Samsung SyncMaster 172W TFT-LCD Monitor Review


We all know the benefits of a TFT-LCD. It gives you more space, and for the most part, it's better than CRT’s. But not all of them are the same. Each TFT-LCD has it’s own difference and performance. Samsung has always been a leader in providing CRT’s and LCD’s and they are a reliable brand. Today we take a look at Samsung's offerings in their TFT-LCD segment, which not only is an LCD but also is 16:9 aspect ratio screen size!

The Samsung SyncMaster 172W came in a nice rectangular box. It was a bit dirty, but in good condition nonetheless. Opening the box presented great protection and lots of Styrofoam to boot.

The Samsung SyncMaster 172W comes packaged with boatloads of stuff. These include:

  • Samsung SyncMaster 172W TFT-LCD Monitor
  • AC Adaptor
  • 15-pin RGB Cable
  • DVI Cable
  • Power Cable
  • Audio Cable
  • Wall Mount
  • Accessory Screws
  • Manual
  • Driver CD


  • Viewable area: 17"
  • Pixel Pitch (mm): 0.264
  • Brightness: 450 cd/1
  • Contrast Ratio: 400:1
  • Viewing Angle (H/V): 150°/120°
  • Response Time (ms): 25
  • Frequency: Horizontal Frequency (Hz): 30-81
  • Vertical Frequency (Hz): 56-75
  • Maximum Resolution: 1280*768
  • Signal Input; Analog RGB and DVI Digital Link
  • Weight; Net (Physical): 10.6 lbs
  • Gross (packaging): 15.0 lbs
  • Cabinet Color (front / back): Silver/Black

What caught me the most from the first time I unpacked everything is the stand. The stand is ingenious. It can fold the monitor flat and when you want to use it, you just have to unfold it. It’s very easy to do so. The base of the stand is of high quality, strong and features the built-in 1.5W speakers.  The fit and finish of the Samsung is also top-notch.  Nothing is flimsy, not even the stand.  The base is strong, steady and keeps the TFT from falling down.

The Samsung SyncMaster 172W is a relatively light display weighing in at about 11 pounds. It features not only RGB mode but also DVI (Digital Video Input) mode. DVI is found in higher priced TFT’s and provides the user with more rich quality and color than opposed to RGB. Sometimes it’s not noticeable though.

The front of the Samsung SyncMaster 172W has the onboard control buttons. These include the Auto, Exit (source), Magic Bright (- button), + button, Menu, and power button.

The rear of the Samsung SyncMaster 172W sports the black and silver color scheme. The stand has all the connections to get the monitor to run. You have your DC input, RGB and DVI Input. At the side of the stand you have the volume dial, headphone jack and the Audio In input connection.

There was nothing wrong with screwing in any of the cables to the connector.

Using it

The Samsung SyncMaster 172W takes about 4-6 seconds from the time of pushing the power button to the display of the picture. The first thing I noticed was how bright the Samsung SyncMaster 172W really is. You will have no problems with brightness because it is truly very bright. The picture quality of the Samsung SyncMaster 172W is very good. Icons and images were sharp and easy to see. There were no bad pixels during my use.

The menu in the Samsung 172W is transparent by option and includes the following:

  • Brightness
  • Contrast
  • Image Lock
  • Position
  • Reset
  • Color Temperature
  • Image Size
  • Half Tone (Transparency)
  • Language
  • Menu Position
  • Menu Display Time
  • Display Mode

I love the Auto button as it automatically resizes and positions the monitor to capture the screen properly. In the desktop of Windows XP, you will utilize all 16:9 aspect ratio screen size. For games it is a bit different. Not many games utilize 16:9 aspect ratio or wide screen except I think UT2003 does. Unfortunately my copy had problems and did not work. While playing games such as NFS: HP2 and Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, you are limited to 4:3 screen size. You will have excess of unused space. Games were bright and had excellent image quality. However, the Samsung SyncMaster 172W in my opinion suffers from some ghosting. It was not much but a still noticeable. However it did not distract you from the game.

Working with a resolution of 1280x768, you are limited to 60Hz. This combination sometimes hurts your eyes when you turn up the brightness. The screen is flicker free and that is a welcome.

If you love watching DVD’s then the Samsung SyncMaster 172W is for you. You will love the quality and richness the Samsung SyncMaster 172W exhibits and all in wide screen. Sharp image.

The built in speakers is nothing to right home about. It’s weak and lacks bass. It’s good for things such as easy listening and sounds but not for DVD or gaming.

The Samsung SyncMaster 172W features Magic Bright. These are four sets of pre-defined brightness and contrast settings that include User Adjusted, Text, Internet and Entertain.

Other Images w/captions

You can tilt it easily

Space saving and sexy and the viewing angle is not bad at all


The Samsung SyncMaster 172W does the job very well. It displayed sharp image quality in everything I threw at it and color reproduction was spot on. There were some instances that my eyes hurt with the combination of 60Hz and if the brightness was high. Turning the brightness down solved that. If you are constantly watching DVD’s or an entertainment person, then the Samsung SyncMaster 172W is for you.

I rate the Samsung SyncMaster 172W a…


Pros and Cons

+ Bright
+ Sharp Image Quality and Color
+ Excellent stand
+ DVI support
- Speakers
- Bright can be too bright sometimes
- Some ghosting and only 60Hz



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