The Good Avant-garde design; stunning 1080p images; Immersive 3D.
The Bad Definitely expensive; Feels like a smaller TV; Some cross talk on 3D images.
The Bottom Line The Samsung T27A950 is a hybrid PC monitor and 3D LED TV with exterior. Although the telly component has the upper hand, there is much to recommend it to casual 3D gamers, whether from a PC or console. It’s a fast, sharp and soothingly exclusive multi-purpose display.
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Is this a bird? Is this the plane? Is it a PC monitor or a 3D TV? Outline the first two options and mix what’s left over, because the Samsung T27A950 is a neo-hybrid of both monitor and telly. Packaging 27 ”, 1080p, LED screen, Freeview HD tuner and 3D Active Shutter Technology , this slim waffle screen wants to be all things for all users. And this is almost a success. It is now available for around £ 700.
Of course, it will look as good on your desktop as it does in your living room. The design is dramatic: the slim pencil panel is mounted on the side above the pedestal stand, which, quite genius, contains a tuner, connection options and other sponges. This is a solid unit, so no assembly is required. To keep things thin, the juice comes out of the outer brick for power.
On the back of the pedestal are two HDMI ports, component connectivity, a Scart socket, an Ethernet jack, and a USB pair. You also get a card slot, radio frequency input and digital audio output.
The same is only smaller
The 120 Hz panel itself is actually exactly the same as in Samsung 8 Series LED TVs as it is an edge LED backlight. One of the main advantages of LED edge luminaires in this size panel is that the uniformity of lighting is much easier to maintain. The bleeding backlight is negligible.
As a public monitor, the T27A950 works quite well. It uses a standard twisted-nematic panel. It’s fast enough to avoid blurring with HDTV sources and high-resolution games, though we’ve found that off-axis viewing results in less color and contrast. You can combat this to some extent by using the magic angle mode, which adjusts the color and contrast according to the viewing angle.
Response time is estimated at a whopping three milliseconds, while optimal resolution is 1 920×1,080 pixels at 60Hz. Unlike Samsung TVs, the panel supports sRGB for extended color range.
One pair of Samsung Active Shutter glasses is included, as well as SyncMaster TriDef 3D Game Launcher software for your PC. It should be noted that the only way to connect a PC to the T27A950 is via HDMI.
Hold on to your retinas
Image quality is good for general PC use. The text is clear and the movement is clean. Switch to TV mode, and you will benefit from stunning dynamics, solid black and gorgeous colors.
The T27A950 offers the same image adjustment options as on a regular Samsung TV. You want to make some adjustments if you work closely, otherwise you discard the retina.
Use Samsung Motion Plus branded controls to improve motion resolution. This minimizes the panning of the yeast and improves the detail of the moving objects.
One of the aspects of this screen that benefits from proximity viewing is the 3D effect can be really fascinating. We launched the 3D Blu-rays and connected Asus G53JW a gaming laptop, and both gave equally impressive results. We were aware of some 3D cross talk, but the stereoscopic picture remains bright, with bright colors, despite the dull nature of the active shutter characteristics.
The pedestal stand has a couple of forward firing speakers. Despite their low bass, they are quite effective for watching TV and playing.
No need for Smart TV?
The T27A950 offers direct access to Samsung’s Smart Hub online, home to a variety of IPTV applications and streaming services such as BBC iPlayer, YouTube and LoveFilm. Assuming you have connected your PC to the screen, it’s all in one click. It is difficult to judge how many Smart Hub rides are in this context.
Overall, the Samsung T27A950 gets the thumbs up. Its daring design, 1080p image and three-dimensional performance are all respects. While it’s not a screen for serious gamers, it’s a good option if you want a multi-purpose monitor. Limited availability – Harrods and Selfridges is the best bet – and it’s not cheap, but you’ll get a uniquely versatile display for your money.
Edited by Jennifer Whitehead