Samsung insists "the curve changes everything" about watching TV, but can it do the same for PC monitors? Today the company announced that it's expanding its portfolio of curved screens to include desktop displays. The first such product, a 27-inch 1080p display, has been priced at $429.99 and will go on sale October 1st. Samsung says its engineers "conducted extensive research on the human eye to determine the optimal monitor curve radius."
Those efforts resulted in a curvature of 4000R, which gives the SD590C a wider field of view than flat panels, according to Samsung, and makes it appear larger than it really is. You'd think the curve would be hard to perceive on a 27-inch screen, but remember that this one's much closer to your face than a TV. Samsung is also claiming that the curve reduces "peripheral visual clutter" since the edges are closer to your eyes and require you to shift focus less often to see content at the far ends; we haven't been able to test that theory, however. The display has a response time of 4ms, 350-nit max brightness, and a 3000:1 contrast ratio. You'll find video hookups for HDMI, DisplayPort. and D-sub.
There's "surround sound" audio built in too, though most people would be better off with a separate set of speakers or high-quality headphones. Perhaps a more useful feature is the SD590C's Game Mode, which "intelligently detects changes in scenes" and dynamically adjusts color and contrast to make sure you see everything happening on screen during movies or games. Some people might not like the display messing with those levels on the fly, but it's simple enough to leave Game Mode off. A Game Boost mode promises to offer similar enhancements for audio, helping "important" audio effects stand out from a game's background track, for example.
You can definitely find a 27-inch LED panel for less than what Samsung wants here; Asus, Acer, Lenovo, and others all offer quality displays at around the $200 mark. But those are all flat, of course, and if the curve is everything Samsung says it is, maybe seeing it in person will convince many people to spend a bit extra.