Samsung 2232GW 22-inch Widescreen LCD Review
LCD’s dominate the market, there’s really no denying that fact. There are LCD’s displaying images everywhere you go from the school, the post office, the stadium, literally everywhere. This technology has been around for a long time and yet continues to advance year after year. Samsung, a leader in LCD technology has been a manufacture that most consumers know they can trust when faced with purchasing decision.
Recently Samsung has unveiled a line of monitors that follow the current trend of style; classy design and yet fully capable of anything you throw at it. These monitors have been released under the Art Series in Hong Kong and have won awards related to design (the iF Design Award) and have captured what it means to “purchase difference” according to Alvin Lam, Samsung Electronics Hong Kong Monitor Marketing.
Today I will review the Samsung 2232GW 22-inch Widescreen LCD monitor and share with you whether or not it’s something worth considering for your next LCD purchase.
Samsung ships the 2232GW monitor in a regular corrugated cardboard box, and I figure I wouldn’t provide a picture because it was beat up by the UPS delivery personnel. UPS what are you doing?
Open the packaging and you are revealed with the following goodies…
First off you’ll notice a couple of things; this monitor has seen use and some of the parts show signs of wear. This review is a good indicator of owning the 2232GW long term.
Also you’ll also notice how glossy everything is. I personally love glossy but there are drawbacks as compared to having a matte finish. For example, the picture showing the stand, there are swirls ridden all over it. Think of it as the paint on your vehicle, the less you maintain it and continued improper wash habits will instill swirls on the paint and the same thing can be found here. Thankfully you can remove these by using a swirl remover aka polish. This is only one of the things debated to death regarding matte vs. glossy finishes.
Looking at the screen, it is indeed a piece of art displaying rounded curves and a simplistic yet Zen-like design. There is virtually no clutter around this display, the buttons are hidden underneath the front bezel, you have a power button that is surrounded by a blue LED that’s brightness can be increased or decreased and at the rear of the unit contains one DVI port, one VGA port, and one power connector.
The Samsung 2232GW features a circular stand that can only tilt, but cannot swivel. Yes this can be a bad thing; however, the monitor as a whole is lightweight (9lbs with stand) so it can get away with the fact that it cannot swivel pretty easily. At the same time, I feel the stand is a drawback because there’s no weight to its design and during use it suffered from wobbling under the slightest motions of my desk.
Installing the tilt piece onto the stand is easy because you hand tighten the integrated Phillips screw onto the stand. However installing it onto the actual monitor can be unsettling because of the amount of force needed to accomplish it. Samsung should really revise this design aspect because it’s too difficult to put on and remove from the monitor. This unit showed signs of damage from other reviewers trying to do the same thing.
Performance – Usage
One word sums up my time with the Samsung 2232GW; brilliant. I cannot argue with the fact that the 2232GW is the best performing monitor I’ve used. Text is dead sharp and easy to read, images are beautiful to look at, color representation is ungodly vibrant (calibrated with Spyder2express) and it’s been a pleasure to review.
Powering up the monitor takes about three (3) seconds and you’ll know that you’ve made the right purchase. The 2232GW supports a maximum resolution of 1680x1050 at 60Hz and produces a very deep black color. Maximum contrast ratio this monitor can do is 3000:1 which is really nice but is only achievable when you enable Dynamic Contrast under the Magic Bright 3 OSD preset choices. 1000:1 ratio on this monitor is highly sufficient for any task and the unit’s brightness during my time with it was nowhere near the maximum setting. But when I did want to test out the 3000:1 contrast ratio it made everything more saturated and made colors even more vibrant. There was a noticeable positive difference under this mode in Magic Bright 3, however there is one drawback, it makes blown highlights worse. Nonetheless this is a great feature implemented by Samsung and I found it to work very well towards DVD playback.
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 2232GW provides an advertised response time of 2ms (gray to gray) and that can be a big selling point with customers. 2ms response time is achieved through Samsung’s RTA (Response time acceleration) feature and does make a difference. Ghosting is kept to a minimum when RTA is enabled (yet still noticeable to my eyes) and when disabled ghosting does get slightly worse but still manageable. I don’t think LCD technology will ever remove the ghosting issue, something CRT does not have. Watching something like hockey on this monitor is manageable but ghosting is noticeable so it can be annoying sometimes trying to follow the game for some individuals.
I’ve mentioned that the 2232GW can produce deep dark blacks on screen and that is true. However, this LCD does suffer from backlight bleeding from the top and sides of the screen. It isn’t worse than what I’ve seen on some other LCD’s I’ve experienced, but nonetheless is there. This is another thing I don’t think LCD technology will ever resolve completely. The backlight bleeding does not adversely affect performance though.
Lastly, regarding the screen being glossy, it does look like a mirror sometimes and can be used as one (literally). My computer is right beside my window so I can report that viewing under daylight is still manageable and really isn’t much of a problem for daily use.
If you’re on a market for a 22 inch widescreen LCD monitor, the Samsung 2232GW should be on the top of your consideration list. This monitor produces the most vibrant colors I’ve seen, is sharp, clear, and just an amazing monitor all-around. About the only biggest thing that can prevent you from considering it is the lack of HDMI port.
Pros and Cons