Features and specifications

Central Station is not available yet but Samsung has updated their product page to include specifications for two soon-to-be released monitors utilizing Central Station:

Central Station Product Comparison
  C23A750X C27A750X
Screen size 23" 27"
Resolution 1920x1080 1920x1080
Brightness 250 cd/m2 250 cd/m2
Response time 2ms 2ms
Viewing angles 170°/160° 170°/160°
Color support 16.7 million 16.7 million
Video inputs HDMI, VGA HDMI, VGA
Other inputs 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, Megabit Ethernet 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, Megabit Ethernet
Outputs Audio out (3.5mm), USB 3.0 Audio out (3.5mm), USB 3.0
Dimensions (WxHxD) 21.7" x 17.1" x 9.2" 25.1" x 19.1" x 9.2"
Weight 9.7 lbs 11.5 lbs
Price $449 $599

As the table shows, the only differences between these two are the screen size, dimensions, and price. Both offer the same resolution, brightness, viewing angles, and other features. 

Update: Best Buy is selling the 23" model for $449 and Micro Center is selling the 27" model for $599 so it appears that the rumored prices were correct. 

The Screen

Screen wise these new monitors remind me of Samsung’s Class 550 Series monitors which offer the same screen sizes, resolution, brightness etc. It could be that these monitors are actually using the same panels with just the Central Station hardware bundled with them. The viewing angles suggest that the panel type is TN, which might be bad news for people who need more accurate colors, or just an overall better quality display.

 

Ports

Each monitor has a total of four USB ports. Two of them are USB 3.0 but here comes the downside of using a wireless connection: your bandwidth will be limited to USB 2.0 speeds when connecting wirelessly. Samsung acknowledges that USB 2.0 speeds may not always be enough, and thus a USB 3.0 output is also present so if you want to enjoy USB 3.0 speeds; you just plug in a single USB 3.0 cable to your laptop and you can use the USB 3.0 devices connected to your monitor at full speed. However, this kind of kills the idea of paying extra for Central Station technology as there are plenty of other monitors and USB 3.0 hubs that can basically do the same thing for less money.

Samsung says that the wireless range is 5 feet, which means that you have to be on the same desk to use this feature without lag, so don’t imagine sitting across the room and using the screen as it won’t work. While wireless connection is the selling point of Central Station, these monitors also come with VGA and HDMI connections, so for instance you can plug in a Blu-Ray player and use the monitor “normally”. There is also a 100Mb Ethernet port (yeah, you heard it right, Megabit) which can be useful for businesses if there is no WiFi due to possible security concerns.

Ergonomics

The stand offers height adjustment so using the monitor should be comfortable no matter how tall you or your desk are. For a dual display setup, it’s even handier because you can adjust the display to be on the level of your laptop’s display (or very close to it). There is also something that Samsung calls MagicAngle which lets you to adjust the angle of the monitor.

System Requirements

Windows XP and Windows 7 will be supported at launch, but users of Windows Vista and Mac OS X will have to wait for a driver, which is set to be released later in 2011 (NY Times quotes October). On the hardware side, Samsung states that a 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo or better is required along with 2GB of RAM. Intel, ATI/AMD, and NVIDIA graphics are supported but it’s unclear whether this includes all GPUs made by these companies or only certain models. A 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo actually sounds pretty high as a requirement; personally I would expect Central Station to run fine on a 2010 MacBook Air, which has a slower CPU. 

Introduction and background Performance and final thoughts
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  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - link

    Thanks. I will update the article to include that is uses UWB (some other sites confirmed this too). Reply
  • Kyrra1234 - Sunday, June 19, 2011 - link

    It is indeed Ultra Wideband. My friend wrote the USB driver and did some of the firmware work for this device. :) Reply
  • Slayeristight - Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - link

    I think a device like this would be most useful for people that use tablets or phones. Make it a touchscreen or allow the use of a keyboard and mouse and you are set. I think it would make tablets extremely useful and even a replacement for a computer. Reply
  • XZerg - Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - link

    If Samsung releases this for the TVs instead would be perfect. Reply
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - link

    no thanks! Reply
  • noeldillabough - Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - link

    I was thinking that Thunderbolt could be added to all laptops and have docks that take a single cable, I can handle plugging a single cable into my machine, especially if the same dock could be used on multiple laptops. Reply
  • BugblatterIII - Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - link

    Google for the Toshiba dynadock wireless U.

    I have the wired version and it works very well. Unfortunately the wireless version doesn't go up to 1920x1200, which rules it out for me, but the basic idea is great. It's a shame it never really went mainstream; they might have taken it further.
    Reply
  • Belard - Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - link

    $450 for a 23 inch HD-Monitor? I'm sick of these HD monitors... I'm glad I got one of the last 1920x1200 screens, I DON'T like these narrow monitors we have today, especially for notebooks! My next notebook upgrade is going to suck.

    There is SHOULD be high-res 27~28" in displays hitting 2500x1600. That is what I want to upgrade to, but in the 27~28" size.

    Such high price for a 23" screen, might as well buy the $100~150 dock and plug them into whatever monitor you want. Obviously, the issues have been pointed out (many notebooks don't have docking ports and even upgrading a notebook usually means a new docking bay)

    ThinkPad's Docking bay is about $120. It includes: dual DVI output (for DUAL monitor display) in up to 1920x1200 each. 4 USB ports, PS/2 key/mouse ports, wired Ethernet port. From the docking unit, you can of course, add wireless keyboard and mouse. Such a combo is easily cheaper than this Samsung product.
    Reply
  • hucklongfin - Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - link

    I like the concept. Just don't build it into the monitor. If it was a box you attach a monitor to it'd be great. That way I could use it with any monitor and be good to go... add VGA/DVI/HDMI/Thunderbolt ports to cover all the bases. I just don't want to (and wouldn't) buy their monitor as part of the package. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, June 16, 2011 - link

    This^ I think for this to go much anywhere the laptop side has to be integrated on a lot of laptops (like Bluetooth is now) and the desk side should be a box that the monitor and peripherals plug into. Pair that with inductive charging for the laptop and no wires would be required no matter how long the use and you could choose whatever display is suitable Reply

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