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.

Christian Eberle
Contributing Editor

Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors. Christian began his obsession with tech when he built his first PC in 1991, a 286 running DOS 3.0 at a blazing 12MHz. In 2006, he undertook training from the Imaging Science Foundation in video calibration and testing and thus started a passion for precise imaging that persists to this day. He is also a professional musician with a degree from the New England Conservatory as a classical bassoonist which he used to good effect as a performer with the West Point Army Band from 1987 to 2013. He enjoys watching movies and listening to high-end audio in his custom-built home theater and can be seen riding trails near his home on a race-ready ICE VTX recumbent trike. Christian enjoys the endless summer in Florida where he lives with his wife and Chihuahua and plays with orchestras around the state.

  • 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.
  • damianrobertjones
    @cats_Paw: Did you read the article? It's FOR art professionals etc
  • c123456
    @damianrobertjones: Do you know what comparable products cost? Apparently not. Look up a Dell U2713HM.
  • blackmagnum
    Gamers... move along. Nothing to see here.
  • Ceee9
    u2713h can be get around 500$usd...
  • ubercake
    Contrast (even post-calibration) blows for that price. But you get a cool partially metal stand (?).
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • ceberle,3465.html

    We covered the Auria EQ276W last April.