Samsung SyncMaster S23A750D review:

Samsung SyncMaster S23A750D

Under the Game preset, Dragon Age II looks excellent on the S23A750D with a high vibrancy and really dramatic color pop. There's a slight greenish hue to the game compared directly with its appearance on the PX2370, but this has more to do with the latter's oversaturation of red than anything else.

To test refresh rate, I used DisplayMate's motion graphics tests and closely watched a number of colored blocks as they moved around the screen at various speeds. Not the most exciting of tasks, but one that is useful for clearly illustrating a monitor's tendency to streak moving images. The S23A750D delivered one of the most impressive streaking performances I've seen, displaying noticeably less ghosting than the PX2370 during the test. This is likely an advantage of the monitor's 120Hz refresh (available only through DisplayPort), which is double that of most monitors.

I spent many whole hours playing Dragon Age II and Starcraft 2 to test gaming 3D performance on the S23A740D and during those multiple minutes I was subject to an experience I can only describe as feeling like my eyes were being slowly pulled from my head. I don't mean that as an analogy; that's exactly what it felt like to me. It wasn't a painful experience and is something I could probably get used to, but ultimately it's not worth it, as the payoff just isn't there.

Playing games in 3D in general does little to enhance the experience. Couple that with the frequent ghosting (when an impression of the main image can be seen next to the original image) delivered by Samsung's solution and it's a wonder anyone can get excited about 3D gaming at all. However, there are those who do, and while the 3D here did little to sell me on the tech, it does work, is more convincing than passive 3D solutions, and the depth can be adjusted through 100 levels of distinction.

These glasses with allow you to see in three dimensions!

Unfortunately, unless you own an AMD HD 5000-series-or-above graphics card (I also found that the AMD HD 5870 wasn't compatible either), the s23A750D doesn't support full-resolution 3D in games. You can still play them in 2D to 3D mode, but the quality of the images will be severely diminished.

As for 3D movies, unfortunately, the necessary testing resources needed were not acquired by the time this review was scheduled to post (in other words, I failed to purchase a 3D-compatible Blu-ray player in time) and as a result, I didn't have an opportunity to test 3D movies on the S23A750D.

When looking at faces and light-colored hair in the Standard preset, the S23A750D's colors sometimes dip ever so slightly into a greenish hue compared to the PX2370, but the bright colors of clothing and environments pop with vibrancy.

Viewing angle:
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 colors as the manufacturer intended. Most monitors aren't designed to be viewed at any other angle. Depending on its panel type, picture quality at non-optimal angles varies. Most monitors use TN panels, which get overly bright or overly dark in parts of the screen when not viewed from optimal angles.

The S23A750D uses a TN panel, and its viewing angles matches other TN monitors in that colors begin to shift when viewing from about 6 to 7 inches to the left or right. As always with TN panels, the above and below viewing angles are the worst offenders. From these angles, graphic or text detail are at their most difficult to see.

This is typical of the vast majority of TN panels, though, as it's one of the limitations of the technology; however, Samsung attempts to soften the impact of inherent narrow viewing angles by outfitting the S23A740D with the Magic Angle feature. With Magic Angle, users have the option of changing attributes of the monitor to improve the way it looks from certain angles, affecting clarity of text as well as contrast and color.

The S23A750 features some of the best implementation of the technology yet. While it includes only Lean Back and Standing Up modes, the slider for each provides 10 degrees of adjustment, making each mode much more effective at displaying the viewing angle for which it's optimized.

Still, it's not a monitor for art professionals, so don't expect pinpoint color accuracy here. I'd suggest the IPS-based Asus PA246Q for that.

Power consumption:
Despite its LED backlight, the Samsung SyncMaster S23A750D achieved poor power consumption, with a Default/On power draw of 42.9 watts, compared with the LED-based Samsung SyncMaster PX2370's 25.01 watts in the same test.

In our Sleep/Standby test, the S23A750D costs 0.8 watts and the PX2370 pulled a much lower 0.29 watts. Based on our formula, the S23A750D would incur nearly double the cost of the PX2370, with a per-year pull of $13.35, compared with the PX2370's $7.65 per year.

Juice box
Samsung SyncMaster S23A750D Average watts per hour
On (default luminance) 42.9
On (max luminance) 42.9
On (min luminance) 20.8
Sleep 0.8
Calibrated (200 cd/m2) 25.6
Annual power consumption cost $13.35
Score Fair

Brightness (in cd/m2)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Samsung SyncMaster S23A750D
HP x2301

(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Samsung SyncMaster S23A750D
Dell S2330MX
HP x2301

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Find out more about how we test LCD monitors.

Service and support
Samsung backs the SyncMaster S23A750D with a three-year parts-and-labor warranty that covers the backlight. This matches the best monitor warranties out there, like Dell's. 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.

Samsung's TN panel found in the S23A750D and T27A950 produces some of the most beautiful images I've ever seen, resulting in unparalleled movies and games performance compared with other TN-based displays.

Unfortunately, OSD controls were a constant frustration and 3D games were plagued with ghosting. Also, the lack of a DVI connection is as annoying, as is the lack of ergo options. That said, while the "around $400" price may be a bit expensive, the movie and games performance alone is worth the price of admission.

What you'll pay

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