Instead of housing the control buttons within the front panel, they chose to house them on the side so the overall front of the monitor was kept simple. But for overall usability, I personally prefer them i the front, but seeing no one uses these buttons other than when initially setting up the monitor, this is not a concern.
The buttons and their related controls are as follows:
Menu - Allows access to your configuration menu for changing your color, contrast and signal input configuration.
Navigation Up / Down Keys - Allows you to navigate through the menu and also enables the brightness and preset contrast controls when the menu command is not enabled.
Source - Allows you to change the signal input source from the various connections available on the rear and side panels.
Auto - Auto-configuration button to allow the monitor to configure and align itself while using an analog VGA connection. (Not available while using a DVI cable)
Moving around to the back and you will see at first that there isn't much to point out seeing samsung wanted to keep this monitor as aesthetically clean as possible. But there are other things to show you other than my fingerprints on the glossy black finish.
Housed within the top is the main upper ventilation area where the rather warm air is removed from the back of the monitor. The intake vents are located in the bottom of the panel and because of both, you have a constant flow of cool air keeping your monitor backlight working properly and not being stressed by excess heat.
To access the rear connection, panel, you just have to tug on a panel and a friction fit portion of the rear will pop off. Once inside you will see that the connection options are a little more extensive than your run-of-the-mill standard computer monitor. Moving from left to right you have the power connection, the HDMI connection, the analog/digital computer video signal connections along along with your analog/optical digital audio outputs and your USB2.0 hub.
Some people will wonder why there is a optical cable output? But with the HDMI interface, video and audio are integrated into one plug connection an this will allow your monitor to act as a audio pass through to connect to your digital decoder or a pair of analog computer speakers. Whether or not it will be used by most has yet to be seen but seeing there is a T240HD version on the market, I personally would have keep that functionality to that model and kept things simpler with this non-HD model in order to make it even more affordable for anyone needing just a great standard monitor with the standard computer video connections.
No the USB2.0 hub is a great idea but having it tucked back in the back under a cover makes it hard to swap or connect any peripheral easily and in most cases is meant for your USB keyboard and mouse only. for that purpose it would be a perfect fit.