By David English

Recently, Samsung has become more competitive in its pricing, resulting in more budget-priced Samsung monitors offering high-end features and performance. The SyncMaster 900NF earned an Editors’ Choice principally because of its strong display quality, excellent support for higher resolutions, and well-designed onscreen menu system, but it had many other good attributes as well. Click here to check the latest prices.

A high-res flier
The SyncMaster 900NF supports a maximum resolution of 2,048 x 1,536, though the low 69-Hz refresh rate at that resolution would be hard on many users for any extended period of time. While it scored well on CNET Labs’ tests at 1,280 x 1,024, we found the recommended mode—1,600 x 1,200 resolution at 85 Hz—to be the more practical setting. At 1,600 x 1,200, the focus was well above average and the colors were uniform and fully saturated. Black-on-white text and white-on-black text were easily readable, even at 6.8-point type. Our gray scale charts showed even and distinct grays. And the 900NF experienced no halo, pincushion, crosshatch, or screen-regulation problems. We did encounter some moire patterns at higher resolutions but were able to remove them using the onscreen controls.

Figure A
Samsung’s SyncMaster 900NF offers solid performance, an optional USB hub, and a very affordable price. CNET editors rated it an 8 out of 10.

The monitor (Figure A) uses a flat Mitsubishi DiamondTron aperture grille tube with a .25mm horizontal stripe pitch. While all 19-inch CRTs are unavoidably bulky, the Samsung’s depth of 19.4 inches is larger than that of the Cornerstone p1450 or the KDS Avitron AV-195TF. However, the cabinet is tapered in the back and appears to be well ventilated.

A flock of features
The SyncMaster 900NF has numerous useful features. In addition to the standard VGA connector, the display has a set of five BNC video-input connectors. The user controls for the onscreen menu system are located behind a hidden panel. Seven buttons access a full group of settings, including three custom-color temperature settings and a control that can fine-tune the focus for a specific area of the screen. And three seconds after making an onscreen adjustment, the monitor automatically saves the changes for you. The 900NF has a three-year warranty that includes a one-year replacement policy. An optional $35 USB hub kit lets you add four powered-USB ports to the base of the monitor.

With its solid performance at 1,600 x 1,200 resolution and its combination of useful features, the Samsung SyncMaster 900NF would be a worthy addition to almost any desktop.

Performance chart
The Cornerstone p1450 and Samsung SyncMaster 900NF both earned strong scores for their sharply defined picture quality and good color reproduction, as shown in Table A. The KDS Avitron AV-195TF scored lower because its display looked slightly out of focus.

Table A

Complete specs
Click here to check the latest prices on Samsung’s SyncMaster 900NF. Table B provides complete specifications for this monitor.
Table B

Technology CRT conventional
Diagonal screen size 19″
Viewable size 18.0″
Compatibility PC, Mac
Software included Drivers & Utilities
On-screen controls H/V-position, H/V-size, pincushion distortion, pin-balance, H/V-moire, degauss, trapezoid, parallelogram, tilt, recall settings, color temperature selection, zoom, focus, color adjustment
Front panel controls Power on/off, adjust +/- , select, menu
Display max resolution 1,600 x 1,200
Dot pitch 0.25mm
Resolution mode Multiscan
Image type Noninterlaced
Max sync rate
(V x H)
160 Hz x 110 kHz
Physical Characteristics
Color White
Weight 55.8 lb.
Compliant standards Plug and Play
Voltage required AC 110/220 V ± 20% ( 50/60 Hz )
Input device type None
Analog video input RGB
Service / Support Three-year warranty

This review was originally published by CNET on Dec. 12, 2000.