Holiday Buyer's Guide 2006, Part 3: Components & Peripherals

The Sharpest Display Ever: Samsung 931C

Of course, we couldn't give you a recommendation for a graphics card without also providing one for a suitable flatscreen display! If you still have a CRT monitor and have been hesitating to switch to a TFT display, now may be a good time. As with most product types, the market is being flooded with a variety of choices. There are more and more widescreen displays that may be great for multimedia use, but we still prefer to go for a decent 4:3 model. For those working with office applications or websites, the increased vertical space is more favorable.

On the other hand, for those who still believe that CRT monitors are the ideal choice, Samsung's 931C is an eye-opener. This display is in the $300 range, but is one of the finest displays we've seen. It has a 19" viewable image size and a standard resolution of 1280x1024 pixels, but shines with a tremendous 2000:1 contrast ratio and a grey-to-grey response time of only 2 ms. We did not do extensive testing on it for this guide, but action movies and 3D game action were displayed crisply. In addition, the display has a nice print preview feature that was designed to give you a realistic impression of what an image will look like on paper.

As with most decent displays, the 931C has both a DVI and an analog input. You should always connect it through the digital DVI port if possible, since only this will give you the sharpest possible image display to exploit the 2000:1 contrast ratio of the unit.

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