Samsung has just announced a new 4K PC monitor that has been designed to offer 4K ultra-high resolution (3840×2160) without breaking your bank. At $699.99, this is one of the most affordable 4K monitors that I have seen, and the name of the game in that space is the ratio between image and industrial design quality versus the price.
Price/Performance is hard to beat
To achieve an excellent ratio, Samsung has opted to use the LED TN display technology, which would be the equivalent to TFT LCD in Samsung’s line up. That’s in contrast to PLS technology, which is Samsung’s own version of IPS LCD. The main difference is a slightly narrower viewing angle of 170 (TN) degrees vs. 178(PLS), but when I looked at the monitor, and in the context of a desktop/office use, it think that it is a very small price to pay to massively save on the price.
Most other 4K monitors that you can purchase now, notably from Dell or ASUS are easily priced beyond $1000 (23.8”) or $2200 (31.5”). This is how good Samsung’s pricing gets. The competitors may offer slightly view angles, and depending on the models, maybe the color rendering would outperform this one. However, with a price that can shoot 3X or more above the Samsung UD890.
Very good image quality
With a visual inspection, I found the image quality of the Samsung UD590 to be very good. I don’t think that it beats those workstation IPS monitors in terms of color rendering, so if you are working on something that needs tight color calibration, you may want to do additional work, or get one to perform your own estimation. I would look at the contrast ratio for example, because I’ve seen other 4K monitors that could outperform the UD590 for that specific point.
Like most 4K displays, the Samsung UD590 can reproduce 1.07 Billion colors, but I haven’t had an opportunity to run a color gamut test. As for response time, Samsung claims 1ms, which is to be compared with the 8ms or so of most 4K displays.
I think that most people would be pretty impressed with this particular monitor, and I would highly recommend it for office work (excel in 4K: priceless) or programmers because quadrupling the resolution of text does matter a lot in terms of comfort. Tablets and 4K laptops have pretty much proved so and I don’t think that there is much more convincing left to do. The brightness is 370 nit, which is plenty and can easily compete, or beat, other consumer-level 4K monitors on the market now.
Multiple PIP modes
Since the resolution is so high, it opens the door to many fun PIP (picture in picture) modes. The UD590 lets you create sub-regions at full resolution in case you want to keep an eye on something. Even 1080p would only occupy ¼ of the 4K screen. It is also possible to connect a second PC, and have both your PC, and the other one visible on screen at the same time. That could be useful if you administer a local server or something like that. I can’t imagine what people would do with it (split race with Forza 5, or collaborative TitanFall game maybe?)
Industrial design: efficient, but not flexible
The industrial design is very nice, and Samsung has kept it as simple and efficient as possible. The monitor stand uses a T-shape which is designed to occupy as little room as possible on the desk. This is a pretty smart design, but one that also puts some restrictions on how much you can adjust on the monitor: basically tilt forward/backward – that’s it.
Also, there is no VESA mount, so if you want to hang this on an ARM or a wall, it’s not going to happen. That’s a bummer, but I also understand that this is a high-volume product and most people don’t do that. A VESA mount also makes the frame thicker and requires more material on the frame, which makes the weight and price go up.
Connectivity and Specifications
In terms of Connectivity, there are two HDMI and one DisplayPort inputs. There is also an Audio out connector in case you want to have some speakers connected to this unit. The overall specifications look very good, and the connectivity is sufficient. The lack of flexibility is the only thing that would bug me, but it’s not like the competition is massively better, and paying $3000 for an ASUS PQ321Q to get the VESA mount is not on the table (at least my table).
- Display: 28” LED TN 2840×2160
- Viewing Angle 170/160 degrees
- Response Time 1ms
- Brightness: 370 nits
- Colors: 1.07 Billion
- HDMI: 2
- DisplayPort: 1
- Audio Out: Yes
- Tilt: -1 degrees to 15 degrees
- PIP split screen
- Price: $699.99
"THE HOTTEST 4K PC MONITOR ON THE MARKET"Without a doubt, and for most users today, this is the hottest 4K PC monitor on the market (pre-orders start today). Samsung’s goal was to craft an affordable high-quality 4K monitor and they hit the nail on the head. By carefully designing this monitor, Samsung has hit a perfect balance between size (28”), resolution (4K), image quality (1B colors), design (minimalist) and price ($699) to build a monitor that simply has no equivalent on the market. Just hit your favorite e-tailer and start a comparison, you will see what I mean.
I have been waiting for 4K desktop monitors for a while, but the previous average price of $2000 to $3000 had a chilling factor. The Samsung UD590 blasts that price barrier away, and the other competitor worth of attention is the Dell Ultra 28, which seems almost equivalent, except that it has a VESA mount…