Published on April 14, 2011 9:05 AM

New Samsung A350 and A550 Range: Hybrid Monitor/TVs

If you're set on a monitor-TV hybrid, then Samsung's latest range could well be of interest.

Looking on Samsung's site, we were surprised to discover two new models.  We went straight to the details to find out more, and it turns out there are new families, the T--A350 and the T--A550.  For the time being, the former is only available in 24'' (T24A350) while the latter comes in 22'', 23'' and 24'', the T22A550, T23A550 and T24A550 respectively.

Samsung T24A350 Samsung T24A550
All of them have a 1920 x 1080 pixel Full HD TN display, two HDMI inputs and VGA, SCART and component video ports.  You can plug a flash memory device or an external hard drive into the USB port and play your files using a built-in media player, although there isn't yet a list of which file formats are supported.  And finally, as we're talking about monitor-TV hybrids, there's also a TV tuner and a remote control.

Disappointingly, it's also clear that Samsung hasn't listened to our advice about the responsiveness needed for products like this.  Rather than choosing a display with low response time, the manufacturer has decided to include the slowest type of TN panel, with a 5 ms response time.  That isn't likely to be much use to gamers.

Another area where they could do some more is the choice of panel technology.  A computer monitor is nearly always in front of you on your desk, but if the vertical viewing angles are too narrow, then lying on the sofa watching a film isn't much fun.  Using either IPS or VA technology would have solved this problem, but Samsung has instead stuck with TN adding its own 'magic angle' system to try to correct for the problem by adjusting the brightness and contrast.

The results are far from convincing, and you have to re-configure the screen every time you move it.  It also assumes that everybody looking at the screen is doing so from exactly the same position, which isn't exactly the case.

In case you're wondering which of the two families we've been talking about up until now, the answer is easy: both of them.  They all share the features listed above, but as far as we can tell, all that's different is the design, size and weight.  If we compare the two 24'' monitors, the T24A350 and the T24A550, the former comes in at 4.8 kg including the stand while the latter weights 5 kg.

There's no news on pricing or availability just yet, but it's definitely possible that the T--550 series and its more attractive design, will end up costing more.  Let's hope the gap isn't too ridiculous though ...
> Monitor Reviews: 22''-30'' LCD Displays

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