Samsung SyncMaster XL2370 review: Samsung SyncMaster XL2370

As good as movies looked in the Movie preset, we found that the Dynamic Contrast preset worked best for movie watching. With Dynamic Contrast on, we only noticed the screen darkening on scenes where the screen is 90 percent black or more, such as the end credits and during fades to black. In the DC preset, blacks looked darker and the colors slightly more full.

We looked at World of Warcraft and Unreal Tournament 3 and noticed no signs of input lag or any streaking or ghosting during fast movement. Like in movies, in the game preset, the whites were brighter than on either the G2410 or the P2370 and the blacks were appropriately dark.

Much of this great performance can be attributed to the LED backlight in the monitor. Most monitors use cold cathode fluorescent lamp-based backlights--several fluorescent tubes stretched horizontally across the screen. The Samsung SyncMaster XL2370 relies on individual LEDs all over the back of the screen that turn off or on independently, giving the display more precise control over the amount of light that comes through. The purported advantages of an LED backlight are better energy efficiency, more accurate color reproduction, a conceivably thinner panel design, and a higher potential brightness level. Samsung seems to be using all of these features in the XL2370.

The optimal viewing angle for a monitor is usually directly in front, about a quarter of the screen's distance down from the top. At this angle, you're viewing the colors and gamma correction as they were intended. Most monitors are not made to be viewed at any other angle. Depending on its panel type, picture quality at non-optimal angles varies. Most monitors use TN panels that get overly bright or overly dark in parts of the screen when viewed from nonoptimal angles. The Samsung SyncMaster XL2370 uses a TN panel, and when it is viewed from the sides or bottom, we perceived the screen to darken about 6 inches off from center. Of course, when viewed from the optimal angle, we had no problems.

There is an option in the OSD to set the refresh rate of the monitor from Slow to Fast to Faster. Adjusting this setting did not affect performance in any way that we noticed. Samsung did not get back to us as to what this setting is for, but it could be Samsung's version of overdrive. By sending out bursts of voltage to the liquid crystals that increase the crystal's transitions speeds, overdrive can effectively reduce the amount of noticeable ghosting effects.

Juice box
Samsung SyncMaster XL2370 Average watts per hour
On (default luminance) 30.08
On (max luminance) 30.08
On (min luminance) 15.7
Sleep 1.42
Calibrated (200 cd/m2) 21
Annual energy cost $9.96
Score Fair

In our power consumption tests, the Samsung XL2370 had a high On/Default power draw of 30.09 watts. This is because of Samsung setting the monitor's default brightness to 100 percent. Its standby power is a fairly low 1.42 watts. With a calibrated brightness of 200 cd/m2, the XL draws about 21 watts, compared with 19.43 watts and 27.52 watts at the same brightness respectively for the G2410 and P2370. Based on our formula, the XL2370 would cost $9.96 per year to run, compared with the P2370's $9.37 per year and the G2410's $7.26.

Brightness (in cd/m2)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Samsung SyncMaster XL2370
Dell G2410

Contrast ratio
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Samsung SyncMaster XL2370
Dell S2409W
Dell G2410
Dell SP2309W

DisplayMate test
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Samsung SyncMaster XL2370

Service and support
Samsung backs the SyncMaster XL2370 with a three-year parts-and-labor warranty that covers the backlight. It also offers support through a 24-7 toll-free number, as well as 24- to 48-hour turnaround e-mail and Web chat support. Documentation and support software for the XL2370 were not yet available on Samsung's Web site at the time this review was published.

Find out more about how we test LCD monitors.

What you'll pay

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