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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.