REVIEW: Samsung 226BW Part 11
Although the static 1000:1 contrast ratio of the TN panel cannot compete with the black levels of a VA panel with the same contrast ratio, the black levels delivered by the Samsung 226BW are the best possible for a TN panel. Clear levels can be seen when the monitor is in the default setting, but this changed after calibration.
We used the Colorimeter Gretag MacBeth Eye-One-Display and the i-Colour software by Quatographic to calibrate the monitor. When the calibration is carried out, it becomes clear that good colour fidelity and colour gradients are not possible at the standard contrast ratio of 75. We calibrated the monitor with a contrast ratio of 50. A relatively high brightness setting of around 89 should accompany the lower contrast ratio so achieve the desired 140 cd/m².
Measurement diagrams: Click illustrations for enlarged view and explanation
Thanks to its Frame Rate Control, the Samsung 226BW can display 16.7 million colours and boasts a colour fidelity which we have already rated as very good, as is also the case with the competing 22-inch ViewSonic VX2235.
The colour space is good but not quite as good as the result achieved by the ViewSonic monitor. Thus, the Samsung 226BW can be used for hobby and semi-professional graphics work.
We established that the Samsung 226BW is very difficult to calibrate, since the brightness is not particularly well-maintained and drops significantly only to increase somewhat later on. Because of this, much work has to be done calibrating the monitor so as to achieve a good result.
If the Samsung 226BW rates as "very good" in terms of colour fidelity and colour space and if it is comparable with high-quality VA monitors in these aspects, the viewing angles are a let-down. The 160 degrees advertised by the manufacturer are a sham and do not reflect reality at all:
Whilst the horizontal contrast viewed from the side can just about be deemed good, colour changes due to the viewing angle can be seen vertically from practically every seating position. A monocoloured grey desktop background appears darker at the upper edge and brighter at the lower edge of the screen. The viewing angle from underneath declines particularly rapidly so that the contrast quickly collapses. We also noticed this problem in the ViewSonic VX2235. Users who are particularly choosy about viewing angles would be better advised to choose a VA or IPS monitor with more stable viewing angles.
Above: Viewing angle from approx. 170 degrees to the right and image from frontal viewpoint.
Above: Viewing angle from approx. 170 degrees underneath.
Above: Viewing angle from approx. 170 degrees overhead.
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