[Review] Samsung 173P


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aaron901

i was searching for a good-looking 17" LCD to complement my laptop, with that in mind i've narrowed my choices down to either Apple, Sony or Samsung cuz we all know they house some of the best industrial designers in the world. :) i took Apple out of the list right away as the technology is more than 3 years old, it's not worth paying a premium for an outdated piece of hardware even though it looks good. then i looked at Sony's displays, it looks really sleek but when i checked out the specs, i found it somewhat inferior because of the 30ms response time and the relatively low contrast ratio. as soon as i looked at Samsung latest offering, the Samsung 173P, i've got a winner! :D so without further ado, let's have a look at this beauty. :)

Specs:

17" Viewable Area

270 cd/m2 Brightness

700:1 Contrast Ratio :woot:

178/178 Viewing Angle(H/V)

25 ms Response Time

Analog/Digital Interface

1280x1024 Max. Resolution

16.7m colors

as y'all can see, this beauty has a contrast ratio of 700:1 which is above average, as most LCDs are either 400:1 or 500:1. The 270 cd/m2 brightness is also higher than the norm as most LCDs hover around 250 cd/m2. the viewing angle of 178? just blows my mind, i've never seen anything higher than this. 25ms response time might not sound too good for gamers, but after an hour of Halo and some dvd playing, i found that there's no noticeable ghosting at all, so i think the rating is just a worst case scenario.:))

the bezel and base are made out of magnesium alloy, as opposed to other flat panels that have cheap plastic casing. it feels extremely solid and durable. the back of the panel is made out of smooth glossy white plastic, like that on the Apple's iBook, it gives the whole thing a refined and elegant look. one thing i would like to mention is the buttonless design of the flat panel, well not exactly buttonless but there's only one button - the power button. in fact it's not actually a button, it's more like a touch sensor. coolness.:cool:: kudos to Samsung for removing the buttons, finally a flat panel that looks awesome in either landscape or portrait mode. all the brightness/contrast adjustment is done with the included software - MagicTune, i really love this feature.:))

i'll let the pictures do the talking now.:))

aaron901-IMG_0001.jpg

can be used with PC and Mac.>

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aaron901-IMG_0003.jpg

touch the power button for 2 seconds and it switches from Mac to PC and vice versa.>

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aaron901-IMG_0005.jpg

how slim and sleek it is...>

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smooth glossy white finish at the back...>

so, to sum it all up..

the good:>

- contrast ratio of 700:1 that blows most other displays out of the window

- above average brightness rating of 270cd/m2

- mind-blowing viewing angle of 178?

- top-notch image quality

- portrait and landscape mode

- VESA mount for wall-mounting included

- both analog and DVI cables included

- buttonless design

- versatile tilt adjustment

- switch between computers at the touch of a button

- backed by a three-year parts, labor, and backlight warrantythe bad:b>

- some people may prefer OSD

- MagicTune only works in Windows

- one of the most expensive 17" LCDs out there

Final ratings: 9/10

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ForeverUnknown

nice monitor. nice review (Y)

samsung makes great monitors

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ANova

The 172X is better imo, but this is still very nice.

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Oblivion

The monitor itself is very beautiful

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threetonesun

I just ordered myself a Samsung LCD, although not as nice as this one. They really have great image quality.

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ForeverUnknown

wow i just realized the contrast ratio is 700:1. that's incredibly high for 17". hell mine is only like 450 or 500

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Zip

but its only got a 25ms response time... have you tried gaming with it?

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aaron901
but its only got a 25ms response time... have you tried gaming with it?

yes, there's no noticeable ghosting at all. like i said, i believe the rating is just a worst case scenario, it's actually close to 16ms if not better. :)

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Digital Pimp

Think i might have to get one of these, looks realy nice. I always knew i should have bought a Samsung instead of my failing iiyama :(

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aaron901

portrait mode.. :)

aaron901-IMG_0007.jpg

if only i could get rid of the Samsung logo.. oh well.. still not so bad. :D

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machima

Damn how did you afford that, a Powerbook AND a Vaio? That's some hard money there.

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incubusdaemon

while it's only sort of on topic, anyone know the order from worst to best of the letters on the end of the samsung model names?

one would think 175v > 173p because of the letter and the number, but it's not the case. What's the reasoning behind the system?

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JonathanVP

Nice monitor!! Now I know what to buy next month to replace my piece-of-crap aging Viewsonic monitor.

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youm0nt

what an amazing monitor. :woot: :happy:

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dougkinzinger

Love it. GREAT contrast ratio too, that's nice.

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jymi

dont know much about hardware specs but damn, thats a sexy looking lcd

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giga

Wow nice review. (Y) Great LCD.

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Wannes
Love it. GREAT contrast ratio too, that's nice.

are you getting a 4th one? ;)

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SonComet

I love samsung's PVA monitors. I have a 172t myself and have been debating selling it inorder to get a 173p. Not too sure how big of a difference there would be though. Before discontinuing the 172t it had 700:1 contrast ratio and 250 cd/m for its specs. Blurring is different from person to person. I was unhappy with the blurring on my 25ms lcd until I got used to it. Now it doesn't bug me at all, and most ppl can't even discern it unless you show them exactly what to look for. However, if I use my brothers crt for awhile and then switch back to my lcd the blurring becomes apparent again. I am so jealous of both of your laptops.

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aaron901

i'm pretty sure the 172T has a contrast ratio of 500:1. and it only supports 16.2m colors. :)

if you decide to get rid of your 172T, go with the 193P!! it has a contrast ratio of 800:1 and 20ms response time!! :)

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SonComet

They changed the specs to 700:1 right before they got rid of it. I don't know why, but at that time they readjusted the specs for there whole line. They changed the specs for the 191t to more closely align to the 191t+ and 192t (which use the same panel). Also, I have always wondered about the 172t having only 16.2 million colors. Does that make it a 6bit panel with dithering (like all those 16/12ms ones)? It seems that the official specs at the end were changed to 700:1, 16.2 million colors, and 25ms. usa 172t

edit: samsungs website it very annoying. They list the aspect ratio on there 17" and 19" monitors wrong (should be 5:4, not 4:3), and I just noticed that they listed the 172x's pixel pitch wrong (should be .264 not .294) on the main page (the general one, they fixed it on the usa page).

Ok from what I have been able to dig up its not a 6bit panel. It is an 8-bit from everything that I have read, only it is missing 500,000 shades. "What is interesting however, is that the 172T only supports up to 16.2-Million colors, which is odd since 'True-Color' is represented by 16.7-Million colors. However, after having done a month of Photoshop work on the 172T, I did NOT notice the 500,000 missing shades." That's the only reference I could find refering to this, owell. Owell, the colors are beautiful and I can't see any of the dithering that I notice on 6bit panels, so I will stop fussing over this, lol.

Edited by SonComet
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Yvo

I love these things to death.

I personall have two right next to each other. Really it just adds life to my room ;). Had one before it came officially out for months. I would recommend this monitor to anyone.

The only thing that bites is the OSD, no OSD and the utility to configure brightness and such is only available under Windows. However the monitor has great settings default. I use it all the time in Linux (Fedora Core 2 & Mandrake 10) and no problems what so ever.

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