Samsung Shows Off Nice Pair of Big Screens

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print

While the LCD monitor market rapidly approaches commodity market status, Samsung aims to shoulder past the competition with its latest pair of big displays.

Samsung's 2493HM and 245T LCD displays are almost a matched set: Both measure 24 inches, both offer a resolution of 1920 by 1200 and both feature a thin bezel. With that in mind, it safe to say that these latest two 24-inch widescreen monitors have a lot more in common than not. But it is truly the minor design differences that define where these displays work best.

For example, the $799.99 (MSRP) 245T has a rated contrast ratio of DC1500:1, while the $599.00 (MSRP) 2493HM boosts that rating to DC10000:1. What's more, the 245T has a rated brightness level of 300 cd/m², while the 2493HM ups the brightness to 400 cd/m². Those two simple measurements help to establish a pattern, one that dictates that the 245T is better suited for traditional business functions, while the 2493HM seems more suitable for work with video and 1080p HD content—a point Samsung tries to stress by marketing one display as an enhanced entertainment monitor, while billing the other as the ultimate work tool.



Samsung 245T

Samsung backs up that argument with some features found on each monitor. The 2493HM features an HDMI connector, integrated speakers and a 5-millisecond response time, while the 245T offers a slight slower response time of 6 ms and an HDCP interface (DVI-HDMI, DVI-D and D-Sub connectors). Yet, with all of those differences, users will find the monitors almost indistinguishable when viewing any type of content. Sure, the 2493HM is a little brighter and has a higher-rated contrast ratio, but when you put these monitors side by side, the difference is all but indistinguishable. So, perhaps it comes down to what $200 buys you. Simply put, is the 245T worth that $200 premium?

To be fair, one has to compare the street prices of those units before coming to any conclusions. Online retailers offer the 2493HM for about $430, while the 245T goes for about $660, a difference of about $230. For that premium, the 245T offers extensive connectivity options, including a four-port USB 2.0 hub. Although there are no integrated speakers, the 245T offers an audio out jack, which allows speakers to be used with video driven by the HDMI interface. The 245T also offers a lot of versatility—thanks to the stand, which has height, tilt and pivot adjustments that go beyond what one normally expects on a desktop LCD panel.

Users will also appreciate the extensive options offered by the unit's integrated electronics, as evidenced by the multitude of choices found on the display's setup menu. The OSD (on-screen display) menu is laid out intelligently and gives quick access to the well-defined functions of the display. Users will find controls for picture-in-picture functions and a slew of picture presets for viewing the monitor in different lighting situations. The display also supports a "movie" mode, which optimizes images for viewing high-definition content. For those watching 1080p content, a 1 to 1 pixel ratio and support for a 16:9 aspect ratio eliminate the need for scaling, thus offering the best possible image. So, while the 245T proves to be an excellent monitor with a gamut of features, is it worth the price premium? The answer is "probably not," unless you need all of the connectivity options offered. That said, the 2493HM offers its own set of impressive capabilities.



Samsung 2493HM

The 2493HM offers integrated speakers, perhaps making it a better choice for those leaning more toward the entertainment side of the equation, although integrated speakers are definitely an added bonus for those looking to use the unit as a PC monitor. Users will also find a two-port USB hub built into the base of the stand, which has adjustable tilt, pivot and height. Testing the 2493HM with a variety of images and sources showed that the unit offered excellent image quality, not quite as good as the 245T, but still excellent. Samsung shaved a few dollars off the price by offering fewer connectivity options and display modes than on the 245T, but most of those features would not be used by the typical PC owner anyway.

Samsung includes its Vista-compatible MagicTune application with the 2493HM. MagicTune offers the ability to fine-tune the display preferences. MagicTune adjusts the sharpness, color saturation and contrast settings to create the most "lifelike" images, and users will find the application intuitive and well worth the few minutes of setup time.

For most users, the 2493HM would be an ideal 24-inch widescreen monitor. The unit's quality construction and low price make the 2493HM a top pick. For those looking for every possible feature in a monitor and top-of-the-line quality, the 245T may just fit the bill, but users will want to contemplate whether those features are worth the added cost.

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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