Samsung SyncMaster 170T Review

Author: Ren-Jie Huang
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Friday, December 28th, 2001
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/samsung170t/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.

Introduction

LCD monitor prices are continuing to drop, and perhaps this holiday season is the time to invest in an ergonomic display. If you already own an LCD screen, then perhaps it’s time to upgrade to a 17” model; I know I want to. We have reviewed numerous amounts of LCD monitors, and the display under the scope today is none other than the Samsung 170T. Samsung is well known for their line of displays and is a leader in innovation. The 170T did not disappoint. Let’s dive into the specifics.

Specifications

Typea-si TFT/CE
Viewable Area17”
Pixel Pitch0.281
Brightness220 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio350:1
Viewing Angle (H/V)160/160
Response Time (ms)25
InterfaceAnalogue / Digital
Horizontal Frequency (kHZ)Analogue: 30~81, Digital: 30~63.3
Vertical Frequency (Hz)56-85
Bandwidth (MHz)Analogue: 135, Digital: 108
Maximum Resolution1280 x 1024
Colour Supported16.7 Mil.
Input Video SignalAnalogue RGB, DVI Digital Link
Video LevelAnalogue: 0.7Vp-p, Digital: TMDSTM
Sync TypeSeparate H/V, Composite H/V, SOG
Input Connectors15 pin D-SUB, DVI-I
Included Signal CablesVGA Cable, DVI Cable
USB Powered Hub Option Yes
DDCDDC 1/2B
PowerOn Working: 40W (Max), Off: <5 W, Energy Star / NUTEK: Yes
OSD-Digital Display DirectorYes
Wall-mountVESA 100mm
Emissions StandardTCO 99
Mac CompatibilityYes
Dimensions (WxHxD)440 x 458.5 x 220
Weight8.4 kg
Special FeaturesDual Interface & Auto Signal Detection
Warranty3 years
StandSimple Angle

The Samsung 170T monitor is not just an ordinary 17” LCD display. Well, it has everything a regular display would, but the display has been digitalized. It supports both analogue and digital input streams from the video card. By using a digital feed, pixel reproduction will be nearly perfect and issues such as pixel jitter and color mismatch can be avoided. However, with the highly developed analogue to digital circuitry used in most LCDs today, the benefits are not easily distinguishable.

Initial Glance

The installation and setup of the monitor is the same for previously reviewed monitors: very simple and straightforward, but connecting the cables were still difficult. After powering up the screen, I was amazed. The images were crystal clear, uniformity was superb, and there was very little fading around the edges. This was using the analogue connection. We chose to run the tests in analogue mode to better compare this product to other analogue models. When viewing in digital mode, it can clearly be seen that LCD monitors should head in this direction. The OSD was simple to use and carried many of the same functions as the older models. The button layout is also quite similar, so getting familiar to the monitor’s controls should not be a problem. The Samsung also incorporates a high viewing angle into the 170T of 160 degrees horizontally and vertically, so no matter where you are sitting, the image will still be there, and in the correct colours. However, there is a limit to how far you can deviate from the screen, but that should no longer be a problem. In addition, with a native resolution of 1280 x 1024, the 170T can meet the needs of high quality picture viewing and editing users without compromise. This LCD monitor does not have as high as a contrast ratio as other models, but at 350:1, it’s more than adequate.

Testing

Further testing was performed using DisplayMate, which is by far the most comprehensive set of tests used to examine a monitor, and the Samsung 170T passed it with flying colours. Screen uniformity was perfect and distortion was nonexistent, which meant close to perfect images. There were no problems with defocusing, blooming, or streaking. The intensity ramp and colour scales were extremely uniform. Even Moiré patterns failed to impair the quality of the display. All and all, nearly perfect, but there was a slight problem with colour registration. This is inherent in all LCD monitors; however, the 170T performed just under par with other Samsung monitors. Even during testing with Quake II Arena, there were no noticeable problems. The lighting was great, and the game never jittered, proving that the video bandwidth is more than adequate for most users.

Conclusion

What can I say? The Samsung 170T is a near perfect monitor, supporting both analogue and digital interfaces with excellent uniformity, geometry and colour scale. Not to mention zero distortion, great video bandwidth and focus. The only real thing not going for this display is the price. At just over $1600 CDN, it will be unlikely that the 170T will fall into most users’ budget. In addition, if you do not have a digital card, I would not recommend that you run out there to buy this monitor, since digital cards are still hefty in price; so why get a monitor with digital support unless you intend to use it. But if price were not a thing, then this would be an excellent addition to any computer system.

Overall Score: 80%

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