Samsung Series 9 S27B970D review
27in screen size, 2560x1440 resolution, DVI: yes, VGA: no, HDMI:
Ultra-high-resolution PC monitors aimed at professionals are few and far between, and ones with an attractive design are even rarer. Mac users are catered for by Apple’s Cinema display, but until now, anyone using Windows has had to choose between one or two models such as Hazro's HZ27WC. Samsung looks set to change that with the Series 9, an incredibly stylish 2,560x1,440 monitor that comes pre-calibrated from the factory.
With a 27in, glass-fronted display, the Series 9 will look imposing on any desk. A tiny silver metal screen bezel adds a touch of class, as does the incredibly thin stand. It’s both height- and tilt-adjustable, giving it the edge over Apple’s Cinema Display, although you can't swivel it to portrait mode. As the screen uses a Plane Line Switching (PLS) panel, which is Samsung's variation on IPS technology, rather than TN, viewing angles are exceptional, so you should always be able to see what’s on-screen regardless of where you sit.
A set of LED-backlit, touch-sensitive controls are built into the circular base to maintain the stunningly clean design. The screen even manages to look gorgeous from behind, thanks to the black metal-effect finish devoid of inputs and connectors. Instead, Samsung has moved all connectivity to the base of the stand, helping keep cables out of view. As well as dual-link DVI (necessary for the huge desktop resolution), there’s also one DisplayPort input and a single HDMI port, which supports the Mobile High Definition Link (MHL) standard. This means you can connect a mobile phone directly to the display for video output, while simultaneously charging it using the same cable. A two-port USB hub is another welcome inclusion, although we would have preferred USB3 at this price.
The Series 9 has a set of stereo speakers integrated into its stand, but with no audio output you won’t be able to plug headphones or a more capable set of dedicated speakers into the monitor. For everyday use, however, you may not have to – the display's speakers were surprisingly capable during our audio tests, producing clear audio that was easily good enough for playing back YouTube videos. There was also some resemblance of bass, although the monitor's built-in audio is still no real replacement for a dedicated set of speakers.