Samsung SyncMaster C27A750 review
Samsung’s SyncMaster C27A750 is the first of a new breed of monitors. Designed to pair with a laptop, it replaces the traditional video cable with wireless ultra wideband (UWB) technology. Plug a tiny wireless dongle into a USB port on your laptop, install the drivers, and the C27A750 will pair up and display the video feed just like any other monitor.
Samsung suggests that the USB receiver must remain within 75cm of the monitor to guarantee a stable wireless connection, but in our tests it worked up to 4m away, only breaking up once we moved past the 5m mark. Full HD movies played smoothly and, thanks to non-existent lag, even fast-paced games such as Quake Live were perfectly playable.
Ingeniously, the C27A750 also functions as a wireless docking station, providing two USB 2 and two USB 3 ports, 10/100 Ethernet and a headphone output. Leave your home broadband and extra peripherals plugged into the base, and they’ll link wirelessly through to your laptop when you get home and connect.
One limitation is that the wireless connection restricts all of the USB ports to USB 2 speeds – transfers from a standard USB 2 hard drive peaked at around 7MB/sec. If you want to use the full speed of the USB 3 ports Samsung also supplies a USB 3 cable; connect that from the TFT to your laptop and not only will you have a lightning-fast hub, but it will also carry the video and audio signals to the TFT – no video cables required.
The C27A750’s huge 27in panel settles for a relatively low 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, but the image quality is high. In our measurements it exceeded its rated brightness at an eye-searing 343cd/m[sup]2[/sup], and had a good contrast ratio of 928:1. The vivid colour reproduction is very accurate by TN panel standards, with a low average Delta E of 3.
The monitor’s slim, contoured silhouette looks every inch the style icon, too. The stand on our pre-production sample was a touch wobbly and stiff – we needed two hands to adjust its position – but the slender neck also allows a generous range of adjustment, craning forward, backwards and rising up and down by 75mm.
At a good £150 more than most standard 27in TN-panel monitors, the Samsung C27A750 is very expensive. But, like most great ideas, it’s only once you return to a traditional monitor and the rigmarole of cable-swapping that you appreciate the Samsung’s brilliance. We can’t say we’d buy it at this price, but it’s undoubtedly a technology we have high hopes for.
The C27A750 is due for release in late May 2011.
|Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Pixel response time||2ms|
|Horizontal viewing angle||170 degrees|
|Vertical viewing angle||160 degrees|
|Speaker power ouput||N/A|
|TV tuner type||N/A|
|Upstream USB ports||1|
|USB ports (downstream)||4|
|3.5mm audio input jacks||0|
|Other audio connectors||N/A|
|Other cables supplied||USB 3.0 cable|
|Internal power supply||no|
|Colour temperature settings||Cool 1, Cool 2, Normal, Warm 1, Warm 2|
|Forward tilt angle||20 degrees|
|Backward tilt angle||90 degrees|
|Swivel angle||0 degrees|
|Pivot (portrait) mode?||no|
|Dimensions||641 x 235 x 408mm (WDH)|