"Disappointing Product; wouldn't recommend at all."1.5 starson by Thundercracker35
Pros: Widescreen, 1920x1080 resolution, colour adjustment options, low power consumption, good price, pixel dimension and spacing.
Cons: Blacks not represented well (not very dark compared with other LCDs), bad backlighting (lots of bright spots and inconsistency), refresh rate not adequate (there is noticeble flickering and it is a strain on your eyes), obtrusive frame (the frame comes ou
Summary: I had high hopes for this monitor. Samsung has many many LED LCDs and it was hard to choose but I knew I wanted Samsung. So I went for their latest release, unfortunately (for me) there were no reviews on the product. At my home my family owns 2 Samsung widescreen TVs (one is an LED TV) and a Samsung refrigerator and we were happy with those products. Also a few of my friends have Samusng LCD monitors and they were very happy with their products. I noticed, comparing our LCD TVs, that the LED backlit one had a good representation of colour, so for many reasons I went with the S23A350H. Unfortunately, I felt I had to write this review to warn people of this product because I am very disappointed. FIrst we got it home and my brother and I set it up and watched some NBA (which had moments of HD). The monitor seemed to produce colour well though I noticed that the colour temperature needed adjustment (it was slightly red). This was a long day coming for me since i've owned an ACER FP563 15" 4:3 LCD monitor for 8 years or more and I was looking forward to being able to study better and to better use my graphics card in gaming.Upon some further review I would like to comment positively on the overall contrast of the monitor. The contrast is actually quite good. While viewing white (or bright colours) next to black, the black looks very deep and dark. This is indicitive of a good contrast and vibrant colours. Black on its own, though, seems lacking (but you rarely want to look at an all black screen, except that in dark screens you may want a darker black). However, I forgot to mention another effect I noticed that is related to the contrast ratio. Some colours, like purple, seem garish and overpowering. Its like someone took a highlighter pen and wrote on the screen. This seems distracting to me, personally. Maybe the monitor can be adjusted to fix this (green and red are already turned down maybe I should turn blue down as well). The high contrast may be how they offset the sub-par baseline black to get a good image, but at the same time this has caused the colour to become overbearingly bright.
As time passed (about a week) I came to notice some crucial shortcomings of the S23A350H Samsung LED monitor. FIrstly the frame of the screen comes out at 90deg from the screen and sticks out around 1/3 of an inch (8mm). THERE IS NO BEVEL OR TAPER. I noticed this when standing and working with the screen (while working on my project). I noticed I had to bob my head down to see the window buttons (minimise-maximise-close). At the time I felt that this was okay, since I made sure (from the samsung website) that the monitor was able to tilt. To my surprise (horror) it didn't budge at all i.e. no tilt. Well, maybe they didn't make it tilt because of this so called "magic angle" and the wide viewing angles that were claimed. Magic angle is completely useless. By the time you press all the aweful touch buttons to get get it to magic angle you could have roatated the monitor on the stand or tilted it (IF IT HAD TILT). Are they assuming we have absolutely no space on our desk? Are they assuming we are going to mount it on the wall and every time we move to one side of the room we are going to walk up the monitor and press a few buttons? Even then, the frame sticks out so much that at those angles you miss part of the screen. For those that don't know what the magic angle does, I found out first hand. In the ideal case it adjusts the colours so they are correct from the desired viewing angle, these include, lean back mode, standing mode, side mode and group view. In reality it doesn't do this very well and it also changes your colour temperature setting (which i'm sensitive to). Comparing images front-on with no magic angle and images with magic angle at the desired vieweing angle, there is a noticible difference between the images. The magic angle doesn't correct the colour properly. I feel like i've downgraded my monitor since my 8 year old ACER LCD had built in tilt. I wouldn't have bought the Samsung if I knew it didn't tilt but it claimed to have tilt in the specifications. To round off discussion with viewing angle, I was actually expecting a lot more. Sitting in the sweet spot from a good distance away (the screen is 2.4-2.5 feet from my eyes) and displaying a uniform colour on the screen, if I move slightly off center the colour around the side of the monitor changes. The same can be said vertically. It doesn't perform that bad actually, considering. It seems apparant to me that most TN LCDs can't have their viewing angle improved at all, they just market wide viewing angles on new LCDs for some reason (160deg/170deg if I remember correctly).
Now lets get on to the black tone. It took me a while to appreciate how bad the black tone was. At University I was playing around with the LG 23" flatron monitors and noticed how good the black tone was on those monitors and how consistent it was across the whole screen (I displayed a black jpeg in full screen). I came to realise that my percieved imperfections on my monitor were not tricks my eyes were playing on me. The LG monitor wasn't perfect but you can really notice the light areas around the edges with the samsung. The worst part is the bottom edge where the white light bleeds an inch and a half up the the screen. The left side and the top of the screen seem don't seem to be that bad. While testing the black on my screen another problem with the monitor became apparant. In the lighter areas (of the full screen black image) I could see the pixels refreshing very clearly. Since getting the monitor I experienced a lot of eye strain. I attributed that to being tired and also that I might have to adjust to the screen (its mammoth compared to my 15" 4:3). But I have used 23" widescreens at University and never had any eyestrain. The refresh rate of the screen (quoted as 60Hz) is definately not adequate. I don't think it acheives 60Hz. I don't know if this is related to the response time. Adjusting the response time with the menu seems to have some sort of effect. You can adjust the response time of the monitor using the menu by the way and I don't really see the point of this feature unless faster response times wear out the panel. Quite laughable to be honest. Also I haven't noticed any difference in the display of moving images over my old ACER LCD which had a response tme of 36ms. Is the monitors 2ms response time bogus? I don't know. Since realising that the pixels flickered on the Samsung monitor I decided to hook up my 8+ years old ACER LCD 15" monitor and see if it had any flicker if I looked closely. I didn't notice any flickr on my 8 year old minitor. It has a lower pixel density so the pixels are more noticeable and I made sure it was set on 60Hz but only a very slight flicker was observed. It was very difficult to observe. My old monitor went up to 75Hz but the Samsung only offers 60Hz. In doing the test for flicker with the black image on my screen, I was able to compare the black of my old monitor to the new one (since the old monitor had my all black display and the Samsung was displaying a black screen saver saying check input). Again I was shocked to see that my 8 year old ACER monitor represented black much bettter than my new monitor. I'd post pictures if I could, it's quite apparant.
This is not a big deal for me, but the touch sensitive buttons (there are no actual buttons it senses your finger) are very inconsistent. The autoset button, especially, stops working for periods while you are trying to navigate the menus. It stays stuck so long that the menu disappears and you have to start again (you can click up and down while wiating so the menu doesn't disappear). You keep pressing over the button and nothing happens. You get in cases where you don't trust the buttons and you press them more than was needed and end up in all kinds of trouble.
To conclude, I don't know who this monitor is targetted towards. People are looking for quality and functionality. You want a monitor that displays picture well and being a LCD you want to be able to adjust the monitor quickly and easily when moving around your workspace to enjoy the best viewing angle. The Samsung monitor is sub-par in most areas and is bested by my 8 year old ACER 15" FP563, another of which i've seen sitting in the University laboratory reserved for the (very very ocassional) use of observing the clocking and output of digital logic circuits. I would not recommend this monitor to anyone. There must be worse monitors but why pay for junk. The locking adapter seems quite funny now when you think about it.
Updated on May 12, 2011