Samsung SyncMaster S27A850D review
A highly adjustable, good quality monitor at a reasonable price – a successful début for Samsung’s fledgling PLS panel technology
Review Date: 25 Oct 2011
Reviewed By: Sasha Muller
Price when reviewed: £465 (£558 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Samsung’s SyncMaster S27A850D is the first of a new breed. It shares the same 2,560 x 1,440 pixel resolution as many high-end 27in monitors, but the panel technology is new: Samsung’s latest marks the debut of its own Plane-to-Line Switching, or PLS, panel technology.
The physical differences are evident right away. Where most 27in IPS-based monitors are thick-set affairs, the Samsung’s LED-backlighting and external power supply make for a slender, elegant profile.
A tubular stand allows the monitor to smoothly rise up and down by 150mm, and also swivels round into portrait orientation. You need two hands to guide the panel into position, but the large rectangular base helps to keep it stable on a desk.
Connectivity is excellent. In addition to two dual-DVI sockets and DisplayPort inputs, Samsung has also packed in a three-port USB 3 hub. With the ports positioned at the monitor’s rear, pointing left and right rather than straight down, it’s easy to connect and disconnect cables without craning your neck underneath.
Power saving is top of the SyncMaster’s agenda. Brightness and proximity sensors in the display’s lower bezel automatically adjust brightness and activate standby mode, and the PLS panel itself draws precious little power. Calibrated to a brightness of 120cd/m2, the Samsung drew a modest 29W from the mains. Even pushed to its blinding maximum brightness of 380cd/m2, power consumption rose to just 50W – about half that of an equivalent IPS display.
There’s no doubt Samsung’s fledgling panel technology does a lot of things right. Colours are rich and vibrant and the SyncMaster SA850 delivers vivacious, larger-than-life images. While black levels aren’t deep enough to rival VA panels, the measured contrast ratio of 826:1 is still a match for the IPS-panelled competition.
Viewing angles are superb, proving easily as wide as our reference Eizo ColorEdge CG275W, and while response time isn’t as quick as the best TN panels – there’s still a trace of blur in fast-moving games – an effective overdrive circuit means that it never veers into ugly smearing.
It isn’t a perfect showing, however. Colour accuracy lags behind the best models we’ve seen, with an average Delta E of 3.8 and a maximum deviation of 6.9. Contrast is merely on a par with the competition, hitting 826:1. Far more disappointing is the leakage from the Edge-LED backlighting. In darker movie scenes, an obvious glow seeps into the black bars at the top and bottom of the screen.
Yet, for a technology still in its infancy it is an impressive first outing. Sensible design and green credentials go hand-in-hand with good image quality, and the price is reasonable given the features on offer. Consumers will be better served by Hazro’s cheaper HZ27WC, but businesses after an adjustable, high-quality display should definitely put the Samsung SyncMaster S27A850 on their shortlist.
Author: Sasha Muller
- Google ditches OpenSSL in Chrome
- Apple and Swatch to buddy up for iWatch release
- StubHub fraud: how hackers stole $1m using tickets
- Mobile success boosts Facebook's profit by 138%
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Unlock your Moto X with a "tattoo"
- Samsung continues Tizen OS push with Galaxy Gear "upgrade"
- Killing the Surface Mini hit revenues, Microsoft reveals
- How to report website overblocking and miscategorisation to ISPs
- iPad sales stall as owners "too happy to upgrade"
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Windows Easy Transfer – not so "easy" in Windows 8.1
- Formula 1: what a difference virtualisation makes
- Office of the future: comfy chairs and tablets everywhere
- I went to Glastonbury and the only thing that got high was my smartphone
- Meet the robots helping teach children
- PaperLater: would you pay to print the internet?
- Amazon vs Kobo: how much to make the ebook switch?
- Phishing emails: how I nearly got caught out
- Hacking the Internet of Things: from smart cars to toilets
- BlackBerry Passport release date, specs, features, and rumours: when is the new BlackBerry coming out?
- What's changing in the computing curriculum
- Teaching kids to code
- Best free translation apps for iOS, Android and Windows Phone
- Five worst SMB security threats... and how to solve them
- Apple iOS vs Android vs Windows 8 – what's the best compact tablet OS?
- The 12 best tablets of 2014: what’s the best tablet on the market?
- How to free up hard disk space
- Driverless cars: could your next car be driven by a robot?
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office
- How to write your company's IT security policy
- Raspberry Pi and Wolfram: a must-have for every child
- Could you get by with Office Web Apps?