Samsung S23A750D Viewing Angles and Color Quality

The Samsung is a TN panel but Samsung advertises improved viewing angles as one feature of the S23A (with the name "Magic Angle Vertical"); you can read about this and additional features on their product page. As you'd expect there's plenty of marketing hyperbole to be found, but in practice I did notice that the S23A has better viewing angles than competing TN solutions.

Most TN panels experience huge color shifts when viewed from the top or bottom of the monitor, and once they get past 20” or so in size you start to see the shift even when attempting to view straight on; by comparison, the S23A looks good when viewed straight on and I didn't see noticeable shifts from my normal viewing area. However, this remains a TN panel and when viewed from accute angles the shift in color and contrast is still present.

Unfortunately, while viewing angles are better than most TN displays, the pre-calibration Delta E numbers are as bad as we've come to expect from consumer displays.

Color Tracking -  XR Pro, Xrite i1D2 and XR i1DPro

With an average dE over 8 and some of the worst overall numbers occurring the grayscale, the initial numbers for the Samsung aren't very good. The result is similar to competing displays, but still disappointing. Let's move on to calibrated results.

Using the color settings to get the white balance as close as possible to D65 and then setting the brightness and contrast to get 200 nits of light output, I ran the calibration routine in ColorEyes Pro to see if the Samsung could perform any better.

Color Tracking -  XR Pro, Xrite i1D2 and XR i1DPro

The numbers for the Samsung are overall very good once calibrated. Not only do we get an average dE of 1.77, but the only large errors at all are once again in shades of blue, including the shade of cyan that falls outside of the sRGB spectrum. The entire grayscale spectrum is under 1.0 dE, and only 3 of the 24 swatches are above dE 3, which is the visible level if ColorEyes uses dE76 (which I’d assume, but can’t confirm). Hopefully in the near future we will be able to get all these results in dE94, which is more accurate for measuring color error. I also went ahead and did the same test, though at 100 nits instead of 200 nits, which is what might be used if you are doing print work.

Color Tracking -  XR Pro, Xrite i1D2 and XR i1DPro

Here the performance is almost identical to the 200 nits data. The grayscale isn’t quite as good, but still virtually perfect, and almost all the issue falls at the same three sample points. Overall the performance here was much better than I expected from a TN panel.

Introduction, Design, and Setup Brightness and Contrast
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  • DanNeely - Monday, December 19, 2011 - link

    LCDs do have potential ghosting issues from other factors; this threads so busy arguing in the weeds that it's missing the whole point.
  • cjb110 - Sunday, December 18, 2011 - link

    Minor feedback, but I think it would be better if there was a more sensible order to the pictures. I'd expect to see overview shots first and then details like the ports on the back! It's not just this article either, a few have had an 'odd' order to the pictures.

    Also I'd drop the power supply tale... initially thought something had gone wrong and munged two articles together! When I re-read it I thought maybe you were trying to say I *needed* a decent PSU for this monitor...which made even less sense! Still not quite sure what PSU's have to do with monitors!
  • UzairH - Sunday, December 18, 2011 - link

    AT you have lately been reviewing TN monitors, including some pretty crappy ones, and I feel this is not helping to push the manufacturers towards introducing better quality panels (since I believe that AT reviews do have some influence on hardware manufacturers).

    The monitor industry has stagnated with a glut of TN panels and few IPS ones. Instead of progressing to higher resolutions and greater bit depth, what new IPS panels we are getting are actually 6-bit. It is ludicrous that the smartphones are getting higher resolutions than new notebooks and ultrabooks!
  • cactusdog - Sunday, December 18, 2011 - link

    Stop making ignorant comments please.

    120Hz is a technology breakthrough. It is the future, actually the future is here but some people are stuck in the past, and comparing monitors based on old technolgy.

    Most guys I know are selling their U2711's for this 120Hz monitor. If you're a gamer this monitor(or another 120hz monitor) is a must have.

    This monitor compares well and has better colours than most 6 bit IPS, so saying IPS is always better is wrong. Moving image quality on a 120Hz TN monitor is MUCH better than a 60Hz IPS or VA. It also has a much clearer panel.

    Sure, if you're a photographer or use cad, the higher resolution 8 Bit IPS are the way to go but as a gaming/media panel this is much better. The clear panel looks much better than Dell's crappy AG coating.

    It would be nice if they introduce some 120Hz IPS or VA panels but this monitor is much better than most on the market today.

    Anyway, Chris the reviewer must be new to Samsung menus, I dont have any problem with mine, but there is a knack to it that comes with experience.

    Also I'm not sure if you used frame sequencial 3D when testing the 3D, most reviewers use the wrong mode when testing 3D on a AMD card.

    Other reviewers have this monitor as the fastest ever tested for response time and lag, did you use the "faster" setting Chris?

    If you're a gamer and still on 60Hz you're missing out.
  • aranyagag - Sunday, December 18, 2011 - link

    I used to get annoyed whenever my dad used to say --" video games kill your brain cells" and would argue against it.
    Now if he said the same thing today I would say " I agree and they fry the cones (retina) too". I mean there are all these gamer panels, short (nothing taller than 16:9), low bit depth, Low resolution, TN panels. If gamers buy these there has to be something wrong with their retina as well as their neurons.
  • Pantsu - Sunday, December 18, 2011 - link

    I don't know what's the deal with AT articles these days, but I jumped into this one straight from a RSS link, and it just jumped straight into action without any introduction whatsoever. I know there's a brief introductory piece on the front page, but I kinda miss a proper introduction chapter.

    This article as a whole seemed quite rushed, and didn't cover even all the basics. It's nice that there's calibration tests, but it didn't even mention that the monitor comes with Samsung's 3D glasses and Tridef software was only briefly mentioned in the conclusion. Overall the 3D section of the review was quite lacking.

    I do agree the capacitive touch buttons on monitors are annoying in general and unresponsive at times, but at least this one had them illuminated, unlike my older LG 120 Hz panel, where the capacitive buttons were impossible to detect other than in perfect lighting conditions.

    After a month or two of using this monitor I'd go as far as say it's probably the best 23" 120 Hz monitor out there at the moment. The only big problem is the glossy reflections, you really need to think about your room lighting before you buy a glossy monitor. Also the lack of physical adjustments might scare off some people. Other than that the Samsung panel doesn't have the viewing angle problems as bad as most TN. It works perfectly as my center monitor for my Eyefinity setup since it has thin bezels too.
  • ananduser - Sunday, December 18, 2011 - link

    They should take a page out of Xbit Labs' monitor reviews.
  • cheinonen - Sunday, December 18, 2011 - link

    Thanks for the feedback. I'll work on making it so the review isn't so rushed at the start when coming from an RSS feed, though I don't want to have redundant information for people coming from the front page either. When the monitor was setup and in use, I really enjoyed it, but the controls on my unit were so sensitive and often unresponsive that it led me to hate to adjust it, which was a huge issue in the end. While performance is undoubtedly important, poor ergonomics and UI can make even the best product something you wouldn't want to use on a daily basis.

    I'm trying to get out of a backlog of displays for review so everything in the future will be as fresh as possible, but I'll make sure to be more careful than usual on the next few reviews so that any issues with readability or captions are fixed. It's also always a fine line between making assumptions about what needs to be explained in detail (such as 3D) and what can be assumed as common knowledge, as many people don't want to slog through a 5,000 word review that goes into depth about things that most people might already know. Getting feedback on what was too detailed, and what was lacking, makes future reviews better as we can properly tailor them to what people expect.
  • aranyagag - Sunday, December 18, 2011 - link

    I agree the article seemed very abrupt. I also jumped to it via an RSS then went to the home page of AT and back again -- I though I had missed a page or 2.
  • Starzty - Sunday, December 18, 2011 - link

    Does the monitor not support 3d through HDMI using 3D Vision? You can usually force a 120hz signal through HDMI even on 3dtv displays. I have never heard of 120hz only through displayport before

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