My Samsung SyncMaster 206BW lcd monitor review

Forewarning: No pics.

I bought the 20″ SyncMaster 206BW to replace an old weak 17″ CRT that was showing signs of age. I also wanted something that would show a little more screen real-estate.

Monitors are one of the few things where I’m very hesitant to buy online. Picture quality can vary drastically between monitors, and in no way is one $250 model guaranteed to be anything close to another. Preference comes into play a lot here too. Something as simple as glossy vs matte can make a world of difference. I head into the nearest Future Shop, and spent a pretty long time looking at their displays.

There were 2 major things I was looking for:

  1. A clear, sharp picture with vivid colors.
  2. Good contrast between different whites.

The nice thing about popping into a store and checking out the displays is that it makes it really easy to compare them against one another. I could tell that some monitors displayed text a little fuzzy, and by looking at any white icons when browsing the start menu, it was easy to get an indication as to which monitors were good at showing different shades of white, and which just kind of blended all whites together. Note that it *can* be an issue with the video card if the displays are hooked up to different computers, and some images are showing to be less than ideal.

In any case, it didn’t take long to narrow the possibilities in my price range from about 6 or 7 down to about 2. A little more nitpicking and I got it down to 1. Unfortunately, Future Shop only had the display model left, so I headed to Best Buy who fortunately had the same one, in stock, and was actually $20 cheaper.

Setting it up was a no-brainer. It came with both a VGA and DVI cable, and I hooked it up via DVI. The stand’s height isn’t adjustable in the least (although viewing angle is), but for where I was placing it, it was at about the right height anyway. Started it up and…… one stuck red pixel. Best Buy is pretty easy going about returns within 15 days, but the pixel’s not in a terrible spot, and rather than spend the time to pack it all up again and risk bringing a new one home with possibly even more dead pixels, I’m pretty certain I’ll just live with it.

Right from the get-go it was pretty easy to determine where the brightness and contrast had to be, and within a couple of minutes I was all set to go. It really is a pretty nice monitor, and while I really wish it didn’t have a stuck pixel, I’m not about to start having second thoughts about my decision.