REVIEW: Samsung's Series 9 All-in-One is based on the same design as the company's S27A950D monitor - the dull name of which belies its stunning design.
The guts of the Series 9 sit in its 32mm-high base, which is encased in matte-black plastic and has a smooth brushed-aluminium top. The 12mm-thick screen sweeps up from the right on a gently curved hinge that offers around 20 degrees of vertical adjustment. The screen border is finished in piano-black plastic, whilst the rear is clad in seamless aluminium.
The Series 9 doesn't feature a touchscreen - its 1920 x 1080-pixel display is strictly a hands-off affair.
Inside is a 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-2600S CPU, 8GB of RAM, and an AMD Radeon HD 6730M GPU with 1GB of dedicated video memory. You've also got a 1TB, 7200RPM hard drive, and a slot-loading Blu-ray writer.
Performance was impressive in our standard set of PC benchmarks, especially in terms of raw computing power. In CPU-intensive tests from PCMark 7, Cinebench and 7-Zip, performance easily tops most of the all-in-ones and laptops we've tested to date.
The quad-core Core i7-2600S supports Intel's HyperThreading technology, which means each core can run two processing threads simultaneously for a total of eight in all. Combined with an ample 8GB of RAM, this makes the Series 9 ideal for multi-threaded tasks such as 3D rendering or video encoding.
AMD's Radeon HD 6730M is a mid-range GPU. In our graphics-based benchmarks, it pumped out results similar to the multimedia laptops we tested in June (though notably, only half the framerates and scores delivered by the top-end Apple iMac's Radeon HD 6970M). You could expect to play many modern games at low to moderate graphical settings, but the Series 9 is not a gaming powerhouse.
Connections are all on the base of the PC, which allows for neat cabling with nothing hanging down behind the monitor. Along the right hand side are headphone and microphone sockets, two USB 2.0 ports, and an SD Card reader. On the rear is an antenna input for the Series 9's digital TV tuner, as well as an HDMI input (allowing the PC to be used as a regular monitor), two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI out for connection of a secondary display, and Gigabit Ethernet.
The Series 9 ships with a wireless keyboard and mouse. They share a wireless receiver that takes up a single USB2.0 port.
The keyboard is a stock-standard US 104-key layout, without any media or shortcut keys. The surface is faux brushed-aluminium (really plastic), which looks great combined with the black island keys.
The mouse is glossy piano-black: I'd call that an odd choice for something designed to be touched constantly, but it's surprisingly resistant to fingerprints.
There are a few neat extras in the box worth mentioning. The first is a Windows Media Center remote control, for which the Series 9 has a built-in infrared receiver. Also enhancing the media capabilities are a pair of active 3D glasses. The Series 9 has 3D support built in, and in addition to playing back 3D Blu-ray movies, can perform 2D to 3D conversion on the fly.
Finally, you get a Microsoft LifeCam Studio: a full-HD clip-on webcam. It's a far nicer option than the built-in webcams found on most all-in-ones, as it can be adjusted to properly face the user regardless of the screen's angle (or unplugged entirely if you have no desire for a webcam).
Samsung's Series 9 All-in-One serves well as a space-saving workstation for the home office with its attractive design and powerful CPU. However, its Blu-ray drive, TV tuner, 3D capability and media remote make it equally suited as a small-screened entertainment centre for the family room or bedroom. Eithe10r way, it's a great buy for its shelf price of just $2,499.
AT A GLANCE
Samsung Series 9 All-in-One (DP900A7A)
27-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel display
2.8GHz Intel Core i7-2600S CPU, 8GB RAM
AMD Radeon HD 6730M graphics
Active 3D, includes HD webcam
RRP incl GST: $2,499