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.
|Average ghosting over ten frames|
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 …
|Contrast (xxx:1)||Black (cd/m²)|
|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.
- 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.