Samsung S27A800U/S80UA Review: 4K IPS Monitor With USB-C

The Samsung S27A800U is an affordable 27" 4K IPS monitor with a USB-C input that supports DP Alt Mode and 90W Power Delivery.

Bottom Line

If you need a 4K USB-C monitor with DP Alt Mode and Power Delivery, the Samsung S27A800U offers excellent value for money! It has a wide color gamut, a fully ergonomic stand, PiP/PbP support and additional USB ports but sadly, it lacks AMD FreeSync for gamers.

Design:
(5.0)
Display:
(4.8)
Performance:
(4.1)
Price/Value:
(4.5)
4.6

The Samsung S27A800U (S80UA) is a 27″ 4K IPS monitor with a USB type C port that allows you to simultaneously charge and transfer audio, video and data to a compatible laptop with just one cable. Here’s all you need to know about it!

Note that there is another model with a similar name, the Samsung S27A800 from the S80A series, which is the same monitor but without a USB-C input.

Image Quality

Based on an IPS panel, the Samsung S27A800U features 178° wide viewing angles, which ensures that the picture will remain flawless regardless of the angle you’re looking at the screen.

Surprisingly, Samsung doesn’t specify the color gamut coverage of the monitor anywhere.

It has consistent and accurate colors with dithered 10-bit support (8-bit + FRC) for 1.07 billion colors and smooth gradients. The monitor covers ~95% of the DCI-P3 color space and ~90% Adobe RGB; equivalent to around 135% sRGB gamut size.

Further, there’s a gamut clamp that can restrict the display’s native color output down to ~100% sRGB for better precision when viewing SDR/sRGB content.

Without the sRGB clamp applied, colors will appear over-saturated when watching regular SDR content. Some users might prefer the extra saturation, but it’s good that you have the option to choose between the two.

Moving on, the Samsung S80UA has a peak brightness of 300-nits, which is decent as the screen can get more than bright enough under normal lighting conditions.

The static contrast ratio amounts to 1,000:1, which is standard for IPS monitors and means you won’t get quite as deep blacks as that of VA panel displays with ~3,000:1 contrast ratio. Of course, VA monitors have their own drawbacks, such as narrower viewing angles and gamma/saturation shift.

Another thing to keep in mind regarding IPS monitors is IPS glow. It’s characterized as visible glowing around the corners of the screen that’s mostly noticeable when showing dark scenes with a high brightness setting in a dark room. Its intensity varies between different units of monitors, but in most cases, it’s tolerable or even negligible.

Next, the 4K UHD resolution on a 27″ sized screen results in a high pixel density of 163 PPI (Pixels Per Inch), providing you with plenty of screen real estate and crystal-clear details, though you’ll need to use scaling in order to make small text readable.

4k scaling

The Samsung S27A800U monitor can also accept the HDR10 signal and display it, but without proper HDR hardware, it doesn’t deliver a noteworthy HDR viewing experience – as expected at this price range.

Performance

Thanks to its IPS panel, the Samsung S27A800U has a quick pixel response time speed, so there won’t be any noticeable trailing behind fast-moving objects.

There are three response time overdrive modes: Standard, Fast and Faster.

The ‘Faster’ mode is too aggressive and adds too much pixel overshoot, so stick with the ‘Fast’ mode for the best performance.

Input lag amounts to around 10ms, meaning that there’s no noticeable delay between your actions and the result on the screen.

However, since the monitor is limited to 60Hz and lacks a variable refresh rate, it won’t be appealing to gamers. Still, thanks to its vibrant colors, crips details, quick response time and low input lag, games will look great and run smoothly as long as you can maintain a decent frame rate at 4K UHD.

Finally, the screen’s backlight is completely flicker-free and there’s an integrated low-blue light filter (the Eye Saver mode).

Features

To access and navigate the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu, there’s a directional joystick beneath the bottom bezel of the screen.

Besides the standard image adjustment tools (brightness, contrast, color temperature, aspect ratio, etc.), you’ll also find some advanced settings, including three gamma modes, sharpness and saturation.

Other noteworthy features include Picture in Picture, Picture by Picture and Auto Input Switch (automatically changes to the input source it detects).

There’s also a sensor that can automatically change the monitor’s brightness according to ambient lighting.

For the best viewing experience, we recommend disabling the Adaptive Picture setting; it changes the picture brightness according to ambient and content lighting, but it’s more distracting than helpful.

Design & Connectivity

Samsung S27A800U Monitor Design

The stand of the monitor is fairly sturdy and offers a good range of ergonomics, including up to 120mm height adjustment, -4°/25° tilt, +/- 30° swivel, 90° pivot and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0, two USB 3.0 downstream ports, one USB port for service, a headphone jack, dual integrated speakers, and USB-C with DP 1.2 Alt Mode and 90W PD.

Note that when using the USB-C port for the 4K 60Hz signal, the USB bandwidth is limited to 2.0 speeds (480 Mbps) instead of USB 3.0 (5 Gbps). This is the case with all 4K USB-C monitors without Thunderbolt 3.

There’s also a variant of this monitor without built-in speakers: S27A800UJ. Our reviewed unit, S27A800UN has integrated speakers.

Price & Similar Monitors

The Samsung S27A800U price ranges from $380 to $450.

It’s the most affordable 4K monitor with USB-C that supports both DP Alt Mode and Power Delivery, yet it can deliver up to 90W of power!

LG’s popular 27UP850 model supports FreeSync with a 40-60Hz VRR range for tear-free gameplay up to 60FPS with compatible GPUs, but it goes for $450 – $550 and doesn’t have as wide color gamut or high power delivery (60W).

Visit our dedicated best USB-C monitors buyer’s guide for more displays and information; the S80UA is our top-recommended model for overall use.

Conclusion

All in all, if you need a USB-C monitor, the Samsung S27A800U is the best value-for-money 4K model.

Specifications

Screen Size27-inch
Resolution3840×2160 (Ultra HD)
Panel TypeIPS
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate60Hz
Response Time5ms (GtG)
Speakers2x2W
PortsDisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0,
USB-C (DP Alt Mode, 90W PD)
Other PortsHeadphone Jack, 2x USB 3.0
Brightness300 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
95% DCI-P3
HDRHDR10
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • Wide color gamut, sRGB mode
  • High pixel density, wide viewing angles, fast response time
  • Fully ergonomic stand and rich connectivity options, including USB-C with 90W PD

The Cons:

  • IPS glow and mediocre contrast ratio (as expected from this panel technology)
  • No AMD FreeSync

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Rob Shafer

Rob is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time managing DisplayNinja while coding his own projects on the side.