Samsung SyncMaster 204B LCD monitor

The Samsung SyncMaster 204B is a 20-inch LCD monitor that is rich in features, has good styling and provides remarkable DVD performance. It also offers plenty of flexibility and is highly adjustable.

In fact, the SyncMaster 204B has all the adjustability that you need in a 20-inch LCD monitor and the small circular base has a built-in lazy Susan that makes it very easy to swivel the monitor. The panel tilts 5 degrees forward and 15 degrees backwards. The height can be adjusted by 3.5 inches and it can be pivoted between portrait and landscape modes. All adjustments can be made with ease.

There are D-Sub and DVI-D ports, along with a power switch on the back of the monitor and both types of cable are provided. It has a single plastic loop on the back of the slim neck, meant for threading the cables. This is not as good as the cable management system you see on some monitors.

The level of connectivity is quite basic if you compare it to the HP LP2065 that has four built-in USB ports and the Gateway FDP2185W that has S-Video and component composite connections.

The SyncMaster 204B comes with a quick set-up guide, user guide on a CD, drivers and four programs. These programs are Natural Color, MagicBright, MagicTune and MagicRotation.

You can use Natural Color to calibrate colors so that there is uniformity between your monitor, scanner and printer. MagicBright provides six preset viewing modes, which are Text, Sport, Game, Internet, Movie and Custom.

MagicTune is a desktop utility that can be used to adjust resolution, brightness, contrast, and other settings. MagicRotation can be used to re-orient your desktop after the panel is pivoted. You can use a dedicated button on the control panel or the onscreen menu to switch between these presets.

The other buttons on the control panel can be used to switch the power on and off, launch the onscreen menu, switch between digital and analog modes and adjust brightness.

At its 1,600 x 1,200 native resolution the text looks dark and is easy to read, even if the font size is small. The colors are vivid, even though there are some grayscale inaccuracies and dark or bright patches on the screen.

The SyncMaster 204B has a relatively fast five-millisecond response time. There are very few flaws with skin tones and insignificant ghosting. The gaming performance is almost ideal, with clean movement, bright colors and sharp images.

The Samsung SyncMaster 204B is adequate for work situations and gaming.

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