Samsung Touch of Color T260HD 26" Widescreen LCD HDTV/MonitorManufacturer:
SamsungMSRP: $400.00 Lowest Historical Price: $330
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 WattSetup
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