Samsung's New Laptop-Friendly Monitors

Samsung unveiled its new LD series of monitors at this year's Consumer Electronics Show
  • (PC World (US online))
  • — 09 January, 2009 11:42

Among Samsung's new wares unveiled at this year's Consumer Electronics Show is the LD series of monitors. These monitors are designed specifically with notebook users in mind so they can have a seamless second display.

Samsung achieves this by removing the traditional stand and using a picture-frame-style stand instead. This way, the monitor itself sits flush on the desk, allowing the screen to be at the same level as your notebook's screen.

Additionally, the screen can adjust with your notebook screen's angle: Push back or pull forward on the Samsung LD monitor and you can adjust the angle of the Samsung LD monitor to correspond with your notebook's screen angle.

Samsung's LD Series displays use Samsung's UbiSync technology, which allows the monitor to send video through any USB 2 port on the computer instead of using a more traditional video connector such as DVI or VGA. Both displays also include a VGA connector as well, if you prefer using a regular video connector.

In addition, the LD series is designed to be energy efficient. Samsung claims that its 19-inch LD model uses 33 percent less energy than a typical 19-inch monitor.

The LD series comes in two models: the 22-inch LD220 and the 19-inch LD 190X. Both feature 16:9 aspect ratios (the same as an HDTV), with 1366-by-768 resolution.

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Nick Mediati

PC World (US online)
Topics: samsung, CES, lcd

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Anonymous

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Problems with LD220 monitor attached to desktop

Desktop buyer beware if you purchase the Samsung LD220 monitor(s) – they have very good resolution, the picture is clear, and they look smart but they are VERY temperamental to set up and keep working. They also do not have DVI or HDMI ports, only VGA and USB.

I have two of them purchased recently (August 2009) on advice from an online retailer to go with a new ASUS (IBM compatible) desktop (purchased in Australia) – I now know that they are really designed for a Notebook/Netbook and the leads supplied are therefore shorter than those usually required for a desktop. You may need to purchase additional VGA and USB leads although the power cable may be long enough. You may also need to purchase a DVI to VGA adaptor so you get a better connection to your graphics card.

The guide book that Samsung supplies is poorly written in English, does not give good (let alone comprehensive) set up instructions and is somewhat misleading. It implies you either use the monitor singly via VGA or in parallel/serial with other LD220 monitors via USB connections – ie one way or the other. However, you can and really should use both VGA and USB at the same time if you have 2 or more linked monitors on a desktop. If you only connect via USB you lose all F8 restore functionality on boot up, for example, which leaves you with NO VISUALS if the monitors are unrecognised. This lack of visuals wouldn’t happen on a Notebook/Netbook as you have the captive screen to use.

Make sure that XP Pro or whatever operating system you are using has been loaded properly otherwise the UbiSynch drivers on the CD-ROM may not load or load properly (I had to reload XP Pro on my new desktop due to errors and drop outs). When I tried to find drivers online there was nothing available on the local Samsung site for the LD220 and the Global Samsung site only had drivers for the LD220G – use the drivers on the CD-ROM as the set up process on the CD appears to properly load the drivers and the monitor icon on the task bar which is essential to 2 or more monitor operations.

YOU MUST load the drivers FIRST otherwise XP Pro will not recognise the monitors – there appears to be a mismatch between device drivers and software drivers unless this is done. If you plug the USB connections in on their own you are likely to get a blank screen so will be unable to see anything and therefore can’t load drivers.

So if using 2 or more monitors on a desktop, just use one monitor to start with, the one that will be your primary monitor, and connect via VGA. I bought a DVI to VGA adaptor and connected this way from my Nvidia graphics card on the desktop – the desktop preferred this and recognised the monitor more readily than through a VGA to VGA connection. When you have a visual, load the CD-ROM drivers following the prompts for the UbiSynch drivers as these are required for USB operation and you need USB to run more than one monitor (unless both are connected via separate VGA cables). When one monitor is connected the monitor icon does not appear on the task bar – it will appear only when you connect more than one monitor, the second etc via USB.

Remove the CD-ROM and turn off your desktop. Leave the VGA connection in place to your primary monitor, preferably via the DVI port on your graphics card. Also connect your primary monitor to the desktop via USB (if you don’t do this the second monitor will not connect to the UbiSynch drivers). Then connect the primary monitor to the second monitor by USB (do not connect the second monitor to the desktop via USB – only the primary monitor should be connected to the desktop). The guide book is accurate in showing these USB connections for parallel and serial operating. Now reboot. Both screens should be activated once the boot up process is completed and a monitor icon should appear on the task bar (looks like a monitor).

You also need to complete a couple of other actions: (1) click on Control Panel/Display and select monitor 1 in the visual display panel if this isn’t highlighted, then tick the primary monitor box and the extend box on the bottom left, then select monitor 2 in the visual display panel and click the extend box on the bottom left – this sets up the first monitor as the primary and the second as its “slave”; and, (2) right click on the monitor icon on the task bar and click extend if you want the second monitor to function as a “slave” or mirror if you want it to show exactly what you see on the primary monitor (you need extend if you want to transfer applications between monitors).

To transfer between monitors, open the application (likely to appear on the primary but if you closed it on the second monitor it will appear there) and downsize it by clicking on the downsize box at top right next to the “X” for application close (ie the middle box). You then click & drag the application to the screen of your choice using your mouse. Click on the upsize box to increase the application to full size.

One note of caution, when I moved my desktop connection from my DVI port to my VGA port after operating for a day or so the primary monitor would not work even though it was still plugged into the USB connector – the primary and secondary monitors then defaulted to USB mode. I lost all visuals and in USB mode couldn’t use F8 system restore on reconnection to DVI – it was as if the device manager and drivers lost contact with one another and went back to some plug and play default that the monitors did not like. So I had to use an old CRT monitor to do an F8 system restore (remove all the USB leads and the VGA to the primary monitor first, and then connect your CRT to VGA), uninstall the LD220 drivers and then reboot having removed the CRT from VGA and put the LD220 primary monitor back into the DVI port. I then had to reload the CD-ROM and reconnect the leads so that the monitors came back online – as you can see they are very touchy and appear to remember where they are plugged in so be careful if you intend to change the original plug in set up as this may lose your driver connections and could trigger plug and play to take over which may not recognise the LD220 monitors.

Hope this assists anyone who has difficulties – they are good monitors when working but is it worth the hassle on a desktop when they are so temperamental? They would be good for trade show displays and perhaps graphics developers but you need to be tech savvy to work with them – I suggest Notebook/Netbook use is best as you can always use the captive screen if you run into difficulties.

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