When it comes to monitors, most people (and when I say most I mean a lot of us users) only upgrade their monitors when it is absolutely necessary. Even I have to admit that I wait to upgrade/change my monitors until they are on the fritz, or have completely stopped working. Well just recently one of my three monitors gotten to a point where it just wasn’t exactly displaying the colors properly anymore, the colors seemed to be a bit off. This monitor I had to replace was my older CCFL monitor that I was using along side my Asus ML248 LED monitors (review can be found HERE). So naturally the colors didn’t quite match up anyways, but I held out as long as I possibly can to replace the aging CCFL monitor I was still using.
Since I am a multi-monitor gamer (Article about Multi-Monitor gaming can be found HERE) I did not want to order its replacement, and have to wait for 3 or more days to have a replacement. So I wandered off to our local WalMart store here in Price, Utah and looked at what they had to offer, before having to order my new monitor online. I cannot go out get any old monitor, I had to have a LED backlit monitor, so that my colors would match closely as possible to my other two Asus ML248 LED monitors that I already am using, the new monitor needed to either have a 2ms grey to grey, or a 5 ms total response time, and finally the monitor had to be a 24″ 1920 x 1080 resolution. These requirements are set by the video card manufacturers in order to properly span our games across three or more monitors.
After sending a few minutes at Walmart, I located the perfect monitor that fit my bill perfectly, so I picked up the Samsung Sync Master 24″ Sa300 monitor. And quite frankly, I was rather surprised that Walmart’s price matched that of what online stores were selling this same exact model of monitor of only 200 USD, which saved me from having to spend an additional 20+ USD for shipping.
So lets get on with the reviewing of this monitor shall we.For a full list of the Samsung Sa300 Monitor please visit this link HERE.
I am not going to include the packaging, as the boxed got destroyed shortly after I unboxed the monitor. I have a rather small room/computer area, and I stepped on the box when I was hooking up this monitor to my computer, oops. I will have to say the packaging that Samsung used for this monitor was pretty good, as the monitor was well protected from the riggors of “Walmart shipping” (I know how Walmart ships their items, as I worked their for a couple of years in the receiving dept. myself. The horror stories I can tell you..) Time to move on with what gets included with this monitor. Laying face down is the monitor itself, as we can see Samsung did a good job on making sure the backside of the monitor has a nice overall presentation, so for those who have their monitors backside exposed to where everyone can see this will make your desk look that much cleaner looking. To the upper left side of the monitor is the inclded base plate of the SA300 monitor, to the far right is a AC/DC power brick that is required to properly power this monitor. What we don’t see is the included 15 pin D-SUB monitor cable that came with this monitor, now for the life of me I could not locate it. I do not understand why Samsung decided to go with just a D-SUB cable and not a DVI cable or both of the cables is beyond me.
A close up shot of the included Base plate, and the AC/DC power brick. This monitor does not use the traditional AC power, since it uses LEDs for back lighting purposes, this monitor only needs to use around 35 watts of power vs the 60+ watts the CCFL LCD panals require.
Before I move onto the monitor itself and the connections, I need to install the base plate. Samsung made sure this part of the monitor assembly was quick and painless. Locate the bottom portion of the stand of the SA300 Monitor (Shown here).
Then locate the plate. Notice that the base plate and the stem of the monitor stand will only fit a specific way. We cannot put this base plate on backwards, well unless we force it on. Just line up the base plate with the stand and slide it right on. Easy as pie, there is one more thing we need to do and that is tighten up the center screw.
After we get the base plate secured we can now stand the monitor upright, again easy as pie. Sexy looking stand.
Now time to move on to what input ports we have available to us. Starting from the left moving right. We locate the AC/DC power input, a DVI input port, and finally the 15 pin D-SUB input port. Again why Samsung chose to only include a D-SUB monitor cable is beyond me. I needed the use of a DVI cable as my video cards require its use, and not the 15 pin D-SUB. So this kind of left a sour taste in my mouth because I had to locate a DVI cable in order for me to use this monitor.Looking at the front of the Samsung Sync Master SA300 24″ Monitor. Even I have to admit this monitor looks very nice.
Looking at where the on/off and menu buttons are located at. These are located at the far lower right hand corner of the monitor. These are not physical buttons but touch buttons, and they are not on the facing side of the monitor but underneath the edge of the monitor. I will go into this part a bit more in a bit.
After a few minutes of routing wires and locating a DVI cable I am up and running. The far left and center monitors are none other then my Asus ML248 monitors, the far right monitor is the Samsung Sync Master SA300 monitor. As we can the Sa300 monitor matches the two Asus monitors beautifully, in size, color and brightness. Almost to a point where you can’t tell which one is which, but there is a clue look at the on light of each monitor.
As I stated earlier the operation of the monitor has to be done on the bottom edge of the far right hand side of the SA300. For the most part the response time for these touch buttons were fairly quick, there were times when the monitor did not quite bring up the menu and it took a bit of fiddling down below to get the menu’s to work. Keep in mind there could have been a couple of different factors involved here, my finger could not been in the exact area it needed to be, or that my hands may have been to dirty to properly operate these buttons. So I wont hold this against the SA300 monitor.
After pressing the menu selection we will be greeted with this screen on the very bottom right hand side of the monitor. Unlike other monitors I have played with, Samsung keeps the menu portion out of the way of the main portion of the screen and places this in a spot that wont interfere with our main image as we make adjustments. Nothing more annoying then having a menu screen cover your screen/background image when you are making adjustments.
Samsung makes sure that all of our adjustments are kept in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. Also Samsung makes access to all of the adjustments easy to gain access to and not hide any menu options forcing us users to have to go look for it.
After using this monitor for a little over a month now, I will have to say I am thoroughly impressed with the Samsung Sync Master SA300 24″ monitor. It did not require me any time for an adjustment period (also helps since I have 2 other LED based monitors) All of my adjustments were easily accessible, and easily adjustable to match my particular needs. other then an occasional fishing around trying to gain access to the menu I have had no issues at all while using this monitor. The only thing I did not care much about, which did cause some minor grief on my part was not including a DVI cable in with this monitor. Thankfully I had an extra DVI cable floating around and did not have to go out and purchase one, Samsung you could have included a DVI cable in with this great monitor.