CRN Test Center: Samsung Releases Central Station For Businesses

Samsung in late August is set to begin 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 to employ a new flat panel display technology that boasts ultra-wide viewing angles and highly accurate color reproduction.

Other models using Samsng's Multi-domain Veritical Alignment (MVA) panels are the 200 series and 450 series budget an office workhorse models available in models from 19 inches to 24 inches. In its high-end 850 series, the company also introduced Plane Line Switching (PLS) technology, which it claims can display 100 percent of colors in the sRGB color space specification.

With Central Station, Samsung has solved the obsolete docking station problem that has vexed the enterprise since the dawn of docking station time. Central Station wirelessly connects any Windows laptop to the display and its Ethernet, audio and USB ports (two of which are USB 3.0 compliant). Simply walk up with a dongle-equipped laptop and after a one-time driver install, Windows configures the devices as if connected physically.

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Central Station works with Windows XP and Windows 7; drivers for Vista and Mac OS X are scheduled for release sometime after September and will work with the same hardware. 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 is about 12-15 feet, depending on the physical environment.

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.

The 24-inch model C24A650X will list for $660 and sell for an estimated street price of $480; the 27-inch model C27A650X lists for $880 and 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.