Until now, monitors featuring UHD resolution were rather pricy, but this is about to change. Thanks to an affordable 28-inch panel, which will be utilized by almost all manufacturers, prices for 4K-monitors are going to drop to around € 600 / £ 500 halfway through 2014. Samsung was the first to send us the LU28D590D, a monitor which is going to cost around € 600 / £ 500, but does offer 3840x2160 pixels. It is based on a TN panel, although it is an extremely good one, so keep on reading, because this could be a screen you might be adding to add to the top of your wish list.
First, regarding the 4K designation: essentially this is the term reserved for film at a resolution of 4096x2160 pixels. UHD is the designation for monitors and televisions featuring a resolution of 3840x2160, which exactly is four times Full HD resolution. As it is now, we use both, but officially the Samsung LU28D590D is a UHD-display.
Because of a 28-inch panel manufactured by CMO, the M280DGJ-L30, a decent number of manufacturers will be able to offer affordable UHD-displays. The first able to send us a sample for testing was Samsung. Although currently the panels will be the same, all displays definitely will not be later on. This has everything to do with how they are controlled. Currently, there are two manufacturers of UHD scalers, Novatech and Mstar. The first generation scalers does have a number of limitations. For example, these scalers could only process UHD resolution with a maximum of 30 frames per second (30 Hz). Some manufacturers chose to use these scalers. For example, this is the case with Dell’s 28-inch screen, which is limited to 30 Hz at UHD resolution. Samsung does utilize a newer model, and as such, the LU28D590D does run at 60 Hz, provided, it is connected through DisplayPort 1.2.
The panel is of the TN type. Regular readers will know that we generally aren’t fans of this cheapest panel technology, because the colour fidelity often isn’t too great and the colours shift, when looked at from an angle. As such, many readers responded negatively to the announcement that cheap UHD monitors would utilize this panel type. We, too, were sceptical, but after testing the LU28D590D we can only state that this is a TN monitor worth considering. The LU28D590D offers low response times and the colour fidelity leaves little to be desired. We do need to note that this is an early sample – another test later this year will have to determine how well this Samsung monitor compares to what the competition offers. However, for the time being, we are excited. Read on to find out why!