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CNET First Look
Samsung SyncMaster S27B970Beautiful design can't mask thoughtless design sense on the Samsung SyncMaster S27B970.
Not including his public uses, Samson proprietary peerless technology was used just once before on the Samsung SyncMaster S27A850D. However that monitor was geared toward professionals but now Samsung has finally given us consumers a monitor that uses the (Panel Tech?) as well. Hi. I'm Eric Franklin and today we're taking the first look at the Samsung SyncMaster S27B970. The 970 takes a few design cues from the Apple roundabout display with a minimalist design, a fairly thin panel, screen tilt and actually to go a little bit further, with screen height adjustment. Something the Apple monitor doesn't have. It's quite pretty looking with the nice striking chrome neck and it's kinda flying saucer looking foot stand that gives a kinda of a retro sci-fi vibe. Unfortunately there are a few designs issue really really annoyed me. First off, there is no swivel feature. Now the bendable monitor didn't have swivel either but at lease you could easily slide it around but with the rubber on the bottom here, it's really hard to slide it. Second, the display port input is embedded too far into the foot stand. This is fine when plugging it in but the display port requires you to depress a button when unplugging it and as you can see, it's not the easiest thing to do here. Actually, it's almost impossible unless you have razor thing fingers or a CD you're willing to sacrifice. The monitor just kinda gets in the way of itself. Finally, the cover of the foot stand can easily pulled off from the front like this. It's just not what I expect from a monitor that costs $1200. Now, this is a pre-production model so there's still a chance that some of these will change before release. So, I'm still holding out hope that I'll see some improvement by the time the actual released version comes in. Other than those annoyances, I really don't have any complaints so far. In addition to the display port, it has HDMI, DVI, USB upstream port and on the side here, two USB downstream ports. The OSD is here on the bottom of the neck and glows all blue LED. The OSD has most of the options I expect from a Samsung OSD like 5 different presets, brightness contrast, sharpness and red, green and blue adjustment options. There's also some really cool eco saving options. Performance on the pre-production unit was impressive. Viewing angles are wide, colors are accurate and pop from the screen. Movies look good with no sense of any color tint problems. The games specially look amazing running at that crazy XHD resolution. The $1200 price will definitely give some people pause. Last year Samsung released P27A950, while that monitor's performance wasn't as impressive, it included Samsung's Smart Hub which provide streaming video, games and apps. Including Netflix, Hulu, Facebook and Twitter. As a consumer PLS display, the 970 should have had those options. Well, that's my first take. Look for a full written review with a final verdict in the weeks to come. Once again, I'm Eric Franklin and this is again the first look at the Samsung SyncMaster S27B970.