The SyncMaster S27A850D is the first of a new breed, and marks the début of Samsung’s Plane to Line Switching, or PLS, panel technology. The physical differences are evident from the off. Where most 27in monitors are thick-set affairs, the Samsung’s LED backlighting and external power supply make for a slender, elegant profile.
A tubular stand eases up and down by 150mm, and also swivels round into portrait orientation. You need two hands to guide the panel into position, but the large base keeps it stable on a desk.
Connectivity is excellent. There are two dual-link DVI sockets, a DisplayPort input, and a three-port USB 3 hub alongside audio inputs and outputs.
Brightness and proximity sensors automatically adjust brightness and activate standby mode, and the PLS panel itself draws precious little power.
There’s no doubt Samsung’s fledgling panel technology does many things right. The PLS panel delivers vivacious, larger-than-life images, and while black levels aren’t deep enough to rival VA panels, the measured contrast ratio of 826:1 is still competitive. Viewing angles are superb, too, and an effective overdrive circuit keeps ghosting to a minimum.
It isn’t a perfect showing, however. Colour accuracy lags behind the best, with an average Delta E of 3.8 and a maximum deviation of 6.9. Contrast is merely on a par with the competition, hitting 826:1. Far more disappointing is the backlight leakage: in darker movie scenes, an obvious glow seeps into the black bars at the top and bottom of the screen.
Yet, for a technology still in its infancy, it’s an admirable first outing. Consumers may prefer cheaper established IPS monitors but businesses after a flexible, high-quality display should place the S27A850D high on their shortlist.