Samsung SyncMaster 19-inch LD190G Widescreen Lapfit LCD Monitor Review
Today presents an interesting review of a new series of monitors coming from Samsung called LapFit, which looks to bring versatility and expandability to notebook users whom are seeking a quality multi-display solution without needing additional hardware or confusing adapters.
What is impressive about the new LapFit displays is the fact that Samsung offers you a chance to add multiple external monitors to a single PC without the need of additional graphics card or complex software installations, with everything being all done via USB connection. Read on to learn about the new Samsung SyncMaster 19-inch LD190G widescreen LapFit LCD monitor and to see if this is something that could peak your interests. Reviewing this monitor made it clear that the LapFit is not only useful just for the notebook crowd.
“For over 70 years, SAMSUNG has been dedicated to making a better world through diverse businesses that today span advanced technology, semiconductors, skyscraper and plant construction, petrochemicals, fashion, medicine, finance, hotels and more. Our flagship company, SAMSUNG Electronics, leads the global market in high-tech electronics manufacturing and digital media.
Through innovative, reliable products and services; talented people; a responsible approach to business and global citizenship; and collaboration with our partners and customers, SAMSUNG is taking the world in imaginative new directions.”
Samsung SyncMaster LD190G Product Overview
“The LD-series monitors feature sleek, clean contours and high-glossy black encasements to serve as secondary displays for today’s stylish laptops. The models’ intelligent image size function projects 4:3 images from laptops in Movie Wide aspect ratios of 16:9 in HD content, allowing users to enjoy optimized visual effects for both entertainment and business purposes.”
The LD190G monitor has a resolution of 1366 x 768, 5ms response time, native contrast ratio of 1000:1 (dynamic 20000:1), and is compatible with Windows Vista operating systems. The UbiSync software allows the LD-series monitors to attain the same level of brightness on two screens, with one button, to help reduce eye fatigue, and an easy-to-adjust viewpoint.
Samsung SyncMaster LD190G Product Features
Samsung SyncMaster LD190G Product Specifications
The Samsung SyncMaster LD190G comes in typical Samsung fashion utilizing a compact corrugated box that features the product picture on the front and information regarding the product around the box such as that the actual screen size is precisely 18.5-inches and that Samsung says it can achieve a dynamic contrast ratio of 20,000:1.
Opening the LD190G box and you are presented with the following items…
Taking out the monitor for the first time, I couldn’t help it but notice two things. First is that the Samsung LD190G looks elegantly sexy in gloss black and secondly, it reminds me very much of the 2232GW. In fact that was the first thing I said, “This looks like a miniature 2232GW” and if that has any truth to it, the LD190G will be a great performer. Read on to see if that is indeed the case.
Looking at the Samsung LD190G, we can see that it features a minimalist design philosophy having none only than just the power button on the front of the monitor. But in fact Samsung cleverly masks the remaining “buttons” making them touch-sensitive glowing in a red LED when activated. I like this but I do have to say that by having such hidden touch-sensitive controls that are not illuminated until they are touched, it makes seeing them in the dark a hard task. The masked buttons are the MENU button, Brightness button (up), AUTO button (down) and power button. The good thing about the LD190G being made for laptop use is that the bezel is pretty thin making it a great fit beside a laptop screen.
Everything I see in this LD190G is just about exactly the same as it was with the 2232GW save for the small changes of the lower bezel design that is not curvy. That is a great thing because the 2232GW was a superb display but that doesn’t mean Samsung has brought new innovation to the game. They just reworked a great product. As was with the 2232GW, the LD190G has no integrated speakers.
Flip to the rear and soak in the glossy reflections. I love the glossy black color; it looks so deep, pleasing to the eye and makes you want to jump in like it’s a pool. The rear holds the Samsung logo in the middle, exhaust venting at the top and the pull out stand and the lower half which holds the monitor connections consisting of VGA, USB and AC ports. The pull out stand is easy to use and has sliding rubber feet at the bottom to adjust tilt angles and to prevent slippage.
We see the side profile and realize that it’s pretty slim and has a curvy character.
How does it perform? How does it work? Is it any good?
Powering on the LD190G is as easy as pressing the touch-sensitive power button and waiting for only 2-3 seconds before the screen is up and running. This is the same amount of time it took the 2232GW to startup and it always amazes me how quick it can get up and running. In contrast with the T240 and T220HD which we previously reviewed, the LD190G smokes them in power on time.
The LD190G supports a resolution of 1366 x 768 at 60Hz and produces a very nice black color. Maximum dynamic contrast ratio this monitor can achieve is 20,000:1 and native contrast ratio stands at 1000:1 which under usage is plenty enough for a smaller screen. I found that I did not need to use the dynamic contrast MagicBright function as the native contrast and brightness was plenty enough and could be turned up even further. But when I did want to test out the dynamic contrast ratio, it made everything more saturated and made colors even more vibrant however it does make blown highlights even worse.
Viewing angles on this monitor is also superb. I think this can be attributed to the glossy screen as it makes colors more vibrant than matte screens thus viewing angles had less fallout than compared to conventional matte surface screens.
The Samsung LD190G offers a simplified menu system at is basically the same with the 2232GW but without being as deep as the 2232GW leaving many options out. Frankly I don’t like how dumb-down it really is. For example you have a brightness adjustment option but no contrast adjustment option.
The Samsung LD190G provides an advertised pixel response time of 5ms and I found this to be sufficient enough for the type of usage this monitor will be used for. Make no mistake about it, the LD190G is an external monitor made for use on notebooks/netbooks and not for gaming and one of the selling points will be the ability to use another display through an available USB2.0 port. I expect this monitor to see non-intensive workload but with the occasional DVD viewing and YouTube equivalent viewing.
With the LD190G supporting USB connectivity through its Ubisync and Display Link software, the amount of workload you place this monitor through will affect whether or not it can handle it. Because there’s only so much bandwidth through USB2.0 connectivity, there is a performance limitation you should be aware about.
If you utilize the monitor through a spare VGA connection available, the Samsung LD190G suffers no performance limitation of any kind and works perfectly.
Let’s say you decide to connect the Samsung LD190G monitor to your notebook through USB connection, you make the appropriate connections and once the computer is turned on, you must install the Ubisync software which will be a one-time software installation. This software will install the “Display Link” software that will be able to allow your operating system to communicate with the LD190G USB monitor. You will notice three new processes running in the background and will tax your system just a bit (DisplayLinkManager.exe – 29,760kb, Display Link Service.exe – 6,532kb and DisplayLinkUI.exe – 4,636kb).
Once all the software is installed, you can do into your display settings and make the Samsung LD190G as your secondary monitor and verifying if you want to extend your desktop to span across the two screens.
Using the Samsung LD190G with the USB connection, I found that performance is good but limited to non-intensive applications and workload. For example, you can watch Youtube’s new 720P HD videos in their standard 855 x 505 media player size but once you try to watch them when you click the “full-screen” window, it lags making the video unwatchable, just frozen. You can watch at the standard YouTube HD size of 855 x 505 without any problems for the most part but three percent of the time you will notice and experience small stutters.
I guess it’s just bad timing but I figure if we already had USB3.0, these limitations wouldn’t have existed because USB3.0 will have even more bandwidth to utilize.
Regarding HDTV usage with the Samsung LD190G through USB connectivity, it’s not even worth trying because it’s just too much for it to handle. 3D games cannot be displayed too making the screen unresponsive and graphics are seen to be broken. Check out the gallery for an example of what I am talking about. If you use the LD190G as a secondary monitor, it can’t work with these types of applications. Using the LD190G through USB connectivity is only for light load such as Photoshop, video editing is possible (keep the video window size small) and if you watch movies, the monitor will only display lower bitrate movie files without problems and 720p is at the threshold of what it can handle.
But as I said earlier, if you use the VGA connection with this monitor, you won’t experience any problems and can throw anything you want at the monitor and it will work perfect. Text is relatively sharp and colors are great.
The only problem I have with this monitor is regarding its price. With an MSRP of $289, I don’t know whether it’s worth the price when you can purchase a regular LCD monitor of a similar or larger size for the relatively the same amount. That’s going to be up to you.
I like the Samsung LD190G and it presents a great way to add external monitor support to your notebook/netbook PC if you’ve ran out of the spare VGA connection. Utilizing the USB port to hook up an external monitor does have its limitations but overall the monitor closely resembles, feels like and performs like the Samsung 2232GW that earned the Editor’s Choice Award. However with the Samsung LD190G, while it performs great, it’s not at the same level of the 2232GW, utilizing it through USB does have limitations and the price is ultimately a factor that you need to decide if it’s worth it or not in your situation.
Pros and Cons
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