Samsung PX2370 review
It’s often tempting to settle for exquisite form over frumpy function, but happily it’s a compromise the design conscious don't always have to make. Some products, and Samsung’s latest 23in monitor - the PX2370 is among them, aim to strike a more satisfying balance.
There’s certainly no questioning the PX2370's design credentials. The monitor perches atop a slender see-through neck that sprouts from a gloss black base, and it exudes a level of understated class that budget monitors can only dream of. Even Samsung’s Touch of Color finish seems more refined, more monochromatic than usual; charcoal grey meshes classily with accents of clear plastic and gloss black.
Those eye-catching looks are matched with an outstandingly slim figure - the PX2370 measures just 17mm thick. The only price to pay for such svelte design is that it leaves no room for an internal power supply.
Connectivity hasn’t suffered, though. Samsung has equipped the PX2370 with both DVI and HDMI – D-SUB the only notable omission – and both analogue and digital audio outputs for outputting audio carried via the HDMI cable.
Spend a few minutes trying to navigate the PX2370’s on-screen display, however, and frustration is liable to set in. In the pursuit of clean, unsullied curves, the PX2370 forgoes the front-facing controls of its stablemates in favour of clicky buttons mounted behind the right-hand bezel. There’s nothing wrong with the on-screen display, which is clear and well laid-out, but the placement of the buttons makes it really fiddly to use.
Persevere with the dreadful controls long enough to peruse the various menu options, and PX2370 aims to make redress with a range of eco-friendly power options. MagicEco simply adjusts the brightness of the LED backlight, but is capable of reducing power draw from the standard 27W to 15W at its most frugal setting.
The accompanying MagicLux feature is far more useful. Set it to its most aggressive energy saving level, and it uses the PX2370’s light sensors to automatically adjust image brightness. In our brightly-lit labs, it managed to drop energy consumption down to as little as 20W.
Fire up an HD movie on the PX2370 and you’re liable to be impressed. The 1080p resolution is merely par for the course, but the LED backlight doles out eye-popping levels of brightness and, despite the Samsung’s lowly TN-panel, colours are rich, vibrant and even reasonably accurate. We had to lower the excessively high default contrast setting to stop detail becoming bleached out in brighter parts of the picture but, thankfully, we didn’t have to battle with the menus to change any of the colour controls.
It’s not all good news, though, and further testing revealed some notable weaknesses. Darker scenes tended to look a little washed out, and our technical tests bore out our observations. Blacks were reproduced as a dark grey, and DisplayMate’s black and white and colour ramps showed the Samsung struggling to produce smooth blends between darker shades.
Image quality isn’t perfect, but the Samsung plays by far its weakest hand in the value for money stakes; VAT pushing the price perilously near to the £300 mark. Spend a little more, forgo looks for stunning image quality, and the Eizo FlexScan EV2333W is in a different class. Even if you can’t stretch to that kind of money, Asus’ luscious MS236H manages to combine good looks, great value and good image quality for just £182 exc VAT. There’s no doubt that the Samsung is one cool, classy customer, but at this price, we’d simply expect better.
Author: Sasha Muller
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