The 173P features a thermally sensitive power on switch. Just lightly touch it and it powers on. I first tested this model using DVI then analog as a primary display and as a secondary display. I can honestly say, there is a VERY small difference in quality. A few years back, when comparing DVI to analog, DVI will consistently beat out analog, not anymore.
Once turned on, I checked for any dead pixels first. I only pin-pointed 1 in the lower right, which is very good. You probably can't see it in the picture below, but easiest way to check for pixels is to display a white screen and start searching.
Without any tweaking with MagicTune, the display is already bright and clear. I went ahead and chose a background to use while I tested the unit. There is no auto-adjust button, but if you hold down the power button for a few seconds, it will re-adjust the screen for you.
My first sample that I tested actually had a bad row driver according to the Samsung engineer. A black line would show up at the bottom of the screen intermittently. Had it swapped for a new sample and everything was fixed. Most likely the problem was due to the package being dropped during shipment or whatnot.
First test run consisted of playing a few movies rich in color and with fast paced action. So without hesitation, I popped the Matrix into the drive. Fast forwarded a bit to the dojo scene. I noticed the screen was much more vibrant and brighter than previous units I've taken a look at. There was minimal to no ghosting at all, very impressive.
I then fired up Unreal Tournament 2004 Demo. Ran through a few rounds, same remarks as when watching the Matrix. Beautiful colors and bright screen, my eyes couldn't have looked at a nicer display.
I also loaded up some text docs and read a few news websites, all without any blurring in my eyes. What used to happen with cheaper models was the constant need to wet my eyes. Major strain was used just to sharpen the text to read it. The viewing angle is out of this world. I've tried looking from top down and from the sides at a nearly 90 degree angle, I can still see the screen just as clear, very impressive.
The 173P basically put all that behind, as it delivers eye candy in terms of text, graphics, movies and games. If you need a 17" LCD, grab this one. Not only does it perform great, you'll gain much more real estate space on your desk. You will NOT be sorry for choosing this one. Now if only they start making something like this in the 19" flavor...