Samsung SyncMaster FX2490HD review:

Samsung SyncMaster FX2490HD

Viewing angle: The optimal viewing angle for a monitor is usually directly in front, about a quarter of the way down from the top of the screen. At this angle, you're viewing the colors and gamma as the manufacturer intended. Most monitors are not made to be viewed at any other angle. Depending on the panel type, picture quality at nonoptimal angles varies. Most monitors use TN panels, which get overly bright or overly dark in parts of the screen when viewed from nonoptimal angles, making for inaccurate color representation. The Samsung SyncMaster FX2490HD 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, which is typical for a TN.

To help out with this somewhat, Samsung includes the Magic Angle feature in the FX2490HD. The Magic Angle mode prevents the screen from darkening when viewed from certain angles. Magic Angle has four settings: Lean Back Mode 1, Lean Back Mode 2, Standing Mode, and Side Mode. Switching to each mode will improve the screen brightness when viewing the monitor from that angle. For example, after switching to Lean Back Mode 2 and then sitting back in your chair to play a game, the screen doesn't darken nearly as much, and as a result, game details can still be seen, while you do irreparable damage to your spine, all in the name of "fun."

Recommended settings and use: The Samsung SyncMaster FX2490HD doesn't include a DVI input and by default, only the VGA input is optimized to be used with a PC. To optimally use a digital connection with a PC, go into the Source menu, choose Tools > Edit name > choose whichever HDMI connection you wish to use, then select PC. Fonts and edges will look PC proper after that.

During general use, we preferred the standard, default settings of the Custom preset. When watching movies, playing games, and viewing photos, the best settings for the Samsung SyncMaster FX2490HD was the default settings with the preset set to Entertain, the Red to 55, Green to 36, and Blue to 50. Photos still had an accuracy problem with red at these settings, and unfortunately we were unable to find the perfect photos settings.

As with most TN-based monitors, the SyncMaster FX2490HD shouldn't be used if pinpoint-accurate color reproduction is required; however, the monitor is great for watching movies, casually viewing photos, and for general use, although it's not the best for playing games. If you do have stringent color needs, we suggest you narrow your search to IPS or PVA-based panels only. The more expensive Dell UltraSharp U2711 is a good place to start.

Power consumption: The Samsung SyncMaster FX2490HD achieved fair power consumption, with a Default/On power draw of 31.4 watts, compared with the Samsung PX2370's 25.01 watts in the same test. The consumption delta was a lot closer in our Sleep/Standby test, with the FX2490HD drawing 0.23 watt and the PX2370 costing a slightly higher 0.27 watt. With both monitor's center point calibrated to 200 candelas per square meter (cd/M2), the FX2490HD drew 27 watts, whereas the PX2370 drew a lower 19.9 watts. Based on our formula, the Samsung SyncMaster FX2490HD would cost $9.53 per year to run, compared with the Samsung PX2370's $7.65 per year.

Juice box
Samsung SyncMaster FX2490HD Average watts per hour
On (default luminance) 31.4
On (max luminance) 31.4
On (min luminance) 19.8
Sleep 0.23
Calibrated (200 cd/m2) 27
Annual power consumption cost $9.53
Score Fair

Brightness in cd/m2
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Contrast ratio
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Gateway FHD2303L
HP 2310e
Dell ST2420L
Samsung SyncMaster FX2490HD

DisplayMate Tests
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Find out more about how we test LCD monitors.

Service and support
Samsung backs the SyncMaster FX2490HD 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 time for e-mail and Web chat support. The display's documentation and support software are available on Samsung's Web site.

What you'll pay

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