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Samsung continues to innovate in the monitor space. The Korean electronics giant in late August began shipping the SyncMaster 650 with Central Station, a business version of the combined universal docking station and monitor that it released for consumers earlier this year.
Available in 24- and 27-inch 1080p models, the 650 series is one of four new LED-lit displays that employs MVA flat panel display technology, which boasts ultra-wide viewing angles and highly accurate color reproduction, but is less costly than IPS panel technology.
For evaluation, the company sent the CRN Test Center the 24-inch SyncMaster CA650, and with it came our first opportunity to set up and test a Central Station first hand. Set-up from the included CD was straightforward, but we would have preferred the option of a single installation process for all three functions, rather than separately installing drivers for the monitor, automatic screen rotation (Windows 7 only) and Central Station.
Before it's even powered up, this SyncMaster is a work of art. The brilliant luster of its deep black glass is framed by a matt-black plastic bezel with a look of brushed aluminum. Unencumbered by excessive icons or logos, the bezel is home to a row of control buttons centered along the bottom. When buttons are pressed, an on-screen display just above them lends a hand with function-specific labels.
Also pleasing to the eye is the small AC/DC power adapter, which all but disappears when it attaches to the back of the panel, occupying the space that a moment earlier was a carry handle. A C-shaped plastic guide helps keep cables out of sight behind the pedestal's central column.