Those familiar with Samsung's penchant for eye-catching product designs will be pleased to know that Samsung's 26-inch 2693HM LCD monitor sticks to the same classy, piano black finish that's both pleasing to the eye and a real looker on any tabletop. A little caveat though: despite the monitor being touted to have 26-inches of glorious screen realty, we found the actual viewable size to be around 25.5-inches, so that's something nitpickers may want to know.
Unlike most monitors, the 2693HM actually comes fully assembled, so there's no need to fuss about with connecting the stand to the monitor and breaking your back as a result. Just plug in the cables and you're good to go.
You'll find the placement of the menu buttons of the monitor familiar as they are located at the bottom right hand side of the display. The only drawback here would be the touch sensitive controls as we would have preferred physical buttons. The lack of tactile response from the touch sensitive buttons makes it a tad hard to know if the buttons have been depressed. Thankfully, the menu interface is clean and does make navigation that much easier.
As far as connectivity options go, the 2693HM delivers a triple threat which includes support for HDMI, DVI and analog interfaces. There's also a set of USB ports to work with, so you'll hear no complaints from us. The HDMI interface also makes it a viable gaming monitor for Xbox 360 and PS3 gamers, who will no doubt appreciate the goodness of having 26-inches for their games.
We've seen quite a few LCD monitors coming through our labs on a regular basis and it's pretty common for us to find monitors that lack an adjustable stand. The 2693HM however, features a 4-way adjustable stand capable of swift and stable movements for height adjustment, swivel control as well as tilt and pivot options, this making it really simple to manipulate this 9.7kg monitor. We're also pleased to mention that it can be wall-mounted via VESA bracketing, should you choose not to use the stand.
The onboard 2W speakers do provide some space saving options for those who have no space left on their tables, though we really wouldn't depend on the audio quality of the built-in speakers. It'll work in a pinch, but we suggest sticking to proper speakers if you can.
Our tests for the 2693HM showed that it performed well; colors displayed were vibrant, while images were clear and concise. Reading text documents were a breeze on the screen, as fonts were sharp and crisp. Also, the monitor was able to render near perfect shades for the Dark-Grey Scale test. Gamers and movie-buffs will greatly appreciate the 5ms response as we couldn't spot any noticeable ghosting effects.
It's hardly rocket science to figure out that getting a bigger LCD monitor means you probably won't be getting that iPhone you've been saving for. A good monitor will surely serve you well in years to come, and screen size will be an important factor in your decision. Retailing at a price of S$1,099, the Samsung 2963HM is a great looking monitor for those looking for a versatile and quality monitor.