Samsung SyncMaster B2230 Monitor with HDMI Input

The Samsung SyncMaster B2230 looks like a sensible 22″ Display, with a HDMI port for hooking up your PS3 or XBox 360 (my wishlist :) ) , and VGA + DVI ports that enable the device to also serve as a pretty functional computer monitor with a resolution of 1980×1080 (1080p in HD parlance). All the other technical specs usually don’t matter to me. I only care about display resolution and input sources.

It is a good choice if the features I have described above meet your needs. There’s only one problem though. If this monitor will be staying in your bedroom, then you are going to get really annoyed with it whenever you wish to sleep.

I would avoid this (otherwise great) monitor for the following reasons:

  • The Standby signal is a bright blue, blinking LED that will frustrate your attempts to go to sleep if you’re anything like me. I can ignore static lighting easily, but a blinking light feels like a nagging invitation to spar, and this Samsung’s light is particularly bright. Bright enough to notice the shadows cast even when your head is facing the other side of the room.
  • The poor device puts up too much of a fight when it fails to detect any signal on its inputs. I mean, it would first scan all known inputs looking for something to display, about three times per input. If all that fails, then it starts playing a screensaver that says “check signal cable”. Imagine that. And they have the nerve to put a “Magic Eco” sticker on the front. No need to tell you how annoying that is. A 23″ Samsung monitor with HDMI that doesn’t have the sense to shut itself off if it has no work to do. (My previous monitor was a 17″ Mercury, whose usefully dull LED changed to orange when there was either no input, or when it was in standby. No fussy noises).
  • The darned “touch” buttons on the front panel are annoying. Yes, touchscreen phones are nice and popular, but I want to be able to adjust the brightness of my display without having to look for where to touch, or wondering if my touch was actually received by the slow glass box. I want tactile feedback, please, if you’re going to make slow and unresponsive touch surfaces where they are not needed. If I want to watch a DVD for instance, I need to switch to the HDMI input. It usually takes up to 6 “touches” to get the switch made. 6 because far too often, my touches don’t register, or I touch the wrong place.
  • On the issue of touch buttons, It would be nice if all these hardware manufacturers stopped replacing everything with touch. I’m looking at you HP. The volume buttons on my laptop are there for decoration only because (a) I can’t see them in the dark, and since they are not real buttons, I can’t feel them either. (b) If i try to use them, I can never get the volume setting where I want it, because I do not get any feedback as to how many presses I have registered, until the volume gets too loud, or too low.

I understand some people like the bling. If you like to fill your room with blinking lights while sleeping, knock yourself out, this is a great monitor.

If you prefer the things you use to never draw attention to themselves (except your phone of course), then you will less than happy with this monitor.

If you’re looking for a monitor, there, you just had a review of this Samsung monitor from a grumpy guy who has owned one for 2 months now.

Random Quote:
An idealist is one who helps the other fellow to make a profit. — Henry Ford