There's nothing particularly special about the 19-inch Samsung SyncMaster 930B LCD monitor. Its plain, black body isn't adjustable, and its performance is just good enough for basic productivity tasks in a home or office setting. Aside from the included MagicTune calibration software and digital input, the SyncMaster 930B doesn't really deliver what we'd expect from a $379 monitor. We prefer the Dell UltraSharp 1905FP or the LG Flatron L1981Q, which offer more adjustability and better image quality for the same price.
The SyncMaster 930B's very basic black design is decidedly nondescript and will blend into the background of almost any office setup. An 0.75-inch-thick matte-black bezel surrounds its 12-by-15-inch viewing area. The large, black base is sturdy; the neck is not adjustable. You can tilt the SyncMaster 930B 30 degrees backward, but you can't swivel the display side to side or pivot it from landscape to portrait. Six menu-control buttons hide under the bottom bezel, and you have to look very closely to read their labels. We like the removable plastic piece that hides the inputs and the cables, though it lacks any mechanism to keep the cables organized.
Setting up the monitor and customizing it to your preferred viewing settings is a breeze (Samsung includes both digital and analog cords). The onscreen-menu buttons are fairly intuitive: you can adjust basic brightness and contrast settings, and the MagicBright button offers brightness levels customized for specific tasks: Text, Internet, Entertain, and Custom. Though the monitor works as a plug-and-play device, you can install the included MagicTune program to bypass the user-control buttons and set the brightness, the contrast, and the color levels via keyboard and mouse; the app also has test screens for calibrating colors.
At its native resolution of 1,280x1,024, the SyncMaster 930B mustered an average performance on CNET's DisplayMate-based tests. Text looked relatively crisp, and grayscales showed a slight hint of red, though black and white were hue free; blues and greens also showed a reddish tinge. These imperfections shouldn't affect productivity tasks such as word processing and Web surfing. Unfortunately, the SyncMaster didn't perform as well in our uniformity tests. We saw some obvious light patches on the bottom of the screen and some darker blotches in the upper-left portion of the screen; these issues may affect everyday viewing. Our DVD-playback tests showed only minor ghosting, and our video game testing didn't show any distortion, even in fast-moving scenes.
The Samsung SyncMaster 915N comes with an industry-standard three-year parts, labor, and backlight warranty. Samsung provides 24/7 technical support for the life of the display. Samsung's Web site has a searchable FAQ database and a list of popular questions and answers.