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Your eyes will thank you. Your ears, not so much.
While 20-inch widescreen LCDs seem to be the norm, Samsung added an extra inch to the SyncMaster 215TW. That inch really matters, improving the viewing experience more than you'd expect, particularly when you're splitting windows or watching widescreen video.
The SyncMaster 215TW features a headphone jack and a built-in speaker (more on this in a bit). If you're using multiple video sources, the Source button comes in handy: Press it to switch between your Mac, your set-top DVD player, and your (apologies) Windows PC. The DVI input is compliant with Intel's HDCP DRM for HD content (think of it like Apple's FairPlay, used on iTunes Store content), so you're future-proofed should copyright-protected HD content become the norm.
Samsung's bundled MagicBright2 software offers different display modes (such as Movie or Text) that adjust the screen colors and brightness based on what you're viewing. This type of feature is becoming common on LCDs, but does anyone ever switch modes? Maybe it's one of those things we'll need to remind ourselves to do as more displays offer this feature.
The image quality is wonderful. The screen is pleasingly bright, and colors are rich. The sound from the built-in speaker, however, has a plasticky quality that didn't impress us. The SyncMaster 215TW has adjustable height and a fully rotational base - useful features you don't often see on displays of this size.
The bottom line. The SyncMaster 215TW should be on your short list if you plan to upgrade from a smaller desktop display.
Great color and brightness. Extensive input options. Instant input switching.
Weak speaker. Display modes seem a bit gimmicky.