We have been recommending 17" Samsung monitors in our PC guides for a long time now. Their basic 17" model, the 753S was the best in its category by a fair distance when it was released and its reign continued for a long time. Samsung made minor modifications to the 753S and released the 773S, which has now been replaced by the 793S. Let's check if this newer model from Samsung retains all the noble elements of its predecessor and goes a step further on the performance front.
For starters, Samsung has opted for a new look for this 17 incher. Though it looks neat, I still prefer the 753S looks. But then it is just a case of individual taste and anyways this one, by no means looks bad. All the functions supported by the monitor can be accessed through the OSD (on-screen display), which can be controlled using four buttons vertically aligned at the right side of the monitor.
The Samsung 793S is a conventional flat screen monitor (not the true flat type) with a 16" viewable screen area. It supports a horizontal dot pitch of 0.23 mm. The frequency range supported by this model is 30 KHz to 70 KHz (Horizontal) and 50 Hz to 160 Hz (vertical). The maximum resolution supported is 1280 x 1024 pixels at 65 Hz refresh rate, while the recommended resolution stands at 1024 x 768 pixels at 85 Hz. However, the maximum usable resolution is 1152 x 864 pixels at 75 Hz. Maximum usable resolution signifies the maximum resolution supported by a monitor at a refresh rate of 75 Hz or better. Though 85 Hz is an ideal refresh rate, 75 Hz is the lower limit. Any refresh rate lower than 75 Hz will give a flickered output and can cause some serious eye damage after prolonged usage. The above specifications are on par with most of the standard 17" monitors available here.
We tested this monitor using DisplayMate to get a bearing on how well the monitor performs when put through various test patterns. DisplayMate first lets you tune a monitor to get the best possible display settings and then runs it through a series of test patterns to test everything from color/brightness to screen geometry to moiré and regulation.
The first piece we received had slightly flawed screen geometry. There was a bend at the top left corner of the screen. We replaced that piece with a new one and in this case, the screen geometry was perfect. As is the case with most Samsung monitors, the screen brightness and contrast were spot on. The color reproduction was excellent and the monitor gave a rich and vibrant output. There was a bit of Moiré visible, but we were easily able to eliminate it using the controls provided. In the regulation tests though, there was a slight expansion and contraction of the screen. Now the 753S had a perfect screen regulation and we were a touch surprised to see the screen expand and contract here. Also, in the horizontal color registration test, there was a slight mismatch of color only along the left edge of the screen. In the other areas it was spot on. Other than that there were no noticeable bugs in this monitor.
The Samsung 793S is a good overall monitor and one of the best around, but not better than its predecessor. There are no real improvements or feature increments over the 753S in this model other than newer looks, which by no means are stunning. Maybe Samsung did not hear the old saying - If it ain't broke, don't mess with it. I mentioned earlier that the 753S was the best in its category by a fair distance. Well, Samsung has just managed to close that gap. It may still be the best basic 17" monitor around, but just about. It is currently available for a street price of Rs. 6,100 with a three-year warranty, but the price should soon drop to around Rs. 5,500 in a month's time once the stock shortage issue is sorted out. A good buy in spite of its minor shortcomings.