I was seeking a 27inch monitor with an anti-glare screen and preferably superior resolution. Comments such as here suggested that the anti-glare coating on LG manufactured 27inch screens was quite pronounced, and some users found a certain irritating “sparkle” effect. Some reports suggested the coating on HP is less pronounced than on Dell. However it was also reported that both were LG sourced screens, with the same coating for both.

Reports mentioned that the Samsung S27A850D had a less obtrusive anti-glare coating, so I purchased one on spec. This mini-review was somewhat critical of the picture calibration as supplied, and I certainly found the default brightness (100%) too much for my taste.  Eventually I’ll calibrate the colour using a Spyder4 Pro. The anti-glare & screen appearance are very satisfactory in my view. I do not do much serious imaging work, nor gaming. I have not had the opportunity of seeing either HP or Dell 27/30inch myself for comparison, nor the recent Lenovo LT3053p.

The S27A850D did not come with a DisplayPort cable so I had to buy that separately. The S27A850D is connected to a Lenovo X220 laptop via the DisplayPort on an UltraBase 3 dock (dual monitor arrangement with the X220 screen immediately below the S27A850D screen). UltraBase 3/X220 DisplayPort connection is necessary to achieve 2560x1440 in this particular setup.

I installed (on Windows 7 Pro 64-bit) the supplied Samsung driver and initially the monitor was in PBP [Picture by Picture] mode which allows 2 independent side-by-side inputs. Even though I could change from PBP mode to full-screen mode, I could not set the resolution above 1440x1280. Eventually after various Device Manager | Monitors uninstalling/reinstalling  I was able to set the resolution to the native 2560x1440. Perhaps the monitor was in PBP mode by default when turned on for the very first time, and this may have limited the available resolution (EDID?) but I can’t be sure. The Windows 7 Control Panel > Display reported a dpi of 125% (ie 120dpi) but in fact the actual displays were both physically at 100% (ie 96dpi); changing it down to 100% had no effect, but then changing it back up to 125% certainly did but I use 100%.

I also installed the S27A850D under Linux Mint 13. The monitor was recognised and the resolution of 2560x1440 was detected. Preferences > Monitors lists the monitor as “SAMSUNG 24” not 27inch, this seems to be a cosmetic identification problem only (EDID or Linux issue?).

Mentioned in reviews but not in the manual is that the screen can rotate 45degrees left-right on the base. (As well as tilt and rotate landscape to portrait.)

Audio

I have a Genius SP-HF 1800A 2.0 speaker system plugged into (Windows) the headphone output port of the S27A850D. I selected these speakers because of their claimed frequency response, better than my own I believe, and signal-to-noise ratio. The output is not head-banging but sufficient for my desktop use. Linux Mint 13 sound system also recognises the DisplayPort/HDMI audio system provided the Profile “Digital Stereo (HDMI) Output” (re this particular X220, the second “Digital Stereo (HDMI) Output” in the drop-down list) is selected for the “Built-In Audio” device in the Sound Preferences hardware tab.