Monday, November 1, 2004

SyncMaster 910t: a pivoting LCD monitor that’s perfect for photo editing


By David Gewirtz

I can remember buying my first 19-inch monitor. It was back in the early 1990s and it was a big event. In fact, everything about it was big. The price was big -- nearly $2,500. The size was big. In fact, the monitor was monstrously big. I had to move my desk about five inches out from the wall simply to be able to put fit the thing on my desk. And it weighed what seemed like a ton. I could barely lift it myself, and even with two people manhandling it, it was a project.

Fast forward to now. Today, I'm writing about an excellent 19-inch LCD monitor, shown in Figure A, that weighs all of 15 pounds and is less than six inches deep. What makes the Samsung SyncMaster 910t such a find is that it's also available for just over $500. This is an astounding price and is another example of how the price of technology is always dropping.


The Samsung SyncMaster 910t is an amazing monitor for the price. (click for larger image)

This is a kickin' monitor with excellent image quality. It's got a few negatives, which I'll tell you about in a few minutes. But first, let's talk about the pivot feature, shown in Figure B. This is what makes it so cool for photographers.


You can rotate the screen. (click for larger image)

How often have you had a tall picture that you needed to edit? You can never seem to see the entire picture at once. But with a pivoting monitor, you can see the entire image the way it's meant to be seen. As you can see from my picture here of Karen's legs, a full image on a portrait display can make all the difference when working.

Spec city

Samsung's market research data shows that approximately 30% of all LCDs sold incorporate a digital interface. Samsung is capitalizing on this trend by offering the SyncMaster 910t, which provides both digital and analog interfaces. The "natural state" of a computer video card and an LCD monitor is digital. The video card converts the digital data signal to an analog signal then the analog signal travels through the video cable and interfaces to the LCD. The LCD converts the analog signal to a digital signal in order to display the image.

Because of these various technical conversions that take place, the image may be subject to data loss and may not portray a clean, clear and crisp image. With a digital input LCD monitor, the signal does not face this complex conversion process and provides the cleanest, most crisp image possible.

The SyncMaster 910t also has something called "resolution downscaling capability." This is the ability for a monitor to display a resolution that is higher than its native mode. Each monitor has a native resolution of 1280 x 1024 yet is capable of offering a displayable resolution of 1600 x 1200. With downscaling capability, each monitor is compatible with applications that require higher resolutions.