Samsung SyncMaster T220 Review

by Tim Fulton on December 8, 2008

Today we are taking a look at the Samsung Syncmaster T220. It is a pretty bare bones offering from Samsung, but it does have some real nice features in addition to simply looking great.

Features & Specifications

Lets go over the basics. The T220 is a real beauty of a monitor with what Samsung calls Touch of Color. Touch of Color incorporates a blended color into the bezel of the monitor. In this case it is rose black. You can see from the pictures that is amongst the better looking and stylish monitors available. It is a fair sized monitor at 22″ of widescreen viewability. It also touts 2ms response time and .3 watts of power usage in standby mode. For more specifics, check out the link to the T220 specifications on Samsung’s website.

The software package that it comes with is decent.  Samsung has its a program called MultiScreen which splits your screen into different size zones.  There are many preset zone configurations or you can customize your own.  When you drag a window into one of these zones, the window is resized to the size of the zone.  This is really useful if you find yourself with a lot of windows open at the same time and want to be able to see them all at once.  I can see this being very useful in an office environment.  However, for the average home user, it can get a little annoying because you have to remember to hold ALT if you don’t want it to resize your windows when dragging them.  Thankfully, the feature is easily toggleable with the icon in the system tray by the clock.

The other program I’ll mention is called MagicTune.  This basically lets you control what the buttons on the monitor would do, except with a snazzy user interface.  Its a neat program, but I want to mention this because I noticed that this program is a bit of a memory hog.  You wouldn’t think so, but MagicTune takes up 22 megs on boot up.  No, its not a huge amount of memory, but it is a fair amount for something you’re likely to never use once you have your monitor setup the way you want.

As I said, the T220 is pretty much your bare bones monitor. It does not have any of what I would consider luxury features. The stand has vertical tilt, but no horizontal adjustment. There are no speakers, no headphone jack, and no USB ports. It has a power port, DVI and D-sub connector on the back. In my book this is no big deal. Computers these days have plenty of USB ports, they also usually have a headphone jack, and speakers on monitors never sound as good as real speakers.

Environmental Impact

Lets check out how good Samsung did with the environmental aspect of the monitor. Looking at the T220 on EPEAT’s site we can see that it achieved their silver rating. Not too bad. They have done good work to reduce environmentally sensitive materials in building the monitor, and have also have done a great job with designing the monitor with respect to how recycling will be handled once it has died.  It is at least 90% recyclable. It is also energy star rated.

With mention of the energy star rating, lets take a closer look at what this monitor will actually use. In standby mode, my kill-a-watt could not measure any power draw. This falls in line with Samsung’s claim of .3W of power usage in standby. This is great considering some LCDs pull 5W just sitting there! Once the monitor is up and running at the stock 100% brightness it was using between 42 and 45 watts. This was way too bright for me since my computer is in a fairly dimly lit room. I turned the brightness down to 40% and power usage dropped to 29W. After a while this was still a bit bright much for me and I ended up settling on 20% brightness. This finally brought the power consumption down to a very reasonable 21W. That is worlds better than my current monitor I’m using which is a ancient Hitachi 21″ CRT which uses 110W on average.

Final Words

The T220 is an absolutely beautiful monitor with its Touch of Color and graceful curves as opposed to your average black box. It also has great power-on consumption as all LCDs do, but also has great standby power consumption. The design with respect to environmental impact isn’t perfect, but it is not far off.  It is well thought out and very recyclable.

The downside to the T220 would be the price as its not the cheapest 22″ widescreen out there at its current $300 price tag. It also doesn’t come with a bunch of fancy extra features if you are into that kind of thing. However, Samsung does have another variant called the T220HD that includes more features.

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