Can’t quite match the very fastest gaming displays
Review Price: £600
3000:1 native contrast ratio
600-nits maximum brightness
2560 x 1440 resolution
27-inch screen size
Height, tilt, rotation and pivot adjustment
144Hz refresh rate
1ms motion picture response time
Backlight strobing blur reduction
What is the Samsung CHG70?
The Samsung CHG70 is the ultimate 27-inch gaming monitor. It packs in a number of unique extras along with more obvious gaming features, such as a 144Hz refresh rate and FreeSync.
Highlights include its accolade as the first high-dynamic range (HDR) gaming monitor to go on sale, and use of Samsung’s quantum-dot technology, which helps it cover the even wider range of colours demanded by HDR. It also features backlight strobing, which helps to eliminate motion blur issues that are common with VA LCD panels, and is curved as well.
The above combination of features add up to create a monitor that delivers both spectacular image quality and high-end gaming performance.
Samsung CHG70 – Design and features
The first thing you’ll notice on unboxing the CHG70 is how nice it looks even when turned off. There’s an understated elegance to this monitor that comes from the combination of its slim stand, the gentle curve of the display and the simple matte black and metallic grey finish used throughout. It perfectly treads that fine line between the overly staid look of some business monitors and the garish quality of many gaming panels.
A nod to the more typical gamer-aesthetic comes from a ring of blue light that emanates from the rear of the display. However, it’s subtle – both in colour and brightness – and can be turned off if it really isn’t your thing. Further enhancing the look of the rear is a removable cover for the IO, which keeps all cabling looking neat and tidy.
This monitor can even be mounted on a wall, and Samsung provides a VESA mount adapter with which you can do so. If you opt to do this then you can also remove the plastic ring that partially obscures the light, allowing more of it to shine onto your wall.
The one thing you miss out on in terms of the overall design is a low-profile bezel. The one here is fairly narrow but can’t quite match the sleekness of some models.
As for the stand, it offers the full range of ergonomic adjustments with height, tilt, rotation and pivot. All the movements are notably smooth, too, and the stand remains firm while the display moves effortlessly.
The height adjustment is interesting. Instead of a piston-based adjustment that goes straight up and down, here the display is mounted on a hinged arm, so as you adjust the height the display moves forward and back.
This works well enough, but it does create one slight problem. Since there has to be enough room for the arm to move back and forth, it results in a monitor that has quite a deep footprint. While most similarly sized monitors will fit in a space under 30cm deep, the front ends of this display’s stand 41cm forward. Not an issue for most, but potentially a problem if you have a relatively narrow desk with a wall behind it.
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As for connectivity, it’s largely very good, with one DisplayPort 1.4 and two HDMI 2.0 for video inputs, plus a headset microphone pass through and headphone socket. There’s also a USB 3.0 hub, although it has only two ports, where some monitors offer four. There aren’t any speakers either.
While the exterior of the CHG70 may ignore more stereotypical gamer styling, this monitor’s menu system does not. Bright turquoise and grey, with aggressive angular lines, and topped by a series of dial-like indicators for various settings, subtle it certainly isn’t. However, it is effective.
It’s controlled by a single mini-joystick on the rear of the display. Press it in once and it brings up an initial menu with options to change the input, go to the main menu, activate eco mode or power off the display. Alternatively, immediately tapping left or right will adjust volume, while up and down will scroll through the Brightness, Contrast and Sharpness settings.
The main menu itself is packed with options, but they’re logically located so it’s quick and easy to find the setting you’re after. As for those dial indicators, they show the Black Equalizer, Response Time, Refresh Rate, FreeSync and Low Input Lag status. This is a good selection, allowing you to determine at a glance the gaming-readiness of the display.
There are three more buttons on the underside of the display. These are hotkeys for quickly activating a predetermined selection of settings. This is a neat addition that makes it super-easy to setup different profiles for the two or three main activities for which you may be using the display: one for general desktop use, one for gaming and one for watching video, for instance.
The only slight negative is that Samsung doesn’t provide explicit options for turning on or off the backlight strobing technology or adjusting the panel overdrive setting. Instead, these are combined into one response time setting that appears to have the former technology turned off when in standard mode and on for its Faster and Fastest settings. For the most part this won’t matter, but those who like to have as much manual control as possible may miss having granular options.
As for physical setup, the display arrives in just two parts, with the base of the stand affixed to the rest of the display via two captive screws – you can use a coin to turn them if you don’t have a screwdriver to hand. If you want to make use of the wall mount, remove the disc covering the light then unscrew four normal screws – you’ll need a screwdriver for this.
The other thing to note about the physical setup of this display is that the range of left to right rotation offered by the stand is a touch limited. Most monitors will turn 60 degrees or so each way, but the CHG70 moves only 30 degrees. Not a deal breaker for most, but worth noting.