Product: Samsung Touch of Color T260HD 26" Widescreen LCD HDTV/Monitor
Manufacturer: Samsung
MSRP: $400.00
Lowest Historical Price: $330 [History]

Introduction
LCD monitor prices seem to be on a downward trend right now, with some 28" monitors reaching as low as the $200 range. Combine that with the fact that many monitors are starting to include HDCP compatibility and you've got a reason to go shopping for a new monitor. Ultimately, what I ended up with was the Samsung Touch of Color T260HD 25.5" Widescreen LCD Monitor. While not quite as big as the giant 28" or 30" monitors recently posted, the Samsung T260HD offers much more connectivity options than most other panels out there. Read on for the juicy details.

Specs
Screen Size: 25.5"
Response Time: 5 ms
Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Resolution: 1920x1200@60Hz (DVI-D), 1920x1080@60Hz (HDMI)
Contrast Radio: 1000:1 (10,000:1 dynamic)
Video Signal: Analog RGB, DVI, HDMI, Component
Viewing Angle (Horizontal/Vertical): 170/150
Speakers: 2x 3 Watt

Setup
Setup for this monitor can range from simple to amazingly complex depending on how you want to use it. Behind the monitor, you'll find connections for: Analog VGA In, DVI-D In, HDMI In, Coaxial In, Component In, 3.5mm Stereo In, and TOS-Link Optical Out. On the left side of the monitor, there is another HDMI input and also a 3.5mm Stereo output for headphones. I ended up using the DVI-D connection for PC, 1x HDMI for a Playstation 3, the Component In for a Playstation 2, and the Coaxial In with a rooftop antenna. Upon turning on the display, I noticed that the factory settings were beyond terrible and used a setting called "Dynamic Contrast". It would constantly change the brightness level of the display depending on how light or dark the content being displayed was. Needless to say, I quickly disabled it and used my own color settings.

Review
The Samsung T260 is something of an all-in-one product as I found out when I first looked at the spec sheet. It has features you'd find mainly in a HDTV, and indeed even includes a standard TV remote with all the necessary options and buttons. One thing that first puzzled me though, was how it could be a 16:10 display and still purport to be fully 1080p. It wasn't until I used it with a Playstation 3 that I realized that the monitor displays 1080p material by adding two small black bars on the top and bottom of the screen. A bit awkward at first, but you'll quickly get used to them and actually enjoy being able to use the same screen for TV, game consoles, and a PC.

It isn't all sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows with the monitor though, as there are quite a few areas that it falls short. Firstly, the monitor has some pretty bad viewing angles considering that it can also be used as a TV. Any deviation from eye-level viewing will greatly affect the picture. The power button on the monitor itself seems to be quite finicky and you have to press it at the right place and it still might not activate at times. Eventually, I just gave up on the power button on the bezel and used the remote's power button. Another power-related issue with this monitor involves going into idle/sleep when in PC mode. When my computer would go into idle due to inactivity and I would flick the mouse to wake it, the T260HD would either not wake up from idle or take an inordinately long time. In contrast, my 2nd monitor, a Viewsonic VG2230wm, would wake up from idle almost immediately.

Conclusion
As a 25.5" monitor alone, the Samsung T260HD delivers everything you need for recreational use. It's good for those who need a space-saving solution for their HDTV and computer monitor needs. However, high-end business users or graphic designers will want to pass on it. At its price range, the Samsung T260HD isn't the biggest LCD monitor you can get, but it offers an amazing combination of display inputs and features.

Image Gallery


Price History [History]

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    Radukk Ben's cred: 7
    Posted 2:08 pm PDT 10/5/09

    Yes! TN!

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    ontheweb Ben's cred: 47
    Posted 2:12 pm PDT 10/5/09

    This is an excellent computer monitor, and a fairly decent TV.

    However, if its for your computer, you are better off getting just a nice computer monitor and then add a TV tuner card to the PC so you can watch TV while using the computer. Otherwise, its a pain to only be able to do one or the other.

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    deskjob Ben's cred: 2
    Posted 2:17 pm PDT 10/5/09

    Ben is this a parody...?

    "One thing that first puzzled me though, was how it could be a 16:10 display and still purport to be fully 1080p."

    Come on... you can't be serious. Good one man!

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    gatzj Ben's cred: 101
    Posted 2:22 pm PDT 10/5/09

    sounds like someone got a free sample

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    biggin Ben's cred: 42
    Posted 2:23 pm PDT 10/5/09

    ben's a hack

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    ontheweb Ben's cred: 47
    Posted 2:33 pm PDT 10/5/09

    Because it can do 1920 x 1200, which is higher than 1080P.

    More like 1080P plus.

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    dlskr Ben's cred: 1
    Posted 4:23 pm PDT 10/5/09

    When reviewing freebie please read and obey the new guidelines!
    http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/10/endortest.shtm

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    TexasFury Ben's cred: 72
    Posted 5:02 pm PDT 10/5/09

    Post deleted by Ben out of spite.

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    N2hyc Ben's cred: 4
    Posted 5:36 pm PDT 10/5/09

    I've been on this site for years, MANY years, and I'm sorry to say what started out as a service to the community is now a mouth piece for anyone with a big check book. Look at the "Deals" each day and you see the weekly ads from a hundred retailers. It's not who is the cheapest, it's who is paying the most to get placed.

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    skoldpadda Ben's cred: 8
    Posted 5:38 pm PDT 10/5/09

    This is a great monitor imo. Using it as I type this.

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    dubucl Ben's cred: 35
    Posted 6:06 pm PDT 10/5/09

    Would it be a good idea to get this in oppose to a hdtv? I want a HDTV/Monitor combo for my computer. Just want to hear some suggestions. HDTVs prices are falling, for a few more bucks I can get a actual tv instead of a monitor.

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    5DMK027 Ben's cred: 4
    Posted 6:19 pm PDT 10/5/09

    it's a good monitor, however i am more looking forward to the LED one.
    http://ces.cnet.com/8301-19167_1-10137941-100.html

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    ace080479 Ben's cred: 3
    Posted 6:21 pm PDT 10/5/09

    for the price i rather get a 32" LCD TV and hook it up to my computer

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    dd Ben's cred: 90
    Posted 9:56 am PDT 10/6/09

    Of course it has black bars top and bottom when displaying 1920x1080. That's exactly what you want.

    The monitor's basic resolution is 1900x1200, and if it scaled the TV images to full screen, not only would circles not be round (and everyone would appear taller and thinner), but the built-in scaling would seriously screw up image quality.

    When possible you always want native resolution displayed natively, no scaling.

    Don't be one of those morons who complains that "I paid good money for this set, and by god, I want the image filling the screen." Those morons are responsible for downconverted 4:3 center-cut images when 16:9 letterbox would look SO much better.

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    shabzinca Ben's cred: 7
    Posted 10:59 am PDT 10/6/09

    Not interested in this item until it's only $200

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    rigor6vigor Ben's cred: 8
    Posted 9:20 pm PDT 10/9/09

    which one is better, this one or ST2410?

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    shadoh Ben's cred: 1
    Posted 8:29 pm PDT 10/12/09

    Quality looks great and i love the options for connectivity
    I ahve to admit i bought the 42" panasonic professional display on ebay when it hit 999 and its a great monitor.. but its almost 3 years old and i have a very limited input selection, with bnc being the core of what i use anyway... i might switch though to something similar to this!

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    kliving Ben's cred: 25
    Posted 8:42 am PST 12/30/09

    This is a good monitor and a decent HDTV with remote. I had bought the Hanns G 28 (also awesome) but it had an annoying hot pixel right in the middle of the screen that I could not fix or look past (not to mention there are many reviews stating failure rates at just over a year and outside the 1 yr panel warranty) I exchanged it for the sammy which has a better warranty (3yr), much more connectivity, a lot less backlight bleed in. Both are excellent as monitors. The hanns was awesome for sheer size but the Sammy gives so many more features, too bad it doesn't come in 28" as well.

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    susannah Ben's cred: 1
    Posted 7:36 pm PDT 05/12/10

    thank you for ur post.

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