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|
|Ergonomic options:||20-degree back tilt, left and right swivel|
|Audio:||Optical audio out, audio out|
|VESA wall-mount support:||No|
|Included video cables:||DVI, HDMI|
|Number of presets:||7|
|Picture options:||Brightness, Contrast, Sharpness|
|Color controls:||RGB controls, Cool, Normal, Warm, and Custom; Grayscale, Green, Aqua, Sepia options also available|
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.
Viewing angle: The optimal viewing angle for a monitor is usually directly in front of it, about a quarter of the screen's distance down from the top. At this angle, you're viewing the colors as they were intended. Most monitors are not made to be viewed at any other angle. Depending on the 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 viewed from nonoptimal angles. The Samsung SyncMaster P2770FH uses a TN panel, and when viewed from the side or bottom, we perceived the screen as darkening about 6 inches off from center. Of course, when viewing from the optimal angle, we had no problems.
Recommended settings and use: When playing games we preferred the game preset. While not as vibrant as the PX2370, it still delivered a suitably vibrant image, albeit with a noticeable green tint. Ah, yes, the bane of the P2770FH's performance, the green tint, also rears its sickly head when we viewed movies and photos. To be clear, most people won't notice this. Most people also don't sit in a dark room staring at monitors for imperfections with a comparison monitor delivering ideal performance right next to it. Now, the fact that I do this willingly (and frequently) may go toward explaining my current level of sanity; it also means that I'm more likely to see imperfections like the ones I've detailed so far in this review.
After experimenting for quite some time with the color settings and presets, we got the P2770FH to display an image that we feel would satisfy most, while watching movies, viewing photos, or performing general tasks. These same settings can be used for games if the preset is changed to Games.
If precise color values are something you require, an IPS monitor like the excellent but much more expensive Dell UltraSharp U2711 is much more appropriate.
The Samsung SyncMaster P2770FH showed poor power consumption, with a Default/On power draw of 46.8 watts, compared with the Asus VE276Q's 52.17 watts in the same test. In our Sleep/Standby test, the P2770FH cost 0.85 watts and the VE276Q pulled a higher 1.1 watts. Based on our formula, the P2770FH would cost $14.55 per year to run, compared with the VE276Q's $16.33 per year.
|Samsung SyncMaster P2770FH||Average watts per hour|
|On (default luminance)||46.8|
|On (max luminance)||46.8|
|On (min luminance)||17|
|Calibrated (200 cd/m2)||38.5|
|Annual power consumption cost||$14.55|
Find out more about how we test monitors.
Service and support
Samsung backs the SyncMaster P2770FH 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. Documentation and support software for the P2370FH was easily accessible on Samsung's Web site.