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Samsung SyncMaster F2380 review: Samsung SyncMaster F2380

Samsung SyncMaster F2380

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.
Expertise Graphics and display technology. Credentials
  • Once wrote 50 articles in one month.
Eric Franklin
5 min read

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.


Samsung SyncMaster F2380

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.

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.

Unreal Tournament 3 and World of Warcraft both looked great running at 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution and showed no signs of ghosting or input lag. However, we did notice a graphical anomaly while playing Warcraft. In certain spots, very subtle green circles appeared when we moved through the world. This most likely can be attributed to the display's slower 8ms response time. We didn't see this on the XL2370, which has a faster 2ms response time.

The optimal viewing angle for a monitor is usually directly in front of the monitor, about a quarter of the screen's distance down from the top. At this angle, you're viewing the colors and gamma correction as they were intended. Most monitors are made to be viewed only at that angle. Depending on its panel type, picture quality at nonoptimal angles varies. Samsung used a cPVA panel in the SyncMaster F2380. Vertical Alignment panels usually show only minimal color shifts with angle changes. This is the case with the SyncMaster F2380. Viewing the screen from multiple wide angles did nothing to diminish the quality of the screen.

Juice box
Samsung SyncMaster F2380 Average watts per hour
On (default luminance) 37.78
On (max luminance) 37.78
On (min luminance) 17.5
Sleep 0.6
Calibrated (200 cd/m2) 32.27
Annual power consumption cost $11.63
Score Fair

In the power consumption tests, the Samsung SyncMaster F2380 drew 37.78 watts in its Default/On mode--more than the XL2370's 30.09 watts. Based on our formula, the F2380 would cost $11.69 per year to run--compared with the XL2370's $9.96 per year cost.

Brightness (in cd/m2)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Samsung SyncMaster F2380

Contrast ratio
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Samsung SyncMaster F2380
Dell S2409W
Dell SP2309W

DisplayMate performance
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Find out more about how we test LCD monitors.

Service and support
Samsung backs the SyncMaster F2380 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 e-mail and Web chat support. Documentation and support software for the F2380 were not yet available on Samsung's Web site at the time this review was published.


Samsung SyncMaster F2380

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 6Performance 7Support 8Setup 0