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.
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.