Samsung S27B971D Monitor Reviewby Chris Heinonen on October 31, 2013 12:00 PM EST
The maximum light output of the S27B971D is only rated for 250 cd/m^2 in the Standard mode, which is lower than we expect to see. For all these pre-calibration measurements I use the sRGB mode of the display. It is the most accurate out of the box and what I would use if I couldn’t calibrate the display.
With the brightness set to maximum we get 261 cd/m^2 of brightness on a white screen. This is slightly more than the specs say, which is nice to see, but 10 nits is a pretty small difference. Set down to the minimum we get 62 cd/m^2 which is a good range of brightness. Many displays stop well before 100 cd/m^2 which can be too bright for nighttime or light controlled environments. If you do use the high brightness mode you can get 321 cd/m^2 from the S27B971D, but you give up accuracy. I’d skip it, unless there was a specific instance where it was helpful.
As PLS is similar to IPS I expect to see black level results that more closely mirror it than a VA style panel. The black levels on the Samsung are a bit underwhelming. With the backlight at maximum the black level is 0.3737 cd/m^2; at minimum it is 0.0904 cd/m^2. With values like this I’d like to see a higher white level as the contrast levels are going to be only fair.
As I suspected the contrast levels on the Samsung are only 700:1 and 690:1. These are OK for an IPS/PLS panel but not amazing. Samsung rates the display at 1,000:1 for static contrast but I didn’t find a way to achieve those numbers unless you use the dynamic contrast system (which I don’t). So it's a fair result but not great.