Samsung SyncMaster 27A850D, 27” PLS Monitor Review

Author: AkG
Date: November 23, 2011
Product Name: SyncMaster 27A850D
Part Number: S27A850D
Warranty: 3 Years
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A Closer Look at the Samsung SyncMaster 27A850D

Unlike every other professional monitor we have reviewed, the Samsung S27A850D is a mere 1.6” deep. While this waifish design may not instill confidence in professionals who are used abnormally chunky designs, the new PLS technology coupled with LED backlighting simply does not require an ultra thick housing. The only area which highlights its professional pedigree is the thick central zone where the electronics are housed.

While the thinness of this monitor may give some ultra conservative customers pause, the subdued design with its black bezel is par for the course. Much like the UltraSharp series, the 850D’s bottom bezel is rather thin for this class of monitor but unlike Dell’s design, Samsung has installed the input control buttons in a sensible location centered with the bottom edge. It is also worth pointing out that all of the user inputs on the S27A850D are real buttons, something the Dell U2410 eschewed in favor of touch sensitive zones along the monitor’s edge.

The stand which accompanies this monitor may be rather bland and utilitarian but gets the job done by being completely stable – something the last Samsung 27” monitor had some serious issues with. Unlike other Dell or Asus professional monitors we have looked at the past, the stand which graces the S27A850D has excellent 45° left and right swivel abilities, an impressive 27 degrees of tilt (-2° to +25°) and 90° rotation along with a ton of height adjustment capabilities. This combination should allow anyone – regardless of personal preference – the ability to adjust their SyncMaster 27A850D to a perfect viewing angle.

Though we are not overly impressed by the odd external power brick, at the very least Samsung has implemented it in a sane and rational manner. Not only does it connect directly to the back of the panel, but when the brick isn’t attached its housing can pull double duty as an integrated carrying handle. Under normal conditions this rather small handle wouldn’t be able to carry a 27” monitor’s significant weight but the 850D weighs just 14.5 pounds.

While the stand, dimensions and even buttons are all well designed for this market niche, the Samsung SyncMaster 27A850D does fall a bit flat when it comes to input options. It has a 3.5mm stereo port and dual DVI inputs (as you can connect two monitors at the same time in a split screen mode) along with a single Display Port connector but no analog or HDMI input capabilities to speak of.

We were quite pleased to see a professional monitor which finally included a USB 3.0 hub but Samsung has failed to properly implement it. Unlike Dell or most other companies which include USB ports along the bezel’s side, the 27A850D has its USB 3.0 ports sequestered on the panel’s back, on the opposite side of the input connectors. This decision was obviously made to ensure that the S27A850D was as thin as possible, but it does make these USB 3.0 ports very hard to access. No one likes having to blindly reach behind their monitor to plug something in.

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