With 3D gaining in popularity and available content, ways to view it are becoming ever more important. Consoles like the Nintendo 3DS and other mobile solutions such as the HP Envy 17 3D aside, the two main ways to do this are monitors and televisions. If you're looking for one or the other, there are plenty of options, with the Panasonic TX-P55VT30 being our current favourite in the TV camp while the BenQ XL2410T is our monitor champion. However, if you want both you're not spoilt for choice (though of course it's perfectly possible to use a 32in Full HD LCD TV as a monitor). Fear not, however, Samsung has a solution in its brand new Series 9 TA950, a super-slim 27in TV/monitor hybrid stuffed to the brim with features, functionality, connectivity and designer chic.
We're talking about a Full HD 3D display with full Smart Hub functionality, including media playback, PVR, and support for popular applications and services like LoveFilm, BBC's iPlayer, FaceBook, Skype, Twitter, YouTube and more! It comes with wireless active glasses, a backlit remote, a Wi-Fi dongle, and all the connectors and adapters you might need.
From the moment you see the TA950's design, you realise it's something special. Most striking is its asymmetrical stand, reminiscent of the BenQ V2400W. An organic curve ads extra elegance, which complements the monitor's incredibly slim lines. We're talking about a depth of 1cm, with a bezel that's only 9mm thick – at least on three sides, as it's thicker on the bottom. Samsung has achieved this by moving all the TV/monitor's connectivity from the rear of the screen to its base. Adjustability is limited to tilt, but that's more than is offered by many small HDTVs.
The materials used also shout premium. From the front you'll see mostly glossy black plastic, but the entire rear of the display and stand, as well as the top of its base, are covered in brushed aluminium. We might have wished for this to be reversed from a purely aesthetic point of view, but having a silver bezel would have constrained the picture more in a darkened environment. Regardless, this is one of those rare displays that look good no matter which angle you view it from.
Build quality is concurrently excellent, with no unwanted squeaking or flex. As the TA950 arrives completely pre-assembled, there's no setup hassle and no screws or click mechanisms to worry about.
Getting to that aforementioned connectivity, this 27in display packs in every input and output you could want. From left to right, we have a proprietary jack which can be used for analogue video (component/composite) and audio using the supplied adapters, a non-Gigabit Ethernet port, optical audio output for piping 5.1 surround sound to a speaker system, 3.5mm audio input and a headphone jack.
Furthermore you get an RGB input with included SCART adapter; twin USB 2.0 inputs, which can be used to hook up external storage or the included Wi-Fi dongle; twin HDMI 1.4, 3D-compatible digital video inputs, which can also function as DVI using the included HDMI-DVI cable; and last but not least, an antennae input for the DVB-T2 tuner (not the 'lesser DVB-T that's still found on most TVs). That's an undeniably impressive showing for such a small display.