Samsung SyncMaster 765 MB review: Samsung SyncMaster 765 MB

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Displays a wide range of colors; provides extra controls for graphics tasks.

The Bad Text is barely legible at smaller fonts; minor geometric problems cause distortions that will annoy graphics pros.

The Bottom Line Despite the 765 MB's mediocre image quality, this display is adequate for general business and home purposes.

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We've seen our share of high-performing monitors from Samsung, including the Samsung SyncMaster 700 NF. In many ways, the SyncMaster 765 MB 17-inch, sub-$330 CRT lives up to the family name. It exhibits a wide range of uniform colors and offers several extra graphics-related screen controls, including MagicBright, Samsung's own ultrabright technology. Unfortunately, this monitor has trouble displaying sharp text and combating distortion. Even so, the SyncMaster 765 MB's uniform colors, brightness controls, and extensive guide to onscreen controls will suit both home use and office users who perform only basic business tasks. If you need more faithfully rendered screens than the 765 can provide and are willing to pay a bit extra, ponder the older Eizo Nanao FlexScan F 520. Bargain hunters who create lots of spreadsheets and memos should check out the Sceptre D77D. We've seen our share of high-performing monitors from Samsung, including the Samsung SyncMaster 700 NF. In many ways, the SyncMaster 765 MB 17-inch, sub-$330 CRT lives up to the family name. It exhibits a wide range of uniform colors and offers several extra graphics-related screen controls, including MagicBright, Samsung's own ultrabright technology. Unfortunately, this monitor has trouble displaying sharp text and combating distortion. Even so, the SyncMaster 765 MB's uniform colors, brightness controls, and extensive guide to onscreen controls will suit both home use and office users who perform only basic business tasks. If you need more faithfully rendered screens than the 765 can provide and are willing to pay a bit extra, ponder the older Eizo Nanao FlexScan F 520. Bargain hunters who create lots of spreadsheets and memos should check out the Sceptre D77D.

What you see is what you get
The 765 MB isn't much in the looks department. The plain putty case won't help distinguish it from other CRT monitors lined up on store shelves. It even lacks the lavender crescents that usually adorn the top bezels of Samsung monitors. On the plus side, the 765 MB's round base lets it swivel easily, which can come in handy when you cart it into a conference room for a sales presentation. The generically designed 765 MB measures a standard 16 inches deep. The monitor ships with the obligatory VGA cable, a small booklet of setup procedures and technical information, and a CD containing a user manual and drivers for both Windows and Mac OSs.

As bright as you wanna be
Naturally, the monitor possesses a standard feature set. You'll find the usual array of onscreen display (OSD) controls (located in the middle section of the bottom bezel), which help you correct common image distortions, such as pincushioning. But the SyncMaster 765 MB also offers a few useful extras, most of which are designed for graphics-specific tasks, such as image proofing. In addition, a front-mounted MagicBright control brightens or dims the screen to one of three preset levels: Text, Internet, and Entertainment. The Text level is supposed to sharpen text, but in our tests, it merely brightened an otherwise dull screen. The Entertainment and Internet settings can brighten up dark scenes in movies or games. Another dedicated control, Highlight, lets you illuminate any single section of the screen simply by highlighting it, quite useful for proofing selected portions of images.

Performance
The results were varied when we tested the 765 MB at 1,280x1,024 resolutions using DisplayMate-based tests. We approved of the CRT's uniform colors. A color scale test showed noticeable gradation at a wide range of intensities--good for displaying subtle hues in photos or other graphics applications. Adobe Photoshop images looked sharp and colorful, with well-enough rendered detail to satisfy most business and home users. The monitor also displayed natural-looking flesh tones.

Other results, however, weren't quite so easy on the eyes. When we tried to correct patches of noticeable moiré, the screen became noticeably fuzzy. And we've seen sharper and denser text on competing monitors, such as the Sony CPD-E240/B. Text appeared unacceptably illegible at some 10pt and smaller fonts, such as Arial italic. As a result, the 765 MB would be largely useless for complex spreadsheets with rows of fine-print text or for Web pages that feature small-scaled fonts. Our geometry tests revealed minor distortions, including slightly squished circles and imperfectly formed squares, and streaking plagued the high-contrast tests.

Support
To its credit, Samsung backs the monitor with a hefty three-year warranty on parts and labor, as well as 24/7 free phone support. The company doesn't currently provide e-mail-based support for this line of monitors, an unfortunate oversight. On the bright side, a test call to tech support sent us through voice-activated menus, and once we reached a technician, he diagnosed our problem with methodical efficiency and offered the correct solution. The 765 MB's included, colorfully illustrated, CD-based, easy-to-understand user manual contains step-by-step instructions for making onscreen adjustments.

All in all, the SyncMaster 765 MB's uniform colors, brightness controls, and extensive guide to onscreen controls make it suitable both for home use and for offices that perform only common business tasks. Graphics pros will want to step up to a better-quality, 19-inch model, such as the SyncMaster 900 NF.

CNET Labs analyzed the Samsung SyncMaster 765 MB using a modified version of DisplayMate Multimedia Edition. In general, the monitor's raw scores for Focus, Video Bandwidth/Regulation, Geometry, and Nuisance hovered around the low end of average--hardly surprising considering the monitor's warped rendering of circles and rectangles and its sloppy small text. The 765 MB did, however, receive higher than average marks for color quality and uniformity, which made Photoshop images appear sharp, colorful, and detailed.

CNET Labs' scores: 17-inch monitors  (Longer bars indicate better performance)
CNET score  
Compaq S720
67 
ViewSonic G7OF
67 
Eizo FlexScan T565
69 
NEC MultiSync FE 750+
65 
Sony MultiScan E240
68 
Samsung SyncMaster 765 MB
66 
 

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Where to Buy

Samsung SyncMaster 765 MB

Part Number: 765MB Released: May. 1, 2002

MSRP: $229.00

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date May. 1, 2002
  • Display Type CRT monitor / CRT
  • Interface VGA (HD-15)
  • Diagonal Size 17 in
  • Pixel Pitch 0.2 mm