Several months after announcing the 27-inch ViewFinity S9 desktop monitor at CES 2023, Samsung is finally circling back around with pricing and availability details. Let’s get right to it: the 5K display, which is being positioned as a prosumer option meant to rival monitors from LG and Apple, will cost $1,599.99 and you can now order it directly from Samsung and other retailers including Amazon.
$1,599 is the same starting MSRP as Apple’s Studio Display — also a 27-inch 5K monitor. It’s rumored (though not confirmed) that these two screens could be using near-identical panels if not the exact same component. A 5K display is incredibly sharp at 27 inches, but by the rest of today’s standards, this display feels a bit dated: there’s no local dimming, which is a key technical feature for optimal contrast on LCD TVs. Samsung says the ViewFinity S9 covers 99 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut, so it’s perfectly suitable for photo editing.
Panel aside, you could make the case that Samsung is giving you a little more for your money with multiple connectivity options and a height-adjustable stand included out of the box; choosing the height-adjustable Studio Display shoots Apple’s pricing up to $1,999. Plus, the Samsung includes a matte finish by default — and that’s another premium from Apple. (It’s nice to at least have the glossy option for richer contrast and color saturation, however.)
The ViewFinity also has a “pivot mode,” where it rotates 90 degrees to fit more text on screen with less scrolling. Rather than building a webcam directly into the screen’s bezel, Samsung includes “a built-in 4K SlimFit camera that connects via pogo pin without additional cables or equipment.” The Studio Display’s camera was fairly underwhelming before a firmware update brought it up to just okay, so we’ll see how Samsung’s approach compares.
For I/O, the ViewFinity S9 offers Thunderbolt 4 (with up to 90 watts of passthrough charging), USB-C, and Mini DisplayPort. And as is the case with its SmartMonitor lineup, Samsung is loading this 27-inch 5K display up with its standard mix of TV streaming apps and extra features like its Gaming Hub (with access to Xbox Game Pass and Nvidia GeForce Now). Samsung is also talking up the S9’s calibration process, which uses your phone’s camera for easy adjustments without requiring separate, expensive tools:
The ViewFinity S9 uses the Smart Calibration feature controlled with smartphones, which is the first in the industry. Users can conveniently customize the screen for precise settings without expensive, complex calibration equipment whenever they want. Using the SmartThings app, users can choose to calibrate in Basic mode for a quick and easy adjustment of white balance and gamma settings, or they can use Professional mode for complete control of color temperature, luminance, color space and gamma settings. Users can start this process simply by pointing their smartphone camera at the ViewFinity S9, and after calibration, they can view a report detailing the adjustments made and the Delta E color accuracy.
And although I didn’t get to hear them during my CES preview, this monitor does have built-in speakers. Samsung says they an Adaptive Sound Plus feature “automatically adjusts noise levels.” And yep, there’s an included remote control.
You can bet that we’ll be pitting the ViewFinity S9 and Apple Studio Display against each other to gauge how similar their 5K LCD panels are — and whether Samsung’s variety of ports and that detachable webcam are enough to overcome Apple’s terrific build quality and system-level macOS integration.
Update August 28th, 10:20AM ET: The article has been updated with buying links and more details now that the ViewFinity S9 has begun shipping.