Samsung SyncMaster 940BF monitor

The Samsung SyncMaster 940BF is a 19-inch LCD monitor with average looks and performance that costs $499. Its performance on DVD and gaming playback is good, but the image quality is average. The SyncMaster 940BF offers some extra image control options, but they may not be enough to justify its high price.

The SyncMaster 940BF is rather plain looking. The monitor is matte black and a narrow bezel runs all round the screen. A round base keeps it steady and there are six discreet adjustment buttons. The screen is 3.5 inches above the desktop and the height is not adjustable.

The monitor can be tilted backwards by 15 degrees and this is the only adjustment available. It can neither be pivoted nor swiveled. There is no clip to hold the cables and no plastic cover for the analog and digital inputs.

The onscreen menu of the SyncMaster 940BF is easy to navigate. The installation CD comes with a mouse-and-menu-based program called MagicTune that allows you to use the mouse to adjust display settings. It also has a color calibrator that simplifies gamma correction, so that colors can be standardized across different computers.

The installation CD also comes with an application called Natural Color that ensures that the color seen on the screen is the same color that is printed out. The MagicBright button is a useful image control feature that scrolls though presets for viewing Web pages, text, sports and movies.

MagicZone is a square that covers a part of the screen and can be used to adjust the sharpness, color, brightness, saturation and contrast. It may make the colors too bright, though it may be useful for graphics professionals.

The DVD and gaming performance is better than average and text is easy to read, though there may be some compression at the light and dark ends of the grayscale. There may also be some red and green tints in the gray areas.

Besides this, there may be some minor screen uniformity problems, like dark areas along the bottom, top and the edges. The very low 2ms pixel-response rate produces smooth movements and little ghosting during DVD and gaming playback. Colors are rich and bright during DVD playback.

The monitor comes with a standard three-year warranty that covers the parts, labor and the backlight. Toll-free technical support is available round the clock and the Samsung website provides an e-mail technical support form, an FAQ section and driver downloads.

The Samsung SyncMaster 940BF provides sharp, vivid pictures that are good for DVDs and gaming, but better performance, with more features and adjustability are provided by other monitors, at a lower price.

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