Opposite the power button on the left side is a small button which allows you to change the MagicBright settings. To sum it up, the farther you go down the list of options, the brighter the picture will get. Believe me, with a contrast ratio of 1500:1, this monitor can easily get too bright especially in low light conditions. I have caught myself several times actually squinting when using this monitor for my daily day to day web work. Although custom is shown selected here, I prefer the Internet setting for most applications.
Continuing on, you will come to one of the 971P's unique features. The base has an incorporated USB hub for two USB 2.0 connections. This feature will definitely come in handy. Anyone with a digital camera and thumb drive will thank Samsung for including this feature. Now, my one pet peeve is that Samsung did not include a USB cable so you can use this feature out of the box. Come on Samsung, don't be cheap, include everything to get these features working right out of the box or don't include them at all.
Who wants to go buy a USB cable after buying a monitor? Anyone that wants to hold up your hand......*cricket cricket*......
To the left of the USB connections you will note where the main power supply is connected.
Now this is where I got a little lost for a while. I had the cables in hand but I searched and searched to find a place where I connected the cable to the actual monitor. I even resorted to going on the internet to possibly find where I connect it. Due to the lack or a user's manual I had no real way of finding. I swear you could ding noise and a light bulb turn on when I thought to tip the monitor forward to check out the bottom. The connection on the bottom will flip down about 20 degrees to allow you to screw in the cable connectors and you can then swing it up into place and secure the cable through the provided cable passageway. You can also see the soft feet which keeps this monitor planted firmly.
PRODUCT USE & TESTING
So how does this monitor perform during normal computing activities?
Two Dimensional Use
The Syncmaster 971P handles standard everyday computer use with ease. It is like taking Corvette to go get some milk, you know you will never be really pressing the true capabilities of the monitor doing the standard everyday surfing, AutoCAD or document creation. The 1500:1 contrast ratio in my mind is overkill. Sure it is a good number to flash about, but it is just too bright for most consumers. You will be lowering it especially in low light conditions. If you do not adjust it, be prepared to squint.
Now don't get me wrong, I am not going on that this is a bad thing, it is good to overkill sometimes. But maybe going with a 1000:1 ratio and putting some R&D into a base rotational mechanism would have been more beneficial. I know I missed being able to turn the monitor without the hassle.
Three Dimensional Use
Let me say this, a high contrast ratio LCD monitor makes an already great look game look even better. The vibrant colors, the sharp picture quality and the overall brightness is borderline staggering. Amazing is a word that comes to mind. This is a photograph of the screen and it even looks great. Now up that by 30% and that is what you will see while gaming.
But, sadly, this is where the good things stop. Sure the picture quality is great, but that is only when you are standing still. Seeing this has an advertising refresh rate of 6ms I thought that gaming would be great....boy was I wrong. The monitor has a bad ghosting problem and doesn't live up to its' 6ms timing. I tried everything seeing I thought it was something to do with my videocard settings but I proved it was the monitor by swapping the monitor out for the 970P and the ghosting was gone. Do NOT buy this monitor for gaming. You will be VERY disappointed.