A couple of days ago I noticed something for the first time – when viewed alongside my iPad, my computer monitor was horribly yellow and less sharp than I thought it was.
I bought my monitor – a HP 2007V – about 4 years ago.
Because it’s always worked without giving me any problems, it’s sat there almost unnoticed on my desktop while screen technology moved on.
It’s just I hadn’t realised it was moving.
Once I’d noticed the problem it became impossible to ignore. I also suspect this might be why I’d started squinting and getting tired.
Looking around for another monitor seemed a daunting task, there are literally hundreds of makes and models around, all sold off the back of a baffling array of acronyms and tech-babble that few of us really understand.
The one I eventually picked was the Samsung S23A550H, currently on a price promotion at most major retailers including Amazon.co.uk.
The S23A550H is a backlit, 23-inch (58cm), LED widescreen display which supports both the older, standard VGA connector and High Definition (1920 x 1080 Full HD) via a HDMI cable.
Samsung are being a bit cheap by not including an HDMI cable in the box (they do include a VGA and euro-plug should you decide to take the monitor on holiday with you) but you can pick one up for around £1 on Amazon.
Don’t be talked into spending vast sums on HDMI cables, the expensive ones really aren’t worth the extra money.
If your computer or graphics card offers HDMI output, the monitor’s HDMI connection can be used with it. The display can also be used with a Blu-ray player or other HDMI device such as an Apple TV.
However, the monitor lacks speakers meaning you’ll need an external speaker or sound system unless your computer has an integrated speaker.
I’m using the monitor with a 2010 Apple Mac Mini which has its own in-built speaker and recognises the monitor and correctly configures itself to work with it.
At less than a quarter of the cost of Apple’s own displays, this makes the S23A550H a good buy for any budget conscious Mac users.
Colours are stunningly bright and vivid when compared against my old HP.
It’s possible there are other current generation devices which look even better, but anyone upgrading from older kit will notice a significant improvement.
It turns out that almost every site I visit is a different colour then I previously thought, or has colour and tone nuances I was unaware of.
Guys, your sites all look great!
The viewing angle – the angle you can look at the monitor from while still being able to see the picture properly – is 170 degrees.
The S23A550H also has a couple of nice options which helped clinch the deal in my research.
An Eco Light Sensor can adjust the screen’s brightness in line with the ambient lighting levels, reducing potential eye strain.
There’s also a motion sensor which will dim the screen when you move away and wake it up when you return. You can switch this off and also set how long the monitor waits before activating this feature.
The on-screen display is managed via a series of touch controls on the front of the display.
Samsung deserve praise for the look of the unit – the display itself is thin and light looking and sits on a stand through which cables can be threaded, helping avoid the usual unsightly tangle of wires.
The base of the stand continues the pleasing aesthetics, a black outer ring holds a transparent centre which helps provide stability while giving the whole monitor a minimalist look.
This is a seriously impressive piece of kit which will look great on anyone’s desk.
With selling prices currently between around £160-£175 it’s also fantastic value for money.
Our verdict: 4.5 / 5