Master of all media

A review of Samsung's new all-in-one display, the SyncMaster 930mp.

If you're looking to treat yourself to something special by way of a display but you want to keep costs down, take a look at Samsung's new all-in-one display, the SyncMaster 930mp. The unit not only includes built-in stereo speakers, it also sports a TV tuner and FM radio.

We were struck by the unit's stylish lines before we even turned on the SyncMaster 930mp. The silver case offers a thin 1-inch bezel. Just below the crisp 19-inch display, the speakers lie behind a fine mesh grill.

At the center is an on/off button that also serves as a selector for the monitor's menus. The right side has six buttons for tasks such as selecting the source, configuring the monitor and turning on the radio. We found it even easier, however, to use the remote control unit.

Setting up the 930mp was simple. The base is already attached to the unit and only needs to be unfolded.

Then it's just a simple matter of connecting the cables. We were pleased to see that the 930mp offers ports for both DVI and standard VGA connections. The unit also offers an S-Video port for direct connection to a DVD player, VCR, camcorder or other devices.

Of course, there's also a connection for cable TV. Plug in your cable, press the source button and watch in no time. The remote control makes it convenient to pop open the TV in a picture-in-picture window, which can be located in any corner of the screen.

The display itself is sharp, with a 1000-1 ratio, a response time of 25 milliseconds and a pixel pitch of 0.294 millimeters. The monitor offers a native resolution of 1,280 x 1,024.

We were a tad disappointed with the quality of the TV picture, but you can expect analog TV displayed on high-resolution monitors to suffer some degradation. Bear in mind, however, that the unit is HDTV-ready, so the potential is there for high-resolution viewing. Also, although the speakers built into the 930mp are adequate, we preferred the higher quality and better separation of a decent pair of external speakers.

The SyncMaster 930mp is a nifty unit that combines a lot of functionality into an attractive package. And we were pleasantly surprised when we learned that the 930mp has an estimated street price of $599.

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