I recently purchased a new monitor, the Samsung S24D390, which replaced my previous Samsung 2233SW. The S24D390 is not a particularly well known monitor, but after digging around a bit I found out that it is a reasonably good monitor for the price and considering that I had a good experience with my previous Samsung monitor, I had a fair amount of faith in Samsung to consider it a second time.
The S24D390 is a 24-inch, 1920×1080 resolution 60Hz PLS monitor with an LED backlight. It is priced at ₹13,500 MRP, but I managed to get it for ₹10,800.
As you can tell from the pricing, it is a budget monitor and as such does not come with any bells and whistles. There really aren’t too many features here; Samsung is particularly stingy with them when it comes to monitors, and as such the S24D390 does not even have basic features such as tilt, swivel, or rotation adjustment, and the only thing you can adjust is the vertical angle. The connectivity is also sparse, with only an extremely outdated VGA and a single HDMI port making an appearance on the back. Thankfully, there is an audio out connection as well, for connecting headphones or speakers. There are no USB ports, speakers, or webcam on this monitor. Heck, there isn’t even a VESA mount on the back for wall mounting.
The S24D390 has what Samsung calls Touch of Color design, wherein it has a clear plastic lining over the bezel that has an emerald green tint to it. Even the monitor stand is clear with the subtle green tint. I’m not sure if it will be to everyone’s tastes but I do think it’s quite fetching.
On the front right corner are the touch sensitive buttons for menu adjustment. I’m not fond of touch sensitive buttons as your finger loses track of the position of the button when you are looking at the screen while adjusting the levels and there is no physical indicator to help you keep track of the button location without looking. The actual UI of the menus though is easy to use and fairly decent looking. There is also a small blue LED in the corner that is unobtrusive but not quite as stylish as the smiling blue curve on my previous 2233SW model.
As mentioned earlier, the monitor has the HDMI, VGA, and audio out jacks on the back. There is also a power port, wherein you plug the external power brick. The advantage of having no wall-mounting option is that the ports face straight back instead of down, which makes connecting cables infinitely easier.
The biggest problem with the S24D390 is the one I also faced with the 2233SW. The stand is ridiculously unstable, so if your desk shakes a little the screen shakes with it as well. The build quality isn’t fantastic and something Samsung really needs to work on.
The S24D390 has an LED backlit PLS panel. For those wondering, PLS is Samsung’s version of IPS, which claims to have improved viewing angles, increased brightness, and overall increase in image quality. The underlying technology is similar, though, and as are the basic characteristics.
As expected from an IPS or a PLS panel, the colors are really bright and vivid. Out of the box, the monitor does quite well, which is a good thing as unfortunately most people never actually bother calibrating their displays or going into the menu at all. If you do calibrate your monitor, and you definitely should, then the S24D390 can improve even more with some minor adjustments in the menu (if you purchase this unit I’ll be happy to share my settings).
The monitor comes with a range of settings, with Samsung particularly marketing the Game Mode. Unfortunately, this just turns up the saturation and sharpness to ungodly levels, where anyone with a working pair of eyes will immediately wish they didn’t. It’s another one of those features that’s pure marketing bullshit.
The monitor can get quite bright but I found it best to keep it at 60% of the brightness, unless I’m doing something important like video or photo editing. The viewing angles are good, even at absurd angles. There is a considerable amount of backlight glow when the monitor is showing a completely black screen, but this is only really noticeable in a dark room and more of a characteristic of this panel type rather than this particular model. The 5ms response time is adequate and I didn’t detect any noticeable ghosting in games or movies.
The audio output on the back is handy for times you may want to connect your gaming console to the display, something which I do a lot. The audio quality through the headphone is decent and it gets sufficiently loud as well, but is best kept under 90% of the volume as there is significant distortion after that point.
The Samsung S24D390 is a bit of a mixed bag. There is severe cost cutting that simply cannot be ignored, such as the scarcity of usable connectivity ports, practically no adjustment options, no VESA mounting option, and shoddy build quality. Fortunately, though, Samsung delivers where it counts, with a high quality panel delivering excellent image quality. The design is also quite nice, although that’s subjective. I wish it had more connectivity options and the stand wasn’t so shaky but honestly, for the price I got it for, the image quality more than makes up for any of the shortcomings.
Pros: Excellent image quality, attractive design
Cons: Poor connectivity options, lack of any meaningful adjustment options, shaky stand, no VESA mount, distortion in headphone output at max volume
Worth buying?: At a discount