Manufacturer:Samsung UK Price (as reviewed): £799.99 (inc VAT) US Price (as reviewed): $999.99 (ex Tax)
It can be easy to overlook a monitor when going through an upgrade cycle – after all, you won’t get more frames per second by simply changing out your display. However, considering it’s what you’ll spend most of your time looking at, it makes sense to invest in a good one. If you’ve gone to the effort to colour code your PC’s internal components, fans and lighting, the chances are you’ll want something that looks good sat on a desk too.
Samsung hopes to fill that niche with its latest ultra-high end display. The 27 inch, 2,560x1,440 S27B970D Series 9 monitor is one of the best looking monitors you can buy right now, and that’s even before you switch it on. Other monitors might be little more than a panel surrounded by a mass of black plastic, but the combination of silver, black and gunmetal grey used here is quite breathtaking the first time you heave it up onto a desk.
Glass covers the entire front of the display, with only a tiny sliver of silver around its edge. The black bezel beneath it is surprisingly large, but it has been cleverly worked into the overall design so that you barely notice it in everyday use. The entire back face of the screen is finished in a gorgeous brushed metal, which looks fantastic even though it’s a treated plastic rather than actual aluminium. Held in the air by a single arm, it’s striking from just about any angle.
Part of the reason is that Samsung has squeezed all the ports into the circular screen base, which should help keep cable clutter to a minimum. As well as DVI (dual-link, which is a necessity to drive the 2,560x1,440 display) you also have the choice of DisplayPort or HDMI inputs. The HDMI port is MHL compliant, so you’ll be able to use it to display mobile phone or tablet content on the screen while charging it at the same time. There’s also a two-port USB hub, although it’s the slower USB 2.0 variant rather than USB 3.0. Samsung includes dual-link DVI, DisplayPort, USB and MHL cables in the box, so you won’t have to worry about buying extras.
Screen size: 27in diagonal
Response time: 5ms (grey to grey)
Contrast ratio: 1,000:1
Adjustability height, tilt, swivel
Outputs/Inputs: DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort, MHL, USB hub