Samsung 225BW 22 inch LCD - Menu, Performance and More

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Samsung 225BW 22 inch LCD
Menu, Performance and More

Menu Action:

While many people probably won't bother with the menu on a display, I always adjust and tweak the displays I use in order to darken or adjust the color temperature.  At the very least, it's nice to be able to brighten or darken the display by the push of a button if you are changing from working on a review to walking through a dungeon in Oblivion.  I won't comment on each screenshot below as these are meant to show you some of the features that are available to adjust.

Menu 1
Menu 1

Menu 2
 Menu 2


Menu 3
 Menu 3

Menu 4
 Menu 4


Menu 5
 Menu 5

Menu 6
 Menu 6

The above menus allow you to change virtually every aspect and feature of the 225BW LCD.  The controls are straightforward and simple to use.  I am much happier having the ability to change brightness with the push of a button instead of a click of a mouse.

Performance - Text:

Like many other Samsung LCDs, the 225BW has a brightness feature called MagicBright.  With the push of a button, you can choose between different brightness profiles.  The profiles available are Custom, Text Internet, Game, and Sport & Movie.  Each of these profiles works very well for different scenarios.  That being said, I found many of the standard profiles a little too blue and cold.  I warmed them up a bit to make the greens appear more lifelike.

As much as I like to game, the reality of life is that I spend much more time in front of a computer typing and reading than I do playing games.  A good LCD must fill this role and exceed.  The Samsung 225BW is very clear and is easy on the eyes.  The pixel pitch of 0.282mm is a little on the large side and this causes a bit of a "window screen" effect when staring at it for extended periods.  The text is very sharp though at its native resolution, and it scales much better than other monitors I've tested.  Things look a bit fuzzier at 1280x960 than they do at native 1680x1050, but they don't look too bad.

Performance - Video:

High Definition video has taken the world by storm and after viewing some 720p or 1080i video on this LCD, you'll understand why.  The picture was very crisp, clear and the color appeared very accurate.  Watching some iMAX movies in HD was a real treat.  DVD Video and DivX looked pretty good as well, but because the resolution of these videos is so much lower than the LCD resolution, the picture looked as if it were stretched a little thin.  That is not a complaint about the monitor, but an observation of what 720x480 video looks like when stretched on a 1680x1050 screen.  At 22" this unit could almost replace a TV in a small room if you had a video source that supported DVI-D.

Performance - Gaming:

I know that many of you are interested in nice large LCDs for gaming, and at 22" of 16:10 widescreen goodness, I don't blame you.  Gaming on this unit was a mixed bag really.  The response time of 5ms was flawless and we had zero issues of ghosting when it game to playing anything from Serious Sam 2, UT2004, Battlefield 2, Oblivion, Need For Speed: Most Wanted, Call of Duty 2, F.E.A.R, Quake 4 and even some Half-Life 2: Episode 1.  I normally don't play as many games as I did when testing this LCD, but I wanted to "test" this on as many as I could.  This was possibly the best part of the review.

To compare in a side-by-side scenario, I cloned the 21" Gateway FPD2185W LCD and the Samsung SyncMaster 225BW.  I placed them side by side and took turns positioning myself directly in front of each monitor to get the best results.  On some games like UT2004, the 225BW looked much crisper and clearer than the 2185W.  However, on other games such as Oblivion, the immense green landscapes looked more impressive and lush on the 2185W.  The Samsung 225BW is definitely a gamer's monitor in terms of pixel response and color depth, but the greens just aren't as well saturated as on the FPD2185W.


Performance - Montest 2.1:

To test some of my above observations more objectively, I ran the MonTest 2.1 utility to get an idea of how this monitor stacks up to the Gateway FPD2185W.  Both of these monitors are 1680x1050 widescreen, although the Gateway LCD has a 21" screen and an 8ms response time.  I'll run through some of the applicable tests quite quickly.

  • Black To Color Scales: When scaling from black to red, green and blue, there were  no noticeable vertical bands of color as the 225BW blends color very well.  The Gateway 2185 has some vertical color banding where it is not blending the colors as well as the 225BW.
  • Convergence: The Convergence dots looked fine on the LCD, but the Convergence Lines show the limitations of the stacked matrix of LCD pixels.  They are stacked directly on top of each other - not staggered like a CRT.  The convergence lines showed a lot of "stair stepping" when drawing circles.  Much more than my DCDi Faroudja enabled Gateway LCD.
  • Gamma Tests: These tests shows viewing angle limitations and that the corners of the screen were not lit evenly.  The gamma test bands changed brightness dramatically if you view the 960BF more than 10 degree angle up and down.  The picture is still viewable, but the color becomes inaccurate.  These tests also show uneven lighting on the LCD, and we were a little disappointed to see the left side and top left portion of the Samsung LCD not lit as well as the rest of the LCD.  It is much darker and very noticeable when viewing the red and blue screens.
  • Full Black: Displaying a full black screen shows very little bleeding from the LCD backlight.  The black screen is very black and nicely done.
  • LCD Pixel Persistence: Moving a white box across a black background at different speeds shows how much "ghosting" there actually is and how fast the response time is in an white-to-black scenario instead of simply gray-to-gray.  Even though the pixel response of the 225BW is 5ms and the 2185W is 8ms, I couldn't tell the difference between the two.  Both units displayed very good results in this test.


Samsung's button-less LCDs have not impressed me lately due to their Operating System requirements, and thankfully the Samsung SyncMaster 225BW has some buttons and brings new life to widescreen on the desktop.  This unit is very clear for text use, plays HD movies with stunning clarity, and does very well when it comes to gaming.  It is an all around great monitor that anyone would be lucky to own.  As more games are supporting 1680x1050 widescreen resolutions, it's only going to get better and better in the future.  Speaking of future, this monitor is built to take care of you as it supports HDCP that will be a requirement for BluRay and HD-DVD playback on your computer.  The question I ask myself is, "Would I be willing to trade my 21" FPD2185W for it?"  That is a tough question to answer.

On one hand the 225BW edges ahead in terms of size, but the Gateway LCD has more features like PiP, AutoPivot and S-Video, Composite & Component video inputs as well as a built in USB2.0 Hub.  To be honest, I'd like to keep my 2185W because it looks great beside the Samsung LCD.  A desktop of 3360x1050 is not easy to give up, but I do have to send Samsung back their display.

21" Gateway - 22" Samsung

Here's how it all goes down:


  • Fast 5ms response time in 22" LCD.
  • 22" 16:10 LCD @ 1680x1050.
  • Height adjustable stand.
  • Narrow bezel around screen.
  • DVI & Analog Inputs.


  • Unevenly lit at top left.
  • Display is quite "blue" until you tweak it down.
  • I don't get to keep it. Rating
Software Pack:
Total Score 9.4


I'd like to thank Samsung Canada for letting us take a look at this unit a little early.  Thanks for bringing back some menu buttons and giving us HDCP for the future.

If you have any questions or comments regarding this display or this review, please feel free to drop us a line in the forum at the link below.