Samsung CF791 ultrawide curved gaming monitor review

Once you’re seated in entrance of a curved ultrawide monitor, strolling the neon-bathed streets of a futuristic Prague whereas rain pours in thick, heavy sheets, it’s straightforward to lose your self. With a large enough monitor, with a deep sufficient curve, the show commandeers your complete subject of view.

It’s no marvel these screens began to actually decide up steam within the latter elements of 2016 — they usually’re poised to take over the market completely in 2017. Costs are taking place, efficiency goes up, and corporations like Samsung are rolling out ultrawide curved screens to match rising buyer demand.

The Samsung CF791 is one such monitor. It’s a 34-inch, ultrawide monitor with a curve deep sufficient to wrap round your complete sight view. These specs on their very own can be spectacular, however the CF791 has one other trick up its sleeve: quantum dots.

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Yep, this monitor is crammed to the brim with these nanocrystal semiconductors that bend mild to their will and ship unparalleled shade depth, distinction ratios, and all types of different stimuli on your retinas. Quantum dots are presupposed to ship sharp, correct colours at a a lot lower cost than their OLED rivals, however the Samsung CF791 retails for $1,000. It’s not the costliest ultrawide, nevertheless it’s removed from the most cost effective.

Is the Samsung CF791 well worth the worth of entry? Let’s discover out.

Adjustable magnificence

Earlier than you even flip it on, the Samsung CF791 cuts a chic determine. A broad aluminum-coloured disc helps a shiny white armature that appears to effortlessly maintain the show aloft. It’s not typically that a monitor’s adjustable stand is appreciably totally different from all of the others available on the market. It has a easy job — maintain the monitor up, hold it from wobbling, and don’t be a ache when you have to modify the peak or angle.

It’s an easy, however thankless job, and also you solely ever actually discover the stand if it’s misbehaving — in case your show is wobbly, or if it by no means manages to remain at simply the suitable peak. Curved monitor producers typically reduce corners right here, and supply stands which might be good-wanting however insufficient, or secure however overly giant. With the CF791, Samsung establishes a cushty center floor.

The bottom is giant, however not too giant. It supplies stability with out overreaching and taking up your entire desk. Regardless of the dimensions of the bottom, it by no means appears overbearing, and the steadiness it brings to the monitor is a welcome addition. Ultrawide curved screens have a nasty popularity for being wobbly, resulting from their measurement, however the CF791 proves a gentle hand.

A slender, articulated armature clad in shiny white plastic sprouts from the again aspect of the bottom. This arm holds up the monitor, and accounts for the CF791’s spectacular adjustability. Each monitor is adjustable ultimately or one other, often just a bit up and down with some give to tilt it ahead or again. Often, these changes produce audible clicks or require some muscle to get good.

Even when shiny, vibrant rose-reds distinction nicely towards stark, snowy whites.

Once more, the Samsung CF791 manages to enhance on a easy facet of the consumer expertise that could be very straightforward to disregard. Adjusting this monitor’s huge, curved show is straightforward. Not simply that — it’s nice, which is a bizarre factor to say. Once you pull the show towards you, angling it up or down, the arm strikes with simply the correct quantity of resistance earlier than settling into its new place.

As soon as adjusted, the stand is remarkably secure. Tapping or nudging the show doesn’t change its place, nor does bumping the desk or desk it sits on. The show itself solely wobbles noticeably when instantly jarred, or in case you begin shaking the desk.

Acquainted faces

The CF791 options a normal array of connections and ports, together with two HDMI ports, one DisplayPort 1.four port, and one USB port, alongside constructed-in audio system. It’s additionally VESA suitable, one other good, normal addition.

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Primary configuration is dealt with with a set of acquainted on-display menus accessible by way of the jog button on the again-proper aspect of the monitor. It’s responsive, and makes clicking by way of the menus straightforward sufficient, however like most jog buttons, you’re going to finish up hitting the mistaken setting at times. It’s not precisely a precision instrument.

The menus themselves are simply navigable, clear, concise, and surprisingly strong. There are a number of choices right here. You’ll be able to regulate your brightness, distinction, and particular person colour ranges, additionally configure which model of HDMI or DisplayPort you need the monitor to be operating (1.four or on every of the enter ports, and you may toggle AMD’s FreeSync on or off.

Samsung CF791 monitor review

Invoice Roberson/Digital Developments

The CF791 helps a 100Hz refresh fee, even with out AMD’s FreeSync, in case you don’t have an AMD video card. It’s a pleasant addition and undoubtedly places the CF791 in competitors with different gaming screens.

The audio system get the job carried out, however they’re nothing to put in writing house about. Enjoying music via them, you’ll find yourself dropping a lot of the bass, and video games don’t fare a lot better. Gunshots are sharp and snappy, however deep rumbly sounds get misplaced in translation.

Looking for content material

It’s inconceivable to debate the Samsung CF791 with out mentioning its overwhelming measurement. This can be a huge monitor. With a 34-inch diagonal wingspan, in addition to a three,440 x 1,440 decision, the CF791 has a cushty one hundred ten PPI. The deep curve makes the already spectacular presence of the monitor much more dramatic. Simply placing it in your desk makes your workstation seem like a futuristic command middle.

Earlier than we even cracked open our colorimeter and set about calibrating the CF791, we needed to discover some video content material to check it with. This isn’t a 4K show, and it’s not 1080p. In fact, 1440p content material is straightforward sufficient to seek out, however at an applicable facet ratio to actually leverage the CF791’s ample display area? Not a lot.

That’s truly one thing of a bigger drawback for the CF791. Video games help its odd dimensions with ease, however streaming providers like Netflix, HBO Now, and Amazon Video had hassle scaling video content material with out dropping high quality. HBO Now, in reality, had probably the most hassle scaling to the CF791’s monumental and weird measurement, zooming in on one nook of the video and chopping off the remaining.

You may need higher luck should you attached a recreation console or downloaded your favourite streaming service’s official app as an alternative of streaming out of your browser.

This isn’t the monitor’s fault, and it’s a symptom you’re going to see on any monitor with a decision a bit of outdoors the norm. Should you’re unsure, it’s greatest to only use 4K content material on this monitor — browsers and streaming providers are higher at cutting down than they’re at scaling up.

Aside from a handful of consumer-created movies on YouTube, discovering content material at a local decision giant sufficient to fill the CF791’s show was fairly troublesome. It’s one thing you’ll need to remember, particularly should you plan on utilizing this monitor primarily for media. Worse involves worst, you’ll simply discover black bars on both aspect of no matter you’re watching, otherwise you’ll should briefly decrease your monitor’s decision to accommodate the video content material.

As soon as we did monitor down some appropriately sized video content material, 4K or 1440p, the Samsung CF791 exceeded our expectations in probably the most spectacular trend. Once you put it to work, this monitor is breathtaking.

Merely astonishing

From edge-to-edge, the CF791 delivers wealthy, velvety colours. Watching a film trailer, colours simply cascade throughout the display, reds leap out towards deep, inky blacks, whites are sharp and stark. These colours don’t run, they don’t bleed, they’re exactly the place they have to be they usually by no means stray outdoors the strains. Even when shiny vibrant beet-reds are contrasted towards snowy whites, the CF791 by no means misses a beat.

It’s straightforward to see why — proper out of the field, the CF791 sports activities a powerful 940:1 distinction ratio and shows one hundred pc of the sRGB spectrum, and eighty five % of the AdobeRGB spectrum. What does that imply in apply? It means this monitor appears nice, with out tweaking a single setting. Pull it out of the field, plant it on a desk, hearth it up, and also you’re achieved. You don’t have to fiddle with distinction settings to tug probably the most out of this monitor — it’s not shy, it doesn’t want coaxing.

In comparison with Samsung’s final 34-inch curved monitor, the S34E790C, the CF791 is an enchancment on an already nice product. The brand new design all however eliminates the bezels across the display, deepens the curve, and shatters the S34’s spectacular distinction ratio of 740:1 with its personal 940:1 distinction ratio. Gamma is pretty center of the street, coming in at 2.1.

Brightness maxes out at about 299 lux, and black ranges are appreciably deep — shifting as much as solely .33 at full brightness, and on the lowest brightness setting. What does that imply in your show? Simply that your highlights and lowlights, your vibrant patches and shadows will stay properly differentiated regardless of your brightness setting — a credit score to the CF791’s implausible distinction ratio.

Samsung CF791 In contrast To

How did Samsung do it? Properly, that distinction ratio is the results of these quantum dots, which deal with colour far more effectively than normal LCD shows. They’re primarily molecular-sized prisms that bend mild to totally different colours (frequencies) relying on their measurement. These nanocrystal semiconductors act as a filter between the LCD’s backlight and the show, making certain that colours go the place they should, when they should, and nowhere else.

Extra: Asus ROG leaks announcement of a 4K HDR gaming monitor — the Swift PG27UQ

These quantum dots handle to push the CF791 forward of the competitors, with out inflating its price ticket. As an example, the LG 38UC99 boasts an impressively excessive brightness degree of 300 lux, and a 38-inch display, nevertheless it’s 660:1 distinction ratio doesn’t come anyplace close to the CF791’s spectacular 940:1 distinction ratio.

Even with a decrease most brightness, the CF791 simply appears brighter. Its quantum dots make its colours sharper, extra vibrant, and rather more correct. Let’s see if we will make them work a bit more durable with some calibration.

Wait, it will get higher

Usually, calibration may also help gloss over a monitor’s shortcomings — you may give that colour accuracy a lift, and repair off-kilter gamma, however that’s often about it. Anticipating something aside from a minor enchancment is unrealistic — more often than not.

The Samsung CF791 is simply filled with surprises. Whereas the out-of-the-field shade accuracy shouldn’t be ideally suited, coming in at 2.fifty six (something decrease than is undetectable to the human eye), operating it by means of a primary calibration lands you almost pitch-good shade accuracy — about 1.08, which is just some decimal factors away from skilled-grade colour accuracy. Thanks, quantum dots.

The CF791 additionally avoids a standard pitfall of curved ultrawide screens — the dreaded mild bleed. All through our exams, even once we have been making an attempt to breed some widespread mild bleed, the CF791 maintained its inky darkness even with a totally black — however lively — display. No mild bleed across the corners, none alongside the highest or backside edges. On this regard, the CF791 is once more capable of run circles round a few of its excessive-finish rivals just like the LG 38UC99, which fared higher than most curved screens, however nonetheless had some ugly mild bleed across the curvature of the display.

Earlier than you even flip it on, the Samsung CF791 cuts a chic determine.

Calibration may ding your distinction only a bit, although. In our checks, the precalibration distinction ratio of 940:1 went right down to 910:1, which is a reasonably negligible loss given what you stand to realize in colour accuracy. Brightness and black ranges remained just about the identical, pre- and submit-calibration, however these good points in shade accuracy are undoubtedly well worth the hassle of calibration.

For those who don’t have entry to knowledgeable colorimeter, fear not. You’ll be able to take a look at our calibration information here for some recommendations on the best way to get probably the most out of this — or some other — monitor.

The Samsung CF791’s colour accuracy manages to edge out a couple of rivals, together with the Samsung S34E790C, which comes shut, however doesn’t fairly match the CF791’s stellar accuracy. The truth is, the CF791’s publish-calibration shade accuracy truly comes near the accuracy you’d discover on knowledgeable-grade monitor just like the BenQ SW2700PT, which options out-of-the-field shade accuracy of .eighty four.

Guarantee info

The Samsung CF791 comes with an ordinary one-yr guarantee for elements and labor, masking producer defects in supplies and workmanship, however solely guards towards noncommercial use. It’s not an uncommon guarantee, it’s just a bit sparse. The Acer Predator Z35, as an example, includes a three-yr guarantee, which is rather more widespread for top-finish screens.

If you are going to buy a CF791, you may need to decide up some type of system insurance coverage or prolonged care plan from a trusted retailer — the included guarantee has a variety of caveats.

Our Take

Ultrawide curved screens are spectacular to behold. They only look nice. They’re aesthetically pleasing, they create a luxuriant workspace that supplants typical two-monitor setups, they usually’re immersive. Measurement and scope typically compensate for any shortcomings a typical ultrawide monitor may need.

The Samsung CF791 isn’t a typical ultrawide monitor. It doesn’t actually have any shortcomings. It doesn’t have to compensate for something, as a result of it delivers in each approach you want it to. It’s a gaming monitor that upgrades your workspace, and a workspace that delivers stellar gaming efficiency.

Is there a greater various?

Merely put? No, there isn’t a greater various. The CF791 sits comfortably within the Goldilocks zone with regards to worth, efficiency, and movie high quality.

There’s the Acer Predator Z35, for those who want a blisteringly quick refresh price, however you’ll lose out on that deep curve and the wealthy distinction offered by the CF791’s quantum dot show.

The DT Accent Pack

Equally, you can decide up the LG 38UC99, a 38-inch IPS monitor, which delivers an immersive expertise with an enormous panel, however much less-than-spectacular distinction. It’ll additionally run you an additional $500 extra the CF791.

How lengthy will it final?

We’re in a singular interval on the subject of shopper know-how, notably screens. Resolutions proceed to ramp up, yr over yr, however for many makes use of, we’ve reached a cushty plateau. As an example, 4K shows have hassle with icon scaling and textual content due to their overwhelming pixel density. However, 1440p is a cheerful center floor between 1080p and 4K — it’s a protected place to be for fairly some time.

The Samsung CF791 has two main benefits that may contribute to its longevity. Its measurement, which is unlikely to be eclipsed any time quickly. In any case, screens may maintain getting greater, however desks positive don’t. You solely have a lot area obtainable for a monitor, and the CF791 simply barely scrapes the ceiling on that entrance.

Second, the decision and pixel density are pitch-good for textual content. Pixel density is excessive sufficient that textual content and icons aren’t visibly pixelated — they’re sharp and clean like a pen stroke — and the decision is able to approximating 4K content material with out an excessive amount of problem. In any case it’s solely four hundred pixels shy of 4K.

Briefly, the Samsung CF791 will final an terrible very long time. It’ll outlast a lot of the elements in your PC, and proceed to ship immersive gaming experiences lengthy after you exchange your model-new video card.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure, it is best to. It’s costly, however for what you get, it’s a great deal. The Samsung CF791 will outlast your present gaming rig, and when you’re shopping for it for a common use PC, it’ll final even longer — as a workspace, 21:9 is pretty leading edge.

Samsung has outdone themselves with the CF791, and with a barely under common retail worth, that is one monitor you don’t need to move up.

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