Samsung SyncMaster XL2370 review: Samsung SyncMaster XL2370

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Typical Price: $599.00
4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Incredibly thin and light. No noticeable light bleed. Good power savings. Excellent dead pixel warranty.

The Bad Power brick takes up space. Still a TN screen. HDMI limitations means watching Blu-ray might not be the best experience. Pricey.

The Bottom Line The stylish XL2370 impresses with its contrast ratio, thin screen and comparatively low power requirements. The price really stings though thanks to the LED backlight, and it's definitely not for colour professionals, but gamers are sure to like it a lot.

8.0 Overall

Samsung's SyncMaster XL2370 is possibly the thinnest consumer monitor we've seen. At least as far as the 48mm panel is concerned, although the stand of course adds to this depth. It manages this by not only having an edge-lit LED backlight like Samsung's super-thin TVs, but by splitting the power unit out into a brick — and a hefty brick it is too.

Samsung SyncMaster XL2370 power brick

A rare sight: the power unit has been stripped out of the monitor to make things thinner. (Credit: Craig Simms/CBS Interactive)

The chassis is mostly constructed from black and translucent plastic, all of it shiny — which means fingerprints ahoy. Thankfully, this trend doesn't continue to the screen itself; it's matte, meaning the XL2370 minimises the twin evils of glare and reflection.

Being a 23-inch, 16:9 screen, the XL2370 joins the ranks of high-resolution monitors, displaying Full-HD ready at 1920x1080.

Specs at a glance

Size 23 inches
Resolution 1920x1080
Aspect ratio 16:9
Pixel pitch 0.265
Panel technology TN
Viewing angles
(10:1 contrast)
H: 170°
V: 160°
Response time 2ms G2G
Max vertical refresh 60Hz
Connections DVI, HDMI, 3.5mm line out, Toslink digital audio out
Accessories DVI, VGA to DVI, power cables; power brick

3D view

Stand and ergonomics

The XL2370's stand, although attractively translucent with a tinge of blue, does effectively nothing, offering tilt only. Despite the thinness of the neck, the XL2370 is actually quite sturdy and doesn't wobble too much when bumped or adjusted.

Samsung SyncMaster XL2370 stand

Pretty, but next to useless
(Credit: Craig Simms/CBS Interactive)

There is no cable management to speak of, although ports are mounted parallel to the monitor, which goes some way to alleviating mess.


Samsung SyncMaster XL2370 inputs

Toslink optical, 3.5mm line out, HDMI, DVI and power. (Credit: Craig Simms/CBS Interactive)

There are no speakers, but Samsung gives you the chance to output sound to another device should your HDMI signal also carry sound.

Buttons and on-screen display (OSD)

Samsung has opted for capacitive buttons on the XL2370, with nothing mechanical in sight — and since they're behind a shiny surface, expect fingerprints. Each button is backlit by a white LED.

Samsung SyncMaster XL2370 buttons

The capacitive buttons are all backlit, with the power button being the only symbol that's actually marked when not lit. You can set their brightness or turn off everything except the power light from the OSD if you find them distracting. A tap in the general area of the buttons will relight them so you can find your way around. (Credit: Craig Simms/CBS Interactive)

The OSD's standout features include sharpness enabled on DVI, as well as the ability to switch the monitor off after a predetermined time, scale down the response time accelerator and turn off the LED lit labels.

Samsung has three sets of image presets. The first is called "MagicBright", offering "Custom", "Text", "Internet", "Game", "Sport", Movie" and "Dynamic Contrast". Brightness and contrast are set to preset amount on the second through fourth, while "Sport" is a cool tone and "Movie" a warm one. "Dynamic Contrast" will lighten or darken your monitor's backlight depending on the scene being shown; however, we find this highly distracting and leave it off.

"MagicColor" is the next preset, and in "Intelligent" supposedly shows more vivid colours, while "Full" compensates for skin tones being pushed too red. As is usual with all presets, we recommend leaving them off, and calibrating it yourself manually.

Scaling options are limited to full screen ("wide") and scaled aspect ratio ("auto"), with no 1:1 in sight.

Samsung SyncMaster XL2370 OSD

Samsung's on-screen display is easy enough to find your way around. (Credit: Craig Simms/CBS Interactive)

Performance LCD tests
After calibrating to a target brightness of 140cd/m² with an X-Rite i1Display 2, Eye-One Match 3 and tweaking with HCFR, the XL2370 was run through the LCD tests.

A slight banding was present in the gradient test, as were slight purple and green tinges, a common display issue. The XL2370 also flickered on four of the pixel walk tests — most monitors fail between one and four of these tests.

Image tests
Contrast Sharpness Gamma Black level White saturation Gradient
Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Slight banding, slight purple and green tinges
Inversion pixel walk tests
Test 1 Test 2a Test 2b Test 3 Test 4a Test 4b Test 5 Test 6a Test 6b Test 7a Test 7b
Pass Pass Flicker Upward rolling motion Slight flicker Flicker Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass

Input lag
Measured against a Samsung SyncMaster 975p CRT, and using a Canon 40D set to a shutter speed of 1/320, an average over 60 photographs were taken using Virtual Stopwatch Pro. The average result over DVI came in as 6.98ms, a supremely low time. It's worth noting the occasional 30ms difference turned up in the sets, so on the rare occasion you might lose around two frames, but mostly the difference should be imperceptible.

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