mentioned as being affected by the change in panel suppliers. Perhaps the 225BW's I was seeing have the lower quality panels. I'm very sure that there was something wroing with the one I took home. I'm less sure about the demo unit in the store, as it didn't seem to have the same problem with varying darkness of text. Even so, the quality in displaying text was clearly lower than my Dell.

I know that I am unusual in my focus on the quality of viewed text, and I suspect that monitors good for other purposes are not necessarily good for text viewing. Printers are the same way; the quality of graphic output is not necessarily an indicator of the quality of text. I know that MacDoc is also sensitive to text quality and I'm sure that any monitor he recommends for text use would be a monitor I would like.

You're right about the cost of the 215T, MACinist. The best on-line price I could find for it is $520. It does come with speakers, which would drive up the price somewhat, but it doesn't come with USB ports (a nice feature that no 22" monitor seems to have). I would gladly pay the $520 if I needed a new monitor but there's nothing at all wrong with the Dell 20" that I have now and I can't justify the expenditure for an extra inch of viewing space.
 

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Mmmmm not sure what you are getting at.

23/24" have more pixels than a 20/-22" but with similar DPi values.

DPI is a choice - too tight and text gets pretty small tho that's adjustable.

22" seems okay with a good screen tho a poor panel shows quickly as Dr. Fox discovered - 27" for a native 23/24 I think is pushing it.
Samsung product page said:
225BW Black
SyncMasterTM 225BW-Black (22" inch Wide monitor)

The Samsung SyncMaster 225BW is a 22-inch Wide TFT-LCD delivering a 700:1 contrast ratio, 280 cd/m2 brightness, 1680 x 1050 resolution, 160 degree viewing angle and scanning frequency of 30-81kHz horizontal and 56-75Hz vertical. It is also HDTV Ready with DVI input with HDCP support.
This is the same res as my 20" dell. The current MacBookPro 17" has the same res. There are higher res screens out there on notebooks, but with external screens the trend seems to be going the other way. When you have an external hooked up to a PB/MBP, drag a window from one screen to the other and see how much physical difference there is because of the resolution. Personally, I'm looking for an external display that has the same DPI as the notebooks. I realize that there are trade offs with text size etc. but this will be moot when 10.5 comes out.(it's not really that big a deal now if you configure things for it in system prefs and Safari/Firefox prefs.)

Z.
 

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I would think the monitor could be defective :/It may just be defective with your laptop though.
 

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We had the same reaction - very odd that TWO monitors of the same model would be defective.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I don't think that the 225BW monitor that I took home would be defective only with my PowerBook. The other monitors I tried in Future Shop with my PB were of varying quality (none as good as my Dell), and even the demo 225BW in the store was clearly better than the one I took home and tried. I knew it wasn't the DVI cable that comes with it because I tried the 225BW at home with my Dell cable and it didn't change the picture quality. So when I returned it, I told the store I thought it was defective. Someone else might have thought so, too, as there were signs that this monitor had been out of its box before (some rips in the wrapping around it).

Regarding the overall quality of the 225BW, I really can't say whether it would look better on a PC or not, but I doubt that the issue was with the video hookup of my PowerBook. The video card in it is more than passable (ATI mobility Radeon 9700 with 64 mb VRAM), and the picture is super on the Dell 20", which was not specifically made for Macs.
 

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I had a late model Dell 20 on my desk briefly and was very impressed with text but I wonder if it's always consistent as I've seen 20" Dell not so good as well and there was the 2405/2407 debacle with 6 bit.

I'm currently using a 30" Dell and reasonably happy - be interesting against the 305T Sammie that is supposed to be here soon.

The newer Dells are more expensive than previously so clearly they've gone upmarket. The lack of control features tho is a serious downer. The Samsungs are superb in that regard.

On Off and Brightness - that's it for the Dell manual controls.

I really like the Sammie 5 level presets - makes working in changing light as I do very easy.
They tend to be ( as most monitors ) over saturated on set up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My Dell is the "ultrasharp" 2007WFP model, and it was given rave reviews by Mac as well as PC users. That's what prompted to buy it. (A good sale didn't hurt either.) It has good on-screen controls for contrast and brightness, but they're not one-button controls. Perhaps some of the new Dell models have gone upscale, but certainly not the 22" they make. It has no usb ports or speakers, and is quite cheap ($280 CDN right now). Itss ratings are good but lower than the Sammy 22. It might be better for my purpose, but after what I just went through with 22's, I won't buy the Dell unless I can see it operating first, or unless MacDoc swears by it. ;)

Presets are nice if they are appropriate for the Mac. Otherwise, one can always make their own presets and save them with the Monitors pref panel. Not as convenient as button presets if that's what the Sammies have, but still useful.

MacDoc, I assume that the 30" Dell is good for text and all things. What do you think of the Ultrasharp 2407 - it's currently on sale for $600. If that would be a good one for me I would consider it when it gets a deeper discount - bound to happen as other companies are now selling cheaper 24 inchers.
 

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I don't know about the 2407 - There was some concern it was 6 bit.

BTW the presets on the Sammie can each be altered tho I rarely bother.

Cmon =- don't play cheap - you spend enough hours on a screen- get a great monitor. ;)

This is a pretty fair assessment and we would concur with the assessment but would rank the Sammie a cut above.

I'm not sure WHY the high end Sammies do text so well....but they sure do.

••

This is actually a timely thread. 24s and 30 monitors really do enhance both your work effectiveness and enjoyment.
With all the multimedia stuff around extra screen space is a treat. :clap:
 

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Where?/ That's a bargain. There is some talk about EOL - :(.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for that, ArtistSeries; I knew the price of the 215TW had dropped to $480 but not $450. However, at this point, I am 90% sure I'm going for the Dell 24 (2407WFP-HD). Yesterday it was listed in Dell's 10 Days of Deals for $599, but I waivered too long and it was gone by this morning. Now they have it for $649, but I'm in no hurry and I'll just wait until the 10 Days of Deals or whenever I can get it for $599 or less.

The Dell and the Samsung are good upgrade choices for me. Both received multiple excellent reviews and are highly recommended by owners. MacDoc swears by the Samsung and his endorsement means a lot to me. But it's hard to resist the larger, higher resolution monitor for only $150 extra, and the 4 USB ports on the Dell are more useful to me than the speakers on the Samsung. In the case of the Samsung, I would get only 1" of extra monitor space over my already good Dell 20", and I would lose its 2 USB ports. Still, I'm going to try to keep track of the price of both monitors until the magic number comes up again on the Dell. If any of you out there hear of the 10 Days of Deals coming up again, or spot the price of the 2407 at or below $599, please post it here!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Where?/ That's a bargain. There is some talk about EOL - :(.
PVConline and InfoNec Canada, both in the GTA; see here. Samsung is dropping prices on all of their monitors as the competition stiffens. I saw their 24" in Future Shop for $499 - too bad it's a mediocre monitor at best and not very attractive either. (I'm no fan of glossy frames.)
 
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