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Results: Color Gamut And Performance

Samsung S27B971D 27-Inch QHD Monitor, Reviewed

Color gamut is measured using a saturation sweep that samples the six main colors (red, green, blue, cyan, magenta, and yellow) at five saturation levels (20, 40, 60, 80, and 100%), providing a realistic view of color accuracy.

What the S27B971D lacks in the contrast department, it more than makes up for in accuracy. Its chroma numbers are just as good as its grayscale and gamma ones. And it does improve upon the S27970D a little.

Looking at the CIE chart, we see slight oversaturation in red, magenta, and blue, while cyan, green, and yellow are right on target. As you can see on the almost-flawless luminance graph, the oversaturated colors are compensated by slightly lower brightness levels. The end result is vanishingly low errors well below three Delta E.

The S27B971D sets another record by finishing first among the monitors we tested in 2013. Only Pioneer's PRO-111FD plasma has better measured color accuracy at .83 Delta E. The Samsung may be expensive, but that last degree of performance is never cheap.

Gamut Volume: Adobe RGB 1998

There are basically two categories of displays in use today: those that conform to the sRGB/Rec 709 standard like HDTVs, and wide-gamut panels that show as much as 100 percent of the Adobe RGB 1998 spec. We use Gamutvision to calculate the gamut volume, based on an ICC profile created from actual measurements. The chart shows the percentage of both sRGB and Adobe RGB 1998 gamuts.

Samsung claims full coverage of the sRGB color gamut, and our results support that specification with an almost-perfect 100.7-percent result. That .7-percent excess comes from the slight oversaturation we recorded for red, magenta, and blue. If you require precise color accuracy, the S27B971D is a great choice, so long as sRGB is all you need. Unfortunately, there is no provision for the wider Adobe RGB 1998 gamut used in digital photography. It’s hard to ignore the fact that Asus offers both gamuts in its PA279Q, along with a similar level of accuracy, for $150 less.

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