Samsung SyncMaster XL20 LED-backlight monitor

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Dec 6, 2007 by Mike Chin

Product
Samsung SyncMaster XL20
Manufacturer
Samsung
Supplier
Samsung Canada
Market Price
US$1600~2000

LED backlight LCD monitors are all the rage in low power computing this year. The Apple Macbooks, OLPC XO and the Asus Eee PC are but a few of the many new notebooks to feature LED backlight LCD monitors. The main objective is reduced power consumption, which is certainly a holy grail in mobile computing. The trend is much weaker among stand-alone desktop LCD monitors, which are still dominated by CCFL backlighting.

Interestingly, when LED backlight technology first showed up (around 2004), the promise of power savings was secondary to improved color accuracy. The reality is that the LED-backlight LCD monitors showing up in laptops do not actually provide much better color accuracy than conventional CCFL backlight LCDs. It's energy efficiency that's taken the front seat. Environmentally, LEDs are also superior, as they don't contain mercury like CCFLs, although they are not completely without toxic content (trace amounts of Gallium and Arsenic).

In contrast, the Samsung XL20 desktop monitor's primary reason for existence is high color accuracy. This is Samsung's first LED-backlight LCD monitor, released about a year ago. It's promoted as a tool for graphics artists and imaging professionals. SPCR's interest in it was mainly to check the power consumption, as this is one of the often-repeated benefits of LED-backlight LCD monitors. My reaction to the XL20: The more I used it, the more I wanted to keep it, despite the audible noise of its fan.


It looks ordinary, but once it's turned on, the exceptional color accuracy of the XL20 is obvious to anyone.

SAMSUNG XL20 SPECIFICATIONS
Panel Viewable area 20.1"
Pixel Pitch (mm) 0.255
Brightness (cd/m2) 250 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio Static 600:01:00
Viewing Angle 178°/178°
Response Time (ms) 8ms (GTG)
Frequency Horiz. Rate (Analog) 30-92
Vertical Rate 56-85
Max Resolution 1600x1200
Supported Colors 16.7 million from palette of 1 billion
Inputs Input Video Signal Analog RGB, DVI
Sync Type Separate H/V, Composite
Input Connectors DVI-I, DVI-D
Plug & Play DDC 2B
USB Powered Hub Option 1 up, 2 down
Mac Compatibility Yes
Power On 85W Max
DPMS Mode <2W
Type Built-in
Wall Mount VESA 100mm
TCO TCO '99
Color Black
Accessories huey Calibrator, Hood
Dimensions With stand (WxHxD) 448x390.8x220mm
Packing (WxHxD) 565x491x261mm
Weight Net 7.6 kg
Gross 11.7 kg
Stand Type HAS (100mm)
Function Height Adjustable Pivot


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