When my old Samsung SyncMaster monitor died after many years of use, I decided to look around for a new one. My old monitor was a regular 4:3, 21 inch so I wanted something a little bigger.
One trend that I’ve noticed is that many of the computer “monitors” are now really just LCD TVs that can also be used as computer monitors. In terms of pricing, that’s good. But in terms of some typical monitor features, not so good.
Since I needed a replacement monitor the same day, ordering online was not an option. So off to Fry’s Electronics.
When it comes to electronics, Fry’s is the place. I hate their long lines for customer service, and some of the sales people are clueless, but nobody else has the selection and inventory in a retail environment. But I digress.
After examining all the available monitors for sale, I came across the Samsung SyncMaster P2570HD, which is a computer monitor slash 24.6′ wide screen (16:9) HDTV. One thing that I was concerned about was the lack of vertical height adjustment available in the stand.
My old SyncMaster was able to be adjusted vertically, tilt, and even switch to portrait mode. Although Samsung does have a line of “business” monitors with these features, the consumer monitors available at Fry’s did not have these feateures. Unfortunately, when compared to other factors, like screen size, price, and features, I had to compromise on height adjustment.
The MSRP is $548, but Fry’s had this Samsung for $349.99. It’s been about 9 months since this came out to the market so the price has come down. You can get it for $319 on Amazon and maybe cheaper at other online places.
There’s a little assembling required for the stand but everything comes together very easily. It turned out that the height was just right with the stand. The base does allow the unit to swivel around but not tilt.
On the back of the unit, there’s just about every possible input available: DVI, PC, component, HDMI, and cable/antenna input (digital tuner included). Sorry for the glare in the picture but the non-flash version was too blurry to use.
Since I’m using this unit as a computer monitor, I cannot comment on the picture quality as a TV. As a monitor, I am very satisfied with it. I have it running at maximum resolution at 1920 x 1080 and it’s great to have the wide space on screen. The 50,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio really makes things look sharp and bright.
For those planning on using this as a TV, it comes with a remote control. You can use this to change the options and settings, as well as the regular TV related functions. Also, the speakers seem to output the sound towards the bottom, so this might not be the best “sound” if you’re using this as your primary TV or game monitor. I’m using an external speaker system so this does not affect my situation.
Although the box comes with batteries for the remote and an HDMI cable (nice touch), it does not come with a DVI cable. So if you are planning on using it for a monitor, you might have to pick one up. Since my old monitor was using analog input, I have to get a DVI cable to connect the monitor. I’ll have a post on that later.
All in all, I’m very happy with the quality and size of this monitor.