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Samsung SyncMaster 213T

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The Samsung SyncMaster 213T is a 21.3-inch LCD that offers one digital and two analog connections for broad compatibility, plus the ability to share the display between multiple computers. Its native resolution of 1,600 by 1,200 pixels is the same as most 20-inch LCD displays, but with its added size, it can space out the pixels a bit more, making text and graphic details appear a little larger.

The SyncMaster 213T we tested has a thin, silver bezel, though a black version is also available. Its controls are right on the front of the display and clearly marked. Some may think that placing buttons on the front of the display detracts from a clean, simple design (like that of the Apple displays), but if you need to make adjustments using the on-screen menus, seeing the buttons in front of you makes things a lot easier.

Speaking of adjustments, Samsung doesn’t let you change color temperature or set the contrast while in digital mode. You can, however, tweak the appearance of your display by using the calibration controls in the Mac OS Displays system preferences. Luckily, the display’s default settings don’t require much tweaking.

This LCD can pivot into portrait mode from the standard landscape mode and it ships with pivot software for Windows and Mac OS 9. Recently, ATI began offering add-in, or upgrade graphics cards with a feature called VersaVision that offers built-in pivot support for Mac OS X. The graphics cards that Apple now ships with its CPUs do not support VersaVision, and since none of Apple’s displays can pivot, I wouldn’t be looking for that support any time soon.

We looked at a variety of test images containing graphics and text of varying fonts and sizes and found that the SyncMaster 213T offers very good quality across the board, though its colors looked slightly undersaturated. A quick calibration helped punch up the colors a bit, after which it compared favorably to the $1,299 Apple 20-inch Cinema Display (   ; February 2005 ) and our all-time favorite, the NEC MultiSync LCD2080UX (   ; August 2003 ) without hampering its text legibility.

Jury Tests

Viewing Angle Very Good
Color Fidelity Very Good
Text Quality Very Good

Scale = Excellent, Very Good, Good, Flawed, Unacceptable


Size 21.3 inches
Native Resolution 1,600-by-1,200
Connections 1 DVI, 1 VGA
Viewing Angle 170/170
Brightness 250cd/m2
Contrast Ratio 500:1:00
Dimensions (wxhxd) 18.6 inches x 18.0 inches x 8.7 inches
Special Features pivot
Warranty 3 years

Macworld’s Buying Advice

The SyncMaster is a good choice for people who want a large LCD display, but have a mid-size budget. It’s a 21.3-inch, 1,600-by-1,200 resolution, dual-mode LCD display that can pivot while producing very good text and high-quality graphics.

Samsung SyncMaster 213T
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