Samsung PX2370 review: Samsung PX2370

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The Good The Samsung PX2370 performs better than the XL2370; it has additional and useful onscreen display options; it is reasonably priced.

The Bad The Samsung PX2370 lacks ergonomic features, has a dimmer maximum brightness level than the XL2370, and has a less intuitive onscreen display.

The Bottom Line With more features and a better movie performance rating, the Samsung PX2370 improves--in most areas--on one of the best monitors we've reviewed.

8.0 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Performance 8
  • Support 8

Thanks to its angular look, the Samsung PX2370 isn't quite as sexy as the XL2370 is. Samsung didn't think out the PX2370's onscreen display placement well; its OSD is inferior to the XL2370's display and makes navigating the menu a less fluid experience. Also, Samsung gave the PX2370 a lower maximum brightness level than it gave its XL2370 display. However, Samsung provided the PX2370 with two key improvements over the XL2370: better movie playback performance and a plethora of useful OSD options.

The PX2370 displays colors more accurately during movie playback than the XL2370 does, and it has an onscreen display with more-useful features--including one feature we've never seen on a monitor. At only $309--which is $9 more than the XL2370--the PX2370, with its abundance of features and improved movie playback performance, edges out its predecessor in value.

Design and features
The 23-inch PX2370 is Samsung's follow-up to the successful SyncMaster XL2370 that it released in 2009. The PX2370 has a more angular look than the XL2370 has, with sharper corners and more-clearly defined edges, as opposed to the XL2370's smoother, rounded corners. The PX2370's panel measures 0.75 inch deep, which is slightly thicker than the XL2370's considerably thin 0.6-inch panel depth. The PX2370's bezel measures 0.9 inch, which is shorter than the XL2370's 1.1-inch bezel and, like the XL2370, it has a plastic transparent overlay that covers its outer edge. The PX2370's full width is 21.9 inches, which about 0.5 inch shorter than the XL2370 is.

The PX2370's screen has a matte finish, and its neck, which shares a similar design with the XL2370, is one of the most aesthetically unique designs we've ever seen. The neck is made of transparent glass; however, the PX2370 doesn't include the bluish crystals found at the bottom of the neck like the XL2370 does, making the PX2370's neck look rather plain. The display's power button is at the bottom center of the bezel; it's a 1.7-inch-wide half circle with a white LED light that illuminates when the display is powered on. The circular foot stand is 9.1 inches in diameter. It wobbles considerably when knocked from the sides, but we feel it's less likely to topple over than the XL2370, in part because it weighs 8.76 pounds, which is about 2 pounds heavier than the XL2370.

The bottom of the display's bezel is 3.8 inches from the desktop, about an inch and a half higher than the XL2370. Like the XL2370, the screen height isn't adjustable and there isn't a screen rotation or pivot option for portrait mode. The capability to tilt the screen back 15 degrees is the only included ergonomic feature.

With the PX2370, Samsung includes the same connection options that it did on the XL2370, including DVI-D, HDMI, and analog and digital audio out. All of the display's 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. Unlike with the XL2370, Samsung didn't recess the PX2370's connections into the monitor, making them easy easier to access.

The XL2370 included an OSD array in the lower right-hand side of the bezel, but Samsung takes a different approach with the PX2370. The buttons on the PX2370 are aligned vertically along the back left of the monitor, so they are invisible from the front. This makes navigating the OSD not as fluid or intuitive as it was on the XL2370. It would be more helpful having the buttons on the front, so it's more clear which button you're pressing.

The OSD button array consists of a Menu button, an Up and Down button, an Enter button, and an Auto button. The Up and Down buttons also double as a brightness 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 four 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 PX2370 several "magic" features it didn't give the XL2370. First up is Magic Lux, the name the company gave to the PX2370's ambient light sensor. Based on the amount of ambient light in the room, the PX2370 will automatically adjust the brightness to an "optimal" level. You can choose from three light sensitivity levels: Low, Middle, and High. Once switched on, the monitor's brightness will immediately lower to compensate for the light (or lack of light) in the room; however, when switching from a brightly lit room to a completely dark room, we only noticed a very subtle change in brightness. The change was so subtle, in fact, that we had to use our color meter to determine that the display's brightness changed at all. This is a useful feature if you're looking to limit strain on your eyes.

Next is Magic Eco, a power saving feature that lets you set the brightness level to 100, 75, or 50 percent.

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. However, the feature does not shift the focus from the primary to the secondary if the primary is shut down. Using Windows Vista, we found that after shifting the focus, if we maximized a window, that window would cover the toolbar as well, until we dragged the toolbar around a bit. Also when using it, sometimes windows we expected to open on the primary monitor opened instead on the secondary monitor. It's not a huge concern, but we hope this gets some refinement in future iterations.

Though moving the OSD buttons to the back of the chassis allows the front to retain its unspoiled allure, we lose some of the functional elegance the XL2370 had. Though the PX2370's buttons line up perfectly to their respective menu functions, the fact that we can't see buttons, for all intents and purposes, makes navigating through the menu less intuitive than we'd like. Our preference would be for the buttons to appear on the front like Dell's intuitively designed OSD, seen in the U2710.

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.

The Samsung PX2370 display has a 16:9 aspect ratio and supports a "Full HD" 1,920x1,080-pixel native resolution. This continues the trend of monitor vendors moving toward a 16:9 aspect ratio from a 16:10 ratio 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.