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Samsung Boosts LCD Monitor Capabilities

Samsung has added several technological innovations to its newest SyncMaster LCD monitors in an effort to differentiate them from what is slowly turning into a commodity product category.

Samsung’s newly developed MagicSpeed and MagicTune applications are included in the company’s SyncMaster 712n, 912n, 910t and the 173mw, all of which will start shipping in May.

MagicSpeed boosts a monitor’s response time to 16 milliseconds, said Monica Ingles, Samsung’s monitor product manager, a key feature for gamers or consumers using the monitor to watch video. MagicTune is an onscreen, color calibration application for fine-tuning a screen to best suit the environment in which it is used. Ingles said this is particularly important for people shopping online so they see the correct color of the item they are buying.

Being able to present the consumer with a technological reason to go with Samsung instead of the myriad of other competing brands is now of paramount importance, she said, adding that design also plays a major role.

“The computer’s look is the first thing the customer sees,” Ingles said.

The 17-inch 712n and 19-inch 912n both feature MagicSpeed, MagicTune and 0.6-inch bezels. Pricing has not been set.

The 910t, suggested retail price $799, is basically the same model as the 912n but adds a digital interface.

The 173mw is part of Samsung’s effort to introduce more widescreen format monitors into its merchandise mix for consumers who use them as a secondary TV. The 17-inch model features a 16-by-10 aspect ratio and includes a TV tuner. The monitor is HDTV-ready and has analog and digital inputs along with composite video, s-video and component video. It will ship in May with an $819 suggested retail price.

“We expect to increase the number of wide aspect models in the future, especially in the 17-inch and larger models,” Ingles said.

In addition to being used as a multimedia device, the wide screen models are popular with graphics designers and people using spreadsheets.

Samsung is expecting more sales in larger screen models, Ingles said. Pricing on 15-inch LCD is now at the commodity level, but there should be some downward movement in 19-inch models while 17-inch hold more or less steady. These price changes, along with the excellent retail reception of 21-inch LCD, could force the 18-inch LCD category to fade away, she said.

“The 21-inch has done very well in retail. This was a big surprise in the industry as many didn’t think people would pay that much for a monitor,” Ingles said.