Samsung SyncMaster P2370HD review: Samsung SyncMaster P2370HD

Samsung SyncMaster P2370HD

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin

Senior Managing Editor / Mobile

Eric Franklin leads the CNET Reviews editors in San Francisco as managing editor. A 20-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, at the movies, or at the edge of his couch with a game controller in his hands.

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7 min read

The 23-inch Samsung SyncMaster P2370HD is essentially a small HDTV that can double as a monitor. It has all the TV connections you'd expect and even comes with a fully functioning remote control. It can be found at major online stores for about $315. This is about $25 more than the comparable LG Flatron M237WD that has many of the same connections as the P2370HD including an extra HDMI port. While both monitors are great buys, we believe your choice will depend on what's most important to you. If features are paramount, get the LG for its extra HDMI port and S-Video connection; however, the Samsung has better overall performance in movies and HDTV.


Samsung SyncMaster P2370HD

The Good

The Samsung SyncMaster P2370HD has a ton of connection options, built-in speakers, and great overall performance.

The Bad

The Samsung SyncMaster P2370HD includes only one HDMI port and no S-Video. Also, its menu system is inefficient compared to others.

The Bottom Line

The Samsung SyncMaster P2370HD is a great choice for those looking for a 23-inch monitor-HDTV combo.

Design and features
While the Samsung SyncMaster XL2370 looks like a thinner, sleeker version of Samsung's P2370, the P2370HD looks more like its stockier brother. The panel measures 2.75 inches in depth and comes in at just larger than 22.5-inches in full width, compared with the LG's slightly thicker depth of 3.2 inches and 22-inch width. The bezel measures 1.2 inches on the sides and 1.75 inches on the bottom, where a light-gray Samsung logo resides. On the edge of the bezel is a plastic transparent overlay. According to Samsung, this overlay changes color based on the color of the light in the room, yet, this isn't entirely accurate. As different colored light passes through the overlay, it only gives the impression that the display is changing color.

The screen has a slightly frosty matte finish, and the neck of the display shares its design with the P2370 and XL2370 and is still one of the most aesthetically unique designs we've ever seen. The neck is made of transparent glass; however the bluish crystals found on the P2370 and XL2370 are nowhere to be seen. The lack of blue crystals diminishes the aesthetic uniqueness of this display.

The oval-shaped footstand is 11 inches wide by 7.5 inches deep, but even with such a wide footstand, the display wobbles and slides considerably, but never felt too unstable. The LG feels slightly more stable however, thanks to its more balanced weight.

The bottom of the bezel sits nearly 2.6 inches from the desktop, but unfortunately, the screen height isn't adjustable, and there are neither screen rotation nor pivot options for portrait mode. The capability to tilt the screen back 25 degrees is the only included ergonomic feature.

Connection options include one HDMI port (one less than the LG), VGA, DVI, component, composite, and a coaxial connection for an antenna or cable. Also, there's a port for normal audio and a digital audio out option. All connections sit on the back in the lower right-hand side of the panel and face backward, as most TVs do. This style of placement makes each connection easy to access, however there is a headphone jack ill placed. Above the connection options are four screw holes for mounting the display to the wall, VESA-style, though you'll have to supply your own mount.

Pressing your finger against the bottom right-hand corner of the bezel brings up the hidden onscreen display button array. The red, glowing buttons disappear after a couple moments of inactivity. The array consists of a Menu button, an Up and Down button, an Enter button, and a Plus and Minus button; however, the OSD is best navigated with the included remote control.

We found navigating the Samsung's menu a less efficient experience than with the LG. While changing the audio to SRS TruSurround took four steps on the Samsung, doing the same on the LG only took three steps.

The options function very much like a typical HDTV. The Picture option includes controls for brightness, contrast, and sharpness. And there's control for color temperature.

Audio options for the built-in speakers include TruSurround--which simulates having a 5.1 or more surround-sound system--and a number of presets for movies, music, and so on.

Our in-lab cable box is a bit dated and doesn't included an HDMI port; however, we attached each monitor via component and watched a little HD cable programming and found that the Samsung had a consistently higher quality picture. Again, we did not have an opportunity to test this with HDMI.

The Samsung SyncMaster XL2370's 16:9 aspect ratio supports a "Full HD" 1,920x1,080-pixel native resolution. This continues the trend of more and more monitor vendors moving toward 16:9 from 16:10 aspect ratios because high-definition content--in particular 1080p movies--can fit onto a 1,920x1,080-pixel screen in full-screen mode without stretching the image.

Manufacturer's specs:
Resolution: 1,920x1,080 pixels
Pixel-response rate: 5ms
Contrast ratio: 1,000:1
Connectivity: HDMI, DVI-D, VGA, Component, Composite
HDCP compliant? Yes
Included video cables? DVI, HDMI
Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Backlight: CCFL
Panel Type: TN

We tested the Samsung SyncMaster P2370HD with its DVI connection. The display posted a composite score of 93 on CNET Labs' DisplayMate-based performance tests, coming in just better than the LG Flatron M237WD. While the LG faltered in our color ramping tests--that tests an LCD's capability to display gradations of the same color smoothly--the P2370HD showed the same gradations smoothly and without any hue problems. The LG demonstrated its capability to distinguish black from dark gray; something the P2370HD had trouble with. In our Dark Screen test, clouding, or backlight bleedthrough, was noticeable on the top and especially the bottom middle edge of the screen; however, on the LG clouding was not as prevalent.

The P2370HD achieved a brightness score of 264 candelas per square meter (cd/m2)--higher than the M237WD's 232 cd/m2. Like the XL2370, the P2370HD's whites had a brightness to them that the LG couldn't quite match. The LG, had whites that looked somewhat muted in movies when directly compared with the same image on the Samsung.

We used the P2370's Entertainment preset to check out "Kill Bill Vol. 1" on DVD and a number of 1080p movie files from Microsoft's WMV HD Showcase. In both Kill Bill and the 1080p movies, we found that while the LG had consistently deeper blacks than the Samsung did, but sometimes its picture was too dark and made seeing dark detail difficult. Conversely, the Samsung's image looked more natural and brighter, without being too bright.

As good as movies looked in the Entertainment preset, we found that the Dynamic Contrast preset worked best for movie watching. With Dynamic Contrast on, we only noticed the screen darkening on scenes where the screen is 90 percent black or more, such as the end credits and during fades to black. In the DC preset, blacks looked darker and the colors slightly more full.

We looked at World of Warcraft and Unreal Tournament 3 and noticed no signs of input lag or any streaking or ghosting during fast movement. Games on both screens looked bright with colors that popped.

The optimal viewing angle for a monitor is usually directly in front, 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 not made to be viewed at any other angle. Depending on its panel type, picture quality at nonoptimal angles varies. Most monitors use TN panels that get overly bright or overly dark in parts of the screen when viewed from nonoptimal angles. The Samsung SyncMaster HD2370 and the LG Flatron M237WD use TN panels, and when they are viewed from the sides or bottom, we perceived the screens to darken about six inches off from center. Of course, when viewed from the optimal angle, we had no problems.

We turned the built-in speakers to their highest volume without hearing any distortion in the sound. At max volume the speakers were noticeably louder than the LG Flatron M237WD's speakers were.

Juice box
Samsung SyncMaster P2370HD Average watts per hour
On (default luminance) 47.22
On (max luminance) 47.22
On (min luminance) 23.57
Sleep 0.72
Calibrated (200 cd/m2) 39.2
Annual energy cost $14.59
Score Fair

In our power consumption tests, the Samsung SyncMaster P2370HD had a fairly high On/Default power draw of 47.22 watts, compared with the LG Flatron M237WD's 49.12 watts. The Samsung's standby power is a low 0.72 watts. The LG's was higher at 2.39 watts. Based on our formula, the P2370HD would cost $14.59 per year to run, compared with the M237WD's $16.31 per year.

Brightness (in cd/m2)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Samsung SyncMaster P2370HD
LG Flatron M237WD

Contrast ratio
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
LG Flatron M237WD
Samsung SyncMaster P2370HD
Dell G2410
Asus VH236H

DisplayMate tests
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Samsung SyncMaster P2370HD
LG Flatron M237WD

Find out more about how we test LCD monitors.

Service and support
Samsung backs the SyncMaster P2370HD 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 P2370HD were not yet available on Samsung's Web site at the time this review was published.


Samsung SyncMaster P2370HD

Score Breakdown

Design 6Features 7Performance 8Support 8Setup 0
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