It’s been some time coming — thanks to clashing schedules and all that kind of thing, we have been waiting for some time to take a look at one of Samsung’s LED monitor offerings. But the Samsung SyncMaster SA950 3D LED monitor was well worth the wait. The apparent battles between monitor suppliers have been more or less dominated by LG and Samsung for some time now, with both companies pushing out new technologies on an almost daily basis. Samsung’s latest idea, encapsulated in their 9 Series range of SyncMaster LED monitors, is effective 3D in a desktop format. While this is a major selling point, it shouldn’t be the only consideration when looking at a purchase of the SA950…this monitor has a lot more going for it than just good 3D performance.
From the get-go, the SA950 makes an impression, thanks to a rather unique look. Rather than being supported by a central pillar, the monitor connects to the base via a wide metalic support set to the far right of the device. This curved support, combined with the brushed metal and glossy black finish of the device, makes for a monitor that definitely looks good – and unique.
But the glossy black surface is also a downfall for the unit. Call me picky, but I hate fingerprints on sleek-looking surfaces, and the surface of this LED monitor marks up very quickly, thanks to that shine.
This is exacerbated by the fact that the controls are touch sensitive, and are set into the glossy part of the pillar. Even worse, the screen part of the monitor is also very glossy. Being the kind of person that chops the hands off of people who touch the screen, that’s not a big problem, but a light beam coming in at an unfortunate angle may make viewing the screen difficult, particularly if the image is a dark one.
That, though, is the only criticism for an otherwise superb viewing device. With Samsung’s general magic, like the ECO Light Sensor, ECO Motion Sensor, ultra clear panel and Magic Angle Technology, this unit performs beautifully and economically, delivering excellent visuals across its 23-inch wide screen. Numerous inputs, like HDMI and DVI, make it versatile, and an audio output means that it can be used for more than just computing — in fact, it makes for an awesome console monitor, too. The quick and simple control system makes it a breeze to use, too.
And the 3D? Well, it certainly does push the price up, but the performance is good. The monitor supports several 3D modes, for which a pair of active shutter glasses are included. The glasses are more stylish than some we’ve seen, and are battery operated. Using a flat battery for them is a good idea, but if the power runs out, you won’t just be able to recharge them quickly.
In addition, the LED monitor provides a 2D to 3D function, which works fairly well, but don’t expect to see your movies is breath-taking depth… the system is based on assumptions and while it works well, it isn’t absolutely perfect.
Despite the relatively high price tag and a few little quibbles, the Samsung SyncMaster SA950 is a superb LED monitor indeed.