Technology gets better and cheaper over time, and this is especially true at the moment for LCD monitors. Professional machines are now within the grasp of more meagre budgets. Samsung and ViewSonic are there in the thick of this price restructuring - their latest releases are solid performers with competitive prices, and the new Series B in particular offers excellent value.
At 22 inches and with a 16:10 (1680 x 1050) widescreen aspect ratio, Samsung is leaning towards the consumer market and movie playback needs. But for work, the resolution of the 225BW is probably all that most mortals will need.
Text is crisp, edges are refined, and manual control is easy to operate. The display has some flexibility for desktop positioning, too. Height can be adjusted and there's a swivel action. The viewing angle is good; colours stay acceptably true from around 30 degrees.
An obvious bonus is the monitor's speed, which is good news for animation and gaming fans. The 225BW carries something called a TN (Twisted Nemantic) panel that gives an impressive response time of 5 milliseconds. Normally, colour reproduction would suffer as a consequence of this speed, but Samsung quotes a full 16.7M colour gamut, while the MagicBright profiler - Samsung's colour regulator - is excellent.
Two minor points exist: brightness and contrast. The brightness levels are high, and even once calibrated the 225BW has cool, opaque-looking blues and greens in OS X. That said, we're probably a bit spoilt - we get to play with high-end monitors a lot, so perhaps we have skewed expectations of lower-price displays.
Secondly, backlight bleed, which is pretty typical on cheap LCDs, is here too. This is a bit disappointing, because you half expect a monitor as friendly as this one to buck the trend. When you remind yourself of the price tag, though, these two points can be forgiven.