Samsung SyncMaster S27A850D 27" 850 Series LED Super PLS Business Monitor Review
By: Michael Phrakaysone

Enter any specialized business facility focused on graphical or video content and you will realize that their displays are not ones consumers would typically use at home. They are not ones you would find at your local Wal-Mart because monitors vary for specific purpose.

Average consumers aren’t worried with refresh rate, color shifting, contrast ratio, viewing angles, color rendition, LED, TN, AVS, PVA, IPS because they view a monitor as just something that shows an image.  That’s all fine and dandy but when your business depends on giving the user the best possible picture and flexibility for editing or verification, then it’s time to evaluate things differently.  For a specific purpose and usage there is always a recommended display technology that fits best for that criteria.  

One of these new display technologies is now being offered by Samsung in the form of Super PLS technology (PLS stands for Plane-to-Line Switching).  Super PLS technology is often compared to IPS technology (In-Plane Switching) and rightfully so because they have similarities between them.  But Samsung is aiming at PLS being an advancement over IPS technology claiming much improved viewing angles, brightness and image quality in devices such as tablets, smartphones and PC displays.  Samsung was kind enough to let me review one of the new models that has implemented PLS technology, today I bring you the Samsung SyncMaster S27A850D 27” 850 Series LED Business Monitor Review.

About Samsung

“Welcome to SAMSUNG. For over 70 years, SAMSUNG has been dedicated to making a better world through diverse businesses that today span advanced technology, semiconductors, skyscraper and plant construction, petrochemicals, fashion, medicine, finance, hotels, and more. Their flagship company, SAMSUNG Electronics, leads the global market in high-tech electronics manufacturing and digital media. Through innovative, reliable products and services; talented people; a responsible approach to business and global citizenship; and collaboration with their partners and customers, SAMSUNG is taking the world in imaginative new directions.

The Samsung Philosophy. At SAMSUNG, they follow a simple business philosophy: to devote their talent and technology to creating superior products and services that contribute to a better global society. Every day, their people bring this philosophy to life. Their leaders search for the brightest talent from around the world, and give them the resources they need to be the best at what they do. The result is that all of their products - from memory chips that help businesses store vital knowledge to mobile phones that connect people across continents - have the power to enrich lives. And that's what making a better global society is all about.

Their Vision. Their Mission. SAMSUNG is guided by a singular vision: to lead the digital convergence movement. They believe that through technology innovation today, they will find the solutions they need to address the challenges of tomorrow. From technology, comes opportunity - for businesses to grow, for citizens in emerging markets to prosper by tapping into the digital economy, and for people to invent new possibilities. It's their aim to develop innovative technologies and efficient processes that create new markets, enrich people's lives and continue to make Samsung a trusted market leader. Everything they do at SAMSUNG is guided by their mission: to be the best.”  

Samsung S27A850D Product Overview

The Samsung SA850 Monitor showcases an astounding WQHD display with 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution, which is four times the resolution of HD (720 p). It is perfect for businesses and industries that rely on access to extremely fine monitor detail. The wide screen, which features dual link DVI and display port, allows for more detail to be viewed and is ideal for work places such as hospitals, clinics and studios. The enhanced screen resolution provides greater efficiency and quality, and really is the must-have business tool.

New Samsung LED PLS Technology: Innovative new Samsung screen technology results in more accurate color and better viewing angles.

Picture Perfect, Natural-Looking Images:  Whether it’s video from an HD camcorder or photos from your digital camera, sRGB support makes sure that nature looks just as natural on your Samsung Monitor as it did when you shot it or filmed it. No matter what digital device the image was captured on, it’s as picture perfect on screen as Mother Nature intended it to be. So you can view, edit, and save images in their original format with no picture quality degradation whatsoever — which translates to 100% pure digital satisfaction.

See Your Work from the Best Possible Angle: Provide employees with an optimal viewing experience in the office with the reasonably priced Samsung Business Monitor. While conventional monitors have a viewing angle of 170 degrees horizontally, the Samsung monitor has an extra wide viewing angle of 178 degrees. The additional 8 degrees is particularly useful when sharing on-screen information with one or more coworkers or presenting your ideas to clients. The Samsung Business Monitor has improved its vertical viewing angles by 18 degrees, making it the perfect display for giving presentations in front of a large audience or when viewing other content such as a video.

See perfect colours from wherever you sit: Maximise your viewing experience with Samsung’s superior PLS technology (Plane to Line Switching). Regular screens suffer from what is called Colour Shift, which reduces the picture quality and colour when viewed from an acute angle. The SA850, which can cover an amazing 178° viewing angle both vertically and horizontally, boasts a crisp and detailed picture by maintaining true-to-life colour, even when viewed from extreme angels, so the experience is always vivid and brilliant.

Maximize Workspace with an Efficient Detachable Adaptor: If you need a work monitor that uses office space efficiently, then Samsung LED Business Monitor SA850 is the perfect choice. It features an innovative new detachable adaptor, which allows the monitor to be easily moved and installed. From physically moving the monitor with the carrying handle to quickly installing, the SA850 is ready to deliver an efficient and clean work space. The SA850 is also equipped and prepared for you as a VESA Wall mount, providing a multi-screen or wall mounted monitor. Optimizing your office space is now easily achieved with the Samsung LED Business Monitor SA850

Conveniently Adjust Monitor Height, Tilt, and Perspective: The Samsung LED Business Monitor SA850 has been designed to help boost work efficiency, delivering a tailored experience with its choice of viewer settings. The height-adjustable stand ensures that the screen can always be set at the optimal eye level, which enhances the visual experience while also helping maintain the viewer’s body posture. Other features include the tilt and pivot capabilities, which not only increase comfort levels but also introduce new ways of working. The SA850 Monitor can rotate 90° degrees, allowing for more appropriate view depending on the work. So, now you can take convenience and efficiency to amazing heights with the Samsung LED Business Monitor SA850.

Power-Efficient: The Samsung LED PCS panel uses up to 50% less energy than traditional CCFL displays. And combined with eco features such as eco savings, eco light sensor and eco motion sensor, the 8 Series Samsung monitors help you significantly reduce energy consumption.

One monitor, twice the capabilities: Utilising Samsung’s dual input feature, two PCs can now be viewed simultaneously on the one monitor screen. The SA850’s Picture by Picture capabilities allow for a far more flexible approach to work and ensure that content can be easily accessed, even if they require different PC access. This is perfect for businesses handling large and complex content from two PCs, but prefer to view it on one convenient screen.

Work faster with super-speed USB 3.0: As the work environment becomes increasingly modernised, it is essential that monitor also have the latest technology. Samsung SA850's USB Hub with USB 3.0 technology, which provides super-speed data transmissions, is the ideal solution for connecting all of your mobile devices. With a maximum speed of 5GB per second and uncompressed Full HD video transmissions, the USB Hub effortlessly brings your content together on one convenient monitor.

Gentle on the Eyes and on the Environment: Save electricity and hassle with Samsung’s Eco light sensor. By adjusting screen brightness to match your surrounding environment, the SA850’s Eco light sensor creates a brilliant visual display while also minimizing your energy consumption. You will benefit from a more comfortable viewing experience that is far better for the environment. Monitor brightness is adjusted to match your ambient light, which ensures that the screen is highly visible and appropriately set for your eyes. So, in a dark room the screen will reduce brightness, but when sitting in a room with plenty of light, it will increase brightness. The Eco light sensor is simply perfect for modern living - helping you conserve energy and keep comfortable.

Take the guess work out of eco savings with Samsung’s new Energy Tree feature. For the first time, you can now know exactly how much energy you are saving through your eco modes such as the Eco light sensor and the Eco motion sensor. Through an intuitive energy saving status, which can be displayed either intuitively or graphically, you can keep tabs on your efforts to make the world a better place.

Eco saving makes saving energy easy, it adjusts the brightness of your Samsung monitor based on how much energy you want to save. And with the choice of three energy saving modes (50%, 25% and Power Saving off), you can really tailor your monitor use to meet your own personal needs. Samsung’s commitment to saving energy is designed to help both you and the environment, and with up to 50% saving on consumption, you can really make a positive impact on your eco footprint. Take the effort out of saving energy and take control with Eco saving.

Step into the future with the SA850 monitor, which utilizes the very latest in motion sensors to create a monitor that hangs on your every movement. With a built-in PIR (Pyrolectric Infrared Ray) sensor, the SA850 automatically detects movement within a specified area in front of the screen. This allows your monitor to automatically dim or power off, and then power back on or brighten once detecting a nearby viewer. This Eco motion sensor is the easiest way to conserve energy.

Samsung S27A850D Product Specifications

First Impressions

The S27A850D business monitor comes in a standard corrugated box without too many design elements and the simple design is perfect for the business world because a business will likely open and discard the box, so Samsung didn’t really need to spend too much time on it.  It’s what is inside the box that really matters.

Searching around for availability and pricing information, the Samsung S27A850D prices upwards of $850US which is competitively priced against current IPS monitors of the same screen size.  The only question remains if the performance justifies the price and the only way to figure that out is by using it, that's what I will be able to share with you.

Once you have opened the box, the following items will be inside...

  • S27A850D SPLS 27” LED monitor
  • Display base
  • AC Power Adapter
  • AC Power Cord
  • USB 3.0 Cable for hub
  • Dual-Link DVI Cable
  • Quick Setup Guide
  • Product Manual and Warranty material

The bundle that comes with the S27A850D has just about everything except a DisplayPort cable that Samsung has not included along with this display.  I suppose they feel since DVI is still widely available on most systems, a DisplayPort cable wasn’t needed to be bundled.  Which leads me to my next point.  This monitor has no HDMI connection which puzzles me because people use it more often than DisplayPort and frankly its almost 2012.

Connections on this monitor are DC 14V port, DVI 1, DVI 2, DP, 3x USB 3.0 ports, USB 3.0 hub connection, headphone jack and Audio IN port.

Two things that I noticed out of the box was the back of the monitor and that AC adapter.  The AC adapter looks a bit different than normal when viewed closely because it has a couple of slots that allows it to latch onto the predefined mounting area on the back of the monitor for organizational purposes.  I don’t know who thought of this but I don’t know why other companies haven’t implemented something so simple yet effective.  It makes cabling look tidy and organized instead of just dumping the AC adapter on the floor, which is almost always the case.

The first time you look at the S27A850D you realize that it means business.  There is no crazy fancy design, no glossy finish, none of that glowing looks that you see on regular consumer level products.  It’s not created to make a fashion statement but rather get the job done in matte black finish.  This SPLS monitor is able to be viewed in landscape or portrait mode by rotating the screen accordingly.  Flexibility is a major factor for businesses and to be able to view in landscape and portrait makes much of a difference in a wide variety of situations.  Additionally,  the S27A850D is also able to modify its height by adjusting through the neck that attaches to the base.  You are able to lift the monitor up to stand tall or push down to make it shorter according to your preference.  You can pivot with this monitor.

When you lay out everything out from the box, the monitor is disconnected from the base by default. This rectangular base has a nice weight to it to keep everything stable and most of the 14lbs is evenly distributed between base and display.  The base connects to the neck that is attached already to the monitor.  Unfortunately, the common problem with these type of designs is that the display has a tendency to wobble under the slightest movement of the table that the monitor sits on.
The monitor being LED makes it very thin in design in every way. The width not being as wide as your thumb (3cm) and the bezel around the screen is equally as thin.  I love the small bezels because when viewing the monitor, the bezels seem to just disappear under the white wall.

Continuing the simplified design are the six flush-mounted buttons on the bottom of the display that controls ECO mode, menu navigation and power on/off.  About the only thing I can complain about these buttons are that they are not illuminated but so are most monitors out in the market.  The monitor also includes a neat proximity sensor that will automatically place the monitor into standby if it senses nobody is in front of it.


Overall Thoughts on Performance - Is it any good?

Turning on the S27A850D is very quick.  From the time you turn on the monitor to when it displays the image source on screen takes only two seconds, which is the fastest I’ve experienced so far on such a display.  

Text and images look sharp and colorful on the screen.  Colors are represented well without being overly saturated and fake.  You still need to turn it down just a bit but it’s nice out of the box.  While brightness and contrast ratio isn’t the highest I’ve seen, it’s very much sufficient and I notice no back-light bleeding or clouding that plagues regular LCD technology. Whites are mostly white and blacks seem to excel really well on the S27A850D.  Viewing angles are supposed to be better than IPS displays and I do think they are a bit better than the IPS displays I come across every day (Dell Ultrasharp, HP, ASUS ProArt IPS models).  You can be sitting in any direction and the color accuracy will still remain and not shift, but I don’t think it's as much an improvement than Samsung is making it sound like, at least in my opinion.  Overall I feel that the Samsung SyncMaster S27A850D gives a very good performance.

Ghosting is not the best I’ve seen but its maintained well enough that it won’t pose much of an issue for most.  The actual display emits very little heat, while most of the heat is being emitted from the AC adapter. Navigation around the display is different from past Samsung models I’ve tested and different than their HDTV’s because it’s much simpler and isn’t as advanced than it could be.

But all in all I feel that the Samsung SyncMaster S27A850D 27” 850 Series LED Business Monitor should be on people’s shortlist of considerations.  Easily recommended.



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