The Dell 43″ 4K monitor

Posted by mitch on June 05, 2016

I was sitting on a plane on May 20th waiting to take off back home to Boston when I read about Dell’s release of the P4317Q, a 43″ 3840×2160 monster. I managed to order it before we got in the air.

I had been running the Dell 34″ curved monitor with a 27″ in portrait. The wideness of the 34″ was fantastic–it’s easy to see 3 pages of text side by side by side. However, the 34″ was frustrating for Xcode work–the 1440 height isn’t ideal for most of my work vs the standard 1600 pixel height of 30″ displays. Although I’ve sold off my original 3×30 Apple displays, I still have and use 3 HP 30″ displays, 2 in one office and 1 in another office.

But mostly I just want the biggest workspace possible, and Dell has finally delivered a big workspace. The 43″ runs about 104 pixels per inch, which is comparable to the 30″ 2560×1600 of roughly 100 pixels per inch. This means there’s not a “Retina”-style HiDPI tightness to text, but instead a larger viewing area.

Initially I got extremely motion sick from the monitor–It turned out my Gunnar computer glasses were making me sick with this large display. The motion sickness happened within 5 minutes.

Since taking them off and spending about 20 hours with the monitor, I’ve found it’s almost exactly what you’d expect–a beautiful, expansive, stunning display with one major caveat: It’s not curved, which means the corners of the screen are about 7″ further away from my eyes than the middle of the screen. Hopefully a curved version is coming. A smaller challenge is that the top of the screen is “too high” if I slouch in my chair–I think the monitor actually works better when my standing desk is elevated, but this is relatively minor.

I tried to take some pictures to capture how big this screen is, but nothing really pulls it off. Below is a picture showing a 4 page Word doc at 150% Zoom–the pages are slightly larger on the screen than printed. Without tool bars, it’s quite possible to squeeze in almost 8 pages on the screen in a 4×2 grid without much reduction in size.

If you have room for it, are tired of bezels breaking up the view, this could be a good way to go. I’ll definitely upgrade when someone comes out with a curved version or something even wider–I’d love to have a 50″ curved display, perhaps on the order of 5440×2160.


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