There seems to be an increasing demand for 22-inch monitors at the moment, with both business and home users demanding that extra width and space for presentations, graphics, movies and games. With this sudden surge in interest, Samsung has come up with a novel way of standing above the crowd.
When you open the box for the SyncMaster 2263DX, you’ll find not one but two monitors inside. Alongside the main 22-inch model is a separate 7-inch UbiSync 7 monitor which attaches to its larger brother via an adjustable arm on the back of the bigger unit. Powered by your PC via USB and using ‘DisplayLink technology’, the UbiSync 7 can be positioned anywhere above or beside the main monitor to suit your preference.
We’ll return to the mini monitor in a moment, but the main screen has a native resolution of 1680 x 1050 pixels and has a slightly larger than usual black bezel surround, a row of touch-sensitive controls bottom right, a pair of built-in stereo speakers and a 3-megapixel webcam top centre. Round the back you’ll find inputs for VGA, DVI and HDMI and, unlike a lot of other manufacturers, Samsung includes a DVI cable along with the VGA one, plus a cleaning cloth.
The oval-shaped base is sturdy (it has to be as the overall weight is 5.9kg) but the tilt adjustment is far from smooth and there’s no height adjustment or pivot ability. Because the webcam cannot be physically shifted either, you’ll need to do some wrestling to have it lined up as you want. In addition, the quality of the webcam image is only average at best, with the overall results dark and grainy.
The sensitivity of the OSD controls varies considerably, with the power button switching on and off almost by breathing on it, while the scrolling buttons frequently needing to be hammered several times before you get a response. Once in the menu, however, there’s a wide range of options including Samsung’s proprietary MagicBright and MagicColor and a customizable shortcut.
Although Samsung claims an 8,000:1 contrast ratio for the SyncMaster 2263DX, alongside its 5ms response time and 300cd/rm brightness, the colours are not so distinct in the greyscales, especially during movies, although the brightness level by contrast often needs toning down.
While the UbiSync 7 monitor has a much reduced 800 x 480 native resolution, together with 400:1 contrast ratio, considerably slower 30ms response time and a mere 200cd/rm brightness, the quality of the image seems much sharper overall.
Its slow response time means you won’t be able to use it for games or movies but it’s a useful, space-saving monitor for web-conferencing or checking e-mails, etc. Whether you feel that an additional 7-inch monitor is worth the combined price of £343, though, is seriously open to question.
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