Let's see what this model can do in the visual tests. Here are some initial shots of the OSD.
The first connector we tried was the analog. The LCD screen is extremely bright and crisp even when using the analog connector. The refresh rate is locked in at 60Hz like its younger brother the 151V. The 1024X768 resolution was first tested at 32bit color. No problems whatsoever on our desktop. The next step was to bump it up to its max resolution of 1280X1024. Here is where we noticed the first problem.
We then proceeded to load up the GT Forums using Internet Explorer 6.0 and noticed this strange occurrence on the right side.
A vertical line appeared on and off throughout testing, sort of like colors melting. I tried different difference screen resolutions and it only appeared to happen at 1280X1024. First hypothesis was that the video card drivers were somehow malfunctioning. Before a reinstall and update on the Detonators, we tried changing the refresh rate. As far as this LCD goes, there should not be much change since 60Hz was the maximum. Oddly enough, at 75Hz the fading vertical line disappeared. Everything else remained the same and function like nothing had happened. We switch cables and tried the digital (DVI) connector, these problems were none existent.
Moving on, our next test was to see how DVD playback quality was. To test this we chose 'The Matrix' and played the dojo fighting scene over a few times. With fast action, the images on screen had a tendency to ghost or blur a tiny bit. During slower playback, this was less noticeable. This is not entirely the fault of the monitor, but more of an analog issue. The ghosting was nearly gone when using the digital connector. The colors were also crisper and brighter when DVI was used.
When you work hard, you need to play hard. To test out the gaming aspect of the unit we loaded up the Unreal Tournament 2003 Demo. Logged onto the official GideonTech UT2k3 Server under Bombing Run and we were off. The top picture shows a shot of the sky in BR-Anubis while the second shows the spinning Mini-Gun. After a few rounds of fragging the other GT players, the conclusion was whoever said gaming on a LCD was bad is clearly off their rocker. The gaming experience is totally different with the use of the LCD. Most users will drop their jaws at the bright and smooth colors. Slight ghosting occurred when lots of players were moving in one specific area. Although that was the case, we only noticed it because we were looking for it. Using DVI, ghosting was not even an issue. Our advice, go grab a video card with a digital connector, you owe your eyes the favor.
Also included is the pivot software that lets you rotate your desktop 90-270 degrees. This is useful if you are editing a legal document or simply reading a long website. Once you set the rotation you wish, just turn the LCD screen respectively.
While gaming on our UT2k3 server on another monitor, you can edit your essay paper on this one with ease while taking a break. Very cool feature not seen in lower end models.
Overall, the experience with this unit is mind blowing. Not only are all colors displayed bright and crisp, there are options to use a digital connection with a fully turn able screen. Add to the fact that the unit was designed by Porsche, you have a winning combo. The 171P is a 17inch viewable unit which is comparable to a 19inch CRT monitor. With the benefit of more desk space when using a LCD, the unit is also only a fraction of the weight of a 19inch.
The only downside after reviewing this unit is the price. It retails for close to $1000 which may turn away some people. Although that is the case, we do stress this is a high end model with style and performance in mind. If Samsung could update their printed instructions as well as finding a way to have removable video cables, they would have a unit that would be on the top of every LCD fans list.
Thanks to Samsung for providing us with this test unit, this model has awed us, you will not be disappointed in the styling and visual offering.