It’s taken a long time but we’ve finally got our hands on a 22in monitor from Samsung. Over the last few months we’ve looked at number of examples from IIyama, Viewsonic and Acer but with a strong presence in the PC display market many people will be considering Samsung’s effort – the 226BW.
We've already extolled the virtues of widescreen monitors many a time - gaming, Vista's sidebar, movies - and it's certainly the case that the vast majority of the monitor market is going that way. 19" monitors are still square, for the most part, but anything 20" and above is now widescreen. Which exact size of monitor you end up with depends on the size, but also on the resolution and consequent dot pitch. A 20" widescreen has the same resolution as a 22", but obviously the dot pitch on the 20" is smaller, making it slightly sharper. This is the same as with 17" and 19" 1280x1024 monitors.
Some people prefer the smaller screen with the higher resolution, whilst others want the larger screen space. Monitor manufacturers have already made the decision, largely, to phase out 17", 20" and 24" and move in to primarily 19", 22" and 26" - making the larger dot pitch the default option.
Samsung is one such company, and it is making an effort to make its displays very attractive to purchasers. Not only does it look good, but the specs are rather neat, too - can it walk away with our recommendation?
Neither the manual on the CD nor the Samsung Web site reveals the technology used in the panel. The headline figure is the 2ms grey-to-grey response time, which normally infers that the panel is a basic 6-bit TN. However, the quoted figure for the amount of colours configurable is 16.7m, which is only possible from an 8-bit panel. Either way, the viewing angles are less than that available from IPS panels – just 160 degrees both horizontally and vertically. However, in reality that’s enough for most users and good enough so that people don’t have to be right in front of it. However, you still can’t view from too far above or below.
Here's the lowdown on the raw numbers:
22" (wide) viewable area;
2ms response time (grey-to-grey);
Contrast ratio: 1000:1 (but with 3000:1 'dynamic' preset);