Samsung P2570HD monitor/TV review

Samsung P2370HD 23-Inch Full 1080p HDTV LCD Monitor - Black RoseI’ll return the Samsung 2570HD to Costco.  There are much better 23”-25” PC monitors out there in the same price range. I’m sure this is a fine HD TV, and it’s very nice looking hardware, but that’s not what I’m after. I want a monitor that performs, and that it can do TV is just a nice to have.

The good:

As I alluded, the 2570HD/P2570HD includes an HD TV tuner & remote so it can be used by itself as a 1080p TV. And it’s a computer monitor… says so right on the box… and as such it accepts HDMI or DVI inputs from your PC. The built-in speakers accept RCA & digital input, so it can be used as a replacement for desktop PC speakers.

The partially transparent, double-dark red bezel & transparent neck & clean lines make it one of the nicest looking monitors (when turned off) I’ve seen.

Costco’s & Amazon’s price is too high for a poor monitor, but reasonable for a 25” LCD HD TV.

The bad:

Like many current 23”+ monitors, this one’s 1920 x 1080 pixels. That’s a 16:9 ratio, and well-suited for HD video, but not digital photos, and it feels cramped for web browsing or document editing (all that content’s tall, not wide.) I feel a bit rotten saying this is a “cramped” monitor- it’s double the pixels of screens common only 10 years ago – but 16:10 widescreen ratio at a comparable, or even lesser, number of pixels, is just more comfortable for computing & it works just as well for HD video. (1680 x 1050 from a value perspective, and 1920 x 1200 if you can swing it.)

The ugly:

Even with stand screws fully tightened, the screen wobbles like a hula girl’s skirt. You can’t type anywhere near it without the screen moving.

The backlight is inconsistent, especially near the top. Window titles legible near the middle of the screen are illegible at the top with default Windows 7 settings + any of the monitor’s setting presets. Solid white areas (like web page backgrounds) look curved due to the shading. With settings tweaks things can be improved, but not totally corrected.

Finally, the monitor requires around 8 seconds to wake from sleep, compared to 1 for my current well-aged Apple LCD. After waking the 2570HD presents an on-screen-display (OSD) regarding the resolution for another 2 seconds that covers a quarter of the screen. We can’t turn the OSD off. The same OSD also gets in the way during Windows user account control prompts. A monitor’s supposed to let you work, not get in the way.