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Samsung BX2350 review

Pretty, but also pretty expensive for a monitor
Tue Dec 14 2010, 17:01
samsung-bx2350-4

Product Samsung BX2350
Website www.samsung.com/uk
System Specifications 23-inch LED-backlit display, 1920 x 1080 resolution, 1000:1 contrast ratio, 2ms response time, D-sub, 2x HDMI, 555.3 x 423.5 x 208.7mm (with stand), 3.7kg
Price £230


SAMSUNG HAS BEEN BUILDING a bit of a reputation for itself in the style stakes with some of its recent LED-based displays and the BX2350 on test is arguably its best looking entry yet. A superbly slim panel, it measures just 67mm thick without the stand and weighs 3.7kg.

samsung-bx2350-4The screen's bezel is finished with an attractive acrylic surround that enhances aesthetic appeal without looking tacky, and a chrome-finished boomerang-shaped stand coordinates beautifully with the overall approach. Unfortunately these aesthetics come at the expense of flexibility - a rather slight 10-degree tilt is all you'll find in terms of adjustment and this is quite stiff, requiring both hands to operate comfortably.

The 23-inch panel offers native resolution of 1920 x 1080 and with a 1000:1 contrast ratio, 2ms response time and general look and feel, operation seems fairly oriented towards gaming and video playback. VGA and twin-HDMI ports are present, but it lacks a DVI-D port. However, Samsung includes a DVI-to-HDMI adapter in the box, so we're not too concerned about this omission.

Setup is a little convoluted due to the enforced manual driver selection and a monitor driver installer that really should be redundant in this day and age, but also includes the Magictune Premium software that unlocks many of the more advanced features of the panel. In truth this mainly provides a more accessible route to manual and automatic setting adjustment that is also available through the on-screen menus, but since these use touch-sensitive controls that, while better than many we've seen, are still rather temperamental at times, it's a welcome alternative.

samsung-bx2350-3The software also allows for configuration of a custom key that offers one-touch access to a feature of your choice, and a Magickey mode that, when enabled, ties controls to open selected applications or web pages. Five Magicbright preset modes include standard, game, cinema and custom, along with a dynamic contrast option, while a Magicangle mode attempts to address viewing angle issues found with TN-based panels by adjusting brightness to compensate for a range of applications.

Though the default viewing mode seemed very effective in terms of establishing accurate colour balance and contrast levels from the get-go, we were impressed by the Magicbright presets when testing the screen with games and video. Refresh rates are excellent here and we saw no signs of ghosting or image blur during frantic moments in games and when viewing some high-octane 1080p test clips. Colours are generally accurate as well - they did appear overly vibrant at times during gameplay, but this can be improved by enabling the Magiccolor mode.

It does take some time to learn your way around the various adjustments available, but unlike many rivals the convenience on offer from the Magic-branded controls means it's far quicker and easier to find an optimum image and, with a bit of patience, the BX2350 is capable of impressive performance

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We were less impressed by the Magicangle mode however, which while quite noticeable when selecting an optimum viewing angle didn't improve things dramatically enough to compensate from inherent issues with the TN-based design. Finally, a Magiceco control allows users to adjust backlight brightness (and therefore power consumption) by selecting between 100 percent, 75 percent and 50 percent modes, and though the latter is only really suitable in dark environments, we worked comfortably at 75 percent during the daytime and would be happy leaving this as the default.

In Short
Samsung's BX2350 is a superbly stylish display with impressive performance and a wide range of ways to adjust settings for different environments. Though it's a little more expensive than some similar rivals, it will appeal to those who prioritise media and gaming use. µ

The Good
Slim and attractive design, impressive performance and tuning features, very responsive.

The Bad
Some issues establishing optimum colour balance for gaming, Magicangle modes don't make much of a difference, touch sensitive controls can be temperamental.

The Ugly
Inflexible in terms of angle and orientation adjustment.

Bartender's Score
5/10

 

 

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