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Samsung C27F591FDU review: Curved perfection?

Chris Finnamore
17 Jul 2019
Samsung C27F591
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
260
inc VAT

Impressive image quality and an easy-to-use interface, but this curved, 1080p screen costs a fortune

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The C27F591FDU is the third curved monitor in a row I have been sent to review, so it looks like the curve, far from being a gimmick, is here to stay. Considering the C27F591FDU only has 1,920x1,080 pixels, rather than the 2,560x1,440 resolution that is increasingly common on monitors of this size, it’s surprisingly expensive. It does, at least, have a higher refresh rate than most monitors, at 72Hz, leading to slightly smoother motion in games and in desktop applications.

The screen’s 1.8-metre radius curve (so if you were sat at the centre of a complete ring of these monitors, they would be 1.8 metres away from you) is a little tighter than the 2-metre curves I’ve seen on other bent screens such as the AOC C3583FQ and BenQ XR3501, but when curved screens are chiefly designed to draw you into games, a steeper wraparound effect will fill your peripheral vision much more effectively. However, this is more likely to make a difference with larger monitors: the Samsung’s 27in panel isn’t really big enough to fill your field of view at a normal viewing distance.

That said, it’s an attractive monitor, with thin silver bezels, a white rear and a metal-effect stand. The only adjustment you can make is to tilt the screen towards and away from you, but the excellent viewing angles meant I didn’t have a problem finding a comfortable working position. On the rear are HDMI, DisplayPort and VGA inputs, along with 3.5mm audio input and outputs. It’s a shame there’s no USB hub, which I would have liked to have seen at this price, but there’s not a lot of extra space on the screen’s svelte chassis.

The monitor uses a VA panel, which tend to be known for excellent contrast at the expense of some colour accuracy. Despite this, there was little to complain about when I ran the screen through our colourimeter tests. At its default settings, the monitor was displaying 99.2% of the sRGB colour gamut, with a sky-high contrast ratio of 2,843:1. The only downside was a measured colour temperature of 7268K, which is significantly cooler than the 6500K I aim for.

However, once I ran through my usual calibration routines with an i1 DisplayPro colorimeter, I saw 100% sRGB coverage and a nearly spot-on 6566K colour temperature, showing it is possible to get superb image quality from this screen if you’re willing to fiddle with the colour balance.

Samsung C27F591 rear

Fortunately, this is easy, as the monitor has a surprisingly intuitive interface. To alter the settings on most monitors, you have to grapple with a rack of buttons on the bottom of the panel, which often makes little sense until you get the hang of its quirks. The C27F591FDU’s menu, on the other hand, is controlled by a joystick behind the right of the screen, which means fiddling with the settings quickly becomes second nature.

If you’re going to play some games, you’ll want to dip into these settings, if only to enable FreeSync. With this enabled (if you have a recent AMD graphics card, that is), the monitor’s refresh rate will synchronise with the frame output of the graphics card to avoid stuttering and tearing in the image when there’s a mismatch. There are two FreeSync settings: Standard Engine and Ultimate Engine. Standard Engine enables FreeSync between 58Hz and the monitor’s maximum 72Hz, while Ultimate stretches the bottom limit to 48Hz.

This means that if you have a mid-range graphics card that struggles to hit the screen’s 72Hz refresh rate, FreeSync will help provide smoother motion and less tearing as long as the frame rate stays above 48fps. With some experimentation, I was able to tweak the settings of my favourite titles to not dip below this magic point, gaining smoother motion and eliminating tearing, even though my graphics card wasn’t able to output enough frames per second to match the monitor’s refresh rate.

Samsung C27F591 top down

You may also want to tweak the monitor’s response time, which is Samsung’s version of pixel overdrive. This will speed up the time pixels take to transition from one colour to another, with a view to eliminating the ghosting that can occur when pixels can’t keep up with the changing image onscreen. I tested this with the ghosting test at testufo.com, and found minimal ghosting with Response Time set to Faster. Switching to Fastest introduced artefacts in the image.

I have a habit of dismissing built-in monitor speakers, as they tend to sound far worse than even a £20 set of desktop models. However, the C27F591FDU’s speakers are a pleasant surprise. They’re only rated at 5W, but have plenty of punch and little distortion at maximum volumes. There’s little bass to speak of, but a strong midrange and treble help to offset this; I enjoyed a few AC/DC tracks through the monitor’s integrated speakers, which isn’t something I thought I’d ever say.

The C27F591FDU does almost everything right. It has an attractive design with impressive image quality (although you’ll need a colorimeter to get the best out of it), an intuitive interface and surprisingly good speakers. I’m even coming round to the idea of curved monitors, but I’m not convinced the curve is worth it on a screen this size. Its price is also another massive drawback: £250 is a huge amount of money for a 1,920x1,080 monitor, as you can get a good 2,560x1,440 panel for this price, such as the AOC Q2577PWQ or, for another £50, the excellent 4K Iiyama GB2888UHSU

Hardware
Screen size27in
Resolution1,920x1,080
Screen technologyVA
Claimed contrast ratio3,000:1
Claimed brightness250cd/m2
Refresh rate72Hz
Claimed response time4ms
Response time typegrey-to-grey
Horizontal viewing angle178 degrees
Vertical viewing angle178 degrees
Screen depth10mm
Base (WxD)250x210mm
Screen elevation100mm
Portrait modeNo
Internal speaker (power)Yes (5W)
Detachable cablesYes
USB hubNo
Integrated power supplyNo
Video inputsVGA, HDMI, DisplayPort
Audio inputs3.5mm audio input
Buying information
WarrantyTwo years collect and return
Detailswww.samsung.com
Part codeLC27F591FDUXEN