Review: Samsung SyncMaster F2380M

Our score: 5/5
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December 7, 2009 4:25 PM
 
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Published: September 9, 2009 11:00 PM
By Pierre-Jean Alzieu
Update 28/01/2010

The default settings on the F2380M can lead to problems with black ghosting, regular ghosting, posterisation and the wrong aspect ratio.  We wrote an item about these problems, and how to fix them.

We thought that the F2380M was a clone of the F2380, with the only difference being the addition of a HDMI input.  Just to be sure, though, we decided to buy one so we could test it out.  And our initial hunch was right: our test results showed the two monitors to be absolutely identical.

Handling: absolutely faultless

It still has an 8 ms C-PVA panel, giving very wide viewing angles and even colours across the whole screen, and has gained a HDMI input, speakers and a headphone jack, all of which were missing on the F2380.  The stand that offers both height-adjustments and a pivoting screen are both still there.

If you're worried about the chances of Samsung playing fast and loose with the panels that actually ship with this monitor, there's little risk of that happening here.  As we've seen, the monitor includes a C-PVA panel, a technology that is only made by Samsung.  All that could happen, then, is that Samsung might produce a new version of the panel, in theory improving it by, for example, providing better colour handling with the default settings.

Here's a video of the F2380 action--but remember that the F2380M has even more inputs and outputs than you can see here:


Gaming
Coloured    Transparent
Average ghosting over ten frames
A 5 ms TN screen has 1.1 coloured frame of ghosting.
A 2 ms TN screen should have fewer than 0.8 colored frames of ghosting.
The very best 2 ms TN screen, the 2233rz has 0.2 coloured frames of ghosting at 120 Hz.

The manufacturer offers the choice of setting overdrive to two different levels, normal, fast, and accelerated.  However, it soon becomes obvious that there's very little difference between the last two.  In the very best case, the results are just a little better than a 5 ms TN screen.  You can play games, yes, but this isn't the fastest monitor on the market.  It's a shame, but is it a problem unique to this mine, or a wider issue with C-PVA technology?  Remember, for instance, that the Lenovo ThinkVision L220x, which uses an S-PVA panel, has just 0.55 frames of colored ghosting.  And the difference is visible, to an experienced user at least.

One good point, though, is that the input lag is almost zero.

Colours
Default Colours

Ideal Colours
Compare the Samsung SyncMaster F2380 to other LCD monitors in our Product Face-Off

Across a range of 18 colours, our equipment revealed an average discrepancy of 2.7, and when this score, known as deltaE, is below 3.0, most people can no longer notice the difference.  Although it's a very good result, it's not quite perfect.  As you can see in the test card above, there's a slight blue tinge to greys.  Nevertheless, it's an easy problem to solve.

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

The contrast ratio is quite simply stunning.  Very few monitors reach 1000:1, and it's hardly worth talking about 2000:1.  Here, though, the Samsung SyncMaster F2380 beats all the competition with a contrast ratio measured at almost 3000:1 with brightness at 200 cd/m².
5/5 Samsung SyncMaster F2380M DigitalVersus 2009-09-10 00:00:00

Pros

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

Cons

  • Not quite responsive for all gamers

Conclusion

The F2380M is an affordable general-purpose monitor, something that you can't always say of non-TN screens. It's easily one of our favourites, and is equally suited to use at home or in the office. Our only real gripe is that it's not quite responsive enough.

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