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Samsung SyncMaster BX2350 review: Samsung SyncMaster BX2350

Samsung SyncMaster BX2350

Eric Franklin Former Editorial Director
Eric Franklin led the CNET Tech team as Editorial Director. A 20-plus-year industry veteran, Eric began his tech journey testing computers in the CNET Labs. When not at work he can usually be found at the gym, chauffeuring his kids around town, or absorbing every motivational book he can get his hands on.
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Eric Franklin
8 min read

The Samsung SyncMaster BX2350 is yet another thin 23-inch, LED-based monitor option from Samsung. So the question is, why buy this over the PX2370? Although the BX2350 looks very similar to its brother, it includes some clear differences. Instead of a circular foot stand, seen on the PX2370, the BX2350 includes two wide span "feet" as its foot stand. Also, the BX has two HDMI ports versus the other's single HDMI. The BX2350's overall performance is on par--or better, in some cases--than the PX2370; however, it has very apparent clouding at the top and left edges of the screen. Also, though we're usually fans of "touch areas" instead of buttons for the onscreen display (OSD) array, we're even bigger fans when said touch areas work consistently and we aren't constantly, mistakenly powering the monitor off by grabbing it in the wrong place (we experienced both when using the BX2350). Both the PX2370 and BX2350 can be found for about $330. It's close, but we still recommend the PX2370 overall, thanks to its lack of backlight clouding and better designed OSD array.


Samsung SyncMaster BX2350

The Good

The Samsung SyncMaster BX2350 has accurate color reproduction for a TN-based panel, includes many useful viewing-angle features, and continues the exceptionally stylish look established by Samsung's previous LED monitors.

The Bad

Samsung SyncMaster BX2350 has very noticeable backlight clouding, low vibrancy in games, and its OSD array touch sensors work inconsistently.

The Bottom Line

The Samsung SyncMaster BX2350 is a great monitor, hampered by an overzealous backlight.

Design and features
For the third time in less than a year, Samsung has released a stylish-looking 23-inch LED-based monitor. The SyncMaster BX2350 looks like a cross between the PX2370 and the XL2370. It has more-angular corners, like the PX2370, but its profile--in particular, the way it juts out at the back--is more reminiscent of the XL2370's design. Also, like the previous Samsungs, the BX2350 has a plastic, transparent overlay that covers its outer edge. That's pretty much where the similarities end, though.

Instead of a circular or oval-shaped foot stand, the BX2350 includes two chrome feet that extend out at 45-degree angles. Hitting the display from the sides makes the screen wobble, but thanks to the wide 14.3-inch span of the feet, we never thought it was in any danger of toppling.

The bezel is 0.8 inch wide and when viewing the monitor from the side, the profile is a thin 0.75 inch deep. The full width of the panel is 21.8 inches, and the distance from the desktop the bottom of the bezel is 3.5 inches. The back of the display is covered with horizontal grooves that feel like wood paneling.

The panel tilts back about 10 degrees, with no height adjustment, pivoting, or swiveling included. Connection options include two HDMI ports, one VGA, and an audio out. Sadly there's no DVI port; however, Samsung includes an HDMI-to-DVI cable, allowing you to connect it to most video cards.

All of the connections sit on the back of the display, in the lower midsection of the panel. The ports face backward, instead of down as on most monitors, making them easy to access.

The lower-right corner of the bezel includes the OSD array. Using "touch areas" in place of actual buttons for the OSD, the BX2350 retains the elegant look of the Samsung's past LED-based monitors; however, what it retains in aesthetics, it loses in functionality. The touch areas can be consistently unresponsive, and there were a few times during testing when we accidentally powered off the monitor when grabbing it from the right side.

The OSD button array consists of a Menu button, Up and Down buttons, an Enter button, and an Auto button. The Up and Down buttons also double as a preset shortcut and a customizable shortcut button, respectively. Its picture options consist of brightness, contrast, and sharpness. You can also set the color tone to Cool, Normal, Warm, or Custom, which lets you change the red, green, and blue attributes individually. There are five presets: Custom, Standard, Game, Cinema, and Dynamic Contrast. Each preset changes the color temperature or brightness of the display to be appropriate to the task you're performing.

Samsung gives the BX2350 several "magic" features shared by the PX2370. First up is Magic Eco, a power-saving feature that lets you set the brightness level to 100, 75, or 50 percent.

Next, in a multimonitor setup, Magic Return shifts all windows and your Windows toolbar from the secondary monitor to the primary monitor when power to the secondary monitor is lost or is simply turned off. On the PX2370, we experienced some minor issues with this feature that we thankfully weren't able to reproduce on the BX2350.

There's also an option in the OSD to set the refresh rate of the monitor from Slow to Fast to Faster. However, when we adjusted this setting, we didn't notice any performance difference.

Design highlights
Connectivity HDMIx2
Ergonomic options 10-degree back tilt
Resolution 1,920x1,080 pixels
Aspect ratio 16:9
Audio n/a
VESA support No

Feature highlights
Included video cables DVI to HDMI
Backlight LED
Panel Type TN
Screen film Matte
Pixel-response rate 2ms
Number of presets 5
Overdrive Yes
Picture options Brightness, Contrast, and Sharpness
Color controls Cool, Normal, Warm, RGB controls, Grayscale, Green, Aqua, Sepia
Gamma control Yes
Additional features Viewing-angle optimizations

We tested the Samsung SyncMaster BX2350 through its HDMI input, connected to a Windows Vista PC, using the included HDMI-to-DVI cable. The display posted a composite score of 96 on CNET Labs' DisplayMate-based performance tests. This was virtually the same performance we saw on the Samsung PX2370, which scored 97; however, there are a few minor differences worth pointing out. The BX2350's default settings are close to optimal, and as a result, it requires less adjusting than the PX2370 before we started testing. Throughout our color tests we saw no egregious color problems on the BX2350 and only experienced minor nonlinearity in one of our color scales tests. The BX2350 scored just a hair better than the PX2370 in these tests, as its color was just a tad less saturated and more accurate. In our Dark Screen test we noticed very apparent clouding at the top and left side edges of the screen, more than we saw on the PX2370. In our Black Level test, the BX2350 only crushed very dark grays, and the monitor was able to display down to a level-two gray, which is two levels above true black. This indicates an optimal black level for the display.

Text: In text, we saw no color problems with black text on a white background. Fonts were clearly visible down to a 6.8 size.

Movies: We tested the Samsung SyncMaster BX2350 using the Blu-ray version of "Avatar." Here we saw mostly accurate color, however, the PX2370 pushes red more and as a result some details like the scars on Quaritch's arms are more easily visible than they are on the BX2350. We were able to improve that color detail on the BX2350 by decreasing the blue setting to 93. Also, dark detail such as braids in the hair of the Na'vi during a nighttime scene could be easily seen on both monitors.

Games: Because of our intimate familiarity with World of Warcraft, it remains the best tool for judging color quality and vibrancy in games. On the PX2370, we found that although the Game mode preset can oversaturate color slightly, it also brings a welcome vibrancy to the game's aesthetics; the BX2350 has more accurate color when displaying games compared with the PX2370. As a result, the BX2350 can't quite mimic the vibrancy of the PX2370 when displaying games. Still, WoW looked great running on the BX2350, with no color push or tint problems.

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 correction 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. The Samsung BX2370 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.

The Magic Angle mode prevents the screen from darkening when viewed from certain angles. Magic Angle has five settings: Lean Back Mode 1, Lean Back Mode 2, Standing Mode, Side Mode, and Group View. Switching to each mode will improve 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. Group View is a new mode, not included with the PX2370, and is a kind of jack of all trades mode, providing good performance from most angles, but not as good as if you were using the specific modes.

Recommended settings and use: During general use, watching movies, and playing games, we found the Custom Mode preset to be the BX2370's optimal picture setting.

As with most TN-based monitors, the Samsung SyncMaster BX2350 shouldn't be used if pinpoint accurate color reproduction is required; however, the monitor is good for watching movies, playing games, and for general use. If you do have stringent color needs, we suggest you narrow your search to IPS or PVA-based panels only. The Dell UltraSharp U2711 is a good place to start.

Power consumption: The Samsung SyncMaster BX2350 achieved good power consumption, with a Default/On power draw of 28.05 watts, compared with the PX2370's 25.01 watts in the same test. The consumption delta was lower in our Sleep/Standby test, with the PX2370 drawing 0.27 watt and the BX2350 drawing 0.2 watt. With both monitors' center points calibrated to 200 candelas per square meter (cd/M2), the PX2370 drew 19.9 watts, whereas the VG236H drew a high 24.7 watts. Based on our formula, the Samsung SyncMaster BX2350 would cost $8.51 per year to run, compared with the PX2370's $7.65 per year.

Brightness (in cd/m2)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Samsung SyncMaster BX2350

Contrast ratio
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Asus MS238H
Samsung SyncMaster BX2350
Acer S243HL

DisplayMate test
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Samsung SyncMaster BX2350

Juice box
Samsung SyncMaster BX2350 Average watts per hour
On (default luminance) 28.05
On (max luminance) 28.05
On (min luminance) 11.83
Sleep 0.2
Calibrated (200 cd/m2) 24.7
Annual power consumption cost $8.51
Score Good

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Service and support
Samsung backs the PX2370 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.


Samsung SyncMaster BX2350

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 8Performance 7Support 8Setup 0