The 215TW is a bright, clear display with particularly good colour rendering, but slightly lacklustre multimedia features that it could do without. The screen real estate and aspect ratio bucks the trends towards 20-inch displays that we're seeing a lot of at the moment.
The extra inch makes a pleasing difference, particularly when splitting windows or watching widescreen content. Plus, the whole thing has adjustable height and a fully rotational base, which are features you don't often see on displays of this size.
The SyncMaster includes a built-in speaker and headphone jack, and you can input a variety of sources into the monitor. Also included is the MagicBright2 software, which offers different display modes such as Movie or Text, depending on what you're viewing on the monitor. To us, this is a redundant function; do you ever reset your monitor for internet viewing and back again for watching a movie?
The Source button, on the other hand, is useful, especially if you have a variety of extra media inputs for the 215TW, like TV or an external DVD player. The DVI input is also HDCP compliant so you are future- proofed should copyright-protected HD content become the norm.
The screen resolution and colour display are great. The picture offered is very bright indeed, and the colours are really strong. The sound, however, is not as impressive as the picture quality - what you hear from the built-in speakers is somewhat plasticky, so you really would need to buy some external speakers.
In a nutshell, the Samsung SyncMaster 21-inch 215TW is definitely worth checking out as an upgrade from a budget display, but don't be lured in by the multimedia pitch; it would have been cheaper and better as a straightforward display. James Ellerbeck