As an enhancement of its SyncMaster range, Samsung has launched eight new monitors to compete in the high end CRT market. These increased specification models cover 17", 19" and 21" displays. Here we look at the 900SL+, the flagship 19" model, which boasts a maximum resolution of 1600 x 1200 at a refresh rate of 85Hz. It's a short neck design which means it takes up about the same amount of desk space as a normal 17" display, although it's not as small as the tiny Philips 109B.
Targeted at the office environment, the 900SL+ offers a large 18" viewable area and a flicker-free image in an attempt to eliminate eye strain. The OSD (On Screen Display) is more comprehensive than most, including all the usual controls and additionally focus and linearity adjustments. Navigating the various menus is simple due to a combination of the six-button 'cursor' type control panel and good menu design.
The 900SL+ also features dual signal inputs - both 15-pin D-sub and five BNC connectors - so you can switch between two computers easily. There's a recess for a USB hub but there are no USB connectors as standard.
We tested the 900SL+ using Display Mate For Windows, an obstacle course of the toughest screens a monitor will ever have to display. Geometry was good overall, but not perfect. The top right corner on our 900SL+ looked pinched, and no amount of fiddling with the OSD could correct it.
Focus was another area which let this display down. All our focus test screens showed that the 900SL+ had poor focus in several patches, not just in the corners. Even the focus adjustment control couldn't bring the overall screen into adequate focus. During normal use you probably wouldn't notice this failing, but other monitors have performed better.
We noticed quite a lot of reflections in the screen, but it was also flicker free - a benefit of the high refresh rates. Moire was evident, but we were able to cancel it on some test screens using the OSD.
Overall the 900SL+ attained a score of 76 per cent, which was slightly disappointing considering Samsung is positioning it against high-end monitors. But with a three year on-site warranty, it may become more appealing to corporates who need a short neck mid-range monitor for graphics use in offices.