Samsung Syncmaster 172W Widescreen LCD Monitor Review
Retailing for a little over $600USD, the Samsung Syncmaster 172W is a pretty slim 17" widescreen
LCD that packs in a pair of integrated speakers and even headphone jack. The screen conforms to a
16:9 aspect ratio making it ideally suited for watching DVD's full screen, although there is no way of inputting
a signal directly from a DVD player. To improve visual display quality, a special feature called
"Magic Bright" lets you increase the brightness
of the screen all the way up to 400 nits - substantial considering
most LCD monitors are capped off at 280 nit brightness ratings.
line LCD panel measures a modest 1" thick, and comes with
a collapsible stand that when folded all the way down mounts on a 100mm VESA
mounting point. This allows the LCD monitor to be attached to a free standing armature,
or to the face of a wall with the aid of an included metal mounting plate
stereo speakers are included the in stand, and if you don't want to listen to
internet streamed radio over them, a headphone jack and volume wheel will let you
use a set of headphones for music. The small speakers don't pack much weight,
and at full volume distortion will creep in. The monitor hooks up to the audio output
from the computer with the help of an included cable, so if you don't have a
sound card you won't be able to use this feature.
| Samsung 172W Display:|
||17" Diagonal |
||1280x768 pixel |
|Approx. Retail Price:
$670USD (currently only available in the US) |
|Inputs: Analog, DVI, Audio jack, DC
The control panel on the face of the Samsung 172W is really nice and
clean - the Auto adjust key is well positioned and the power button off to
the far right alongside an indicator LED. In the center are four buttons for
controlling the menu options, brightness/contrast, for display source (analog or digital) and for the
proprietory magic bright option.
The buttons are raised above the surface and have a good feel to them.
Easily readable lables also help to minimize
The small integrated speakers are about 10watts in size
and do justice to streamed internet radio...
and nothing much else. To be fair, they are useful for voice conferencing and other internet activities
but not really for loud music - at least nothing more than you would expect from bedside
Round back of the display stand we find the
integrated monitor ports of which there are just three. The power
supply for this monitor comes in the form of an AC-adaptor, so only a small DC jack goes into
the stand. I much prefer this orientation because if you decide to mount the LCD, it
is a lot easier to route the small DC power cable than a larger power
plug with 120V AC running through it. Separating the power cable this way would
also help to reduce interference which might have been caused by bundling the video
signal cables and mains power cable together in that way.
Additionally, this frees up plug sockets on the power bar which might have otherwise been
taken up by an AC adaptor with integrated plug socket.
The entire display is well balanced on the stand, which
does not feature any type of
swivel. Some LCD's have felt a bit precarious when adjusting the height or angle of
the display, but the Samsung 172W seems to be pretty steady.