Samsung SyncMaster 173P LCD Monitor

Introduction:

It has been a while since our last monitor review, but Samsung is back and this time they brought along their sexy new 173P LCD display. The 17" 173P is targeted towards gamers, corporate and business markets. The 173P also comes with two features that aren't common in LCD monitors now-a-days, one is the a pivoting screen and the other is software based settings. If you haven't noticed by now, take a good look at the front panel. You will only find the Samsung logo and the On/Off soft-touch switch and no, there aren't any buttons, knobs, or wheel hidden on the bottom of the monitor. More details on this new software later in the review, for now lets check out the specs.

Specifications

Panel

Viewable area:

 17" diagonal

Pixel Pitch (mm):

 0.264

Brightness:

 270 cd/m2

Contrast Ratio:

 700:1

Viewing Angle (H/V):

 178˚/178˚

Response Time (ms):

 25

Frequency

Horizontal Frequency Analog (Hz):

 30-81

Horizontal Frequency Digital (Hz):

 30-63

Vertical Frequency (Hz):

 56-76

Maximum Resolution:

 1280x1024

Signal Input

Analog RGB and DVI Digital Link

Weight

Net (Physical):

 13.2 lbs

Gross (packaging):

 17.6 lbs

Cabinet Color (front / back):

 Silver/White

Features:

Magic Bright™ - The 173P utilizes Samsung’s MagicBright™  technology, which features three separate “brightness modes” designed specifically for PC, Internet and entertainment applications.
-The first brightness mode, PC-Text, is ideal for traditional text-based computing such as world processing, spreadsheets, graphics and database applications. The PC mode features a brightness level equivalent to what users are accustomed to on traditional LCD displays.
-The Internet Mode offers increased luminescence that is specifically designed for viewing streaming video or video from the Internet.
-The Entertainment mode features the highest luminescence level. This mode is designed for entertainment applications such as PC-Internet gaming, multimedia content editing, and watching TV or HDTV (if a user’s PC includes a TV tuner).
 

Dual Signal Inputs- The 173P comes with both Analog RGB and DVI Digital Link input ports.



Dual Hinge System
- The two-hinge system allows the monitor to be folded freely or to be wall mounted. See demo below (note the monitor in the example isn't the 173P, it is the 172W which has the same dual hinge system)...


Click arrows to see the Dual Hinge System in action.

Wall or Ceiling Mounting Abilities - Since it comes with a mounting bracket the 173P is able to mount on a wall or ceiling.

Soft-touch power button - The only external control is the power button which uses Samsung's extremely cool soft-touch technology.



Pivoting Screen - Included on the software disc is the Pivot Pro program. To use the software simply right click on the desktop and choose how much you would like the screen to be rotated and then rotate the monitor screen accordingly...

The main purpose of this software is to allow the user to fit more of a word document, picture, or web page on the screen so they don't have to scroll as much. I didn't end up using this software very much. One, because whenever I wanted to play a game I had to change the settings back to normal and then rotate the monitor back into position. Two, my mouse comes with the pretty much standard scroll wheel which makes scrolling hardly a hassle. I suppose the best use for this feature would be for viewing tall pictures.

Features (cont.)

:

Magic Tune Software - So what is the deal with not having an external buttons to change the monitors settings? Well Samsung has decided to try something new and introduced the Magic Tune monitor calibration tool. When you load the program you are greeted with a host of options.

This is the brightness configuration screen. At the bottom of the screen is a set of reference bars used to gauge your adjustment. The contrast screen is very similar to the brightness screen.

Along with the brightness and contrast, you can also adjust the 173P's clock and phase. This is used to help synchronize with the video signal to get rid of any possible distortion.

Above are some more options available to configure the monitor's settings including Samsung's MagicBright feature. Below is the color calibration tool.

Using this Calibration Tool is a two-step process.
 
First, notice that the Gray Square is not a true gray.
 
Moving the Gray Square around within the Color Ring will alter the tint of the Gray Square.
 
In the example below, we need to remove the blueish cast from the Gray Square. Drag the Gray Square toward the blue area of the Color Ring. Stop when the Gray Square is a neutral gray tone.
 

Overview

One of the best assets of the 173P is definitely it's looks. Its slim, smooth, and clean looking. The back of the monitor is a shiny cream-white colored plastic. Here we also see the dual hinge system.

\

As stated before, the front panel only has the On/Off button and Samsung logo which gives the monitor a cleaner look.

For testing DisplayMate's software was run. Below are some tests of the program.

The DisplayMate results were very good with no dead pixels to be found. Along with running DisplayMate, some Unreal Tournament 2003 was played to test for ghosting. It only took a couple to see the ghosting that was occurring which was to be expected with the 173P's 25ms response time. Game play was still enjoyable as the ghosting really wasn't enough to hinder the experience.

Conclusion:

The 173P is another great addition to Samsung's LCD monitor line and is one of the best looking models yet. Its software based calibration is a very nice change that allows for quick adjustments (although the auto adjusting technology had the picture lined up perfectly all of the time anyways). I have one complaint however and that is I would like to see Samsung still provide a button to change the MagicBright setting on the front of the monitor. The reason why I loved this feature so much in the past is because I was able to very quickly dim down the brightness when using it during nighttime. Since the setting is now software based, I had to be blinded by the brightness as stared at the screen and navigated to the setting. Other than that, I think software based control is a good idea and helps give the monitor a clean look.

Pros:

Cons:

At $630 average price from online retailers, it is tough to recommend the 173P to the average home user especially if they don't need the digital input. There are cheaper analog 17" LCD monitors like the 172N that would do just fine. Businesses however should take a look at this monitor. It has a great picture quality and the ability to the display documents or pictures vertically with the Pivot Pro software. Overall, the 173P is a solid monitor and deserves a 9.0 out of 10. A big thanks to Samsung for providing the unit.

SLRating: 9.0 / 10

CONTACT: Michael Ingalls PRESS RELEASE

Russ Rowland FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HWH Public Relations

PHONE: (212) 355-5049

E-MAIL: michaeli@hwhpr.com

russr@hwhpr.com

SAMSUNG DEBUTS INNOVATIVE "HANDS-FREE"

17" LCD COMPUTER MONITOR

New Display Utilizes Samsung’s Proprietary MagicTune Software,

its MagicBright Technology and Offers a Dual-Hinge Design and Super-Slim Bezel

New York, NY -- Samsung, the world’s leading manufacturer of CRT and TFT monitors, today unleashes one of the most versatile and technologically-advanced LCD displays on the market, the SyncMasterÔ 173P. Targeted to PC and online gamers, corporate and business markets and perfect for the home, the 17" 173P incorporates Samsung’s brand new and proprietary MagicTune™ software for a truly hands-free experience. It also features Samsung’s MagicBright technology, dual inputs (digital and analog) and Pivot technology. This radical new monitor will be shipping in October 2003.

"As a worldwide technology innovator, Samsung always strives to offer state of the art technologies that showcase the ingenuity of Samsung’s advanced R&D team," states Monica Islas, Product Marketing Manager for Monitors, for Samsung’s Digital Information Technology Division (DITD). "The revolutionary SyncMaster 173P that incorporates the new proprietary MagicTune software is a technology statement that underscores Samsung’s total commitment to offering the most sophisticated displays available today."

Utilizing it’s advanced MagicTune software and Display Data Channel Command Interface (DDC-CI), the 173P features a single on/off button -- all other applications, set up utilities, and screen adjustments are executed via the mouse through the video cable. MagicTune’s default screen, known as the Wizard, guides users through a comprehensive step-by-step setup procedure than ensures customized optimum on-screen performance. Individual preferences are unlimited and saved to the computer’s hard drive, enabling each user who operates the monitor to personalize the display to their specific screen preference.

New MagicTune Software

MagicTune setup features include geometry, color, options menu, and a comprehensive help\support menu. The geometry feature allows the user to adjust the display via a test pattern producing precise accurate screen geometry. The color feature lets the user adjust the display’s white point via a test pattern for an accurate and natural flesh tone appearance. The options menu includes six popular language selection, user and preset modes, input source selection, support menu, software upgrade feature, extensive help menu and an asset identification feature.

The 173P utilizes Samsung’s MagicBright technology, which features three separate "brightness modes" designed specifically for PC, Internet and entertainment applications. The first brightness mode, PC-Text, is ideal for traditional text-based computing such as world processing, spreadsheets, graphics and database applications. The PC mode features a brightness level equivalent to what users are accustomed to on traditional LCD displays.

The Internet Mode offers increased luminescence that is specifically designed for viewing streaming video or video from the Internet. As a result, users downloading video from the Internet see a brighter, more saturated color as well as sharper and crisper images when compared with video viewed on a traditional PC display.

The third -- and brightest -- mode parallels the TV viewing experience and features the highest luminescence level. This mode is designed for entertainment applications such as PC-Internet gaming, multimedia content editing, and watching TV or HDTV (if a user’s PC includes a TV tuner).

Dual Interfaces

The SyncMaster 173P offers users the option of using either a digital or analog interface for viewing images and text. The Digital Video Interface (DVI) ensures a shaper, cleaner image and a more accurate representation of the original video source. Since video starts out digital in a PC graphics card, the digital output is directly interfaced to the digital input of the LCD panel and always provides the optimum quality image. In addition, no end-user adjustments are required with a digital display, even when randomly changing resolutions.

For users with the need for picture-perfect image quality, the SyncMaster 173P features Samsung’s Patterned Vertical Alignment (PVA), the latest technology advancement in liquid crystal cell structure for improved viewing. The display offers an extra-wide 178° viewing angle, an exceptionally high brightness rate of 270cd/m2, a 700:1 contrast ratio, an ultra-fine pixel pitch of .264 mm and offers a maximum resolution of 1280 x 1024.

The 173P is offered in a stylish silver color and features a unique dual-hinge design that can be folded flush and used as the wall mount bracket. . It also offers a full 90° screen tilt for unmatched flexibility and 0.0"- 3.25" height adjustment capability. The monitor sports a slim bezel that is just 0.8" thick and a sleek 1" panel profile. In addition, the 173P features Pivot® software by Portrait Displays for switching between portrait and landscape viewing. With Pivot, users have full-page viewing capabilities of 8-1/2 x 11 or A4 documents without having to scroll.

The SyncMaster 173P meets TCO ’03 standards for low emissions and incorporate a power management system that complies with VESA, DPMS, Energy2000 and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Standards for energy efficient reduced power consumption.

Samsung backs all of its monitors with a three-year, parts and labor warranty as well as toll-free technical support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In addition, Samsung offers a three-year Advanced Replacement Program, three-year Repair & Return or Exchange and three-year Shuttle Exchange for hassle-free repairs.

For more information about Samsung's SyncMaster monitors or for the name of the dealer nearest you, contact Samsung toll-free at 1-800-SAMSUNG or via the Internet at www.samsungusa.com/monitor.

About Samsung

Samsung Electronics America’s Digital Information Technology Division (DITD), located in Irvine, California, is the U.S. subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Company, Ltd. (SEC). Samsung’s DITD markets a complete line of award-winning TFT and CRT computer displays, laser printers, fax machines, multifunction devices, ODD (optical disc drive) and HDD (hard disk drive) drives for professional, corporate and SOHO users. DITD also markets large-screen plasma, and LCD displays designed specifically for the professional and commercial markets.

The Samsung Electronics America organization also oversees the North American operations of Samsung Telecommunications USA, Samsung Canada and Samsung Mexico. SEC, with operations in more than 47 countries, is the largest electronics company in Korea and one of the top ten in the world. The company is the world’s number one producer of computer displays and DRAMs and was recently named one of the world’s Top 100 Brands by BusinessWeek magazine.

# # #

-- Specifications --

Specifications

Model

173P

 

Part Number

173P - Silver

Panel

Type

a-si TFT /PVA

 

Size

17"

 

Pixel Pitch (mm)

0.264

 

Brightness

270cd/m2

 

Contrast Ratio

700:1

 

Viewing Angle

178o / 178o

 

Aspect Ratio

5:4

 

Response Time (ms)

25

 

Interface

Analog / Digital

Frequency

Horizontal Rate - (Analog)

30-81

 

Horizontal Rate - (Digital)

30-63

 

Vertical Rate

56-76

 

Bandwidth

140

Resolution

Maximum

1280 x 1024

Color

Maximum

16.7M

Signal Input

Input Video Signal

Analog RGB, DVI Digital link

 

Video Level: Analog

Analog:0.7VP-P

 

Video Level: Digital

TMDSTM

 

Sync Type

Separate H/V, Composite H/V, SOG

 

Input Connectors

15pin D-sub, DVI-D

Plug & Play

DDC

DDC 2B

Power

On / Working

40 Watts (Max)

Wall Mount

VESA®

VESA 75mm

 

Emission Standard

TCO '03

Cabinet Color

Bezel Color

Silver

Dimensions

Physical (WxHxD)

15.0" x 15.6" x 9.3"

 

Packaging (WxHxD)

18.7" x 16.1" x 6.9"

Weight

Net (physical)

13.2 lbs.

 

Gross (packaging)

17.6 lbs.

Special Features

Special Features

Ultra narrow bezel and slim design; Dual hinge stand; Pivot technology; Button less design; MagicTuneTM; MagicBrightTM; Color gamut 70.8%

Pivot

Pivot Technology

Yes

Warranty

Parts / Labor / Backlight

3 / 3 / 3

Compatible Computer Systems

 

PC / Windows



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