Design-wise, Samsung's SyncMaster 193p+ follows in the footsteps of the successful SyncMaster 193p. It has the same tilted, round stand - newly coloured a shimmering silver - with a dual hinge to support the pivoting screen.
The 193p+ updates its predecessor's button-free bezel with a finish that matches the stand. Its software package, though slightly different, appears comparable to the old version. However, the most important aspect of this monitor has gone astray: Its image quality does not meet the standards set by the 193p.
Our jurors complained that the 193p+ cast a greenish tint on many of our test screens. These testers also found it difficult to read the gray-on-black reverse type in our Microsoft Word screen and the small type in our Microsoft Excel screen.
With these problems, the 193p+ earned a so-so text rating of Good. It fared worse on graphics. Jurors complained of a "dingy," "blotchy" appearance on our white screen test.
They deemed our photo screens of a fruit tart and a group portrait "dark" and "murky," pointing out lost detail in dark areas of the group portrait. For graphics, the 193p+ earned a lackluster rating of Fair.
Although the SyncMaster 193p+ did not receive the very lowest scores of recently tested monitors, it did fall into the lowest 10 per cent.
With most 19-inch LCDs garnering ratings of Very Good for text and Good or better for graphics--and one less-expensive model, the NEC MultiSync LCD1970GX, receiving a rating of Outstanding for both - the SyncMaster 193p+ looks like a poor bargain.
MagicTune, Samsung's replacement software for on-screen display (OSD) tools, has changed from the version in the 193p.
The earlier MagicTune was made by Portrait Displays, maker of Pivot Pro screen pivoting software. In the 193p+, Samsung introduces a new, Samsung-made version of MagicTune.
Although the program still allows you to adjust brightness, contrast, and colour tone (with a sliding bar that goes from blue to red), the interface may not be quite what you remember from the old MagicTune. This may be a matter of taste, but I preferred old version.
Our shipping unit arrived with Pivot Pro; Samsung says that later units will ship with different screen pivot software.
Samsung gives the SyncMaster 193p+ a grey-to-grey response time spec of 8 milliseconds and a rise-and-fall response time of 20ms.
Like all other recently reviewed 19-inch LCDs, this monitor received a rating of Average on our motion tests.
Samsung SyncMaster 193p+
Details: 19-inch screen, 1280-by-1024 native resolution, 7kg, one analog and one digital input; height, swivel, pivot, and tilt adjustments; TCO'03-compliant. Three-year warranty (including backlight); 24-hour daily tech support. Conclusion: This update to the successful 193p line of displays includes both limber physical adjustments and software-based, button-free adjustments, but its image quality doesn't live up to the family name. Visit www.samsung.com.au for further information. RRP: $1199