I'm on my 4th (!) 4k monitor, and think I have found the sweet spot - it's a 48 inch curved 4K Samsung JS9000 TV that supports 4k @ 60hz with 4:4:4 chroma over HDMI 2.0.
At that size the pixel density is identical to a 24" 1080p monitor and the slight curve means it fills your field of vision with significantly less distortion at the edges.
Unfortunately the stand isn't adjustable, so I replaced it with a set of adjustable 'feet' off Amazon that bolt to the wall-mounting holes. The screen sits about a centimeter off my desk - just enough to run keyboard & mouse cables under, while keeping both the top and bottom of the screen at comfortable viewing distances.
The overall result is _glorious_. I have so much room I can just drag windows over to whichever part of the screen I feel like staring at, while having tons of room at the top for widgets and music players and such. I can run games in windowed mode alongside web browsers and everything's readable and playable. I can have pages and pages of code spread out everywhere and it's all marvelously usable.
In comparison, my other 4k experiments -
1. Seiki SE39UY04 39" - Terrrrible lag, bad color, 30 hz only. The 30 hz is not itself the killer (30 hz on the JS9000 is only mildly irritating), it's the 100+ millisecond delay that makes it infuritating. Sold it for $100 after trying and failing to adapt.
2. Samsung 55" UN55HU8550 - Great except for the lack of 4:4:4 chroma, and 55 inches is just -too- big to use as a monitor - especially without the curve. I still use this one as my main living room monitor & TV.
3. LG 40UB8000 - Almost good enough. No 4:4:4 chroma, slightly buggy firmware, too much color distortion at the edges when used at monitor distances. Pixel density is about the same as a 27" 2560x1440 monitor, but in practice you'll be squinting as it needs to be placed farther back on your desk in order for the sides of the screen to be usable.
Samsung does make a cheaper 48" 4k screen (the JU6700) which I believe supports 4k@60, 4:4:4 chroma - it would probably be just as good as the JS9000 for most purposes, with only slightly reduced color quality and a few less bells and whistles.
I'd just like an idea of how much I could fit on one. I've been considering about buying a third monitor, but I think that a single larger monitor would be easier to deal with.
In my work, I frequently have 10+ windows open for editors, graphics, other references resources, and finally the application I document might need 5-6 of its own.
This is a glib answer, but honestly, if a report came out tomorrow that there were significant negative health effects of spending time near a large computer monitor, smartphone, etc., it would be decades before the majority of people changed their habits (see smoking).
Those two interplay and setup a situation where resolution is utterly wasted if the observer is farther than the perceptual limit. Think of a standard Snellen chart placed at 12 meters rather than 6.
And so, the decision to go to 4K displays is inexorably connected with a specification of display size and viewer distance. Ages ago IBM introduced "Big Bertha" probably the first 4K display. It was about $20K. The problem was that IBM made the display 22 inches diagonal and, at that size and resolution, you had to be 6 to 8 inches away in order to actually make use of the resolution.
There are other considerations but I think being able to actually use the resolution is key.
Personally, I prefer multiple (3) 1920x1200 monitors because it allows segmentation of your workspace. For example, you can maximize a the video of a course or online class you are taking while you code on the middle monitor and have reference material on the third.
I know this will not be well received on HN but I have to say it. The OSX UI has been grossly outdated as it pertains to large or multi monitor setups for a long, long time. This insistance on having menu's at the top of the monitor is rather than within the application window simply isn't sensible. I've had the experience of projecting a Mac on a 40 foot 4K theater screen. The only way I can describe the single top menu bar experience is tiring and ridiculous. Windows or a similarly setup Ubuntu systems with menu's owned by the application are a dream to use on a huge multi-screen environments. I've done just that with huge stadium-sized LED video walls mapped as multiple monitors to the OS. Nothing like hqving to move a cursor across 160 feet of screen real estate to reach the menu's to show, in no uncertain terms, that a UI is broken.
Get a TV only if you can return it. A matte monitor will nearly always look better in realistic lighting scenarios.
Definitely worth it, at least for me, especially since I expect I'll keep it for 5-10 years.
My Dell u2412m has a pixel density of 94 PPI (I think?) which is quite low for today's standards but it does the job and I can't justify upgrading it. Compare this to my current smartphone (xperia z3 compact) which at 720p has 319 PPI and is still considered low end in this regard.
Work provided me with a macbook pro retina and I don't see what's the fuss about. Hence running mostly on clam-shell mode.
On older notebooks I simply use the Dina font which looks great on low res screns.
Of course when I go to the stores and see these 4k TVs I definitely notice a difference but we're not talking media consumption here.
I feel the same about 21:9 aspect ratios or multi monitor setups. My favorites are still 4:3 or 16:10. I used to have a multi monitor setup for a while but ended up selling it.
I might have to get my eyes looked at, or maybe I spent too much time staring at mainframe screens.
It's hard to say if it's worth it or not. Software support is getting much better but the benefits seem unclear.
I recommend Dell P2715Q. It's $700 for 27" (though Dell often has sales/coupons - I got mine for about $500). IPS + matte. The stand is pretty decent. Nothing stupid like a glossy bezel, etc.
I'm not sure I would but it again. I use 19020x1080 monitors at work and don't notice a big difference. Plus monitor resolutions jumped up quickly (after being stagnant for so long) but video cards didn't. Not a huge issue for editting text but something to consider. You can always game in 1920x1080 (and it will look fine) but alt-tabbing to your desktop will be slow.
> I recommend ...
> I'm not sure I would [buy] it again.
It's amazing for gaming in the off-hours though. I'd say go for it if you do a lot of front-end work, otherwise wait until there's better support.
FWIW, I'm using an LG UM95 (Thunderbolt display better than Apple's). If I was buying again today, I'd go for the 34UC97, which is essentially the same display, but slightly curved. Ultrawide displays benefit a lot from a slight curve, and the only thing you lose is the VESA mount. Might be important for some, but not for me.
But if you're a front-end person building a web-app, I think it's important to have access to screens that are as good as what your visitors have (so you can see what they see). If your site is catering to users who would have 4k, then you definitely need it yourself.
Software support is a bit spotty (unless you have a Mac). If your eyesight is up to the task and the 4K screen is large enough, you can just treat it as a huge normal monitor and have lots of reasonably sized pixels to play with. I would go with something in the 40" range, which is the same pixel density as a 20" one.
What happens when you tell a 16:9 video to go full screen?
A system with 3 of these could be amazing.
It works perfectly if you're watching a vertical YouTube video :-P