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Samsung's MVA panel performed extremely well, displaying consistent colors, high contrasts and white saturation when viewed using our standard test images for LCD displays. Other Samsung monitors that employ the MVA ( Multi-domain Vertical Alignment) panels are the 200 (budget) and 450 series (office workhorse), which are available in 19- and 24-inches models.
Central Station wirelessly joins any machine running Windows to the display, and provides Ethernet, audio and four USB ports (two of which are USB 3.0 compliant) as if it was physically connected. Once the drivers are installed, any Windows laptop with the Samsung dongle can simply walk up to a Central Station-equipped monitor and have access to all that communications goodness.
In addition to its utility as a docking station for mobile users regardless of laptop brand, Central Station also has applications in schools, libraries, corporate conference rooms, waiting rooms, visitor cubes and other drop-in locations where physical connections are desired.
For now, Central Station drivers are available only for Windows XP and Windows 7. The company says it will have drivers for Mac OS X and Vista in October (they're already a month behind on their original September goal). The new drivers will work with the same hardware, Samsung said. The unit also includes HDMI and RGB inputs, can work as a KVM switch, and uses about 40 percent less power than similar products thanks to a user proximity sensor and other power saving technology. The specified range is 5 feet, but effective range in our tests was nearly 15 feet. Your results will vary, depending on the physical environment.
The 24-inch SyncMaster CA650 (model C24A650X) we tested will list for $660 and sell for an estimated street price of $480. The 27-inch model C27A650X lists for $880 and will sell for around $640.
According to the company, its prices for a docking station-enabled monitor are about $200 more than for a similar Samsung monitor alone. The CRN Test Center recommends the SyncMaster CA650 with Central Station.
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