Samsung SyncMaster P2770FH review: Samsung SyncMaster P2770FH

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The Good The Samsung SyncMaster P2770FH provides a large screen for a relatively low price and although its design is a couple years old, it still looks quite stylish.

The Bad The Samsung SyncMaster P2770FH has a noticeable green push and lacks connection options compared with other 27-inchers.

The Bottom Line The Samsung SyncMaster P2770FH's disappointing performance and lack of features make it definitely not first choice among 27-inchers.

6.2 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 5
  • Performance 6
  • Support 8

The 27-inch Samsung SyncMaster P2770FH has a difficult time offering enough value to justify its $330 price. Its main competitors are the 27-inch Asus VE276Q and 27-inch Samsung P2770HD, available for as low as $300 and $350, respectively. Those looking for a 1,920x1,080, 27-inch monitor would be best served by the more expensive Samsung SyncMaster P2770HD, with its many connection options making it a better value for the money. The Asus VE276Q would be second choice, thanks to its lower price and DisplayPort support. The Samsung SyncMaster P2770FH offers little incentive for its price and delivered disappointing performance compared with the other 27-inchers.

Design and features
The 27-inch Samsung SyncMaster P2770FH looks like a larger version of the Samsung SyncMaster P2370 we previously reviewed. The panel measures 1.6 inches in depth at its thickest and 26.3 inches in full width, compared with the Asus VE276Q's depth of 2.1 inches and smaller 25.25-inch width. The Samsung's bezel measures 1.3 inches on the left and right sides and 1.9 inches on the bottom, where a light-gray Samsung logo resides. On the edge of the bezel is a plastic transparent overlay. As differently colored light passes through the overlay, the intent is to give the impression that the display is changing its color, although unless there's a traveling disco party following you around at all times, you likely won't notice this effect.

The screen has a slightly frosty matte finish, and the neck of the display, with its cool, transparent glass, shares its design with the P2370. Still one of the most aesthetically interesting designs we've seen. The bottom of the bezel sits about 2.6 inches from the desktop, but unfortunately the screen height isn't adjustable and there isn't a pivot option for portrait mode. The capability to tilt the screen back 20 degrees and a 45-degree left-and-right swivel feature are the monitor's only ergonomic features. The oval-shaped footstand is 12.5 inches wide by 9.8 inches deep, but even with such a wide footstand, the display wobbles considerably; however, we were never in fear that the display would topple, even after a strong shove.

The P2770FH's connection options include one HDMI port and a single DVI port. Also, there's a port for normal audio and a digital audio out. The ports are on the back of the display in the lower middle of the panel and face backward, making each connection easy to access.

You can set the onscreen display (OSD) to be onscreen for 5, 10, 20, or 200 seconds. The array consists of a Menu button, an Up and Down button, an Enter button, and an Auto button. The Up and Down buttons also double as brightness and preset shortcut buttons, respectively. Picture options consist of brightness, contrast, and sharpness. You can set the color tone to Cool, Normal, Warm, or Custom, allowing you to change the red, green, and blue attributes individually. There are seven presets: Custom, Text, Internet, Game, Sport, Movie, and Dynamic Contrast. Each preset changes the color temperature, brightness, or both of the display to be appropriate to the task at hand. Also included is the option to change the overall color tone of the screen to grayscale (black and white), green, aqua, and sepia tones.

Design and feature highlights
Connectivity: DVI, HDMI
Ergonomic options: 20-degree back tilt, left and right swivel
Resolution: 1,920x1,080
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Audio: Optical audio out, audio out
VESA wall-mount support: No
Included video cables: DVI, HDMI
Backlight: CCFL
Panel type: TN
Screen film: Matte
Pixel-response rate: 1ms
Number of presets: 7
Overdrive: Yes
Picture options: Brightness, Contrast, Sharpness
Color controls: RGB controls, Cool, Normal, Warm, and Custom; Grayscale, Green, Aqua, Sepia options also available
Gamma control: Yes
Additional features: n/a

We tested the Samsung SyncMaster P2770FH through its DVI input, connected to a Windows Vista PC, using the included DVI cable. The display posted a composite score of 87 on CNET Labs' DisplayMate-based performance tests. The P2770FH's biggest problem was its color: specifically, its proclivity toward producing images with a green tint, adversely affecting most of our color tests, especially color tracking. We dialed back the green attribute to about 44, from the default of 50, and while this improved things a little, the green was still very noticeable compared with the Samsung PX2370 running the same image. Anything lower than 44 on the P2770FH's green attribute and red began to creep into the image,necessitating an increase in the blue attribute. We detail the settings we finally settled on in the "Recommended settings and use" section.

We know that Samsung used its highest-quality TN panel when designing the PX2370; however, it's likely the P2770FH wasn't built with the same-quality panel. This would go a long way toward explaining the color problem we encountered.

Text: In text, we saw no color problems with black text on a white background. Fonts were clearly visible down to a 6.8 size. We did see a lot of blooming around text with blue fonts on a black background, more so than the PX2370 showed, where most words were still decipherable.

Movies: We tested the Samsung SyncMaster P2770FH using the Blu-ray version of "Avatar." We saw good, deep black levels on the P2770FH, with some of the dark details of the Na'vi's hair visible. The PX2370 displayed even more detail, however. The green push of the P2770FH was in full effect here as human characters looked sickly compared with the same characters seen on the PX2370.

Games: Because of our intimate familiarity with StarCraft II (SCII), it is our new favorite tool for judging color quality and vibrancy in games. As for color, the P2770FH displayed an image with a (you guessed it) green tint, and details that should have clearly been blue were greenish instead.

The P2770FH's big claim to fame is its 1ms refresh rate, which, on paper, should result in less motion streaking while playing games. During actual play of SCII, we saw no evidence of streaking on either the P27770FH or PX2370, which has a 2ms refresh rate. We also tried Call of Duty: Black Ops, and the P2770FH still delivered a stable image, without any evidence of streaking.

To do additional streaking tests, we used DisplayMate's Motion Graphics test, which moves colored squares around the screen at various speeds. Though we did see streaking evidence during this test, we saw no evidence that it was more or less than what the PX2370 delivered.

Photos: When viewing photos we found the standard preset to be best; however, we still noticed an overabundance of green in the faces. We preferred photos after switching to the Cool color tone. Faces then looked less sickly and healthier as a result, but still not as good as the PX2370's rendition of said faces.

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