I remember my first true computer monitor was only 12 inches. It didn’t really matter that it was on the smaller side, because at the time, that was the standard. Literally inching up over the years from 12 to 13, to 14, and 15. With each iteration the monitors got bigger and better.
At one point in time if you had suggested I hook up a 27” monitor to my computer I would have thought you were crazy. Who needs a screen that big? And yet, here we are with the Samsung CF591. Its frameless outlook and curved screen were something I couldn’t even dream of back in the old cathode ray tube days. Yet, here we are and its view into the modern gaming world is as clear as ever.
It might seem that there is little innovation left in monitor technology today but this is a perfect example of that just not being true. Curved monitors are certainly nothing new, but as these become more popular and the price points start driving down, people will begin to realize the benefits of the immersive experience they offer. While the debate about the overall benefits will continue to go on for many rounds, the CF591 is likely to stand out as a great example along the way.
Curvey is the New Black
The CF591 is rated as 1800R. This number is a measurement of the curvature radius which in this case works out to be 1,800 mm. The back of the monitor features a number of inputs that are suitable for your legacy gear as well as your latest gaming PC. There is a 1.2 DisplayPort input, HDMI, and even an older VGA connector. It makes connecting your older PC a snap, unless you decided to put all your upgrade money into the monitor first and that old PC is still your primary machine. For audio there is both an input (necessary for the older-style VGA hookup) and an audio out jack which can be used for either speakers or headphones, whichever you prefer.
Particularly targeted at gamers, the CF591 features the embedded AMD FreeSync technology over HDMI functionality. If you are not familiar with this, it’s a syncing technology that works with certain AMD graphics card and it means that lag, input latency and stutter is all kept to a minimum. This can be a problem for certain configurations that don’t use the technology, so it’s a nice side benefit if you have the right hardware to go with it. In addition to reducing eye-strain (for those extra long gaming sessions), the 178-degree viewing angle will reduce your eye movements letting you focus more on the important matters at hand (and of course, on screen).
A Rainbow of Colour
|Samsung CF591 27″ Frameless, Curved Monitor Key Specs:
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Screen Curvature: 1800R
Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Display Contrast Ratio (DCR): 3,000:1
Viewing Angle: 178 degrees
Response Time: 4ms
Colour Support: 16.7 million
Comes in silver and white
The CF591 is going to give you a beautiful blend of colours with it’s 3000:1 static contrast ratio. The range here will give you more crisp whites and deeper blacks. For gamers, the curved monitor will offer a more immersive experience and the included game mode is perfect in that it will automatically adjust itself based upon what is happening in the game. You are never going to want to stop the action to make adjustments for the optimal viewing experience and thanks to this technology you are not going to have to.
To round out the technical specifications, the monitor features a 1920×1080 resolution and a 4ms response time. The refresh rate is 60Hz and it comes with a stylish stand that will make you feel like you just picked up some technology from the future. The frameless, thin bezel will add to that illusion and the weight just being over 10 pounds makes it an easy travel companion.
Trying it Out
During the review period, I used this monitor as both a primary display and as a second display for my laptop. I used it for normal everyday applications and watched some of the latest entertainment on YouTube. I also played some games to test out its response times and immersive properties. The display I use on a daily basis for work is smaller, so adjusting to the bigger 27” size took a little getting used to. After the time spent enjoying all that additional real estate, going back to the smaller screen is going to be tough.
It is interesting to note how “what comes around goes around” in the computer industry. Even though we are constantly making improvements to technology, the past seems to come back often in different ways. I remember how the old bulky monitors (that use Cathode Ray Tube technology) were promoting the fact that they had become “flat”. This was one of the last advancements before they were effectively kicked to the curb by LCD and LED screens. It’s not the same curve as what we are talking about today—these were convex curves and now the new ones are concave—but it’s still interesting how what we strive for today was once considered a less desireable technology.
If you are anything like me you are probably wondering whether the curved monitor is a fad or the future and while it is virtually impossible to predict these things without a crystal ball I can honestly say that I wasn’t sure myself until I spent some time with this monitor. Now I’m not sure if I want to go back to the regular old flat screen. There is something special about the curve and it’s definitely something I can see in my future.
Overall I have enjoyed this monitor and I don’t have a lot of negatives to say about it. Like many other computer monitors, I do find myself wishing that speakers were built-in, but this gives me a chance to test out some great external speakers with a much richer, “boomier” sound than you would ever get out of a monitor anyway. This display is nice and large and very immersive, and yet light enough to be able to pick up and move around without breaking your back. Before getting this monitor I wasn’t sure I was sold on the idea, but now I’m convinced this is the way of the future in monitors, at least for me. I’m just looking forward to the next “curve” ball this industry throws at me.