Samsung S27B971D 27-Inch QHD Monitor, Reviewed

Packaging, Physical Layout, And Accessories

The S27B971D ships in a large box with substantial blocks of Styrofoam to keep everything in place. The carton is single-layer corrugate, which I consider to be a little weak for standing up to abusive handling; double-corrugate would be better. Included cables are HDMI/MHL, DVI, USB, and DisplayPort. The power supply is a small brick with a thin cable that connects to the monitor, and a detachable power cord featuring a right-angle plug. Also in the box are a microfiber cleaning cloth and a CD containing the manual, drivers, and Natural Color Expert software.

Product 360

The S27B971D is almost identical to its predecessor, the S27B970D. The only real difference is the anti-glare panel. Whereas the 970 had an additional layer that was flush-mounted edge to edge, the 971 does away with extraneous glass, favoring a traditional matte screen surrounded by a fairly wide bezel. The net result is slightly better contrast, reduced glare, and increased image clarity. Otherwise, the chassis is unchanged.

The base cannot be removed due to its integrated inputs and monitor controls. The only ergonomic adjustments are four inches of height and about 15 degrees of tilt. There is no swivel or portrait mode rotation.

Here’s a close-up of the control panel. The buttons are touch-sensitive and take a committed press to activate. After a few seconds, the panel goes dark and must be touched to reactivate. It takes a little getting used to, but once you know your way around, the control mechanism is as good as any other monitor can boast. Clockwise from the upper-left are the select, up/volume, down/color mode, power, and menu buttons.

A glance at the back of the S27B971D shows that it looks finished, regardless of the angle you're looking at. The material looks like brushed aluminum, but it is in fact hard plastic. The upright, along with a band that surrounds the panel, are polished metal, however.

Stereo speakers fire downwards through vents on the bottom edge. Like the majority of built-in monitor speakers, they sound small, but are fine for basic entertainment. Unfortunately, there are no options for aftermarket mounting; the picture below shows why.

All of the inputs are in the S27B971D's base, which keeps the panel nice and slim. The rear-facing suite of I/O includes a USB upstream port, along with DisplayPort, DVI, and HDMI/MHL outputs, along with a 14 V DC power connection. One of the sides of the base sports two USB downstream outputs.

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21 comments
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    Top Comments
  • blackmagnum
    Gamers... move along. Nothing to see here.
    13
  • Other Comments
  • cats_Paw
    1000 dollars for a monitor 27 inch... nah.For that you can get a huge plasma TV if its for single player or a 300 dollar 27 inch monitor and use the 700 on something else.I still cant understand how companies expect to sell those expensive monitors to anyone but art/graphics/textures developers who actually need that picture quality.
    -11
  • damianrobertjones
    @cats_Paw: Did you read the article? It's FOR art professionals etc
    8
  • c123456
    @damianrobertjones: Do you know what comparable products cost? Apparently not. Look up a Dell U2713HM.
    5
  • blackmagnum
    Gamers... move along. Nothing to see here.
    13
  • Ceee9
    u2713h can be get around 500$usd...
    0
  • ubercake
    Contrast (even post-calibration) blows for that price. But you get a cool partially metal stand (?).
    0
  • BoC_Gryphon
    To my knowledge, Toms has never done a review of the Korean 27" QHD monitors that can be had for ~$300-400. Please do.
    2
  • Bolts Romano
    is it better than Apple Cinema Display in terms of color gamut and contrast?I wish i can find this monitor here in Canada so i can compare myselfSamsung Canada is very weird, it has its own flag stores here but it does not carry all the products
    1
  • Bondfc11
    You know this a pay to play for a review right? Of course Tom's doesn't do the korean models - or heck the Overlord Tempest lineup. What people don't get with QHD, and this includes Tom's staff, is LG has strict Tier 1 requirements for companies buying their panels that include minimum price points.
    0
  • ceberle
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/auria-eq276w-review-ips,3465.html

    We covered the Auria EQ276W last April.

    -Christian-
    1
  • Gurg
    Quote:
    To my knowledge, Toms has never done a review of the Korean 27" QHD monitors that can be had for ~$300-400. Please do.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/auria-eq276w-review-ips,3465.htmlMy Auria was great for 4 months and then while gaming had a wavy pattern and quickly went black and died. Haven't tried to warranty yet.
    1
  • ubercake
    Anonymous said:
    Quote:
    To my knowledge, Toms has never done a review of the Korean 27" QHD monitors that can be had for ~$300-400. Please do.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/auria-eq276w-review-ips,3465.htmlMy Auria was great for 4 months and then while gaming had a wavy pattern and quickly went black and died. Haven't tried to warranty yet.


    Poor contrast was also observed with the Auria in the reviews. Sure... The Korean IPS monitors can accurately display colors, but you don't get all of the in-between shades (contrast)?
    0
  • W123
    Having a Samsung S27b970D, i can say either your testing methodology is wrong, equipment faulty, or Samsung sent you a ringer. There's no way the black level you measured was correct. Average contrast ratio on the 970d is 800:1. Your numbers are WAY off. Also, considering the 970d's glass panel that makes the blacks look grey instead of black, i'd say this model is better. Im dumping this one and getting a Dell or Asus though.
    0
  • 10tacle
    I don't care what segment this monitor is geared towards: gamer, professional graphics, or photography and video creation. This is just too much money these days for a 27" QHD. Even as admitted in this review, most people hold on to their monitors for many years. Anyone who spends a grand (or more on a 30" QHD) will regret it within two years when 4K monitors dip below the two grand price point.

    Love ya Samsung, have many of your HDTVs and monitors here, but this thing should be $799 tops. Even high end QHD monitors are not brand new technology anymore. Time to adjust the prices to reflect it.
    2
  • ikyung
    Quote:
    BenQ makes all Samsung Monitors, better off going straight to the source and buy a BenQ, and save a ton of money.
    What? Source? Why would BenQ make Samsung monitors? BenQ doesn't even make PLS panels, or any panels for that matter.
    1
  • SuckRaven
    How would this compare to something like an EIZO ColorEdge CG276 (also 2560 x 1440 IPS),http://www.eizo.com/global/products/coloredge/cg276/index.html or say something like the NEC MultiSync PA302W? (30" 2560x1600)http://www.necdisplay.com/p/desktop-monitors/pa302w-bkTom's should do a comparison between them.
    0
  • falchard
    Watchout Samsung, Apple sells monitors to artists that are rectangular in shape and come in some degree of gray. People may confuse it for an Apple product.
    1
  • Crzy1
    I have the S27B970D and it's a great monitor. I'll have to admit that I purchased it for looks alone, but it has one of the most impressive panels I've laid eyes on. I would not, however, think to compare it to a true 10-bit professional display. While it may be able to hold it's own with similarly priced monitors, I doubt that it will come close to a $2.5k+ monitor that is meant for nothing but professional video or image editing.
    0
  • computerguy72
    Wow on balance that Planar PXL seems to really hold up. If nothing else compares to it's price/performance over the next few months I think that will be my next monitor. For future I bet IGZO panels might be the thing to beat in years to come. Time will tell.
    0
  • natoco
    Even though its only a 60hz screen, if it had Nvidia G-Sync I would have taken a lot more notice since it would have been a very nice screen to look at as well as smooth enough for gaming. If only these things had the sales volume of tablets, maybe then we would get something that's not oh so 2009.
    0