The Samsung 215TW is one of the few products I was actually happy to purchase for Geekanoids, without seeing it first. I had heard so many good things about it that I was just hoping that the rare occasion when my wallet comes out, was justified.
Samsung offer a lot of monitors in their range, and there are so many choices from other manufacturers. Apart from the reviews, the 215TW boasts an impressive specification. Of note, the 21-inch 1680x1050 panel offers 1000:1 contrast, is nice and bright at 300cd/m2, and has a nice 178 degree viewing angles. The panel is also true 24-Bit, so there is no trickery like found in some cheaper panels to achieve the 16.7 million colour display. Although I didn't buy this to play games, the 8ms response rate makes it ideal for gaming and video playback too. On the rare occasion I have played a game, there was no ghosting or noticeable lag.
Connections are very impressive, with DVI and VGA inputs I can have two computers connected at the same time. You are also treated to composite, s-video and component video inputs. Just for the fun of it I tried a DVD player through the composite video connections, and I was really impressed. Colours were punchy and the crispness and detail would be hard to beat.
My main use for the 215TW is graphic work, encompassing Photoshop, Quark Xpress, Freehand (yes, I still use Freehand) and a lot of web based work. The colour accuracy is very impressive and the display backlight is so uniform, it really is hard to find fault. Well, the only thing negative I can say is that the 215TW is so difficult to move. It has a very nice slide mechanism for adjusting the height of the display, which makes it difficult to lift. Thank goodness that you don't have to move these things very often.
There are a lot of cheaper monitors out there, some even adding an extra inch whilst still be cheaper. Be warned though, these cheaper monitors use different display technology. They would be OK for gaming, but if you are serious about graphic orientated work, then it is worth spending that little bit extra. There is no better test than seeing a monitor with your own eyes, but if you are not able to do this and you rely on mail order, then give a Samsung 215TW a go... I am certain you will not regret it.