Samsung S27A850 LED Ultra HD Monitor
|Samsung S27A850 LED Ultra HD Monitor|
|Features and Specifications|
|Testing the S27A850 LCD|
|Subjective Tests and Conclusion|
Samsung is no stranger to the LCD market. They make LCD panels that set the bar for others to follow and in fact are the ones making the displays for Apple's new iPad. They know how to cram a bunch of pixels onto a panel and the screen we are looking at today has quite a few. We are looking at the S27A850 unit that comes in boast WQHD resolution. For those of you not up to date on that particular specification, that means the screen comes in at 2560x1440. It follows a 16:9 aspect ratio instead of the 16:10 aspect ratio of my trusty 30" 305T display (2560x1600). This screen has a few other features other than just a nice high resolution and I can honestly say that the screen can go bright enough to light up your entire office. That being said, we took time to calibrate it and see how it performs and how Samsung sets it up for delivery.
We put it to the test both in landscape and portrait modes and test out the "Eco" features of the unit as well to see if they are practical in the real world, or if Samsung has just included them to make you feel all warm and fuzzy about this large monitor purchase. You'll want to keep reading to find out if this $700 LED-backlit LCD is worth spending over 2x what a 1920x1080 27" display costs. While you certainly get a few more features, as well as 1.6 million more pixels - it still costs a pile of cash and we'll find out how it stacks up as we continue.
The bundle includes a bit more than I'm used to when reviewing an LCD. As you'll notice in the image below, Samsung uses an external power brick to provide power to the S27A850. This allows them to make the LCD slimmer overall and keeps the heat off the panel. This is not a bad idea, but is just one more thing to try and keep tidy or tucked away. As we'll notice in a bit, the power brick itself actually connects to the rear of the LCD, but it connects at the top. I like the fact that it snaps into place, but it would be a lot nicer if it hooked up on the bottom and was positioned so that when rotated to portrait mode, it kept the cable closer to your desk.
Also included in the bundle are the standard manuals, quick install guides and documentation on a CD. What you don't see as often is a USB 3.0 cable. This LCD also functions as a USB 3.0 hub and has three USB 3.0 ports. It also packs in a pair of Dual-DVI ports as well as a Display Port to complete the bundle. Samsung included a DVI cable, but skimped on the Display Port cable. This sucks as my laptop has Display Port - but no DVI. It would be nice to include a $10 cable as well. I'm sure that for the price of this premium LCD they could certainly afford to make that sacrifice.
As we continue on through the back of the LCD, we take a look at the ports and power brick assembly that we mentioned above. The USB and audio in/out ports are located on one side of the display with all of the video connections located on the other side. The layout of the video ports is well done as there is room to easily tighten the screws for the DVI ports and still plug in a Display Port cable as well. The cord you see at the very top of the second picture below is the power input cable... It's about as high on the display as it can be and this doesn't make any sense to me.
Height adjustment of the S27A850 is pretty extreme actually and it drops almost right to the desk but can be raised nice and high to allow for the portrait mode when you rotate the screen. Overall, the flexibility of the height adjustment is really good and it feels pretty stable when at full height. The base isn't all that heavy and if it were heavier it would feel a lot better. The extendible part feels like it could be a bit better constructed as well in order to give it a great solid feel.
The overall look of this display is pretty good, but Samsung skimps on a few details and the finish of the display so that it just doesn't "feel" like a great unit. Feeling is only a tiny part of the deal though and on the next page we'll cover some specifications and see how it stacks up - before we take and see what kind of picture we can get out of it.