The Samsung SyncMaster 955DF is a 19" monitor featuring Samsung's "DynaFlat" screen. Similar to Sony's Trinitron line, Samsung's DynaFlat monitors feature what Samsung touts as a perfectly flat picture tube; and from what we saw on the 955DF what Samsung says is true. The 955DF's screen is flat, perfectly flat, without any curves on the tube's surface. This eliminates the typical distortion seen on non-flat CRT displays, as the image is projected on a seemingly flat screen.
The DynaFlat tube used in the 955DF is an invar shadow mask display, which means it makes use of a perforated invar metal alloy sheet to direct the electron beam generated in the rear of the display. Invar is used because of its high heat resistance prevents distortion after prolonged use. Shadow mask displays differ from aperture grill displays, like the one used in the popular Trinitron tube, in the way that the electron beam is focused. Both display types use a thin sheet of metal to focus the electron beam but the metal in shadow mask displays is cut into small holes while the metal in aperture grill displays are cut into parallel vertical slots. Typically, shadow mask displays are more dimensionally accurate but produce duller images and colors than aperture grill displays. Fitting the trend, our tests found that the SyncMaster 955DF produced very crisp pictures, likely a result of it's tight 0.20mm dot pitch.
The DynaFlat tube also comes with an anti-reflective coating on the screen's surface. The coating proved to be very effective during use, as it significantly cut down on the amount of visible glare on the monitor's surface.
When placed in the case, the 19" tube produces an 18" viewable flat screen. Being a budget monitor, one limitation of the 955DF happens to be its maximum resolution and refresh rate. The monitor is capable of running at a resolution up to 1600x1200, however at this resolution it is limited to a refresh rate of 68Hz. This made the SyncMaster 955DF difficult to use at 1600x1200, as flicker was visibly present to our sensitive eyes. On top of the flicker, we also noticed that the 955DF lost quite a bit of sharpness going from 1280x1024 to 1600x1200. Some may find the 1600x1200 resolution too high for a 19" monitor, as text and icons can be somewhat hard to see, but those with good eye sight will likely appreciate the increased desktop space afforded by running at 1600x1200.
The typical rule is that the minimum refresh rate for a monitor at any given resolution is that it should be 75Hz or above. This puts the sweet spot of the 955DF at 1280x1024 where the monitor is able to support a refresh rate up to 80Hz. For those willing to sacrifice a bit more desktop space, the monitor runs at 1024x768 at 85Hz without a problem.
Although the SyncMaster 955DF has a rather small foot print, it does not quite qualify as a short tube monitor. The complete setup measures 18.4x19x18.3 inches and weighs in at a rather hefty 51.8 pounds. This makes the 955DF slightly smaller than comparable 19" monitors
The monitor offers one form of input: your standard 15-pin VGA cable that is built in. Being a monitor for those on a budget, the 955DF does not offer an unpluggable VGA cable nor does it offer a set of BNC connectors. We did not, however, experience any problems running the monitor on the built-in VGA cable, as the resolutions that the monitor supports will likely not benefit from a higher quality cable. Like most other monitors, power is provided by a 3 pin standard computer power plug.
Below is a summary of the 955DF's specifications.
Samsung SyncMaster 955DF
19" Samsung DynaFlat CRT
INVAR Shadow mask pitch: 0.20mm (horizontal)
Anti-static, anti-reflective coating
18.0" viewable area
1600x1200 / 68, 65Hz
1280x1024 / 60, 70, 75, 80Hz
1024x768 / 60, 70, 75, 85Hz
800x600 / 56, 60, 72, 75, 85Hz
640x480 / 72, 75, 85Hz
18.4" x 19.0" x 18.3"
3 years parts and labor
3 years CRT