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First Look: Samsung SyncMaster 711T

By John Virata

The Samsung SyncMaster 711T is a ($449) 17-inch TFT LCD display with a twist in that you can view the display in both horizontal and vertical fashions with the included Portrait Display's Pivot Pro software. The display offers a 1000:1 contrast ratio, a 0.264 pixel pitch, and 1280 x 1024 max resolution.  It supports a scanning frequency of 30-81 KHz horizontal and 56-75 vertical, and 178/178 horizontal/vertical viewing angle, and works with Macintosh and Windows platforms as well as Sun Microsystems platforms. While these features may sound typical of other 17-inch LCD displays, what sets the 711T apart is the capability to pivot from horizontal mode to vertical mode by simply twisting the display and adjusting the Portrait Displays Pivot Pro software.

Set up

I tested the SyncMaster 711T on an IBM IntelliStation Z Pro running an Nvidia Quadro 3400 graphics adapter. The SyncMaster supports both analog (VGA) and digital (DVI) ports, and ships with both cables to ease the user experience. The 711T output very bright images in all corners of the display, and the colors were very crisp, unlike other cheaper displays of which the 711T competes. The base of the display enables you to adjust the display vertically approximately 4 to 6 inches, and you can tilt the display as well to perfectly adjust the display to the angles that you prefer. The display ships with both the MagicTune software as well as Natural Color.


The 711T supports up to 1280 x 1024 resolutions
MagicTune is absolutely an essential application for this display because, do to the displays black color scheme, the adjustment buttons are virtually unreadable. MagicTune alleviates this oversight, enabling you to adjust all aspect's of the display's brightness, contrast, and resolution, and the color's color tone and color control with the click of a mouse. MagicTune also enables you to calibrate the display with a built in color calibrator. Another cool feature within MagicTune is MagicBright, which enables you to adjust the 711T based on what you are working with. There is a text button that auto adjusts the display for text, while there is an Internet button that auto adjusts for web surfing, an entertain button for viewing video, and a custom button that you configure yourself for whatever special projects you are working on. Natural Color enables you to adjust the monitor with that of your printer, so what you see on screen is what you'll get when you print the document out.

Portrait Display's Pivot Pro software is the tool that enables you to use your display in both horizontal and vertical positions. Portrait Display has been around for a long time, first starting off with the Macintosh in the early 1990s and later offering Windows-based solutions. Pivot Pro enables you to turn the 711T 0, 90, 180, and 270 degrees in both landscape and portrait mode by simply right clicking the mouse and selecting which level of degree you wish to pivot the display. All adjustments to the display must be made within MagicTune, because if you use the Windows settings to change the screen resolution or color quality, and it is an incompatible resolution, the onscreen display will shift modes, even though you don't physically move the display from landscape to portrait mode.

First Impressions

The Samsung 711T may seem a bit pricey at $449 list price for a 17-inch LCD, but when you consider what you are getting, which is essentially two displays in one, the price isn't really pricey at all. If you are a heavy Photoshop user and work with images in both portrait and landscape mode, the 711T should be on your short list of displays to consider when upgrading. It is really a nice package that includes both analog and digital cables as well as a great software suite that makes the whole experience worthwhile. It would be nice to see the display's physical adjustment buttons a color other than black so that you can at least see what buttons you are pushing, but this is not really that big of a deal thanks to the MagicTune software, which eliminates the need to make display adjustments via confusing buttons and button menus. Samsung offers a three-year parts and labor warranty with 24/7 toll-free technical support on the 711T, which is a great warranty considering most computer and consumer electronics devices have just one year warranties. For more information, visit www.samsungusa.com


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John Virata is senior editor of Digital Media Online. You can email him at jvirata@digitalmedianet.com
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