Samsung S27A850 LED Ultra HD Monitor - Testing the S27A850 LCD

Article Index
Samsung S27A850 LED Ultra HD Monitor
Features and Specifications
Testing the S27A850 LCD
Subjective Tests and Conclusion
 

A Word About Testing:

In everything we try to be fair, accurate and as objective as possible when it comes to testing hardware.  In the past, LCD reviews were done completely subjectively, but we have purchased some equipment that takes some of this out of the equation.  Take a look at our LCD Testing methodology over here to get a better idea of how we test LCDs.

We won't spend much time in the menu; it is pretty standard although a little stripped down in terms of contrast, color adjustments and the like.  The only real setting in the menu that will help you tweak your screen is the "Brightness" and "Contrast" control.  We've also recently updated our Datacolor Spyder software and this gives us even more options for precision testing. 

 

Color Accuracy: 

We started things off by breaking out the LCD Spyder and finding out how well this unit is set up and how well it produces accurate color.  We did this using the DVI connection.

Uncalibrated
Uncalibrated
Calibrated
 Calibrated
Target + Correction
Target + Correction

 

As you can see above, the color was pretty close to perfect and although the software created a new color profile for this display - the color profile didn't change a whole bunch.  Once the test is done, you can choose before and after comparisons, and there was a slight difference.  The calibrated settings were slightly "warmer".  The biggest thing that had to be done to properly calibrate this display was to turn down the brightness to 49%.  This met the required 200 Candela brightness requirement. 

 

Contrast Ratio & Uniformity: 

With the display now showing "perfect", we proceeded to take our contrast readings.  We used our luminance meter for our traditional contrast settings and it yielded the results below.

 

 Black Spot
White Spot
Contrast Ratio
0.43 244.7 569:1

 

I realize that the maximum luminance could have been a lot higher, but when we test LCDs we make sure that they are calibrated properly and then give you the results that you will see when using them - not the maximum "theoretical" numbers.  After we finished with our luminance meter, we also used the Datacolor Spyder (with its update) to perform contrast readings as various brightness levels.

Contrast

We use our luminance meter in a dark environment to measure brightness uniformity.  To measure brightness, we use a bright white screen and measure across the screen in a grid to get our readings.  The brightest spot is considered to be 100% and the blackest point (with a black screen) is considered to be reference 0%.  The other values are obtained by calculating the difference between the two.  The screen is often brightest near the center.

3D Luminance
 3D Lighting Uniformity
2d Luminance
2D Lighting Uniformity

 

 

Again, we used the updated Spyder software to get a lighting uniformity reading at different brightness levels.  While we take readings with the luminance meter at 77 points on the screen, the software takes readings at nine points and then blends and smooths them out to give you a general idea.  Please note the uniformity and brightness levels below.

Uniformity @ 50%
Uniformity @ 50%
Uniformity @ 67%
Uniformity @ 67%
   

Uniformity @ 83%
Uniformity @ 100%
Uniformity @ 100%

 

As you can see the backlight drops off in certain areas of the display, but never drops below 83% of the brightest point.  While that may sound like a lot, often other "premium" displays from other companies can vary as much as 20%.  The Samsung S27A850 comes in with a maximum 17% variation.  That could be better for sure, but it's not too bad.

On the last page we'll cover some real-world applications and see how it holds up playing movies as well as day-to-day tasks before we wrap things up.