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We liked almost everything about the Samsung SyncMaster 932GW’s image quality. We liked how the glossy display produced smooth, consistent skin tones in photographs. We liked how it beautifully handled black-and-white photos. We also liked the clean text, at any font size. The only thing we didn’t like was the shadow detail—we found the SyncMaster 932GW’s shadows to be too dark and sometimes muddy.
The bottom of the display is about 3.5 inches from the desktop, and the neck
has tilt adjustment. The controls are complete and easy to use, but you should download the Mac version of Samsung’s MagicTune software (the bundled MagicTune CD has Windows software only) instead of using the hardware controls. Not only does MagicTune let you make screen adjustments with your mouse, but it also has calibration tools that are similar to the Display Calibrator Assistant in OS X. Then there’s the MagicBright tool within MagicTune, which provides 5 preset brightness settings that you select based on what’s on your screen. For example, a Text setting sets the brightness for reading text, and there’s a Cinema setting for watching movies.
Speaking of movies, the 932GW handled movies without any streaking. We saw consistent colors while watching Transformers and Lawrence of Arabia, but sometimes the picture was too dark. Our gameplay wasn’t interrupted by any stutter, either.
Good overall image quality. Excellent text. Great MagicTune software.
Dark movie playback. Dark shadow detail in photos.
Images have extra pop on the AccuSync 19WMGX’s glossy screen.
The dazzling image quality of the NEC AccuSync LCD 19WMGX makes it a top performer in this roundup. Its color accuracy is very good, though it tends to lean a little bit on the oversaturated side. Photos and text look crisp and clean. Gradients in black-and-white pictures were smooth. And of all the displays, the glossy 19WMGX had the best movie clarity, which helped us enjoy Lawrence of Arabia and Transformers even more. We did notice some screen stutter while playing games, but not enough to affect gameplay. The native resolution is 1,440 by 900 pixels.
Like most of the displays in this roundup, the display stand has only tilt adjustment. The one drawback we found with the 19WMGX was the controls—they’re sparse. The only image adjustments are for brightness, contrast, and color temperature. But that’s OK, because the picture looks pretty good right out of the box.
The 19WMGX has a pair of forward-firing speakers at the bottom of the display. They sound clear, but they don’t have a lot of audio depth—the bass and highs are weak. But the sound is loud enough to fill a small office.
Great overall image quality. Best movie clarity of the group.
Sparse onscreen controls.
The w1907’s aluminum stand isn’t as elegant as an iMac’s or Cinema Display’s, but it does swivel and tilt.
Of all the displays in our roundup, the glossy HP w1907 strikes us as the most PC-looking—and considering that it’s from HP, that’s not a surprise. Its metal stand certainly lacks a Mac sensibility as it props the display 3.25 inches from the desktop, but at least it swivels and tilts. The odd gap between the bezel and the top of the screen makes us wonder how we’ll clean out the dust that collects in there. And the power button atop the display seems misplaced, or at least goes against tradition.
However, the w1907’s design doesn’t heavily influence our thoughts on the display. Image is almost everything, and the w1907 has nice, lively color. Our photos looked good, but we preferred the skin tone reproduction from the other two glossy displays. We also saw noticeable banding in our black-and-white photo test. Text looked good at large sizes, but at a 12-point size, we noticed some blurring.
While we heavily favor Samsung’s MagicTune display software, HP’s built-in display controls should be the model for the LCD industry. HP’s control interface looks like a well-designed separate application, not like the BIOS-like controls common on LCDs. You breeze through the settings effortlessly, and there are quick image presets for text, photos, and gaming.
A model for display controls. Lively color.
Small text looked jaggy.