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Friday 8 October 2004

Samsung 213T Review [Lurks]

After I'd modded an ATI Radeon X800Pro into a X800XT, it became evident how silly it was to have a 17-inch monitor which was only capable of displaying 1280x1024 resolution. I needed something bigger and for reason which I've never quite understood, that has only been possible when you go up to the 20-inch mark.
I looked at the Dell 2001FP and the Samsung 213T and settled on the latter since I could buy it at a much better price and, well, it's not a Dell. So I've had 21.3-inches of 1600 x 1200 TFT at home now for the last couple of months. It is, I have to say, thoroughly amazing. The trouble is that you get used to it and then when you go use pokey little low res 17-inch models, they just annoy you.
The 213T has a good adjustment for height and tilt and the entire panel can be rotated for portrait view if you prefer (but who would?). Response rate is specced at 25ms but as a rule, these figures are lies so I rely much more on subjective tests. The panel is certainly a hell of a light brighter than the Hyundai Q17 I was using before, which is very welcome because I had to do gamma hacking in dark games like Raven Shield and now I don't need to bother.
The only real problem I ran into is that the DVI port is not compatible with any modern Radeon. It's not the Samsung's fault, it's ATI since they just broke DVI compatibility with a whole host of monitors with one driver update and never bothered to fix it. The crack flows freely in Canada.
So I'm running 1600 x 1200 with VGA in. That'd be shit wouldn't it? Well, no actually. It's fine. In fact on one or two occasions, the X800XT has picked up the 213T DVI and so I've seen what it can look like. It's wonderfully sharp, as you'd expect. From experience I know with DVI inputs that I end up turning on Cleartype so the fonts are more legible. When running in VGA things look like you have Cleartype on all the time. Which, upon lengthy reflection, is not really a bad thing.
Yes but what's it like in games? Response rate is quoted as 25ms as I said. In games, the panel noticably ghosts less than the Hyundai panel which has the same legendary 20ms PVA which Tom's Hardware raves about whereever it is found. I find it the best TFT I have used for that and, well, 1600 x 1200 is just fantastic. Ramping up the detail and playing Wahammer 40000: Dawn of War has been one of those big time luxury experiences that makes you glad you've got money.
So money wise then. It's 685 quid from Komplett as I write, which is a stunning deal but then you'll either have to wait awhile or pay quite a wedge for a decent courier from Norway. Else there's eBuyer who are a shade over 700 but charge very little for delivery. Either way, you're looking at around 700 notes for a 21.3-inch TFT with awesome specifications that works extremely well both in games and for video.
It's the big leap from 19 to 21-inch which has the big price rise now but this is also the barrier that actually buys you more pixels and for me, that money was very well spent. I would have put up with a 19-inch 1600 display too but you can't buy them. Besides, it means I've got a better screen than any of you lot and that's as it should be.


  1. Cunt. Fuckall wrong with the q17 and you've just got more money than sense. How dare you piss on my TFT!

  2. Sheddy, you can have kids, or you can have phat kit. You can't have both!
    I'd lub a 21" tft, but I've only a 17" at work, so I'm prolly best steering clear of em at home!