If you live in a small apartment or dormitory, or just want to add an HDTV to your already cramped home office, you can maximize your space with a hybrid monitor. Such a model, the Samsung T27A950 ($ 799 list), provides an excellent high-definition picture and offers a nice selection of internet applications. In addition, this beautifully designed 27-inch hybrid is suitable for 3D, converts 2D images into 3D and comes with a pair of lightweight active shutter glasses. However, grayscale performance is low, as is the conversion of 2D image quality to 3D. And it’s expensive.
Design and functions
The T27A950 is perhaps the most attractive monitor to pass in our laboratories. The 1920 x 1080 27 “TN + panel is surrounded by shiny 0.37-inch black edges on the top and sides and a 1.25-inch bezel at the bottom. The super-sharp case (0.44 inches) is finished in brushed aluminum, just like the unique design base. While most monitors and televisions are supported by an arm or pedestal, the T27A950 uses a curved support mechanism located to the right of the 7.3-inch rectangular base. The wow factor aside, this futuristic design offers plenty of support and allows you to tilt the panel forward and backward, but you need two hands to do it because the action is rather steep.
At the back of the base are all I / O ports, including a pair of HDMI ports, a pair of USB ports, an optical digital audio output, coaxial TV connection, headphone and audio input ports, a LAN connection and a proper AV component connection for use with the included AV Dongle component. The missing DVI and VGA ports are those that, when using the monitor with a PC, release an HDMI port.
On the right side of the bottom panel are a series of touch buttons that light up when you touch them. Here you will find the on / off switch, a 3D switch, an input selector, a menu button and volume and channel controls. You can make all your adjustments with these buttons or use the included remote control, which has 42 backlit buttons and a four-way switch. In addition to the usual keypad, channel and volume buttons and image menu buttons, the 8.5-inch playback remote for compatible DVD / Blu-ray players, an excellent electronic manual switch that provides on-screen help and a SMART button This takes you to the Samsung Smart Hub menu. Smart Hub is the launch pad for an abundance of Internet applications, including Hulu Plus, Netflix, HBO Go and ESPN ScoreCenter. Here you can also start social applications such as Twitter and Facebook and access your own photos, videos and music stored locally. This model supports Samsung’s Allshare feature using Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) technology to share content with other DLNA devices.
The T27A950 offers Standard and Entertainment picture modes when connected to a PC via an HDMI port and dynamic, natural and video modes when connected to other entertainment devices such as a Blu-ray player. ray or PS3. Basic settings for photos include Backlight, Contrast, Brightness, Color and Tint, and there are several advanced settings that are usually found in Samsung’s high-end HDTVs, like Black Tone, Shadow Detail, Gamma, White balance, Edge Enhancement and color space settings.
You can create your own personalized audio output with the extensive Sound menu. It has settings optimized for music and movies, and you can adjust it to accentuate the vocals and amplify the high-frequency sound, which is useful for the hearing impaired. The 7-watt speakers built into the base are certainly loud enough, but can use the help of a subwoofer to pump bass response.
3D glasses and performance
The T27A950 uses 120Hz technology to provide 3D content that can be viewed with active 3D glasses (included). The glasses are not particularly elegant, but they are relatively light and reasonably comfortable. However, the lenses may be larger; a lot of light enters from the bottom and the top of the frame. The panel provides a good representation of the actual content in 3D, that is to say the content to be viewed in 3D. I was looking at the Disney Blu-ray 3D digital showcase and was impressed by the overall depth and sharpness of the image, and although there was crosstalk (a small double-image effect) on the disc, it was not too distracting.
You can play 3D games with this monitor, but you do not get the same depth and quality with a monitor that uses the NVIDIA 3D engine, which is optimized for games. I played a few rounds of Far Cry 2 using the included TriDef software to convert the 2D image into 3D and I was not impressed; the crosstalk was plentiful and the background images were not as sharp as I would have preferred. In comparison, the Asus VG278H ($ 699, 4-star list) has provided clear 3D games using NVIDIA’s 3D Vision 2 technology. In fact, the 2D to 3D conversion function, while curious, is disappointing. I found that the details of the background are too soft and the effect is not very convincing. I recommend watching real 3D content for the best 3D experience and leave the 2D content as it is.
The Ultra Clear panel of the T27A950 is slightly reflective but not overdone. It provides a great glow and offers vibrant colors, deep blacks and natural skin tones. The DisplayMate Color Scales samples appeared uniform and uniformly saturated and a small text was easy to read and well defined. However, the panel was unable to display the two lighter shades of gray in the 64-step grayscale test and produced slightly elongated marking details on my test photos. The viewing angles were wide at the sides, but the range became a little narrower for the upper and lower corners (a common feature among the TN + panels).
The T27A950 is not what you call energy efficient. The used 51 watts of power during my tests, which is higher than the last harvest of 27-inch monitors, I tested it, including the Asus VG278H (41 watts), 28 watts ViewSonic VX2753mh (list 349, $ 99, 4 stars) and the HP 2711X 24 watts (direct for $ 399.99, 3 stars).
If you do not have room for an HDTV and a computer screen, consider the Samsung T27A950. This hybrid monitor not only saves space by doubling it in HDTV, but also to do it in 3D. The films look good on the 27-inch screen and the picture quality is crisp and clear with vibrant color reproduction. It also gives a good picture of the text display, but the performance in shades of gray can be better. In addition, the 3D game performance of the monitor is far from stellar, and the 2D to 3D conversion function can not affect the quality of the actual 3D content. If the game is your thing, the Asus Editors choice VG278H make the best price on Amazon much better your favorite tracks in realistic 3D view, but it is a hybrid monitor.