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Three 27-in. displays prove that bigger is better

By Bill O'Brien
April 29, 2010 06:00 AM ET

Samsung P2770HD

More and more, the Internet is becoming a source for entertainment, to the point that some of us are wondering whether we need both a computer display and a TV set. If you want both in one package, you may want to consider the Samsung P2770HD, which works well as a monitor but includes analog/digital tuners as well.

Samsung P2770HD
Samsung P2770HD

The last Samsung display I looked at, the 23-inch Samsung P2370, garners accolades not only for its overall performance but also for its slimness. The 27-inch Samsung P2770HD may be larger, but at 2.6 inches, it's only about an inch thicker than its smaller counterpart.

To set up the Samsung, I had to assemble the base and the stand, and then snap the display panel onto that assembly. It took about a minute. The arrangement allows for only front-to-back tilt, with no swivel.

But all of that was forgiven and forgotten once I got a gander at the back of the Samsung. It wasn't just the gaggle of external connections (VGA, DVI, HDMI, AV, component, PC audio in, digital audio out, headphone out and antenna) -- it was that some smart technician at Samsung decided that the connectors should be at a 90-degree angle from the back panel. That means you don't have to twist yourself into odd and unnatural positions to plug anything into it.

It's not easy to find the black-on-black menu buttons on the right side of the bezel -- but don't worry, you'll never have to go near them. Samsung has included a remote control that can be used to access those functions, and can also be used to handle the built-in analog/ digital tuners for HD television.

The Samsung comes out of the box in video mode and will prompt you to scan for channels -- it took about 15 minutes to scan my cable signal and log all of the available analog and digital channels it could find. If you're not using it as a TV, you can switch over to computer input with the remote control.

The display comes with built-in speakers that have better fidelity than the Sceptre's. Even so, you still might want to buy a good speaker setup for your PC to better match the capability of the P2770HD.

I didn't need to do any video adjustments the first time I powered it up. Color, brightness and contrast were spot-on. The Samsung can be adjusted via presets or manually via the remote control.

Image quality with graphics and video was excellent. The colors were vivid, with no streaking or motion blur, but the picture did start to look frosty at about 70 degrees from dead center, more pronounced than with Dell's UltraSharp or Sceptre's X27.

The quality of the image using a Blu-ray disc was quite good.

Bottom line

If you shop around a bit, you can get this monitor for about $400, which isn't bad. Having a monitor and TV in one package -- plus the variety of inputs and a remote control -- makes the P2770HD a great media center candidate.



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