Samsung SyncMaster S27A850D review: Samsung SyncMaster S27A850D

The monitor performed excellently in our Color Tracking, which looks for evidence of tint and hue problems, which we found only slight traces of, with very little red and no green hues visible in the grayscale. In our Dark Screen test, the monitor faltered, showing very apparent backlight bleeding in the top left corner and in the bottom middle of the screen.

Text: Black text on white looked clear, without any obvious color tint problems. Fonts were clearly visible down to a 6.8 size.

Movies: We tested the Samsung SyncMaster S27A850D using the Blu-ray version of "Avatar." The Cinema preset provided the best overall experience, displaying richer colors and deeper blacks than the U2711 did. There was no trace of the green push that is fairly typical with some monitors when displaying movies.

Games: When evaluating the look of games on a monitor, the two most important features to consider are vibrancy and color. If the monitor can display games with a bright and vibrant cleanness, this goes a long way. If colors can also pop with fullness and depth, games can usually look great.

Torchlight on the Samsung SyncMaster S27A850D in the Game preset had high vibrancy with colors that popped as well as we've seen on any monitor. Both the Game preset and our calibrated settings were suitable for games on the display.

To test refresh rate, we used DisplayMate's motion graphics tests and stared at a number of colored blocks as they moved around the screen at various speeds. The S27A850D displayed noticeably less streaking than the U2711 during the test.

Photos: When showing faces and light-colored hair, the S27A850D's colors sometimes dip ever so slightly into a greenish hue compared with the U2711, but the bright colors of clothing and environments pop vibrantly.

Recommended settings: We used SpectraCal's CalPC to calibrate the Samsung S27A850D for bright-room viewing. The following settings are what the monitor was adjusted to after calibration.

Attribute Setting
Preset Custom
Brightness 91
Contrast 68
Color temperature Normal
Color Settings R-95
G-90
B-100

If you find these settings are still unsatisfactory, try the different presets, as they're well-suited for their appropriate tasks.

Viewing angle: The optimal viewing angle for a monitor is usually directly in front, about a quarter of the screen's distance down from the top. At this angle, you're viewing colors as the manufacturer intended. Most monitors aren't designed to be viewed at any other angle. Depending on a monitor's panel type, picture quality at nonoptimal angles varies. Most monitors use TN panels, which get overly bright or overly dark in parts of the screen when not viewed from optimal angles.

The S27A850D uses a PLS panel, Samsung's newest panel technology that's very similar to IPS. The monitor's panel has a viewing angle as wide as the U2711, which houses an IPS panel.

Power consumption: The Samsung SyncMaster S27A850D showed poor power consumption, with a Default/On power draw of 51.3 watts. Still, that's lower than the Dell U2711's 93.72 watts in the same test.

In our Sleep/Standby test, the S27A850D pulled 0.87 watts and the U2711 pulled a higher 1.19 watts. Based on our formula, the S27A850D would incur nearly half the annual power cost of the U2711 with a per-year pull of $15.91, compared with the U2711's much higher $28.78 per year.

Brightness in cd/m2
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Asus PA246Q
361 
LaCie 324i
358 
Samsung SyncMaster S27A850D
334 

Contrast ratio
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
LaCie 324i
937:1 
Samsung SyncMaster S27A850D
811:1 
Asus PA246Q
792:1 

DisplayMate performance tests
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Juice box
Samsung SyncMaster S27A850D Average watts per hour
On (default luminance) 51.3
On (max luminance) 51.3
On (min luminance) 24
Sleep 0.87
Calibrated (200 cd/m2) 34.3
Annual power consumption cost $15.91
Score Poor

Find out more about how we test LCD monitors.

Service and support
Samsung backs the SyncMaster S27A850D with a three-year parts-and-labor warranty that covers the backlight. It also offers support through a 24-7 toll-free number, as well as 24- to 48-hour turnaround e-mail and Web chat support.

Conclusion
While it doesn't offer as many customization options for graphic artists as a few other pro-grade monitors do, the S27A850D's options should more than satisfy most users. Full ergonomic support, a USB 3.0 hub, and an overall stylish, but thoughtful design makes it a great choice for those looking for a pro monitor that offers more than most, but doesn't go over the $1,000 price barrier.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Display Type LED-backlit LCD monitor / Plane to Line Switching (PLS)
  • Interface DVI
  • Diagonal Size 27 in
  • Image Contrast Ratio 1000:1
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