Mid-range displays keep on getting better and Samsung’s 2232GW is a great example of that. At 22″, it offers a 1680×1050 resolution, 2ms response and a 3000:1 contrast ratio and one of the sharpest images we’ve seen in a while.
Samsung has done a great job with their OSDs because they are made easy to use and navigate. Instead of including a whack of photos from the different areas, I will just list what can be found in the entire OSD.
The OSD on this display is feature-packed and allows quite a bit of tweaking-ability, a huge plus. If you are not happy with the default settings for a particular application (movies/gaming/etc), then you have the ability to alter it to your liking. Personally, I stick to changing settings in the NVIDIA panel, but the monitor controls would no doubt offer a better result for those who want to spend the time to tinker.
Before I cracked the 2232GW out of its box, I had been using Dell’s 3007WFP-HC for two months, so moving between the two was a major shock to the system for more than one reason. Besides the obvious size difference, Dell’s larger monitor lacked in overall brightness, while Samsung’s offering does not. I am not trying to compare the two monitors at all, but there is a definite difference between displays depending on what you are looking for.
Although the 3007WFP-HC has a huge size advantage, I found that games looked better overall on the Samsung. As an example, I tried out the Crysis demo on both screens and the differences between the two were obvious. The demo begins with the lead character falling to Earth, towards an island. Of course, this is happening in the middle of the night, so being able to see what’s going on is a challenge. On the Dell screen, though, things were so dark it was almost difficult to make out the island below and to know where you were going.
On the 2232GW, however, while the game was still entirely dark, the environments were better lit so that I could at least see where I was heading. Granted, a lot of these “gripes” could have been handled well with the NVIDIA drivers while using the Dell (since the 3007WFP-HC has no OSD for that purpose), but when I played the game without touching the settings on the 2232GW and saw great results, I was pleased.
Crysis aside, all games I tested looked superb on this monitor. Counter-Strike: Source, F.E.A.R. and Call of Duty 4 all had vibrant color and looked sharp overall. In the time I had the monitor, I did not test out movies (an oversight on my part), but from what I saw in all of the games I played, the monitor offers deep-rich blacks and a solid color tones. I am confident that this monitor will look good regardless of what you choose to do with it.
Overall, I am impressed with this screen and recommend it to anyone who wants an exception offering at the 22″ size range. Though, it seems no product can go without a list of problems as well, and this monitor has just a few.
The monitor lacks all types of connectivity, except for DVI and VGA. For it’s price ($359USD/CAN at the time of writing) I would expect at least a component connection for those who wish to hook up a game console. However, that taken into consideration, Samsung’s 275T that we reviewed a few months ago didn’t do a great job in our component tests, so it might not be a huge deal that it was omitted here.
Other potential gripes are caused by the fact that Samsung preferred to deliver style over functionality on this offering. The base does not rotate, but I believe that to be due to the overall design and style of the display. It’s meant to look classy, and it pulls that off well. The tilt is the other oddity though. 18° is a rather low tilt factor, but again, that might not effect many.
Lastly, the price might be the other factor that weighs this screen down. While other 22″ monitors with great specs hover around the $299USD mark, the 2232GW retails for $359USD/CAN at all retailers I looked into. After experiencing this monitor first-hand though, I believe that the extra cash is well-deserved for the exceptional color and image quality that this screen exhibits.
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