Samsung SyncMaster Series 9 TA950 27 review
15th Jun 2011 | 18:20
Designer PC monitor Smart 3D hybrid
Samsung continues to push the design envelope with regards to its screens, and this PC monitor/Full HD 3D TV hybrid is no exception. Released as part of the brand’s long-running SyncMaster range, it’s a catch-all 27inch display aimed at gamers and upmarket telly addicts. For those looking for something even smaller, the model is also available with a 23inch screen.
Samsung SyncMaster Series 9 TA950 27: Build and features
The design of the TA950 is nothing short of inspired. The screen ‘floats’ above the pedestal stand, which contains the Freeview HD tuner, sound system and inputs – it’s a wonderfully concise arrangement. Balanced on a giraffe-like neck, the panel can be angled for the best viewing position.
There are now a number of dedicated 3D monitors available. The TA950 is rather different in so much as it’s essentially a Series 8 LED telly shrunk by a Despicable Me Reducer-Ray. There’s no significant difference between this mini-me and its bigger TV brethren. The 120Hz panel is the same, as is the feature set, which includes Samsung’s Smart Hub apps and IPTV portal.
Reflecting its PC duality, the TA950 also ships with SyncMaster 3D Game Launcher software for PC. An iteration of TriDef 3D conversion software, it supports over 430 3D ready PC games, including Dragon Age II, Bulletstorm, Assassin's Creed Brotherhood and Farcry 2. Remember, the actual performance of these games is totally dependant on the PC hardware used, not this display.
The monitor also has S-RGB support for digital photographers, but there is no dedicated card slot. While compatible with a variety of PC inputs, optimal resolution is 1920 x 1080 @60Hz. The response time is 3milliseconds – good for a TV but bettered by dedicated monitors.
Samsung SyncMaster Series 9 TA950 27: 2D picture quality
Hi-def images on this screen have immediate wow appeal, but it’s easy to overcook them. The TA950 offers the same picture adjustments as bigger Samsung TVs, but given that the screen is designed for near-field viewing you need to pull these back. Sharpness, for example, should be on the zero setting, as it’s very easy to spot any edge enhancement.The screen spots Samsung’s’ Magic Angle’ mode which optimises contrast and colour for any given viewing position.
Samsung SyncMaster Series 9 TA950 27: 3D picture quality and audio
Given that the TA950 shares DNA with the rest of Samsung’s 2011 3D TVs, it’s no surprise that it shares much the same traits. Colour fidelity and brightness are above average, although minor double imaging is evident in 3D images. One pair of Active Shutter 3D glasses is supplied in the box. Like Samsung’s TV screens, the TA950 also does on the fly 2D to 3D conversion, using Samsung’s five direction vector processor.
While the sound system is really quite modest, at just 2 x 7w, the ingenious nature of the speaker design rather compensates.
We think the SyncMaster TA950 is as cool as Penguin’s pool party. The screen is currently only available from Harrods and Selfridges, and it sells for £650 which might seem a lot of cash for what is ostensibly a 1920x1080 resolution monitor. But then given that it’s also a Series 8 grade LED 3D TV as well, maybe it’s not such a bad deal after all?