Samsung SyncMaster 150 review: Samsung SyncMaster 150

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MSRP: $629.00
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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Top-notch display; built-in TV tuner; video inputs; infrared remote control.

The Bad Hefty price tag; average speakers.

The Bottom Line This LCD's innovative and space-saving features are worth the added expense--if you need them.

8.0 Overall
CNET Editors' Choice Apr '00

The convergence of TV and computers continues at its herky-jerky pace, with next-generation, flat-panel displays playing a leading role on the hardware side. Toward that end, Samsung is going after space-conscious technophiles with a 15-inch LCD display that doubles as a full-function, standalone television. But this is no novelty act--the SyncMaster 150MP has plenty of perks that, for many users, will warrant the extra cash. The convergence of TV and computers continues at its herky-jerky pace, with next-generation, flat-panel displays playing a leading role on the hardware side. Toward that end, Samsung is going after space-conscious technophiles with a 15-inch LCD display that doubles as a full-function, standalone television. But this is no novelty act--the SyncMaster 150MP has plenty of perks that, for many users, will warrant the extra cash.

A Flock of Features
If you're pinched for space and need to consolidate your multimedia equipment, this elegant display can replace your bulky CRT monitor and television for a fraction of the space. Located in a cramped compartment on the 150MP's backside, you'll find the TV input (for a cable or an antenna); one RGB (red, green, blue) input; and two video inputs (composite and S-video) for watching video or DVDs.

For some PC users/TV hounds, the Samsung might be a dream come true. The panel's built-in TV tuner allows you to watch your favorite shows independently of your PC. And if you want a close-up of Cindy Crawford's mole, the SyncMaster 150MP can zoom in to any portion of an image and magnify it up to 64 times. It also offers picture-in-picture viewing, so you can watch movies while working on your computer applications.

The display's thoughtfully designed base folds into a handle for convenient transport. Well-constructed touch-sensitive control buttons and an onscreen menu are easy to use. And an infrared remote control made adjustments and channel surfing couch-potato friendly.

Solid Performance
The SyncMaster 150MP scored high in CNET Labs' tests. Its picture was consistent, and the viewing angle was good. Text appeared sharp in its native 1,024-by-768-pixel resolution and remained smooth and legible in lower resolutions, too.

The 150MP's picture elicited several oohs and aahs from nearby cubicle denizens when we viewed Batman Returns on DVD. Vivid colors and bold contrast created a mesmerizing picture depth in darker scenes, but there was some minor solarization in the brightest scenes. The SyncMaster handled composite video signals very nicely, leaving little room for improvement when we switched over to S-Video mode.

Not unlike a standard television, the 150MP's picture is adversely affected by weak TV broadcast signals. However, low-grade signals on an LCD screen create pixelated images and an annoying swimming affect that make Montel look like something from the short-lived Op Art movement in the '60s. When viewed from a comfortable distance, the occasional picture degradation is less apparent and might be forgivable.

The $1,287 SyncMaster 150MP's standout features will cost about $200 more than the SyncMaster 570p Plus. But if you need to create some space in your home or office, and if you can afford to do it in style, this is a fine solution.

The Samsung SyncMaster 150MP scored high marks in our display tests; its overall picture was sharp, vibrant, and consistent.

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