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SAMSUNG U28D590 4K UHD monitor review

SAMSUNG U28D590 4K UHD monitor review

August 17, 2014 8:52 am0 comments

Samsung U28D590D

After years announcing it, it hasn’t been until 2014 when we started to see how 4K technology started arriving with force to the consumer’s market thanks to some products with a much more adjusted quality/price ratio compared to some months ago. Samsung has been one of the firsts to dare, with a 4k screen of outstanding benefits that can be bought for less than 650 dollars. Is it worth it to take the leap? Let’s take a look at the new Samsung U28D590D.

The new Samsung model presents a discreet, elegant design, with a more than acceptable construction quality and a very fine profile that doesn’t diminish the importance of the product’s key: a fabulous 3.840×2.160 pixels panel of native resolution. Fabricated by CMO, this TN panel (that we will probably see next in other manufacturer’s products) is the best option when offering a contained cost (choosing an IPS would have skyrocketed the price), although some of this technology’s natural problems doesn’t allow it to offer the color fidelity demanded for professional use.

Reviewing the datasheet, we find ourselves before a product that satisfies most users’ needs, including the videogame’s fans. With a 28” diagonal, it offers a new maximum brightness of 370 cd/m2, a real contrast ratio of 1000:1 and a response time of only 1 ms, a complete warranty that we won’t be seeing the feared image trail nor will we have problems with sudden color transitions. Regarding connectivity, it offers a DisplayPort 1.2 (60 Hz) and two HDMI 1.4 (Hz) ports.

Empirically, being able to enjoy content with this resolution is a blast. Even though we were a bit nervous at first, the combination of the TN panel of the Samsung U28D590D with the image adjusting algorithms gives as a result a fantastic experience both in multimedia and in videogames, with a very superior color fidelity than that seen on other screens based in TN to this moment and some more than acceptable vision angles (always within limits and without comparing it to IPS). It may not be ready still for professional photographic or video edition but it is a powerful ally for any other task. The office use alone is different with so much space to interact with many windows at the same time.

The U28D590D screen offers multi-area technology, with the Samsung Picture in Picture (PIP) 2.0 function that can show in a superposed window, sources with FullHD resolution and the Picture by Picture function that allows connecting two computers to the screen and work with them simultaneously, dividing the screen in two. It also allows for a rescale from FullHD that, without doing miracles (it is impossible to get pixels from where they do not exist), it allows to take advantage of Blu-ray players and last generation video consoles without issues.

Don’t be confused. UHD is not 4K.

Even though the equivalence is not exclusive of Samsung, (in fact, on the next months we will see how most manufacturers resort to it), it is worth making the differences between UHD (Ultra High Definition) and the 4k spec clear. The Digital Cinema Initiative states that the DCI 4K will have a native resolution of 4,096 x 2,160 pixels in a 1.9:1 proportion. This way, a 4K panel is 256 pixels wider that a UHD.

resolution

The audiovisual industry has chosen the UHD as its standard and, for commercial reasons, often equate it to 4K (we find ourselves before a similar scenario to what happened with FullHD and HDReady). However the reason for this apparent pixel “saving” has a reason: most content is designed for viewing in 1.78:1 relation, so to use real 4K panels it would be necessary to show black lines at the sides as to not deform the image.

Is it worth it to take the leap now?

Today, 4K content shines for its absence. We don’t have physical content support yet (we should wait for the next Blu-ray generation) and streaming services like Youtube or Netflix (not available in Spain) are the only ones that have shown intentions of starting to offer 4K content. On the other hand, we already have in the market cameras and even cell phones capable of recording in 4K, so it is now possible to create our own content.

Regarding videogames, it is possible to play in 4K al long as we have hardware capable of running it. The most advanced users will not have problems on this regard and probably, buying a new monitor like this one will be an ideal investment. Lastly, for office use, photo edition or design software it is an interesting product but, even though the price has been greatly adjusted, it is still high. It is worth taking into account that with 600 dollars we can buy two (or three if we stress the budget a little) 1080p screens.

Conclusions

In technology, enjoying the newest products before anyone else has its Price. The Samsung U28D590D offers a spectacular image quality, and once you try it, it is extremely high to return to 1080p screens, but a more objective analysis shows that we are before an exclusive product, only recommended for a certain profile of users that are willing to pay a lot to start enjoying the 4K technology now. Those who can will enjoy it.

In any case, we should recognize Samsung’s effort of putting a UHD screen on the market that has a really competitive price and that sets the start of the next generation screens. Let’s hope that at the same time that the hardware manufacturers moderate prices and improve the quality of their products, the audiovisual industry accompanies them with a content offer that invites them to do the economic effort that this leap takes.

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