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I used the Samsung SyncMaster 710TM at work for two years as well as having 7 or 8 of the same model in the office used by staff and clients alike. I found them to be reliable and with clear resolutions and never once had to have any of these replaced or repaired (not in my time there anyway_. I'm not a highly technical person so won’t discuss the technical specs much but I will cover this at the end of the review to hopefully satisfy all readers.
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
The monitor itself is silver and black and it's quite sleek and I found it to be quite modern looking. The stand on which the monitor rests is quite sturdy and I don't recall ever worrying about it snapping or not holding the weight of the monitor. This is a definite advantage as some of our younger clients at work who used these monitors can be quite boisterous and had a tendency to bump into tables!
One thing I found, though, was that it was very difficult to clean fingerprints off the screen, although I find this to be a common problem with all flat screens. I never touch my screen myself and it drives me mad when others do this but I can't really chop their fingers off every time they come near my nice clean screen, or can I? Might have to investigate that possibility…
The screen response time is 12ms which is quite fast as far as I'm aware. This doesn't mean much to me but would be something in the screen's favour for people who use their PCs for games. Basically the response time is the time taken for the pixels on your screen to change colour and when you're playing games a slow response time can make the game less enjoyable and make it seem sluggish and difficult to keep up with fast paced games. The sluggish effect is also referred to as "ghosting" for those in the know. But don't worry it's not an issue on this monitor!
This monitor is also ideal for viewing DVDs and using multimedia applications. I've not seen a clearer moving picture on a monitor to date.
I had many a chance to view my monitor from different angles as often I'd be on the other side of my desk pulling files from a shelf and checking information on the screen and just had to lean slightly around to see my screen clearly.
There was no glare to speak of and as I used to sit with my back to a window I’m sure I would have noticed a glare if there was one to be noticed but didn’t experience any problems viewing the screen with the sunlight glaring in!
ANY OTHER BUSINESS?
The M of TM in the product name stands for multimedia - this monitor has a built in speaker, although the sound quality is nothing to write home about - it's rather tinny, so don't rely just on the monitor's sound capabilities if you want to listen to music or watch DVDs or for your gaming needs.
I’d also add here that the monitor is very easy to install from new. Most of us who own a PC are bring enough to be able to take a monitor out of a box and plug it in to the right places, I don’t feel I need to give a step by step guide on how to do this, but suffice to say, it was child’s play to set up the monitor and all instructions were clear and easy to follow and one usually knows where to insert the accompanying CD.
WHAT'S THE DAMAGE?
I would have to say that these are NOT the cheapest of 17-inch LCD monitors; retailing at well over the £300 mark some might find it a bit dear for their liking. The only online price I could find for this model at this date (July 2009) was £329 including VAT. But I suspect this model has been superceded by a different model name as I was unable to track down anywhere that's actually selling it now.
If you're able to spend that amount of money on one of these (if you can find it being sold in the first place) and if you're into gaming and need a fast response time, I would recommend this as a monitor to buy. If you don't need such a fast response time and/or feel it's a bit too costly for your budget, there's always the lower spec models in the SyncMaster range you can go for and of course since this model was released I'm sure there are many more which are probably better in spec and lower in price. I've got the SyncMaster 713BM at home which retailed at around the £200 mark at the time of purchase (over 3 years ago now).
All in all the Samsung Syncmaster 710TM gets a big thumbs up for usability and a slight thumbs down for cost.
The Samsung Syncmaster 710TM is a 17" TFT active matrix monitor. The brightness is up to 300 cd/m², dot pitch is 0.26mm and contrast ration is 600:1. It supports 24-bit (16.7M) colours and is PC or MAC compatible. The maximum viewing angle (both vertical and horizontal) is 160° (which I can confirm)! The audio output is 2 watts and it has a width of 37cm and a depth of 20cm. The screen's maximum resolution is 1280 x 1024, it is 40.4cm high and weighs in at a quite heavy 5.8kg. It also has a maximum refresh rate of 75Hz. TFT means thin film transistor which is also widely known as flat panel. TFT screens are also referred to as LCD (liquid crystal display) screens.
The monitor has easy to access controls at the front just below the screen itself. It's easy to adjust the display with the on screen menu. You can also choose between 4 set modes: net browsing, text work, entertainment and a custom choice too, which you can customise to your own preferences. There's also an on/off button. If you leave your PC on over a period of time and have a screensaver set up the green on/off light will flicker on and off after a period of "idle time".
NB: for "Manufacturer Support" and "Instruction manual" ratings I've stated "Satisfactory" as I had no call to use them in the time that I used the monitor.
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