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REVIEW: Samsung F2380 Part 4


Connectors

Apparently not designed as a multimedia monitor, but focused only on PC usage, the Samsung F2380 does not offer a HDMI port. An analogue VGA input and two digital DVI inputs with HDCP support allow modern, also digital, external devices to be connected – but unfortunately without sound support.

Video inputs from left to right: VGA, DVI-D, DVI-D.

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Controls

The controls in the screen menu are manipulated using buttons which are inset in the middle of the lower edge of the display frame below the silver strip. Their labelling cannot even be read easily in good lighting conditions. The buttons have very good tactile feedback and make a stable impression.

Labelling of the buttons …

… and the buttons themselves.

As well as the On/Off button, "auto adjustment" can be carried out, the source can be selected, the brightness can be adjusted directly, colour profiles can be changed and the menu can be accessed respectively by pressing one of the five buttons.

OSD

The OSD is simply divided into five sub-points. The brightness and contrast can be adjusted at 100 levels in the sub-menu "Image", as well as the image sharpness (25 levels) and response time (3 levels). In addition, there are seven image modes to choose from.

The most important screen settings can be adjusted in the Image sub-menu.

If Magiccolor is deactivated, the RGB values (100 levels), colour temperature (four levels) and gamma value (three levels) can be adjusted manually.

The "Colour" menu contains advanced settings for colour reproduction.

The user can move the OSD and image display horizontally or vertically in the "Size & Position" menu; furthermore, it is also possible to select a hardware interpolation. More details on this can be found under the sub-point Interpolation. The "Setup & Reset" sub-menu offers advanced settings with regard to the menu. Important data on the incoming signal can be found under "Information".

Image quality

The panel that Samsung has used in the F2380 is a newly developed cPVA panel, which should offer 5the advantages of the PVA panel, but is must more cost-efficient to manufacture. The advantages include the full eight-bit display of the signal, a larger viewing angle, high contrast and a good brightness setting.

But unfortunately, it is these points in particular that make it clear that this is a trimmed down VA panel: the display quality of grey level gradients on the F2380 is at the level of good TN panels at best. Whilst bright levels are still displayed perfectly, noticeable banding appears in medium levels, accompanied by a slight pink colouring. The effects of dithering, normally only visible on TN panels, can be seen here as well. Dark levels appear only as a single, undifferentiated black. Although dark grey levels are better differentiated after calibration, this is bought at the cost of even more pronounced banding.

Not a shining performance: The grey level gradient in the test picture uncovers dithering and banding effects.

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