The use of white light emitting diodes along the edges of a monitor panel is becoming increasingly common and for consumer monitors in the home ‘LED’ has become a bit of a marketing buzzword. Many manufacturers like to draw an imaginary line between their conventional Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp ‘LCD’ monitors and their new-fangled ‘LED’ technology. Such a misleading distinction often causes a lot of confusion. For the unwitting consumer, they have it drilled into them that ‘LCD’ and ‘LED’ are separate entities in the PC monitor world. Whilst the use of edge-lit WLED backlighting yields marginal differences in image quality the technology is often touted for its attractive environmental benefits – a mercury and arsenic free end-product that is more efficient to run. For the home user this means slightly lower running costs, potentially lower heat output from the monitor and for some a slightly cleaner conscience. For a business relying on numerous computers (and their monitors) the differences can be starker as the benefits are multiplied.
Samsung were one of the first manufacturers to adopt edge-lit LED backlighting in their TVs and monitors for the home and have keen to push this technology in all of their new (and yet to be released) computer monitors. The Samsung BX2440 continues that trend in the office environment and in Samsung’s own words they are ‘changing the way companies run their business’. The BX2440 is clearly intended as a business monitor – but the same level of ergonomic flexibility is something that many home users also appreciate. We will be taking the BX2440 beyond its comfort zone and putting it through its paces in our gruelling testing suite of games, movies and other applications. Whilst a lot of what we test will also be relevant to the discerning office user we don’t advocate firing up the latest games and movie titles in your office – if you value your position.
The most appealing features of the BX2440 include its ergonomic flexibility and relatively efficient LED backlight. Because Samsung have implemented a white (WLED) backlight this should restrict the colour gamut to approximately the sRGB colour space. Samsung have indicated a 5ms response time for the BX2440. Although these figures rarely give a good indication of how responsive a monitor will be in ‘reality’, given that the BX2440 uses a modern TN panel it does indicate that overdrive technology is probably not used on the BX2440. This approach often has its advantages and disadvantages, as we will explore later on, but is understandable for a monitor aimed primarily at the business user.
We have kindly highlighted the positive standout features of the BX2440 in blue for your reading convenience.
The Samsung BX2440 looks
the business with a smart and unfussy angular matte appearance. Sensible design choices also extend to the pressible power and OSD (On-Screen Display) navigation buttons running along the bottom right of the bezel which are generally more consistent than touch-sensitive pads. Another sensible design choice, given the intended use of the monitor, is the inclusion of a moderate anti-glare coating to minimise unwanted reflections. As we explore in the review this can affect the image by introducing a ‘grainy’ effect that is particularly noticeable on whites, light colours and perhaps fine text. It also affects the overall image vibrancy. Despite these drawbacks such a coating is particularly important in an office environment and some home environments where it is difficult to control ambient light.
The base of the monitor stand is ovular with small rubber pads at the bottom to produce a bit of friction. Due to the light weight of the BX2440 the monitor does still slip about on the desk quite readily. This makes the one hand on the base one hand on the monitor approach advisable when making use of the stand’s swivel functionality. Aside from swivelling around 45° and slipping several inches at the same time the BX2440 can also be tilted backwards around 30° and tilted towards slightly. One thing that is quite noticeable when adjusting the monitor in this way (perhaps more so on our well-used test unit) is that it tends to wobble quite a bit on the stand. This is less noticeable when smoothly sliding the monitor up and down the stand to make use of the 4 inches of height adjustment. Although the movement is quite smooth the stand itself doesn’t seem quite as solidly constructed as on other models with similar designs – the essential functionality is still there nonetheless.
Another ergonomic feature which has been implemented by Samsung is the ability to rotate or ‘pivot’ the monitor 90° clockwise to put it into portrait mode (as shown below). The fairly limited viewing angles of the BX2440’s TN panel could prove particularly problematic after such adjustment.
From the side the monitor appears relatively slender – at least, for a monitor with such high levels of adjustability. No doubt the WLED backlight in place of bulkier CCFL bulbs is partly to thank for this. Also noticeable is the lack of any additional inputs such as USB ports, headphone jacks or perhaps smart card readers that can sometimes be found on the side of a monitor.
The rear of the BX2440 reveals the relatively thin neck of the stand, a row of cooling slats along the top and a small centralised section of cooling slats towards the bottom. Should you wish to use an alternative mounting solution the stand can be removed to leave screw holes for a standard (100 x 100mm) VESA mount. One thing that is immediately apparent when looking at the rear of the monitor is the scant selection of inputs offered – AC input (power), a single DVI port and a single ‘RGB in’ (VGA/D-sub) port. No HDMI, USB, DisplayPort or audio ports in sight. It could be argued that such ports are superfluous on a reasonably lightweight and efficient business monitor but these have been included on other similarly priced monitors in the same sector.
The OSD of the BX2440 is reasonably easy to navigate using the pressible buttons (with central protrusions) and on-screen menu labels. The main menu is split into 5 sub-menus; ‘picture’ (shown below), ‘color’, ‘size & position’, ‘setup & reset’ and ‘information’. The top two sub-menus are the most useful as they allow you to adjust important aspects of the image; such as brightness, contrast, colour balance and gamma. You can also access the ‘MagicBright’ image presets or if you prefer can instead activate the ‘MagicAngle’ feature that is now common on Samsung monitors. This adjusts the picture to be clearer from specific off-centre angles such as when you are leaning back or viewing the monitor from the side. The image never looks quite right as it can’t fix the inherent viewing angle limitations of Twisted Nematic technology, but is an innovative solution and a nice feature to have nonetheless
You can also quickly access the 5 ‘MagicBright’ presets (provided ‘MagicAngle’ is disabled) by using the second navigation button. These presets are; ‘Custom’, ‘Standard’, ‘Game’, ‘Cinema’ and ‘Dynamic Contrast’. If you make any changes to image settings after activating a preset the monitor will revert to the ‘Custom’ setting so they offer you a basic setting which can be tweaked further. The third navigation button gives you quick access to brightness controls, which is infinitely more useful for most PC users than modulating the ‘volume’ of audio routed through the monitor instead.
The default ‘Standard’ MagicBright preset settings provided a comfortable brightness of ‘45’ – but the image appeared bleached in places with overly strong whites and light colours. A quick switch of Gamma from ‘Mode1’ to ‘Mode2’ largely alleviated this problem and provided a well-balanced image and good base to work from. We initially used familiar desktop backgrounds and photographs as well as the Lagom website to tune the contrast and brightness settings further. As stated previously the default ‘Standard’ brightness of ‘45’ was comfortable for desktop use – but we prefer to BBQ our retinas a little when playing games and watching movies so cranked this up to ‘75’ for such occasions. It should be noted that this value will vary depending on personal preferences, ambient lighting conditions and usage and we always recommend using relatively low brightness settings for prolonged periods of use or if you experience any visual discomfort. The default contrast level of ‘75’ was just a touch too high and caused some bleaching at the high end – lowering this slightly to ’60’ largely eliminated the bleaching at the high-end without compromising overall image vibrancy or dynamic range. We used a Spyder3Elite colorimeter (software version 4.0.2) to refine colour balance at the hardware level and measure certain performance attributes which are featured later in the review. For the purposes of this review it is not necessary or particularly prudent to use a colorimeter-modified ICC profile as many of the applications (games and movies) will misinterpret or ignore this data. Moreover we like to give you an idea of the performance you can expect from the BX2440 with a few simple OSD tweaks that will apply to any application you run.
Some relatively minor adjustments were made to the RGB (red, green and blue) levels within the OSD to achieve the desirable daylight white point of 6500 Kelvin at the centre of the screen. Initially each value is set at ‘50’ by Samsung. It should be noted at this point that each individual BX2440 will be slightly different and the values below should be used for guidance only. Copying the following settings verbatim will not necessarily provide optimal results in all cases –
- Red: 45%
- Green: 59%
- Blue: 53%
Our review sample appeared to be relatively weak in green (and to a lesser extent blue) and slightly too strong in red. Typically WLED-backlit monitors produce relatively strong blues due to the blue hue of the backlight itself but this is something Samsung have rectified (and perhaps overcompensated for) on the BX2440. Overall the BX2440 provided a pretty decent image out of the box and with a little tweaking of the OSD an even better balance could be achieved. The real test comes from the subjective and objective exploration of the monitor using some familiar tools and applications and that is what the proceeding sections of this review focuses on.
Samsung states a typical brightness of 250cd/m2 and static contrast ratio of 1000:1 for the BX2440 which are fairly standard claims. No figure is attached to the dynamic contrast capabilities of the BX2440, suffice to say that it is ‘MEGA’. This is good because hugely inflated figures which give precious little insight into a monitor’s real-world performance simply confuse and mislead consumers.
We tested the BX2440 using our ‘test settings’ discussed previously but also using a range of other settings. We compared the luminance readings (in cd/m2) of ‘pure black’ and ‘pure white’ as read in the central region of the monitor screen using a Konica Minolta CS-200 ‘ChromaMeter’ (a fancy and highly accurate light meter) and derived from this a contrast ratio under various settings. The lowest black luminance, highest white luminance and highest contrast ratio recorded under non-dynamic modes have been highlighted. Unless otherwise stated assume a contrast level of ’100′ and default RGB values (50,50,50) for the purposes of this table.
|Monitor Profile||White luminance (cd/m2)||Black luminance (cd/m2)||Contrast ratio (x:1)|
|‘Custom’, 100% brightness||278||0.31||897|
|‘Custom’, 80% brightness||236||0.24||983|
|‘Custom’, 60% brightness||196||0.2||980|
|‘Custom’, 40% brightness||149||0.15||993|
|‘Custom’, 20% brightness||116||0.12||967|
|‘Custom’, 0% brightness||39||0.04||975|
|Test settings, 75% brightness, 60% contrast (RGB adjusted)||227||0.23||987|
|‘Dynamic contrast’ preset||278||<0.01||>27,800|
In the above table you can see a peak contrast ratio of 993:1, which was recorded at a brightness setting of ‘40’ (just below the default ‘45’ brightness setting). This is very close to the 1000:1 static contrast specified by Samsung. This figure is often specified for a modern TN or IPS panel but not necessarily achieved – so the BX2440 has put in a pleasing performance here. Even at a brightness setting of ‘100’ the monitor is able to hold a reasonably good black depth of 0.31 cd/m2 whilst pumping out whites of 278 cd/m2 (slightly exceeding the 250 cd/m2 specified by Samsung). The resulting contrast ratio of 897:1 is pretty respectable despite being the lowest value recorded during our testing. The lowest luminance values of 0.04 cd/m2 for black and 0.39 cd/m2 were recorded, unsurprisingly, at a brightness level of ‘0’. We don’t consider this setting particularly practical owing the very dim 39 cd/m2 white level luminance. Nonetheless this gives the BX2440 a white luminance range of 239 cd/m2 which is very good.
As detailed in the calibration section, the relatively strong and consistent contrast performance of the monitor coupled with the reasonably well-balanced out of the box image allowed us to ramp up the brightness to ‘75’ for our ‘entertainment testing’ and retina-scorching enjoyment. We were also able to make some fairly minor colour balance adjustments without compromising contrast – which the 987:1 contrast ratio recorded under our test settings highlights quite nicely. As with any LCD monitor the backlight does ‘leak through’ the LCD matrix to some degree when displaying blacks at reasonable luminance settings as it isn’t a perfect filter. This prevents the blacks from being absolutely pure and dark and they may take on a slightly purple or grey tinge (depending on the backlight and panel type) which is more noticeable at higher brightness settings. Despite these issues it is often the ‘excess’ backlight bleed-through that is most noticeable towards the edges of the screen that is most troublesome on a modern TN panel monitor. Fortunately the BX2440 we tested suffered very low levels of excess backlight bleed-through. It should be noted at this point that, as with all of the testing featured herein, there may be slight variation between individual BX2440 units; we can’t guarantee that every unit will provide a similarly low level of backlight bleed-through.
For those of you who like deeper blacks in scenes where they dominate and don’t mind distractingly rapid shifts in backlight brightness there is always the twitchy ‘MEGA’ Dynamic Contrast mode of the BX2440. We measured a contrast ratio of >27,800:1 (probably considerably greater than) under this mode, which was limited by the 0.01 cd/m2 resolution of our light meter. When displaying pure whites this mode turns up the backlight as high as it will go, giving 278 cd/m2 in the case of the BX2440. For pure blacks the backlight is dimmed so it is as good as off. Unfortunately real applications do not generally consist of pure whites or pure blacks and are an intricate mixture of dark and light colours. Adjusting the entire backlight to suit the overall image is a bit of a compromise, really.
The values considered above are taken from a small section in the centre of the screen – as with most aspects of image quality on LCD technology there is variability that exists beyond that. It is prudent to also consider the luminance uniformity across the screen – which is best exemplified by considering variations in ‘pure white’. Any variation in luminance detected here is generally a little more exaggerated than what you would notice in a ‘mixed’ image but is an important consideration nonetheless. Absolute luminance values are given (cd/m2) in the table below, alongside the % difference in luminance from centre. Readings were taken using a Spyder3Elite colorimeter at 9 equidistance ‘pure white’ quadrants – running across the screen from top left to bottom right.
The luminance uniformity of the BX2440 we tested was very pleasing and it is good to see even the worst-case deviation retain only a single digit as a percentage difference. The maximum deviation from the central ‘quadrant 5’ luminance of 205.3 cd/m2 was measured in ‘quadrant 9’ towards the bottom right of the screen. The luminance here was measured as 187.8 cd/m2 which differs by 9% from the central point. In the top left corner (‘quadrant 1’) a slightly lower deviation of 8% from centre was apparent. Elsewhere deviation was 7% or lower – with the 2% deviation in the lower central region of the screen (‘quadrant 8’) being most favourable. These deviations are represented visually by the contour map below. This adds a bit of artistic license to the actual recorded values by making further predictions based on these figures. It should be noted that the figures in the table and graphic below only represents the difference in white-point luminance at various sections of the monitor screen and is not indicative of variations in apparent colour across the screen (which is explored in the subsequent section of the review).
Moving onto the all-important subjective testing now where we fired up some familiar game and movie titles to test the contrast and brightness performance of the BX2440 using our test settings. Those of you who have read our previous reviews will know that we often like to start this by discussing our testing of Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising. Not wanting to stray too far off the beaten path but still wanting to stay current with our line-up we have instead opted to test the successor to this title – Operation Flashpoint: Red River. In many ways this is actually a better test of contrast as it features superior lighting models and a better representation of dark nights in particular. The BX2440 handled this title very nicely with appropriately bright orange glow from the sun during the day coupled with lively explosions and flashes during the night. The tracers which lit up the night sky like fireflies were a particularly impressive show of contrast on this game, especially as the night itself (and indeed shaded areas) appeared appropriately dark with a suitable level of detail. The experience on Battlefield: Bad Company 2 was equally pleasing in this regard with bright glare from the sun, sparks from the engineer’s repair tool and explosions contrasting very nicely with the dimly lit dark areas. Once again shaded areas suffered from no noticeable loss of detail beyond what you would expect under such lighting conditions.
Although it doesn’t feature the same level of pyromania as the loud and proud first person shooter titles we also like to test out a monitors contrast performance on Dirt 2 – which is rather good at separating the good from the bad and the ugly as far as contrast is concerned. The BX2440 once again handled the high-end very nicely with beaming sunshine and bright white objects such as road signs and bright white sails and flags dotted around most courses. Once again good levels of detail were retained in dark and shaded areas such as shaded buildings and rocky overhangs. Driving at night proved to be a particularly good showcase of the monitor’s contrast with particularly dazzling lights from other vehicles and course illumination.
This same positive performance carried over to our film testing, for which we chose a pretty lively Blu-ray adaptation of Stieg Larrson’s The Girl Who Played with Fire. Good levels of detail were retained in dark areas of the film whilst the roaring fires and bright lights throughout the film contrasted very nicely with their surroundings.
Finally came the Lagom LCD tests. These are designed to illustrate weaknesses in monitor performance that may not necessarily manifest themselves during other testing.
- The BX2440 displayed very good contrast gradients. It was difficult to distinguish the first two blue bars but distinct brightness steps could be observed elsewhere.
- Performance on the black level test was good but influenced by the poor vertical viewing angle of the monitor. Regardless of position on the page (i.e. how far up or down the page you have scrolled when viewing the test patterns) all but the first two blocks were visible. It was possible to ‘reveal’ the first two blocks lowering the monitor stand height and scrolling up so that the first row of squares appear at the bottom of the screen. This defeats the purpose of the test. Minor dithering was evident, both temporal and static, but was generally masked well.
- The white saturation test results were reasonably good, although the final 3 squares were invisible regardless of settings. It was possible to reveal all of the checkerboard patterns by raising the monitor as high as possible and lowering your head so it is beneath the bottom of the bezel. Aside from looking ridiculous this demonstrates the vertical viewing angles limitation of the panel technology once again.
- The greyscale gradient was reasonably smooth with only very minor banding at the low-end. Temporal and static dithering was evident throughout the gradient although this was handled very well by the monitor.
It is probably worth mentioning at this point, as we conclude this section, that the Samsung BX2440 has a fairly moderate matte ‘anti-glare’ coating that is typical on a modern LCD monitor designed for office use. As we alluded to in the ‘features and aesthetics’ section a particular side effect of this is that light colours and white in particular can appear slightly grainy in places. This was highlighted quite well in certain sections of our game testing and most notably on bright snowy levels of Bad Company two where white was predominant. It also affected pastel shades but in general was not quite as noticeable as on other monitors we have tested recently, such as the EA232WMi. It is worth pointing out, nonetheless.
The BX2440’s colour gamut (red triangle) under our test settings was compared to the sRGB reference (green triangle) using the reporting functionality of the Spyder3Elite.
As you would expect from a WLED-backlit monitor the BX2440 falls roughly in line with the standard sRGB colour space, although green coverage is a little iffy. Colour delivery in practice is of course about much more than simply the colour gamut and we feel it is most fitting to explore the monitor’s potential here using a range of familiar applications. The first title we tested, Operation Flashpoint: Red River is fairly similar to its predecessor (and long-running test candidate for our reviews), Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising. It is a title that craves a balance of good natural colour reproduction but also screams out for vibrancy in places. The BX2440 delivered a good experience here that was mostly in keeping with the game’s preferred ‘natural’ aesthetic. There was a decent (but not outstanding) range of earthy browns and muted, dusty khaki colours on vehicles and in the environment. Greens were also presented with a decent range although the tendency towards yellow-tinted greens (particularly on some grassy areas) looked a little misplaced. There were some notable vibrant elements presented throughout the game that the monitor handled pretty well , such as the warm red highlights cast upon objects from the evening sun and the slightly OTT green and red glow of tracer rounds zipping through the air. Our second game test title, Bad Company 2, is one that we generally consider craves a more vibrant (but not oversaturated) look. The natural elements of the game, such as brown desert tones and most vegetation, was again handled quite nicely. Certain elements, such as painted plastics and metals in the game and supposedly lush forest vegetation could have done with some extra vibrancy but the overall image was nicely balanced. Subtle distinctions in certain colours were lost – such as the various browns of different woods contrasting with one another and the ground beneath. This is pretty-much inevitable on a panel of this type (Twisted Nematic) where the colours are displayed differently depending on the position on the screen.
Dirt 2 is another game that we feel craves a natural look in parts but a good level of vibrancy in others. A pretty good range of colours were showcased on this title ranging from some quite vivid ‘forest’ greens in Malaysia to dusty greens and browns in the deserts of Utah. The slightly yellow-tinted greens were once again apparent, even in Utah, where they looked particularly misplaced. In this screen’s defence this is a fairly ubiquitous problem to some degree on TN panel monitors and LCD monitors more broadly. Overall the game looked well-balanced and reasonably vibrant – although more vibrancy is always welcome, particularly on the car paintjobs.
In our film testing of colour reproduction we chose two distinct titles which demand slightly different things from a monitor, although they both require some balance. The first film title we tested was the Blu-ray of The Girl Who Played with Fire. Being based on real world locations and featuring real people it requires a combination of natural colour reproduction (with a variety of real-world settings and skin-tones featuring heavily) and more vibrant colour reproduction (for example – to add flare to those environments, the characters clothes and the special effects on the film). The BX2440 delivered a quite enjoyable visual experience on this film as it handled the skin tones and natural environments quite well with an appropriate level of saturation and a decent variety of colours. Amongst some more intense sections of the film there were nice flashes of vibrancy from orange flames and the like but the film did appear a little muted in parts. It certainly didn’t look ‘washed out’ and the monitor struck a decent balance. The second film title we tested was the Blu-ray of Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder. Despite being set in a fictional universe it is actually a particularly good test of a monitors colour reproduction. It is easy to process, visually, and it highlights particular strengths and weaknesses in a monitors colour reproduction very nicely. Most of the film features solid blocks of vivid but varied colour which the monitor handled pretty well. It was certainly not as vibrant as we have seen from a select few other monitors but it was far from lacklustre. The film also makes good use of subtle variations of colours and pastel shades. The natural variation across the screen of a TN panel monitor is often more extreme than the actual subtle variations of shades that are supposed to be shown and in this case the subtle detail is all but lost. This weakness was all too apparent on this monitor and is highlighted particularly well on the skin tones of characters which change depending on their position on the screen. The change is not such that the colour will appear completely ‘wrong’ but it is easily noticed on this film and does affect the apparent shade variety.
What is apparent in all of the ‘real world’ testing is that the Samsung BX2440 offers a good balance when it comes to colour reproduction. The monitor doesn’t perform any miracles that can overcome inherent limitations with the TN panel technology but it certainly makes ‘good use of what its got’. The image never looked washed out nor did it look horribly oversaturated, but it is tempting to conclude this section in a similar way to the last and mention the somewhat controversial matte coating. We must reiterate that it makes perfect sense on a monitor such as this, designed primarily as a business solution, but would like to stress that there are drawbacks as well. Such a coating is designed to aid the scattering of incident light which could otherwise cause troublesome ‘glare’ or reflections but also affects the light outputted by the monitor. This has an unfavourable effect on the contrast and vividness of the image that is outputted – but as we’ve mentioned previously the coating on this monitor is relatively minor compared to some others we’ve used recently.
As the previous section illustrated, the BX2440 cannot escape from the viewing angle issues that are inherent to the TN panel technology. These limitations exist across the screen under direct viewing and not just at ‘extreme viewing angles’. The Lagom LCD tests for viewing angles demonstrate the kind of colour and brightness shifts that occur on a monitor in both of these scenarios. In such tests the performance of the BX2440 was much as you would expect given the panel type. The purple block shifted from purple to pink across the screen with additional flashes of blue at times. The red block appeared a fairly rich red at the top but this transitioned to an increasingly pink shade further down the screen. As usual the green block appeared a slightly garish lime green with noticeable yellow tints, particularly towards the bottom. Relief came, as it often does, from the blue block that appeared very solid with the most minor of brightness shifts.
The extent to which the BX2440’s gamma curve is dependent on viewing angle can also be seen in the Lagom ‘text test’. Rather than appearing an ideal blended grey there were various flashes of pink and green throughout – confirming a high level of viewing angle dependency. This has implications for colour accuracy and consistency as we have explored and means that professional users will probably want to look elsewhere (perhaps at In-Plane Switching or Vertical Alignment monitors). The results of the red block and Lagom text tests are shown in the video below:
Samsung has also included the ability to rotate the BX2440 into portrait mode, as we explored previously. This exacerbates the problem of relatively poor vertical viewing angles, in particular, which causes rather distracting visual issues on what becomes a very tall and thin screen in this orientation. Whites are not entirely uniform in landscape mode as they appear to take on a slightly dirty red tint at the top and a cooler blue tint towards the bottom. In portrait mode the problem becomes far more pronounced and provides a very good demonstration of the kind of viewing angle issues that plague the monitor in this orientation in particular. The image below captures, to some extent, the sudden and pronounced shift in colour and apparent brightness that occurs across the monitor. Notice in particular the blue cast on the far right of the screen.
Although stated response times are a poor indicator of the actual pixel response performance of a monitor, the ‘5ms’ stated by Samsung is indicative of a modern TN-panel monitor response-time compensation (RTC) technology to reduce the grey to grey pixel transition times. A small tool we find useful for illustrating the responsiveness of a monitor is PixPerAn (Pixel Performance Analyser). This has been featured in our more recent reviews and is also utilised by other professional review websites such as TFT Central. Feel free to compare these results to those featured in TFT Central’s reviews. The image below was captured using a high shutter speed and the PixPerAn ‘tempo’ set as high as it would go. It should therefore be considered the ‘worst case scenario’ as far as PixPerAn testing goes and highlights rather overtly a typical pixel transition scenario that could occur during moderately fast-paced gameplay.
In the image above you can see a reasonably bold secondary trail and a faint tertiary trail behind the character and the car. There are no noticeable ‘negative artifacts’ such as halos and inverse ghosting. This is typical of a non-overdriven (or lightly overdriven) TN panel and is reflected by the specifications and to some extend our subjective testing below. It should be noted that in more ‘realistic scenarios’ (i.e. during intense gameplay) visible trailing is not always as problematic as it appears on PixPerAn – exactly how noticeable or bothersome an individual finds it also varies from person to person. As seasoned monitor reviewers (no salt and pepper jokes please) we consider ourselves quite sensitive to ‘trailing’ or ‘ghosting’ and this is particularly true when you are actively looking out for it as we did do for the proceeding section.
In most cases the trailing on our first test title, Red River, appeared relatively minor and not at all distracting. It was pretty consistent and unobtrusive with no distracting artifacts in sight. The most noticeable cases presented themselves when admiring the scenery from the back of an open-top vehicle. Passing light-coloured trees set upon a darker background was the best example of this as any trailing was highly visible. The textures appeared to glow a little around the edges – which was slightly distracting. This same effect was noticeable on our second game test title, Bad Company 2, but was more widespread due to the faster pace of the game play. When flying about in a helicopter or zipping around in an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV), for example, such trailing was rife. In our third game title, Dirt 2, white sign posts and sails showed the most noticeable trailing during the day but it was relatively tame elsewhere. At night, though, what can only be described as blurring of artificial lights around the track proved to be quite problematic and detrimental to vehicle safety.
Although we didn’t explicitly measure the input lag of the BX2440 (as we lack accurate means of doing so) we would classify the overall response to our input as ‘good’. It was certainly not the most responsive monitor that we have reviewed recently but this subjective opinion reflects the total latency felt by the us as a combination of factors beyond pure ‘input lag’ – including the pixel transition itself and the delay between frames (see this article). It is fair to say that the majority of people would be happy enough with monitors of inferior resonsiveness to the BX2440.
We also observed the visual responsiveness of the monitor on our two film titles which unlike games does not require continuous user interaction. As per usual the ‘judder’ and similar effects caused by the low native frame rate at which the films were captured took precedence over pixel response time. There were very few instances where we would pinpoint specific trailing issues related to the pixel response time of the monitor and to that end we don’t see any real problems with using this monitor for movie watching.
The Samsung BX2440 is designed for and marketed towards the business user with matte plastic housing, an understated look, an efficient LED backlighting solution and a fully adjustable stand. But there are many home users that crave the same kind of simplicity and flexibility from their PC monitor. We don’t all want our monitors to sit as they please on the desk as we stare down at them, eventually resorting to a pile of phonebooks to raise the height. Nor do we all want a border of dust and fingerprints to worry about around the screen.
What most ‘home users’ will also be interested in is a monitor with solid performance and an attractive pricetag. In some respects the BX2440 delivered on these interests. The contrast of the monitor was pleasing in both our objective and subjective assessment. Screen uniformity was also good and excess backlight bleed-through was minimal. Although vibrancy was lacking in some areas of our testing the image produced by the BX2440 was generally well-balanced and reasonably vivid.
In other areas the performance was slightly sub-optimal for a monitor of this price. Whether considered for its merit as an ‘entertainment’ monitor or a screen for business purposes the big problem for the BX2440 is the competition. With its TN panel the monitor is slightly limited in its colour reproduction and viewing angles in particular. For around the same price as the BX2440 (which retails at £215 or $290 at time of writing) there are a host of other monitors available with what are generally regarded to be ‘superior’ panel technologies in this regard (such as IPS and VA). Many of these offer a similar level of ergonomic flexibility and a more extensive range of inputs. The BX2440 can’t play the TN trump card with its consistently high levels of responsiveness, either. The responsiveness was reasonable but certainly not remarkable for a TN-panel monitor. With its apparent lack of response time compensation (RTC) technology the monitor performs, subjectively speaking, quite similarly to some RTC-enabled IPS models (such as the IPS Dell U2311H) and worse than overdriven TN panel monitors such as the LG W2442. If the CCFL backlighting of the U2311H doesn’t tickle your fancy and you are particularly fond of the BX2440’s WLED backlighting but not the TN panel there are some modern IPS alternatives such as the LG IPS231V to consider. Aside from generally superior image performance the possible downside to opting for an IPS monitor in this price range is that you would be sacrificing an inch of screen size. Some of the competing VA models, such as the BenQ BL2400PT, offer the same screen size but inferior responsiveness and somewhat inconsistent inter-panel performance. They are generally a little cheaper to buy, although this depends on availability in your country.
So to sum up the overall experience – BX2440 is a monitor that delivers a solid performance in some areas but reaches compromises in others. It is fair to say that the same rings true, to some extent, for any current LCD monitor. It’s just that the price tag is a little difficult to justify in this case.
|Good contrast and screen uniformity (mileage may vary)||Whites are not entirely uniform in large white spaces (particularly in portrait mode)|
|Excellent level of stand and screen ergonomic adjustability and easy to operate OSD controls||Stand not all that solidly built and monitor was relatively light and wobbly|
|Well-balanced colour reproduction with some useful presets and decent out-of-the-box performance||Moderate matte anti-glare coating affects the image vibrancy slightly and leads to a grainy texture in some instances|
|Efficient LED backlight consumes relatively little power and produces little heat||Viewing angles and colour uniformity are restricted by TN panel technology|
|Reasonably responsive with no particularly troublesome issues in this area||Trailing could be reduced in some instances by well-implemented pixel overdrive|
|Good current availability of this model||Price is slightly too high for what the monitor offers compared to the competition (not many inputs, TN panel)|