Superb design and great image quality gives the Samsung S32D850 the edge in the battle of the 32in monitors
The 32in Samsung S32D850T uses VA panel technology, a great all-round panel type which produces excellent contrast levels, accurate colours and allows for very wide viewing angles, which is why it’s often found in larger monitors. It’s a 2,560×1,440 pixel screen, so it provides substantially more desktop space than a typical 1,920×1,080 Full HD monitor.
The S32D850T has a matte screen coating that minimises reflections from artificial lights. Images appear richly detailed, particularly those with subtle shading, and the measured 2698:1 contrast ratio is very high, making it perfect for viewing darker images, games and movies. Blacks are inky dark, too; just 0.06 cd/m2 of light leaked through the panel when it displayed pure black images. We measured a colour sRGB gamut coverage of 96.6 per cent out of the box, with most of that missing 3.4 per cent coming from bright reds and oranges. This is slightly disappointing, particularly as both the BenQ BL3200PT and the Acer B326HUL managed 100 per cent out of the box. After a little calibration using our display calibrator, we managed to improve sRGB coverage to 100 per cent. If you can’t or don’t calibrate the S32D850T, you’re unlikely to notice this slight deficiency, so it’s not worth fretting over.
In typical Samsung fashion, the physical design of this monitor has been given as much attention as its technical specifications. The monitor’s bezels are angled inwards, which creates a distinctive and pointy design that makes them appear thinner than they really are. The base of the monitor is very large but, importantly, flat. The base also doesn’t move when you swivel the monitor, which means that both it and the surrounding desk space won’t need to be shuffled around if you change the S32D850T’s position.
The S32D850T’s stand is technically impressive. Swivel, tilt and orientation adjustment are all controlled by a single ball and socket-style joint. This setup provides a generous amount of adjustment which can be performed very easily. It’s also height adjustable, so you’ll easily be able to find a position that suits you. Unusually, Samsung has supplied a VESA mounting plate in the box, meaning you can mount your screen to a stand or wall mount without having to buy extra hardware.
The monitor has a high-speed USB3 hub with four connectors, so you’ll be able to connect all your desktop peripherals in addition to high-speed storage. These can be neatly routed via a removable cable tidy panel at the bottom of the stand. Samsung’s obsession with good design means that the ports are at the rear of the monitor rather than on the side, which does make them a little harder to access than on the current Best Buy-winning BenQ BL3200PT, which places its USB ports and an SD card reader on the edge of the frame. If this is important to you, you should spend a little more and buy the BenQ BL3200PT.
The Samsung S32D850T has three display inputs: a single dual-link DVI, DisplayPort and HDMI. There are also separate 3.5mm audio input and output jacks. There aren’t any speakers, though, so if you’re thinking of using this monitor for a games console, you’ll need to buy speakers or headphones.
We’ve seen plenty of large monitors offering picture-in-picture (PIP) and picture-by-picture (PBP) modes, but none of them have worked particularly well. These modes are handy because it means you can have the output of two devices onscreen at the same time, with PIP providing an inset image, and PBP placing the inputs side by side. Typically, we end up with two squashed images because the monitor we’ve tested hasn’t told the PC what’s happening so that it can adjust the resolution accordingly. Samsung’s does, which means as soon as you enable PBP, both your connected devices will change their output resolution to create images at the correct aspect ratio and resolution. This means the Samsung S32D850T is a screen you can share between two computers simultaneously.
The Samsung S32D850T is a superb 32in monitor that is suitable for both home and professional use. While it doesn’t have 100 per cent colour coverage out of the box, it’s a very pretty monitor that displays high-quality images. The S32D850T is also cheaper than our current Best Buy, the BenQ BL3200PT. As a result, it’s now our favourite 32-inch monitor.
|Response time type||Grey-to-grey|
|Horizontal viewing angle||178|
|Vertical viewing angle||178|
|Internal speaker (power)||No|
|USB hub||4-port USB3|
|Integrated power supply||Yes|
|Video inputs||HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort|
|Audio inputs||3.5mm audio input|
|Price including VAT||£469|
|Warranty||Two-year collect and return|