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Samsung SyncMaster 275T review: Samsung SyncMaster 275T

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The Good Amazing quality image. Affordable for the size and inputs. Great colour control.

The Bad No 1:1 scaling over analog connections. No 1080p over component.

The Bottom Line The Samsung 275T is an excellent screen -- it's just pipped at the post by Dell's offering.

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8.5 Overall

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The second 27-inch monitor to enter the market after Dell's, Samsung's 275T comes with a much more sombre design than Dell's piano black and aluminium combination. Apart from this, almost everything is identical to Dell's screen. Almost.

Design
The monitor as expected is huge, solid, and is framed entirely in matte black, the menu buttons featured at the bottom right. The video inputs are at the back of the monitor as usual, but interestingly component has been moved to the left hand side. We're ambivalent on the move -- on the one hand it could provide easier access to your console, on the other hand neat freaks will be annoyed by the increased presence of cable. No cable management is supplied.

Features
The usual bevy of video inputs are present -- DVI, VGA, composite, S-Video and component, the latter featured on the side as mentioned before. Four USB ports are included, as is an extra power jack should you need to power an add-on speaker bar. Unlike the Dell there is no 9-in-1 card reader here.

Colour adjustments are impressive, allowing you to set Cyan, Magenta and Yellow colours on top of the usual Red, Green and Blue in both saturation and hue, allowing the user to calibrate the screen with greater precision than other screens. On top of contrast and brightness, gamma is also offered.

Picture in Picture (PIP)/Picture by Picture (PBP) is available, allowing you to place a composite, S-Video or component output within or next to a DVI or VGA output, so two sources can be watched at once.

Hardware scaling options are sadly limited -- you can either stretch a smaller resolution to the full size of the screen (potentially distorting the image), or stretch it while maintaining aspect ratio. Unlike the Dell 2707WFP there is no 1:1 mode, which will annoy purists.

The stand is solid and terminates in a circle shaped base, offering height, swivel and tilt adjustments.

Performance
Anything we threw at this monitor it chewed up and spat out with some of the finest quality we've seen. It blitzed through the Displaymate tests, the full greyscale range being visible and gradients not becoming too dark too soon. Gaming was spot on thanks to the 6ms response time and 1080p hi-def movie watching (with the usual caveats of it coming from a clean or digital source) was spectacular, the vibrant colours and tone definition standouts. Viewing angles were within expected levels for the screen, allowing for slightly wider movement before colour shifts began.

Quickly hooking up our Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles, we learnt that component can only support up to 1080i -- there's no 1080p here folks. Fortunately through an HDMI > DVI cable we were able to display 1080p on the screen on the PS3 -- to get the same benefits on the Xbox 360 you'll either have to purchase the VGA kit or wait for the HDMI enabled versions to hit the stands in Australia.

The Samsung SyncMaster 275T is an excellent screen, pitched at about the same price as Dell's 27-inch when it's not on special. A brief shop around will show prices up to AU$300 less than the retail, making it good value -- however you miss out on the 9-in-1 card reader featured on the Dell, and more importantly, the 1:1 hardware scaling. If these aren't important to you, and you can get a good price, then the 275T is a good buy.

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