Samsung Syncmaster SA350 Monitor: Thoughts and Settings

The Samsung Syncmaster SA350 monitor is a 21.5″ LED monitor with 1920×1080 resolution. I had always wanted an external monitor for my laptop and it has turned out to be really useful. This isn’t a review because I haven’t owned many monitors but I have seen enough monitors to say that this seems to be a pretty good one. I got this three months ago and I can honestly say that I keep appreciating it more over time: good color reproduction, nice brightness, good contrast. The movie high-definition resolution (1920×1080) I was hoping was enough to put applications down side by side and be able to view them and for my needs (basic text editing and internet-browsing) it works:

From my research Samsung is a real good brand to look into when looking at getting monitors. While I am not experienced in using a good different number of monitors, I can say that this monitor I’ve felt comfortable with. From previous experience of using other peoples monitors (schools, friends, and libraries) this by far has been the easiest on the eyes, very little eye-strain even when used for long times. One may comment that with a resolution of 1920×1080 on a 21.5″ monitor that it may not be the best dots-per-inch and they’d be right. It calculates as 102 DPI just above 96 DPI which is still oddly sort of a standard. That said fonts still read easy (take a look a above pic to see what I mean). For some unknown reason though, the Xorg server forced a 96 DPI on it when booting (haven’t been able to figure out why) that required me to find a rather lengthy work-around for.


As shipped the SamsungSyncmaster SA350’s LED monitor is very bright (almost stinging eyes bright) but isn’t calibrated at all. The settings need a massive adjusted as everything will appear washed out. Having been through photography classes and such I’ve developed a good sense in color balance. Once the settings are done right this LED feels really good (though I still have to get used to the the grey-bare tint LEDs give off). These are the settings:

Brightness 100
Contrast 24
Sharpness 60
Magic Bright Custom
Magic Angle Off
Coarse (set by auto-discover) 2200
Fine 35
Response Time Normal
HDMI Black Level Normal
Magic Color Off
Red 0
Green 19
Blue 55
Color Tone Custom
Gamma Mode2
Size and Position (necessary to set when using VGA)
H-Position 54
V-Position 40
Image Size Wide

About Todd Partridge (Gently)

Good times, good people, good fun.

Posted on 2012-03-07, in Hardware, Linux. Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

  1. Good Sir,

    I tried using your color settings and got a quite odd looking result. The monitor defaults to the 50/50/50, and you suggestions make the image extremely blue. Perhaps I am missing something, but I feel like I need a boat when my screen is so blue.

    • @ jonathon

      Good Sir,

      I tried using your color settings and got a quite odd looking result. The monitor defaults to the 50/50/50, and you suggestions make the image extremely blue. Perhaps I am missing something, but I feel like I need a boat when my screen is so blue.

      I can’t imagine monitors being shipped with different defaults but obviously here they do. From my experience monitors are calibrated before they leave the factory but it is looking like that they are not here. Thanks for the feedback, I’ll take the settings down if other people have a similar experience.

  2. Too much blue and dim (contrast = 3?) with your solution. With the default settings, my eyes are hurting. I reached here while looking for a better setting possibility.

  3. Thanks for the feed back SJ. Notsure just way these woudl be different. Would like to know your defaults if you have the time.

  4. For a giggle I thought I’d give these settings a try… hmmmm may work for his monitor but not mine. Like others I was a bit suspicious of the low contrast and high blue (in relation to the red and green). I’d suggest giving these settings a miss.

  5. Sorry man but my monitor looks like crap right now :) Extremely blue/purple with a dim feeling. I´ll try and sort this out…

  6. Guys, if you want to help: post your settings! At this point we’ve discovered that settings differ; let other people learn what others done.

  7. Any help for my problem. Plugged into a macbook and first 6 months or so had no issues at all. Now I’m plugged in and my screen is black. Have checked cable and adaptor for computer and that isn’t the problem. Any ideas? Thanks for the help.

    • jim, I have the exact same issue. I just found my not so old monitor dead for no apparent reason. same settings as the day before, but pure black screen on vga cable connection. anyone else having this issue?

    • for jim and anyone having the black screen issue although all should be ok with the monitor: I got the issue fixed with a firmware update. while the device is connected to the PC, install and run this firmware update:

      after the update is done the monitor will turn off. give it 1min and turn it back on. image appears, it automatically adjust itself and all should be fine from now on. I suspect a windows 7 update for this issue, but I can’t confirm.

    • awesome thanks. Somehow my screen starting working again, magic maybe? Ha, but I’ll keep the link with firmware update just in case!

  8. my screen changed to HDMI for its input–anyone know how to make it go back to analog?

  9. I had the same issue and chatted online with a Samsung Service Rep and was told to shipped the monitor to them to be fixed. Mine was under warranty and was free. Anyway, the fix by them was a firmware upgrade. I am not sure how to do that on a monitor but that is how the problem was fixed. Hope this helps.

  10. My settings are:

    Brightness 	48
    Contrast 	        60
    Sharpness 	60
    Magic Bright 	Custom
    Magic Angle 	Off
    Coarse (grayed out) 	
    Fine (grayed out) 	
    Response Time 	Faster
    HDMI Black Level 	Low
    Magic Color 	Off
    Red 	        50
    Green 	51
    Blue 	54
    Color Tone 	 Custom
    Color Effect       Off
    Gamma 	Mode 2
    Size and Position 
    H-Positoin (grayed out)
    V-Position  (grayed out)
    Image Size   Auto
    Menu H-Positoin 	100
    Menu V-Position 	0

    And I’m using DVI to HDMI cable to connect to my geforce gtx 560ti video card on a Win 7 OS.
    This set up is probably closest you can get to reach to 6500K color temp and 2.2 gamma standard for most windows monitors. My monitor model is Samsung SMBX 2331 similar to the one above.

  11. Thanks for the details, bigmomma. Good work. Doesn’t for for me though unfortunately.

  12. I have a SA350 (27″) . I’m trying to set up the monitor parameters but some of the adjustment functions are locked. The menu shows a lock icon which I’m trying to unlock.
    Anyone have an idea or suggestion?

  13. I read that you can lock
    (and unlock) most features of the Menu by holding that button for 10 seconds. Haven’t tried it myself…..i’m still battling the black screen issue and firmware update was not the solution. If anyone has other ideas feel free to pass them on :)

  14. my Samsung SyncMaster SA350 is a 27-inch monitor, not 21.5-inches. (USA market – purchased within the last 2 years)

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  1. Pingback: [For Sale] Samsung SyncMaster SA350

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