Samsung SyncMaster 305T 30″ LCD Monitor Review
Samsung SyncMaster 305T 30” LCD Monitor Review
No matter what type of computer user you are, you know that one of the most important components you will ever have to buy is a monitor. While the advent of HDTVs has meant that quite a few users are now using their televisions as de facto computer monitors, there is nonetheless a huge market out there for bigger and better LCD computer monitors. Some companies have pushed the size up while not increasing resolution and while this may result in cost savings, consumers get less than optimal picture quality. On the other hand companies like Samsung have continued to expand the boundaries of computer displays by releasing extremely high resolution, large surface products in the 24” and larger size bracket. These monitors are so large they can in many instances substitute as a television albeit without a built-in tuner but with sometimes stunning picture quality. With the harem of new connector options on the market like HDMI and the upcoming Display Port we are seeing many of these monitors include options that have only until recently been available solely on high-end televisions. All these options and the constant vying for consumers’ attention and ultimately money, has meant the display market has been extremely competitive from day one and is no less now.
Into this sometimes cutthroat market, Samsung has released their gargantuan 305T 30” LCD monitor. While this may be considered as one of the “old guard” of 30” monitors since it was released more than a year ago, it is still considered by many to be the gold standard to which many other large-format LCDs are measured to in terms of picture quality. Many may argue that the newer XL30 has replaced it but this couldn’t be further from the truth considering the XL30 is a $4000+ backlit LCD unit which is geared towards professionals. Meanwhile, with a price of under $1400CAD the Samsung 305T has somewhat more mundane aspirations of appealing to a much broader consumer base in the standard retail channel. Since we are on the subject of pricing, over the last year Samsung has continually reduced the price of this monitor and it now sits quite a bit below the asking price of many other 30” products.
Since Samsung is one of the 600lb gorillas in the consumer electronics market with products being available everywhere from local mom and pop stores to giants like Best Buy, we always expect quality from them. Add to that their excellent after-sales support team (you get to talk to any actual person by calling their 1-800 number) and service and repair points throughout the world and you have a potential winning combination. However, we have seen some winning combinations go pretty sour over the last year so it will be interesting to see how things shape up for this monitor.
At this point it should be noted that since we have no way of consistently “testing” LCD monitors so this will be mostly a long-term test review from someone (that would be me) who has extensively used everything from a Mac Cinema display to the newest 30” Dell monitors. We have had this monitor in our possession for the better part of 2 months now so I have a pretty good idea of what there is to like, what needs improving and what (if anything) is downright annoying. Thus, you can count this as a subjective review based on one person’s long-term experience with a product after having used competing products rather than an objective review.