I guess it's just a personal preference, but my retina MBP's screen is so much easier on my eyes for long sessions than anything else I've ever used, and staring at a huge backlight like what he recommends seems like it'd be incredibly painful. I get all the "more text characters" I want out of a vertical monitor.
You can also prove the sharpness effect to yourself by using bitmap fonts - they will look great on regular DPI monitors on any OS.
Sure some smoothing algorithm might work better for you and ease the problem; same with bitmap fonts. But try printing some text at 96dpi and at 300dpi and compare it side by side. 96dpi is not enough for comfort, and for years we've been pretending it is since there was no viable alternative. There is now. Hurray!
How good is Linux support for HiDPI these days? I've been delaying making the upgrade for a few years, waiting for better native support. Also, any idea if you can mix HiDPI screens with regular ones?
Recent is key here; I have been using Gnome in HiDPI mode for a couple of years but I had to do some tweaks to have it working well; now it seems to work more or less out of the box. Same holds for Qt based applications.
Mixed DPI screens kind of works, but there are hitches; I definitely suggest going all in.
This may not be for everybody. I actually prefer low-resolution displays, and use beautiful bitmapped fonts (without need for "antialiasing"). It looks much cleaner to me.
I've since switched to full HD-screens, zooming everything to 150%-200%. It's readable in most cases, but considerably less pretty than bitmapped fonts on a lower-res screen.
If you did test there, you'd just tested one configuration (even if it's the most popular). There are services that allow you to test your web work in dozens of different configurations.
There are also Chrome tools etc to help you test different aspect rations and sizes. And you can always change the display to a non-native resolution.
Or you can just resize the browser window :)
But many monitors have Marketing 4K which is UHD.
More users are now on mobile, with high res displays.
Using the "Is this retina?" page, OPs monitor becomes "retina" at 86cm. And looking at his setup, that's probably how far he sits. His screen is way back, beyond the edge of the desk.
The MBP screen has 220 ppi but it is designed to be viewed from much closer.
As for the backlight, then again, it is relative. In a well lit environment like in a typical office, it simply matches the ambiant light. In a dark room, you'll probably want a dark theme anyways.
However, if I remember correctly, these 5k displays are explicitly made for video editing. So that you can show a 1:1 4k frame with space around it for all the controls and toolbars. I think it is a special case where that high resolution is definitely justified.
It's only slightly better than the rather abysmal 91 ppi of 1080p at 24", which many people will be familiar with. It's really not good and a long shot from proper high ppi displays.
I don't get a lot more lines on the screen, so most of what the displays do for me is sharper font rendering. And that is a lot better with my current iMacs 5K display, but I got by fine with bitmapped, non-antialiased fonts on 24" displays. They were sharp in a different manner, and I personally don't mind the pixelation, as far as I can tell (I don't feel more tired more quickly f. ex.).
Having said that, I used a 24" display in portrait mode for a while, and ditched that as it required too much eye and neck movement. Now a 43" display is higher in landscape mode than former portrait display, so I would have the same issues (and pushed farther back would decrease the whole point, never mind that the back of the desk would be quickly reached).
My mom still has my original Dell 24" 1920x1200 display I bought way back when, and I'd have no trouble using that right now. Heck, I probably wouldn't fare too bad with an old IBM 1600x1200 monitor, or two of them.
Standard 1080p monitors seem so bad with text, and once you plop them next to an MBP Retina screen the difference is extremely pronounced,
A tip from country where the price difference matters:
Look for a TV, not PC monitor. They're often cheaper while having the same ports to connect it to a computer. But beware - some of them have always-on overscan which means you will get blurry effect and cropped picture. Make sure you can disable that (look for overscan, PC mode or something like that) before buying. Testing it on laptop before buying seems to be a good idea too - my mother's TV has option to disable overscan, but only on old VGA input. On HDMI it is always on anyway.
My browser always occupies the lower left quadrant, and event at 1/4 of the total screen it's still 1080p, or maybe a little more since I eyeballed it and didn't dock it there. It's easy enough to make any terminal larger and then I'm essentially gaining the same benefit of high pixel density.
I wanted to make sure the TV I got supported 60Hz at 4k, and had low input lag (for when I play games occasionally), so I found rtings.com to be invaluable. Using a TV as a monitor has it's quirks (I turn it on separately with the remote on the desk because it's easiest), but at just over $400 when I bought it on sale ($500 now) for a 40" 4k monitor that has 13ms input lag, I'm not sure how I could have done better.
Edit: Had the amazon price wrong, was looking at the 1080p one.
Why the hell do we need overscan for anything that isn't an actual analog TV signal?
1440p seems like a good sweet spot between the two. But yes, 2K is a silly name for it.
For displays, <value>i and <value>p are used to indicate vertical resolution. For displays, <value>k is used to indicate approximate horizontal resolution. I've not seen any other usage.
For projectors, especially theater projectors, I have seen 2K used to refer to 2048 horizontal resolution, and 4K used to indicate 4096 horizontal resolution. Projectors do not have the same aspect ratio as monitors, however. DCI 2K is 2048x1080, while "2K" Full HD is 1920x1080. DCI 4K is 4096x2160, while UHD 4K is 3840x2160.
You can't really have a 2K film whose resolution is larger than 2048x1080 if you're following the DCI spec, and AFAIK the DCI spec is the only spec that actually uses the name "2K" as the official name for the resolution. That's the only point I'm making.
Attaching terms like "2K" to a computer screen invokes legacy compatibility horror feelings for me.
> I wanted more text characters
I often use a small, high res display (on a Surface Go, it's about 400 grams, and supr helpful when I need to fix production when out). Even if resolution isn't important to you, the ability to fit more things on screen is definitely a bonus of high res displays.
In theory, you should pick a 5K display, but there only a bunch of models to pick from and they cost a lot (some are not even manufactured anymore)
You should always assume that you'll be scaling your image at 2x when using high ppi displays. Take the iMac 5K for example - it offers the same screen real estate as a 2560x1440 display, just twice as sharp at 220 PPI.
I also don't understand why more people don't use it - but perhaps people try it out with a 1080p monitor, find it a bit cramped, and decide against it. (I used 1200x1920 monitors for a while, and the screens always felt a bit too narrow even with that. A lot of programs and sites seem to assume you've got a monitor that's at least 1280 pixels wide, so you end up with extra scroll bars, cramped UI, or stuff that's simply inaccessible.)
I was thinking about something similar but I am a bit concerned about having to move my head up and down to be able to focus on the entire screen.
I do still find the full height a bit much, so I typically have each screen split half and half, or one third and two thirds. Depending on what I'm doing and which program(s) I'm using, this either means two windows, and I use a window layout program to arrange things, or one window split into panels, and I just put the split points where I want them.
(3 x 1/3 is also quite usable - 3 x 1440x850. On some laptops, that's about all you get in total...)
E.g. if I'm calling a function I love to be able to have its definition up on the same screen at the same time. Also when writing commit messages, love to be able to have the diff up next to the COMMIT_EDITMSG.
Plus, now I think about it, I don't think I very often operate on functions that don't fit vertically on my landscape screen.
Now, if I could only use tileing window manager with this setup...
Ultra-wide screens can fix that. And using Windows' auto-arranging two windows side-by-side makes them perfect for the kind of workflows that require switching between 2 windows (web dev).
Vertical monitor I usually use for taking nodes, referring to code, or splitting bottom / top. Horizontal monitors are great for watching videos or tutorials, or splitting left/right side.
I usually use 27" IPS monitors that can rotate as well, with VESA mount capability. Dell (U2415H) makes the best ones in my opinion, it's not the cheapest ($300 each), but if you're staring at a monitor all day long it's a cheap investment
I tried to run with a configuration like this recently, but it didn't work out for me.
Try DAW or NLE work...
so far the best setup that works with me is 3 monitors: 1x landscape (left) and 2x portrait (right)
using something like Spectacle  to arrange the windows quickly
VSCode spread on the 2 portraits in a grid (2x2) layout is pretty roomy
I found out that 25" monitors work better than 27" (too high and not wide enough in portrait)
I like the Dell UtlraSharp but YMMV
It's much harder to see it all at once, so you end up just treating it as a free floating space to organize things, much like a real desktop (do you layer all your items our to maximize used space on physical desks as well?).
While not working, I'll spend most the time with a browser window utilizing slightly more than a quarter of the screen towards the bottom left, and not much else, maybe some small transient file folder windows.
While working, I keep the browser, but I add a few large terminal windows. Usually one mostly upper center, bottom right, but the upper center one might overlap other windows slightly (because why not? I can make it large without slight overlap and very little loss of passive usefulness of other windows).
It's fairly liberating. I now view tight control and maximizing utilized space as a response to lack of space, which is no longer my problem. In the beginning, I wasn't sure if I was going to regret this, and was looking for utilities to set screen areas that I could maximize to, or save presets for certain applications. Then I just let go, and it's been wonderful ever since.
If you're interested, I still recommend the TV I got (or something better maybe now). It's got low input lag (~13ms) and does 60hz at 4k, all for about $500 at Amazon (I think it was ~$400 when I got it on sale).
If it wouldn't take ages to properly align paper with a 1mm border but they would magically align themselves - yes of course I would :)
Not that I work a lot with paper anymore, but I see no advantage of not aligning stuff in the real world just like a tiling wm would...
That depends on how you like to switch windows. Virtual windows can do one thing that papers can't, they can magically move themselves in the Z space. If you size/space your windows so that no matter what Z order things are in, there is always part of every window visible, you can VERY quickly click on that part to bring that window to the front.
Yes, I know tiling WMs can give you awesome keybindings... but some people like using the mouse or work for shitty companies that don't allow WM installs.
Since space is less constrained, the size of thugs ends up being much more fluid. Once you end up using many different sizes of things (do I still need ed to see that terminal while watching some video waiting for it to finish? Maybe the size is slightly different to account for that) spending time to accurately place everything very quickly hits diminishing returns past one or two core apps.
I used tiling window managers for quite a while — two years at least, maybe even for four years.
There are several factors that made me abandon tiling window managers.
The main thing though is that I look at and work in a lot of different combinations of windows.
And often multiple of those windows are big enough that they wouldn’t tile together. But with floating windows I can easily drag them around so that the parts of current concern within each window are visible and I have a total overview.
When I was using tiling window managers I used to believe that I was being smart and efficient by doing so. It turned out for me that actually floating windows give me more freedom.
What matters, I found out, is not how efficiently I can pack windows on the screen to avoid “wasted space” (as tiling window managers help you do), but how easily I can rearrange arbitrarily windows to give me the total picture I need while I am thinking.
I have to stay organized because I have a dumb and chaotic brain. If I used the default osx windows management, er, "system" such as it were, I probably would get done a tenth of what I get done today on my Gnome setup.
My local optimum was reached when I started using virtual desktops, one for each window, with each window fullscreen. A fullscreen terminal +tmux is where I do most of my work.
Nobody except Chuck Moore pushes every piece of hardware to 100% of its capacity at all times. It's always easier to get beefier hardware than to be perfectly strict at all times.
Anyway, that was just to say that now I've gotten used to a HiDPI display with fantastic, accurate colour, I can't go back. I'm running a little low on funds and considered selling the iMac in favour of a 2018 Mac mini with a 24" 1080p display — can't do it.
I think a lot of people are spoilt by their Retina-display iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks; or their HiDPI Android phones and tablets. Now that I've been spoilt by a large Retina display, I'm ruined for anything else, even 4K at 43".
I was all about big monitors until . . . my eyesight started to go south. I'm not going blind or anything like that, but it slowly dawned on me that I was having a lot of trouble bringing all of that real estate into focus with progressive lenses. Switching back to a laptop made it a lot easier just to see what was going on without constantly moving my head around to bring things info focus.
Middle age sucks . . .
When I first needed progressives I quickly developed severe shoulder pain. I was unconsciously tilting my head up to view the top of the screen through the middle of the lenses. It took two or three years to realize that my shoulder pain was caused my head tilt pinching a nerve in my neck.
"Office" progressive lenses have the middle of the lens focus at screen distance and the bottom of the lens focus at reading distance. Premium lenses are even better in that their region of sharpness is larger. When ordering glasses I also specify how far up on the lens I want the screen distance to be set so it's at my preferred screen distance.
Since I started using office progressives my shoulder pain has vanished.
Personally I found 25" at 2560x1440 to be the optimal set up (for me at least). It's a good balance between real estate and being super easy to read at 1:1 scaling, with no head movement at all really.
If anyone is interested, a few years back I put together a super in depth article on picking a monitor for development. It's located at: https://nickjanetakis.com/blog/how-to-pick-a-good-monitor-fo...
At home I went from two 27" (1080p) to one 40" 4k and the workspace is not as wide (less head movement) and I get the extra vertical workspace (2k vertikal vs 1k vertical)
I spend a lot of time on my main left 25" 2560x1440 monitor and the second 21" 1080p monitor is used for things that I occasionally look at, or look at with intent to only look at that on its own. It's mainly operating as a separate workspace that is occasionally beneficial to have up with my primary workspace (but usually not).
With 1 big monitor, chances are you wouldn't want IRC (or whatever app) right next to your main workspace (ie. loaded to the right of your main coding environment) because it's too distracting.
You would typically dedicate 1 workspace for your main coding environment / etc., but now with a single 40" monitor you would feel compelled to keep things across the entire monitor because it would be weird to limit it to ~25" worth of windows while you keep the rest of the monitor empty, so you're stuck moving your head around like a maniac most of the time, instead of only occasionally when you want to shift focus to a 2nd monitor.
I suppose it comes down to your work flow.
I have never touched the menus on my external displays since a few days after I acquired them, and I wouldn’t expect normal people to either except possibly to adjust brightness.
I adjust the brightness of the displays regularly (typically three or four times per day) from my laptop. Fun fact: Windows has two APIs for adjusting screen brightness, one of which only works for the internal display and one of which only works for the external displays; and sadly the brightness keys on the laptop are uninterceptable and I have not come up with any way of linking the brightnesses either. I went hunting and settled on some old freeware called ScreenBright which I can invoke from the command line, so that now I just run `b 0` for night time and `b 40` for most of the day (and up to 70% in certain seasons—but 100% is pretty much always too bright as the situation is not in direct sunlight); I have since also written a tiny Rust program that interacts with the APIs directly which could replace it.
I really wish external display brightness was better handled by computers and laptops.
I also yearn for the days of CRTs with physical brightness knobs that you could turn. So much simpler and more usable.
I wish desktops had even a passing thought about display brightness, ditto for TV manufacturers.
I wouldn’t watch movies on that one, but it _could_ be fine for programming already.
With f.lux and macOS‘ dark mode I‘ve noticed how my eyes like low-light UIs better (probably because of lower blue light emission?), and I think an e-ink monitor would be almost zero-strain, just like reading a book.
I would even like it on my mobile. I don't need a brighter screen I need a readable screen.
But right now I like my ultra-wide monitor for programming. All panels open but still space to code.
The Dell is ALSO non-glossy, so that might be a big factor for some people. This article is timely for me, as I'm about to buy the Dell 43" 4K to replace my ageing Dell 24" (1920x1200).
Like the author, I want more screen space for my windows (I never run apps maximised) and I do not see the point in buying a smaller 4K monitor, and then running the OS at HIDPI 200% scaling - if you are going to do that you might as well save some money and just get a 1080p monitor instead, as other than smoother fonts, you wouldn't be gaining anything. Additionally, the PPI needs to match my current PPI as my ageing eyes can't do smaller text/icons without glasses, and I hate wearing glasses when I compute, as they make the screen and all it's contents all fishbowly in shape.
 Is this a word? What a better word for where the edges of the screen become bowed-out ?
like looking through a fisheye lens? just distortion, and sounds like your prescription needs checking as your brain should compensate for distortion from vision corrections (up to a point).
As it stands I just use a 27" 16:9 1440p display flanked by a 23" 1080p in portrait mode. (At my desktop workstation)
There's gotta be a market for these types of monitor...
Not only are the syntax highlighting colors less exhausting to look at, but despite less pixels you gain more clarity, which often has to do with the quality of the blacks.
On top of that I had only the best experience with Eizo Customer Support. Better than with any hardware manufacturer ever. On of the Eizos is running for over 15 years now without any issue and it still looks better than most modern displays.
xmonad does a pretty good job splitting my screen into usable browser/application and terminal areas.
All that said, I'm using ZBrush a lot more lately and a Cintiq Pro 32 seems like it'd be pretty sweet.
I hear good stories about the xps 13 but the reviews and reddit stories about battery life vary very wildly; from excellent to absolutely miserable. I got a HP x360 something recently from work and reviews say excellent battery life under Windows: I get 2-3 hours for my workload, my wife max 4 and she does browsing and wordprocessing. Went to HP: called us heavy users, nothing wrong with the hardware. Same with the macbook pro I have.
Sadly, due to the form factor being super slim, there's no way to add-on or swap-in a bigger battery so it's not like you can improve upon the XPS with post-purchase mods/changes.
It sounds like you aren't so concerned about performance as much as form factor and battery life. I'm not sure I have a great solution for you, the XPS might not be a good fit, but you might have a look at some of the Intel-based Chromebooks where you can load your own UEFI firmware and then boot directly to Linux. Some chromebooks have enough storage to be useful, sometimes have high resolution screens, and use rather low power consumption CPUs so they might fit your bill. It's a bit DIY but if you're into that kind of thing it might be worth your effort.
iMac Pro 5k,
Dell Ultrasharp 4K 27” in vertical layout/stand.
It’s very difficult to go back once you use a retina/5k screen. No ultra-wide, 4K etc can compare in font rendering. I’d replace the Dell if the LG or iMac weren’t so expensive.
For example, when writing web assembly:
- Primary monitor: vim (in tmux, multiplexed for build and other commands)
- Secondary monitor: Web browser to test the code.
Similarly depending on what I'm doing I have such a 'division'. I'd hate to miss that when using just one big monitor.
If I would use a 4k monitor, I'd hate to be using windows or mac because of the window management options. I'd definitely want to be on a decent tiling WM.
Some of the other monitors which use the same panel cannot do this splitting, as far as I can tell.
If you like vertical I would recommend a large format 4:3 which would basically be 2 2:1 vertical monitors... but the world seems to hate good old 4:3
My monitors run at 100% scaling, and while I still wish I had a grid of 4x4k monitors (upon which I'd probably want more anyways), I am fine with how it works. With respect to the 100% scaling, most people look at the size of the text on my screens and think I'm nuts, but I have single vision glasses that allow me to see clearly for the distance range between the closest and furthest points of my monitors, so I don't get any eyestrain at all.
With respect to window management options, I use something called DisplayFusion on Windows. It lets me create monitor profiles that separate regions of each monitor that emulates physical monitors. The software is fantastic and well worth the price. Weirdly enough, the best way to buy it is via Steam.
The big benefit of 4K is the vertical resolution, you really can work on a good chunk of code with the whole block you are working on fitting in the screen with your browser (full of Stack Overflow tabs) open adjacent to it.
Nobody likes land-filling monitors or having a cupboard full of dead ones. So my advice is to go for a 4K monitor that does justice to colours. A TV won't do.
I went 4K before the inputs did decent refresh so I have 'cinematic' 24 fps. This is fine for programming and I am not a gamer plus I have a laptop for watching video.
There is also a difference between 'cinema' 4K and regular 4K. Regular 4K is 3840 x 2160, 'cinema' gives 4096 x 2160, giving a whole column of extra 256 pixel goodness. I went for 'cinema' and 'real 4K' but the market has settled into not selling these beasts.
Size is also a thing, do you really want to crick your neck looking skywards to the top of your screen? Therefore 31" may be the sweet spot for you, your desk and your code. This has worked for me and I don't feel that a larger screen would help.
There are these ultra-ultra-wide monitors on the market with 1440 vertical pixels but after enjoying 2160 vertical pixels I am not going to want less.
Those that work on websites for a living should demand a 4K monitor instead of the side by side Full HD monitors everyone else in the office has. The website of today does have to look good on an iPhone as well as a 4K monitor so the budget reason for the upgrade is requirements.
I didn't like the 30" 4K screen that I had to use for work. When I used a 24" 4K the extra DPI didn't seem to impact me at all.
My big dilemma is do I go for a 3rd 24"
I have tried the 3rd 24" and I found I just leave mail and stuff open on it, mainly because it was there. Two seems to work for me.
I have one for my IDE to edit code, and the other one for other stuff. I keep thinking I should do something more sophisticated, but I always come back to this.
I find larger monitors I have to move my head a lot more as well, with the 24" eye movement is enough.
I didn’t understand the eye strain I was putting up with till I bought this thing.
I have a pair of the Dell P series 27/4k screens, and the moment I installed the second one, I wanted more real estate (I run them without scaling).
I have since added a pair of 23" ultrawides below them, but I just can't wait until 55" 8K curved monitors become affordable so I can have the equivalent of a 2x2 grid of 27" 4k monitors and fewer cables to deal with (but I also know I'll want more real estate the moment that gets installed).
My ideal solution is to just get nice quality screen that's big enough and has a decent DPI for its size. E.g. 27" 1440 or 32" 4k is nice for unscaled (100%) content.
Also, I do like working on a 13" laptop -- especially with workspaces. Switching the workspace is almost a complete replacement for the screen real estate of a larger monitor.
> I had been worried that a 43-inch monitor might feel too huge.
Have a friend at work with a 55inch TV/monitor. On his desk. At first, we were like "be serious, get rid of that thing". After a few weeks, we were all like "hrmmmm, I think I might need one of those things".
Having a single ancient monitor at home, and two 27" monitors at work, I always have the burning question: two wide screens, or one huge one (like the author of the article)?
I think also the author is showing off his nice keyboard :)
I think I have a better keyboard. This is what it looks like: https://www.svethardware.cz/klavesnice-acer-future-keyboard/... What is great about this keyboard is the touchpad in the center. This is great because you don't have to stretch you arm to reach the mouse. This reduces RSI for me. Unfortunately my keyboard is getting old and they don't make this (or anything like this) anymore. Keyboard-touchpad combinations are still being made but the touchpad is to the side which doesn't solve the problem of have to stretch your arm.
There are some laptop keyboards like this one: https://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-ThinkPad-Compact-Keyboard-Trac... but I want a desktoppy split keyboard with a touchpad in the middle.
What really works for me is a single 27 - 32 inch, hidpi display. It gives enough screen real estate while keeping the content (mainly text) sharp and pretty. A tiling window manager helps too.
I will be buying an ultrawide next time to see if those are indeed better than a 4K monitor.
It is totally awesome, really crisp and the curve makes a noticeable difference on the desk to bring the edges in.
Cost AUD$500 plus delivery, extremely hard to beat at that price.
Plus I have a 32 inch 3K landscape and a 24 inch HD portrait, set up emails and whatsapp web on the 24 inch and do work on the other two.
Where I work now, I have my laptop and a 34 inch 21:9 (1440p) curved screen. I was surprised to find the curved screen so agreeable, and only wish that it was somewhat larger and higher resolution. Might look at 21:9 (1600p) curved screens.
 SwitchResX: http://www.madrau.com/
3840x1600 instead of 3840x1440. If you long for more than that, you'd probably like standard 4k a lot more.
On its own it fits comfortably on my desk but my second display is a 27" and I have to put it in portrait to fit both with my current desk setup.
I have a flat 34" ultrawide at home, and very much miss the curved screen from the 38". The 1600 vertical pixels is a nice step up from 1440 as well.
At this point I think I'm waiting for a VR/AR solution before I upgrade my display again...
I don't really have super long files normally, but will be jumping between files so its helpful to be able to have three or four side by side on a wide monitor. Then I just have my laptop open to the side (driving all of it) with fullscreen terminals.
I eyeballed with the UHD ultrawide curved one but it was too pricy :)
Edit: funny, that when the heating automation for my home turns on with some electromagnetic switch, my screen goes black for a second or glitches the image. I suspect the USB-C > display port converter.
For example in VS Code I can easily open editors in columns beside each others, but I cant distribute them over two screens.
That sealed the deal for me.
If not, it's a flaw of the IDE not the monitor setup.
Being able to have individual workspaces on each (and switch between then with a two-finger swipe on the mouse) is a great way to switch between individual contexts.
And even better one is 2 x 1080p in vertical position and one 32" in the middle is quite pleasant!
- IPS or OLED would be preferable for the wider viewing angles, better color reproduction and significantly richer blacks vs TFT panels, but they cost more.
- High refresh rate panels offer a notable improvement in user experience. Even if '60hz is enough' that does not mean you cannot benefit from more, especially when it comes to lower latency and techniques like black frame insertion (which reduces ghosting.)
- Variable refresh rate is nice, too: in some circumstances (mostly gaming today I presume) it could basically eliminate stuttering and dropped frames. NVidia now supporting FreeSync to a degree makes this even more enticing.
- Higher pixel densities greatly improve text legibility and picture quality, which can be especially great when viewing denser glyphs such as Japanese kanji. Bonus points: at decent densities, subpixel rendering can be switched off.
- Curved/ultra-wide panels are fairly enticing because they might offer a solution to the problem of wanting a single optimal display for your line of sight, versus two smaller displays.
...but in reality:
- Panels satisfying even just a few of these constraints can be very expensive and few, if any, satisfy literally all of them.
- Operating system support for high pixel density varies. Linux can vary from surprisingly good to absolutely terrible depending largely on your setup, and Windows varies strongly, though it is a lot better in 10 than it ever has been. MacOS has relatively good DPI support.
- The combination of high refresh rate and high pixel density makes for heavy bandwidth usage requiring cutting edge display connector standards to be supported on your GPU. Some displays require multiple ports to be plugged in and this can be flaky and glitchy.
- High refresh rate support in OSes is also a bit messy. I've not tried but I've heard Windows DWM can be buggy especially in mixed refresh rate setups. I also believe variable refresh rate is mostly only useful in situations where you have a fullscreen application running, since not everything will push frames out at the same time.
- If you switch to a single display, versus multiple homogeneous or hetrogenous displays, you lose some utility. My dual display setup has a unique feature, in that it works together with my IOMMU passthrough. The right monitor is designated to whatever virtual machine has the secondary GPU attached. Display forwarding is handled with Looking Glass, so I don't need a physical output. However, I have it plugged into the physical output, which allows me to switch to it for lower latency/reduced screen tear/debugging/etc.
- Panels are still evolving at a decent pace. In a few years, OLED monitors may be superior to IPS monitors. Also, prices of cutting edge technology is definitely trending down in the monitor space. It just feels like it hasn't been a good time to buy.
So I sit here with my 1080p monitors. They may not be great, but they have good viewing angles, decent colors, and they were pretty cheap when I got them (it was around the time cheaper IPSes started to hit.) The market has plenty worth switching for, but there's so much more potential, and the user experience hasn't always kept up with the innovation here.