Review: 6 HD displays, from midsize to massive

We look at 6 HD displays, from 21.5 inches to 46 inches, to see whether size matters when looking for a great monitor.

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Samsung P2370

(23 inches)

If nothing else, Samsung's P2370 gets the award for arriving in the thinnest box. That was possible because the monitor is a mere 1.18 inches from front to back and weighs only 9 lbs.

Highlights: Setting up the P2370 didn't begin on a high note. The display only offers a plug for its power pack and a DVI-I connector -- no HDMI or USB ports. This immediately limits the monitor to your desktop, since most entertainment junkies won't want a display without an HDMI input.

The P2370 is a 1920 x 1080-pixel display. It has a 50000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, which boils down to a 1000:1 static ratio. The Samsung's fast 2ms response time is a big plus in the fight against blur -- among the displays tested in this roundup, only the Dell matched it there.

HD displays
Samsung P2370

Like the Lenovo, the P2370 has disappearing controls positioned on the lower bezel that temporarily light up if you brush your finger across them.

Test results: Out of the box, the screen was so bright that it lost definition -- I had to crank down the brightness (although the brightness rating is 250 cd/m², the lowest in this group) and tweak the contrast to get the P2370 to play well with DisplayMate's series of tests. However, the monitor adjusted well.

The P2370 ran through the static tests without breaking a sweat, showing no geometric distortions, blurring or blooming. Text was fine as well, and viewing the screen from greater than a 45-degree angle didn't cause a color shift.

Picture quality: Having only one input port may have kept the monitor slim, but it was also the source of much head-scratching and, eventually, a bit of gymnastics on my part, since I was using an HDMI connection to connect up my DVD drive. In the end, I swapped out the computer I had been using to test displays with one that had a built-in LG combo Blu-ray/HD DVD drive, eliminating the need for an HDMI port to attach the standalone Blu-ray player.

It was worth the effort. Blu-ray movies looked marvelous: crisp color, sharp detail and no blur during action scenes. I even dragged out a few of my HD-DVD discs for nostalgia's sake and they looked great as well.

Conclusion: Eye-catching as it might be, the P2370 won't make it as the centerpiece for your media room without an HDMI port. However, the high image quality makes it ideal for a PC with a built-in Blu-ray drive.

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