THE BOTTOM LINE
The Samsung C27FG70 is an excellent gaming monitor that is likely to accelerate Samsung’s debut into the gaming niche, delivering impressive color and brightness, incredibly fast response times.
THE GOOD: Stylish, curved design. Easily navigable menus. High refresh rate, excellent response time. Great contrast ratio
THE BAD: Body of display feels cheap
During the IFA 2016, I tinkered with Samsung’s new gaming monitors and the experience was impressive. Samsung is seriously rolling its dice into gaming with a pair of curved GFG70 Series monitors designed to give gamers the best graphics, delivered at the fastest speeds, on the sharpest monitors. These monitors come in two iterations; the Samsung C24FG70 – 24-inches, and, the Samsung C27FG70 – 27-inches.
All these monitors use Samsung’s Quantum Dot technology. Now gamers can have it all with curves. Among the highlights in this monitors is the incorporation of AMD’s FreeSync technology that reduces flickering by ensuring that the screen refresh rate is synchronized up to 144Hz. We’ve seen Samsung use Quantum Dot technology in its Super Ultra High-Definition TVs, and seeing the same trickle down to the CFG70 Series makes these monitors an easy choice to recommend.
Design and Features
With its curved, 24-inch monitor, Samsung is sure to spruce up even the drabbest of desktops. And the C24FG70 doesn’t disappoint in doing that. We’ve always seen gaming monitors adorned with gaudy designs alongside aggressive red lights, but the Samsung C27FG70’s simplicity makes it stand out. Nothing screaming here: Just a humble, all-black monitor, featuring a curved 24-inch screen, resting on a large, circular base.
Samsung wanted to make these monitors stand out, and in dong that, they utilized a traditional slide-and-lock stand, the CFG70 comes with a ball-and-joint mechanism that allows the neck to effortlessly tilt, adjust height, rotate, and pivot, all without necessarily moving the base. Simply put, the dual-hinge design looks like a robotic arm, with ability to rotate unidirectionally at varying degrees, making it incredibly intuitive. Plus, you can pivot it to portrait mode, should want to view some tweets as you game on another display.
The base is stable, but as for me, I find it a bit superfluous, and it would make sense if it offered wireless charging like we’ve seen in some of Samsung’s non-gaming monitors. But since it doesn’t offer any kind of charging or even suffice as a holder for any peripherals, I feel it takes up space for no reason. Fortunately, everything else about the CFG70’s design has its credentials in order, making this monitor a joy to use everyday.
Instead of glaring red lights, the CFG70 features what Samsung calls “Arena Lighting,” which is a miniature LED light beneath the screen that sheds a brilliant, blue glow on the base beneath. You can customize the light to twinkle in and out, or have it reproduce lights in pulses in sync with your PC’s audio. All these culminate in an epic light show, though it doesn’t match the Acer Predator X34’s bigger LED strip that neatly arrays a variety of colors and lighting effects, and an additional ability to ripple side to side.
Ports and Interface
Port selection on the C24FG70 is fairly standard, with almost all the basic ports you’d need to support your PC, game console and streaming box of choice all at once. Here we’re looking at two HDMI ports, a DisplayPort, as well as two 3.5mm audio jacks. A conveniently place rear-facing knob (which doubles as power button and volume switch) facilitates menu browsing, and the experience is better than most monitors I’ve tested previously.
The ports themselves are primarily located on the back-right side of the monitor, they’re all easily reachable, and it’s here that the armature stand really shines. You can quickly and easily pivot the screen to the side in order to see the ports and plug in anything that needs to be plugged in.
The Samsung C27FG70 has a speedy, 144Hz refresh rate, which is ultimately immersive enough for single-player experiences and equally responsive for competitive titles. Samsung’s monitor was at its most impressive while cruising through Grand Theft Auto V, with the game’s graphics bringing most monitors to their knees but the Samsung panel was not bowed, even when I maxed the resolutions.
While I had all the fun tinkering different games, I’m not sure how much difference the display’s 1800R curvature made. In our bigger and bolder displays, such as the Acer Predator X34, the curve adds a distinct layer layer of immersion. Sadly, on a small 27-incher, the curve feels like a well-thought – but inessential – bonus.
This panel is capable of representing 125-percent of the sRGB spectrum and 87-percent of the AdobeRGB scale. For the gaming niche, this is a major headline feature, and to that Samsung touts Quantum-Dot technology, which promises wider than-average range f colors. I’m a bit skeptical of this implementation, going by the fact that past Quantum Dot displays I have seen haven’t lived to the hype with ever wider color gamut. But to the CFG70’s credit, the color gamut here is better than average.
Color accuracy on the monitor was a little worse, averaging a 2.71 color difference. This score is quite close to 1.0 which is considered ideals, and an average color difference of less than 1.0 becomes indiscernible to the human eye. On that, we’ll have to wait and see if calibration can simply fix some of these problems.
With 266 nits of brightness, it stands out a nicely-bundled screen, topping the BenQ (173 nits) but trailing the ViewSonic (355 nits). Also, the panel supports AMD FreeSync, which serves to eliminate screen tears and stutters for folks gaming on AMD-powered machines by directly syncing the monitor to the graphics card.
The Bottom Line
The Samsung C27FG70 is an excellent gaming monitor that is likely to accelerate Samsung’s debut into the gaming niche, delivering impressive color and brightness, incredibly fast response times, supports FreeSync on AMD-powered devices, and a horde of useful display modes. The LED lighting feature is great, and its versatile, yet unique, stand makes it stand out among its many competitors.
Are there alternatives? Yes, a hoard of alternatives in the 27-inch, 1080p gaming market. Most of these monitors start at far much less, but to make them inexpensive you’d have to make a few tradeoffs. For instance, if you can live without a curved screen and a fancy stand, the BenQ Zowie RL2455 delivers fantastic picture quality and responsiveness, and if FreeSync is a must-have, you can get the same feature in the similarly speedy ViewSonic XG2401.
Both of these are 24-inchers but if you need an ultra-wide panel, you’re safe with the 29-inch Acer Predator Z301C. But if all you need is a monitor that looks stunningly good and performs well, the 27-inch Samsung C27FG70 (CFG70 Series) should be at the top of your short list.