We had high hopes for Samsung’s P2770HD. After all, its 23-inch little brother rose to the top of a sea of crappy TN displays in our December 2009 roundup. With its street price of $400, the P2770HD looked like a strong value for folks with non-critical applications.
We stand by our opinion that twisted-nematic (TN) technology is inferior to in-plane switching (IPS), as well as our recommendation that you shouldn’t rely on a TN-panel monitor for critical applications such as photo and video editing (especially if your livelihood depends on it). On the other hand, TN panels like this one do deliver unarguably faster pixel response rates, which is great for gaming, and lately, they’ve become insanely cheap.
The Samsung P2770HD is a 6-bit TN panel, but Samsung maintains that its proprietary Hi-FRC frame-rate control enables it to display 16.7 million colors just like an 8-bit IPS model.
This Samsung model also includes an integrated HDTV tuner, built-in stereo speakers, a Dolby Digital decoder, and nearly all the A/V inputs you could want, albeit only one each of HDMI, DVI, and S/PDIF on the digital side, and VGA, composite, and component on the analog side. As we found with the P2370HD, each of the P2770HD’s ports are set at right angles to the rear panel, which makes for easy connections—we’re really tired of turning monitors upside down to plug in cables. Unfortunately, the panel is mounted atop an egregiously flimsy stand that’s not up to the task of holding it at a 90-degree angle without flopping forward.
Samsung doesn’t show any love for DisplayPort, and the bezel—while attractive—is too wide to consider using in a side-by-side multi-display configuration. There’s no integrated USB hub or media-card reader, either. But since this is a TV as well as a monitor, the P2270HD comes with an infrared remote control, which makes adjusting its brightness, contrast, and other controls supremely easy—this is a far superior solution to mashing buttons on the bezel.
As is our wont, we used DisplayMate Multimedia with Test Photos (www.displaymate.com) to evaluate the display, and the first flaw we detected was an inability to render colors uniformly over the entire monitor. While displaying low-saturated colors (bright shades of gray and very light cyan, for instance) an arc of darkness drooped from the top edge of the panel. We encountered a similar problem while rendering DisplayMate’s 256-step grayscale screens (despite the name, this test also displays red, blue, green, cyan, and yellow scales, not just gray). No matter which scale we were viewing and no matter which direction the scales progressed (right to left, top to bottom, etc.), the same arc of darkness bowed out from the edge toward the center of the screen. We also encountered problems at the high end of the grayscale, where very light shades of gray blew out to white.
We didn’t notice this shortcoming while playing games or watching movies, because there are few occasions in those scenarios where one color remains static across broad stretches of the display’s borders. It could be a serious problem, however, if you’re trying to match colors while painstakingly editing a photograph. And while we’ve yet to find any TN panel that we could recommend for that type of work, this monitor’s 23-inch cousin performed far better.
Integrated HDTV tuner; plethora of digital and analog inputs; remote control.
Mediocre color uniformity; poor gray-scale performance; feeble stand.