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Samsung Syncmaster 305T review: Samsung Syncmaster 305T

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The Good Good colour reproduction. Excellent response rate. Minimalist design.

The Bad Lacks multiple inputs. No OSD controls.

The Bottom Line Samsung's 30-inch Syncmaster LCD is still overkill for most users, but if you must have this much screen real estate it’s a very solid contender.

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8.8 Overall

Review Sections

Design
Samsung's Syncmaster 305T is a physically imposing LCD screen, but that's pretty much a given for any 30-inch display. What makes the 305T stand out, however, is the incredibly minimalist bezel with relatively few display controls on its front. Instead of highlighting the display with a bezel of varying thickness or differing colours, the Syncmaster 305T instead opts for a slim and uniform 2cm wide bezel. This has the effect of making the screen meld into its background, rather than stand out -- well, as much as a 30-inch LCD screen can meld into anything. Despite being an LCD rather than a CRT, you'll still need a solid quantity of desk space to accommodate its bulk; it measures in at 690.2 x 502.0 x 280.0 mm with the stand attached, and weighs a solid 12kg.

We can't go without making comment about the tagline that Samsung uses on its the on its 305T homepage: "Imagine the extra width your life could have". We're not too sure it's a good idea to take taglines from Viagra spam vendors.

Features
The 305T is a 16:10 aspect ratio LCD display with a claimed grey-to-grey response time of 6ms. Resolution tops out at WQXGA (2560 x 1600). You'll need a decent quality graphics card, with Dual-Link DVI support, to run that kind of resolution. Typical contrast ratio is stated at 1000:1, with a brightness ratio of 400cd/m2. Samsung claims a viewing angle of 178 degrees from all sides.

The connector on the monitor itself is a DVI-D type, and a compatible cable is provided. There are no additional inputs for home AV equipment or even a VGA connector; this is intended as a high-end PC display only, unless you want to get fiddly with converters or plug-through solutions.

The Syncmaster 305T also sports four USB connectors, but they're placed at the bottom and on the rear of the display, making them rather difficult to get access to.

Performance
Getting the settings correct on the Syncmaster 305T was something of a chore, as it omits any kind of on-screen display. The only thing you can alter from the front controls are the brightness settings. Any other tweaking you want to do to optimise picture quality has to be done via the control panel of your respective graphics card. It's an annoying chore although, to be fair to the 305T, it isn't the only large display panel to go down this route.

It's quite common in larger screens to see visual problems because the scaling needed to push images up to size can be beyond some displays. When we fired up Displaymate to test the Syncmaster 305T, it gave an excellent showing, though. It has excellent colour reproduction, pin-point display geometry and good greyscale gradation. As such, it'd make an excellent working monitor for Photoshop types. At the same time, the 6ms response time worked well in our games tests with no perceptible display lag. Likewise, high definition video looked awesome although, as with the recently reviewed Dell 2707WFP, we'd worry about the long-term effects of watching too much video at such short distances.

It's not cheap, and its size means it's not for everybody, but if you're in the market for a really large LCD monitor, the Samsung Syncmaster 305T comes highly recommended.

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