Back in January, it was announced that the 24-inch version of the monitor (the one I got to test) would cost RM1,699 while the 27-inch version was RM2,099. Right now however, the prices displayed on Lazada are noticeably higher.
To kick off my last week with the Samsung Curved Monitor, I had fellow intern Kurtis play League of Legends and Overwatch on it on Monday morning, while I messed with the settings. With League of Legends, I had to try out the AOS (Aeon of Strife) setting for MOBAs. Like the RTS gamemode, it doesn’t stand out as much the FPS and RPG gamemodes. Between RTS and AOS, the former has more of a yellow/orange tone while the latter has more blue.
Despite its understated impressions, the AOS gamemode does suit League of Legends well. I also used the opportunity to toggle the low input lag setting and tweak the response time and refresh rates. According to Kurtis, enabling low input lag produced noticeable improvements, although playing without it felt quite alright too. For Overwatch, the differences between having low input lag disable or enabled was more slight.
Another similarity shared between the two games was that changing the monitor’s refresh rate while they were running caused them to crash - fortunately, Kurtis had no problem winning his League of Legends match despite me causing two crashes. When he delivered some payback to me while I was playing Battlefield 4, I didn’t suffer a crash, though the game started running in a small, slightly unresponsive window for a moment while its FPS numbers pummeled during that period.
Ill-advised antics aside, I also got around to testing the other picture modes - cinema and SRGB. Simply put, the cinema mode does its job well, though you can’t mess with the colour calibrations with it. Not that I felt the need to, though.
SRGB is something new to me, and I didn’t notice its effects a lot when I first enabled it. Once I entered a game of Battlefield 4 however, I was blown away by the crisp and vivid colours. It’s a huge departure from the more muted colours of the FPS gamemode, and also resulted in more distractions for me. Even so, it made Hainan Resort such a lovely sight to behold that I only switched back to FPS mode for comparisons throughout the match.
Okay, it’s time to take a break from gushing about how nice games look on the Samsung Curved Monitor and check out some of the other settings and specs it has. I’ve brought up colour calibration already, and the monitor lets you adjust the values for red, green and blue, in addition to offering three gamma modes and four colour tones - two cool, two warm - if we’re not counting the normal and custom tones.
Also under picture settings: contrast, sharpness, HDMI black level and screen adjustment. The latter two are greyed out for me, and screen adjustment is perhaps the only setting that doesn’t come with an explanation of what it does, a useful and informative feature that the others have. Brightness is also greyed out for me, for some reason.
At the back of the monitor, there are ports for two HDMI cables, a DP cable, an audio output device and a DC 19v port for the power plug, in addition to a service port “dedicated to service technicians”, according to the manual. Also located at the monitor’s back is a small joystick used to control its settings.
It’s a little odd at first, but it’s easy to get used to controlling it, though the monitor felt a little unstable when using the joystick. The settings menu is nothing complicated, and the previously mentioned settings explanations make the experience even more user friendly. There’s also an option to reset the settings to their default factory state.
The monitor boasts a 1ms response time, and while I didn’t get to make direct comparisons with another monitor, I didn’t experience anything that made me doubt its response time either. Interestingly, you can also tweak the response time to standard, faster or fastest.
In Part 1, I mentioned setting the refresh rate to 120 Hz. The monitor actually features a maximum refresh rate of 144 Hz, but based on my research you’ll need the DP cable - which I couldn’t try out - instead of the provided HDMI cable I used throughout my two weeks to have that option be made available to you.
Another thing I didn’t get to experience - due to the lack of AMD cards in the office - was the FreeSync feature, which further minimizes things like image tearing, input latency and stuttering. Even so, I didn’t notice these with FreeSync off.
As for the troubles I faced from the monitor screen remaining black when waking my PC, I found that it was fine if my PC only slept for a short period - one click of the mouse and my lockscreen shows up. When left asleep for an hour or more however, the only thing I could come up with in the end was to simply restart the monitor.
At the end of the day however, I have to say that I really enjoyed my time with the Samsung Curved Monitor. The round base is starting to seem a bit dull-looking but the monitor itself still looks appealing, and the visuals it provides even more so. I certainly wouldn’t mind having one, and I’m sure my colleagues would agree with that.