Another day, another samey 22-inch widescreen monitor kitted out with a TN+Film LCD panel. There’s a twist today though, because this monitor isn't quite so easily categorised as it actually sports a quirky 21.6-inch screen diagonal making it marginally smaller than the 22-inch masses.
Quite what the advantage of this is, other than to squeeze a few more panels out from those big Far Eastern fabs, isn't entirely obvious from the outset. Perhaps the idea is to achieve a slightly finer pixel pitch than your average 22-incher – the SyncMaster 2253LW certainly gives nothing away with its 1,680 x 1,050 native resolution.
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This isn’t the first time that Samsung has moved away from the norm in this market segment – it did the same when it released the SyncMaster 215TW, which sported an excellent 21-inch S-IPS panel and sat a cut above the sea of 20-inch displays. When we reviewed the 215TW we felt that, because it was such a long way ahead of any other widescreen display with a 1,680 x 1,050 resolution, it was the best 20-inch monitor – even though it had a slightly bigger diagonal.
The reasons for choosing a bigger panel for the 215TW were clear, because it was in a different league to the various 20-inch panels on the market. This time, however, the reasoning is not quite as clear because it uses the same panel technology as those it’s competing against, but it at least ensures that Samsung's latest affordable widescreen model stands out from the somewhat cluttered vault of 22-inchers.
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Unusual proportions aside, the 2253LW also packs a battery of image enhancement technologies designed to further remove it from the 22-inch pack. But is it enough to offset its size disadvantage and perhaps even close the gap to more expensive PVA and IPS panel types? We find out...