Samsung C27HG70 and C32HG70 with curved 144Hz WQHD panels
Update: Our review of the 27″ model is now published. News piece below initially published 8th June 2017.
Samsung have been particularly keen to push out monitors with a curve, which from our experience isn’t a bad thing and is often something people only fully appreciate after direct experience. They’ve never been a company to shy away from buzzwords, some of the latest being ‘HDR’ and ‘Quantum Dots’. With the C27HG70 (LC27HG70Q with various regional suffixes, to give it the unnecessarily long full model code) and C32HG70 (LC32HG70Q), they’ve ticked all of the modern marketing buzz-boxes. But they’ve also provided what to many will be quite exciting products at the core. We’ll come onto that shortly, but just scratching the surface first you can see a design that is quite modern but as far as Samsung monitors goes quite ‘unfussy’. Matte black plastics are used extensively, with fairly slim single-stage bezels (no sneaky ‘panel borders’). The OSD (On Screen Display) is controlled by a joystick or ‘JOG button’ at the rear of the monitor towards the right as viewed from the front. There are also 3 shortcut key buttons towards the bottom right. The stand base of this model is Y-shaped, with the monitor and stand being fairly deep once you account for the hinged monitor arm stand neck. This allows a good level of ergonomic flexibility, including; height, tilt, swivel and pivot (90° clockwise rotation into portrait).
The monitors use 27″ (C27) and 31.5” (C32) Samsung SVA (‘Super’ Vertical Alignment) panels with a 2560 x 1440 (WQHD) resolution. These models use the LSM270DP01 (27″) and LSM315DP01 (31.5″) CELLs with a custom backlight solution. These panels employ a 1800R curve, providing a bit of extra depth to the experience, and have a specified 3000:1 static contrast ratio (‘2400:1 minimum’ also specified) plus 178°/178° viewing angles. A (relatively) light matte anti-glare screen surface is used, keeping the image free from obvious smeary graininess. 10-bit colour is supported via 8-bit + FRC dithering. The monitors also support ‘HDR’, but do not have FALD (Full Array Local Dimming) backlights. Rather, the backlight is split into only 8 zones, but each can pulse to up to 600 cd/m². So it’s sort of like a glorified Dynamic Contrast setting, which could offer some improvements to the experience even though it’s far from the ‘full fat’ version. The backlight itself is a flicker-free ‘Quantum Dot’ solution (Nanosys QDEF) which provides 120-125% sRGB coverage. This gives it an edge in vibrancy compared to monitors which cover sRGB more closely, without bringing things into the ‘wide gamut’ domain and the garish oversaturation of standard sRGB content that can come with that. Interestingly enough, the AOC AG322QCX uses this same panel as the 31.5″ model. But it uses a different backlight solution that is absent of ‘Quantum Dots’ and still achieves a similar colour gamut.
The other key area of these models is responsiveness. A 144Hz refresh rate is supported, with Adaptive-Sync (and hence ‘AMD FreeSync’) also featuring to allow the monitor to vary its refresh rate according to the frame rate of the content. This eliminates the tearing or stuttering caused by mismatches between the two, with the variable refresh rate range itself TBC. ‘FreeSync 2’ is the version supported, which also includes low-latency HDR processing capabilities. Samsung specifies a ‘1ms MPRT’ response time, which is something we’ve seen on the C24FG70 as well. Whilst the figure itself is hugely misleading and can be safely ignored, especially on VA models like these, it is specified that way because a ‘Strobe Backlight’ mode (‘Impulsive Scanning’) is present. You can read more about this on the C24FG70 review and also in this article. At the rear of the monitor you can see the hinged arm design, which attaches centrally as a fixed mount. Surrounding the attachment point is a ring of LEDs which glow a cool blue. On other models where we’ve seen this feature they can be set to blink constantly, disabled or to pulse in time with audio playing. Note that the audio must be routed through the monitor itself, not simply played by the PC. The ports are down-firing and found beneath a removable plastic cover; 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, DP 1.2, 3.5mm headphone jack and 2 USB 3.0 ports.
Further information on the CHG70 series monitors can be found on various regional Samsung websites, including this one. Both models are now available. We’re currently reviewing the smaller model.