Using The Monitor
I'll come right out and say it: If you're looking for a multi-use LCD monitor in this size, this is the one you want. It's not faultless, of course. But its well calibrated brightness and excellent ergonomics make it an ideal monitor for working with office applications. Still, don't expect miracles - a 19" wide-screen makes spreadsheet work comfortable, but with word processing it leaves something to be desired. It's just not easy to display two text documents side by side on a 1440x900 panel with good legibility. For photo work, this isn't the monitor for you. Yes, the color fidelity is good, but the lack of uniform lighting and so-so contrast are drawbacks.
For video games, the 940BW is a contender. The panel is very fast, and to put the icing on the cake, the interpolation is particularly effective, which means you can play games at less than the native resolution without being able to count the pixels. The image was a tad jerky at times, though.
I rate the unit's suitability for gaming on a scale of 5. To do it, I try the panels with different games - FPS, RTS, RPG, etc. The panel's responsiveness is obviously the first point I'm interested in, but the quality of the colors also has its importance with certain titles.
As with games, movies benefited from the monitor's very low image retention rates, preventing image flicker. At the default settings, the image was very noisy, with a lot of sparkling on color masses. The action was also fairly jerky. The phenomenon is especially bothersome on slow horizontal tracking shots, where you can really see the action taking place frame by frame. But fortunately, Samsung has invented MagicColor, which actually adjusts quite a few other settings besides color alone. In Movies mode, video was a little more fluid, and even a little less noisy. Still it's not a panacea.
I use a 5-point rating system. While latency plays a role, I also evaluate the amount of video noise induced by the unit. Good viewing angles are also crucial for multimedia use.
Rather than estimate a price/quality ratio, I prefer to concentrate on the price/performance ratio. What's the difference? Quality in an LCD display varies from one unit to another. On the other hand, performance is measurable. So this rating is a synthesis of the monitor's performance as compared to my benchmark.
The bottom line is that Samsung has put out a good little display here, one that stands out for its versatility. The price is a little above the average for the field, but if you spend long hours in front of a computer you'll appreciate the better ergonomics the extra bucks buy you.
The overall score is the average of what the monitor scored throughout the test.