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Samsung SyncMaster F2380 review: Samsung SyncMaster F2380

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The Good The Samsung SyncMaster F2380 has wide viewing angles, useful ergonomic features, and some of the deepest black levels we've yet seen.

The Bad The Samsung SyncMaster F2380 has a low brightness level and lacks several connection options.

The Bottom Line The Samsung SyncMaster F2380 is a well-designed monitor with good performance that skimps on connection options.

Visit for details.

7.1 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 6
  • Performance 7
  • Support 8

Review Sections

The Samsung SyncMaster F2380 sells for as low as $330 from online retailers. That makes it just a bit more expensive the Samsung SyncMaster XL2370's $300 price. The F2380 also offers two DVI ports, one VGA, full four-way ergonomic adjustments, and a cPVA panels that affords it a wider viewing angle than the XL2370. Also, the F2380 has one of the best contrast ratios we've seen. Unfortunately, the display crushes dark grays at the low end of the color scale; while its color reproduction is good, it looks rather dull compared with the XL2370. If viewing angle and ergonomic options are important to you, the F2380 is a great buy. Otherwise, the XL2370 monitor is a better performing and better looking alternative at a slightly lower price.

Design and features
The 23-inch Samsung SyncMaster F2380 has a black, matte chassis and an angular aesthetic with somewhat sharp corners and edges. The panel is one inch deep; however, the back of the display--which houses the backlight, connection options, and ventilation system--extends another 1.6 inches, bringing the full monitor depth to about 2.6 inches. The panel width measures 21.4 inches long, and the surface of the screen has a slightly frosted and smooth matte finish. The bezel measures 0.6 inch long on all sides.

The squarelike footstand measures about 9.6 inches wide by 8.6 inches deep. Its wobbling was prevalent when we knocked the panel from the side, but we never felt it was in danger of topping, especially with the screen adjusted to its lowest height. With the screen height at its lowest, the distance from the bottom of the bezel to the desktop is 2.5 inches; at its highest, it is 7.6 inches. The panel swivels about 45 degrees left and right and tilts back about 25 degrees. The panel also pivots 90 degrees to the left for portrait mode.

Samsung includes only two types of video connection options for the F2380: two DVI ports and one VGA port, all located on the back on the panel. Unfortunately, Samsung didn't include HDMI or USB ports. Accessing these connections proved fairly easy, especially given the monitor's pivot feature.

The F2380's onscreen display follows the same design seen in the XL2370. The OSD button array consists of a Menu button, an Up and Down button, a Source, and an Auto button, with each button located on the bottom-middle of the bezel. Each button has a small "knot" protruding from it, helping you easily differentiate between them simply using your fingers. The Up and Down buttons also double as a brightness and preset shortcut buttons respectively. Its picture options consist of brightness, contrast, and sharpness. You can also set the color tone to Cool, Normal, Warm, or Custom, letting you change the red, green, and blue attributes individually. It has seven preset settings including Custom, Text, Internet, Game, Sport, Movie, and Dynamic Contrast. Each preset changes the color temperature and brightness of the display to be appropriate to the task at hand.

The Samsung SyncMaster F2380's 16:9 aspect ratio has a 1,920x1,080-pixel native resolution. The 16:9 monitor trend currently sweeping the market has given many smaller monitors higher resolutions than they were capable of at a 16:10 aspect ratio. A 22-inch monitor with a 16:9 aspect ratio now has a potential high-definition, native resolution of 1,920x1,080 (1080p) pixels as opposed to 1,680x1,050 pixels.

Manufacturer's specifications:
Resolution: 1,920x1,080 pixels
Pixel-response rate: 8ms
Contrast ratio: 3,000:1
Brightness: 400cd/m2
Connectivity: DVI (x2), VGA
HDCP compliant? Yes
Included video cables? DVI, VGA
Backlight type: CCFL
Panel type: cPVA
Aspect Ratio: 16:9

We tested the Samsung SyncMaster F2380 with its DVI connection in the Custom (default) preset. The display posted a composite score of 96 on CNET Labs' DisplayMate-based performance tests. The F2380 scored well in all of our color and uniformity tests except in three areas:

  • Color Tracking, where it revealed a slight reddish
  • Dark Screen test, where it showed apparent backlight bleed through in the top corners of the screen
  • Extreme grayscale bars, we found the display crushed dark gray, making it difficult to see dark detail

The Samsung SyncMaster F2380 achieved a brightness score of 237 candelas per square meter (cd/m2)--lower than the XL2370's 344 cd/m2 and lower than Samsung's claimed maximum brightness of 300 cd/m2. In practice, we found the F2380's brightness level a tad lower than we prefer, especially when viewing games or Web sites with a lot of color.

We looked at "Kill Bill Vol. 1" on DVD and several 1080p movie files from Microsoft's WMV HD Showcase. Movies on the F2380 looked great thanks to the display's high contrast ratio, exhibited by its very deep blacks. The displays tested contrast ratio was 2,517:1, which is lower than Samsung's claimed 3,000:1 ratio but higher than any monitor we've tested before.

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