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REVIEW / Samsung SyncMaster F2380

Monitor Review: Samsung SyncMaster F2380

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Vincent Alzieu Published on November 3, 2009
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  • Screen size 23 inches
  • Panel type PVA
  • Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Response time 8 ms
  • Inputs (HDMI / DVI / VGA / Component) 0 / 2 / 1 / 0
  • Other details Height-adjustable, pivots
We first tested the F2380 in September 2009--and we liked it: it quickly became one of our favourite monitors. 

But in November, a new screen arrived that is almost certain to displace it: the F2380M, which promises to be an even better monitor for the same price.

Handling: the F2380 was good, the F2380M is even better

The F230 featured an excellent matte screen that used a PVA panel.  That meant it had very wide viewing angles and colours that were perfectly even across the whole surface, which isn't possible using the TN technology that is found almost everywhere else.

Its stand is one of the best around, allowing you to adjust the height of the screen and rotate it to portrait orientation.

Things only turned nasty when we turned the monitor around to look at the back.  There was a VGA input and two DVI ports, but no HDMI, nor a headphone jack.  Now that IPTV is almost exclusively delivered over HDMI cables, and that games consoles and Blu-ray players also provide HD signals, the lack of a HDMI input was a major problem.  The F2380M has one though, as well as a pair of built-in speakers and a headphone jack.

For the same price, then, the F2380M manages to do a little better than the F2380, which will logically enough make room for this new version. 

Gaming: good, but could do better

Forget about response time.  In our experience, it's definitely not a good guide to how reactive a monitor really is.  That's why we've stopped using it and chosen a much more relevant statistic: the number of phantom frames of ghosting trailing behind the main image because the pixels on the screen can't change colour quick enough.
  • A very fast screen should show less than 0.8 frame of coloured ghosting.
  • A slower screen will be 1.1 frames or more behind.
The F2380 is right in the middle of these two statistics at 0.95 frames.

Carre bleuclaire Coloured    Carre bleuclaire Transparent
Average ghosting over ten frames F2380 reactivite

You'll still be able to enjoy your favourite games, but this is still a surprising result.  We know that Samsung can do a lot better, whatever technology is behind the screen.  We've already seen PVA screens with just 0.5 frames of ghosting.  Why such a disappointing result then?  We would have looked for this to have been the perfect monitor …

Colours: perfect!

Contrast (xxx:1) Black (cd/m²)
F2380 contraste
100 cd/m²  200 cd/m²      100 cd/m²  200 cd/m²

Anybody whose job it is to work with digital images will still want to get things perfect by calibrating the monitor.  If you look at it close up, it becomes obvious that there's a very light blue tinge in shades of grey.  It's easily fixed though.

Default Colours
F2380 gris
Ideal Colours
Films: better than average
The choice of a PVA panel over TN makes a real difference. Not only are the viewing angles wider than normal, but blurriness is also kept to a minimum, and is almost invisible.

On the hand, we would be happier if Samsung could start to include better upscaling electronics in its monitors. The display of standard definition sources like DVDs or non-HD TV doesn't quite look right; the picture is less sharp. It's a shame, as Samsung uses the same display technology in its high-end TVs. So when will it start producing monitors that can produce similar results from SD sources?


  • Amazing contrast
  • Good hardware
  • PVA panel, so good viewing angles
  • Film display
  • Energy efficient


  • Could be more responsive


The F2380 is a great screen ... but the new F2380M, which has the same display but also a HDMI port, speakers and a headphone jack, is better. Go for the F2380M if you can.
4 Samsung SyncMaster F2380 DigitalVersus 2009-11-03 00:00:00
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