Samsung's 27in LCD monitor is quite the box of tricks. Pulling it out of the box tells some of the story, but not all by any stretch of the imagination.
Visually, the first thing you notice is that this screen has great styling, and an interesting and flexible stand with some built-in controls and sockets. Continued study shows that there's also something wireless and a little dongle provided in the pack.
A look around the monitor shows how many connections there are. On the right hand side there are a pair of USB 2 sockets. These are probably best used with a USB keyboard and mouse. But we'll come that a little later.
On the rear, there's an Ethernet socket, power jack, VGA input and another USB connection designed to connect to your PC and allow your keyboard and mouse to communicate with your computer though one simple wire, rather than two.
On the right side, you'll find HDMI and two USB 3.0 sockets. Samsung claims that this is the world's first USB 3.0 hub, but even ignoring that claim, it's still very handy indeed to have USB 3.0 on the monitor.
Samsung has included several touch sensitive controls on the stand. There are input select, menu and 'hub' buttons, as well as a power control and a four-way menu scroller. These all work OK, but they aren't the most sensitive controls and the on-screen menus aren't exactly simple.
Samsung has gone all-out with the wireless on this monitor, and it's done a good job. The dongle is an ultra-wideband USB device, and plugging it in allows bi-directional sharing of data between the monitor and the computer. Unlike Wi-Fi, UWB uses high frequencies to send huge amounts of data a very short distance. In this case, the range is just a few metres, but it's still pretty reliable.
And Samsung also scores here with the sheer flexibility of its monitor. If you use the wireless dongle you can plug a keyboard and mouse into the monitor, and your typing and mouse commands will be sent wirelessly back to the laptop. This works very well actually, and is a boon if you're a laptop user who sometimes needs a more user-friendly work environment.
But the dongle also allows your computer to send its display signal back to the monitor. And that's pretty clever in our opinion, although it's not without its flaws. We'll speak more about those later, but it's also worth mentioning that if you don't want to use the wireless display option, you can just use a USB cable.
Using a wired connection has some advantages. For example, the lag is reduced and there's not as much chance of the signal cutting out for some reason. Aside from that, during our testing the monitor performed well on both, but it's not as flawless as with a normal VGA or HDMI cable.
The monitor can also share your Ethernet connection with your PC via the USB or wireless USB. Maybe this is no more useful than Wi-Fi but it does mean everything works through the same connection.