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4K Monitors

What is all this hype about 4K?  Is this something that is just a fad or should I truly invest in it? These are the most common questions about 4K monitors. I have personally embraced 4K monitors in my daily work flow and it has pushed my productivity to a new level. My work flow has always included multiple monitors for multiple windows opened simultaneously.  I have found that my 27” 4K monitor can replace 2 displays on my desk.  So what is 4K? 4K is made up of 4 1920×1080 displays all put into a single monitor creating a total pixel resolution of 3840×2160.  So really its not truly 4,000 pixels but its close and 4K sounds much better than 3.8K. In the market today there are a lot of marketing tricks that companies are doing to mark up the price of displays, 4K30 or 4096 Widescreen.  To clear this up 4K must truly be 3840×2160 @ 60hz.

4K is not new to the market but there are still a lot of challenges to implement 4K into a daily workflow. The first challenge is based around connectors.  Today HDMI is not capable of true 4K 60 over a single cable.  HDMI has many different versions and the latest version of HDMI 2.2 will be fully capable of 4K 60 video once the chips are available. The displayport protocol is only family of consumer connections that is capable of supporting 4K 60 today.  All the major displays on the market today have the displayport family of connections.  When planning to upgrade your workflow it is important to verify that your current workstations are capable of supporting the resolution and frame rate you are looking for.

Why I love 4K.  I currently use Windows 10 and OSX on a daily basis.  The visual capability of 4K will be different for each user. Each operating system handles pixel resolution different.  Windows 8 and Windows 10 allow for custom zooming options that allow the user to set the actual viewing size of the window for it be legible.  OSX also has a zooming feature but the native window zoom size is large enough to read all text without having any eye strain.  As a user I enjoy more screen space and my default settings are set to custom at 100% which sets the text size to a 9 pt viewing size.  For most my text size is extremely small and they are unable to read text.  The purpose for me is to have two full size 1920 windows side by side.  This allows for me to view full web pages without having to scroll left or right.  This is how I have been able to replace 2 monitors with a single 4K one.

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