With a bulky bezel and glossy black finish, it wouldn't be entirely accurate to claim that Samsung's Syncmaster 225UW monitor was understated.

Although it's by no means an unattractive unit with subtle silver touches, it does have a sizable amount of desk presence.

We were happy to find a pair of USB ports along with 3.5mm microphone and headphone jacks, providing for convenient connectivity.

Impressive Web cam

As a relatively high-end monitor, the 225UW includes some interesting touches. An integrated 2.0-megapixel Web cam makes it useful for messaging applications.

We found the Web cam's image quality to be impressive, while the ability to rotate it for adjustment or concealment purposes was a useful touch. The monitor's power and menu navigation buttons are also touch-sensitive.

While this works well for turning the monitor on and off, menu navigation is almost an exercise in informed guesswork. Perhaps taking their cue from the inconspicuous Web cam, the labels denoting each button's function are too faint to read (regardless of lighting conditions).

Worse still, the buttons are sluggish to respond, making for a frustrating experience.

Monitor presets

Although picture quality isn't an area in which it crushes the competition, the Samsung performs admirably and includes a wealth of options and presets within the menus.

These include options tailored for movies and normal use. The display's MagicColor and MagicBright settings also managed to provide a strangely vibrant picture, although the panel's specifications might not suggest particular greatness in this area.