[sc:hardware-category ]Back on Cyber Monday, the Microsoft Store had a sale on the Dell P2815Q 4k display and I decided to pick one up.
I’d been looking for a 4k monitor and at $299 for the 28″ Dell it was hard to argue with the price. It arrive a few days later and unpacking it was easy enough. It comes with a stand, power cord and DisplayPort cable.
The first thing I did was plug it in to my existing desktop PC using my existing HDMI cable. It has an older video card in it (no display port on it) and I didn’t expect it to be able to support the 4k resolution of the monitor but I did expect it to do something. Unfortunately while I could access the on-screen controls for the monitor, it stubbornly refused to display my desktop 🙁
My first thought was just that the video card couldn’t match the monitor and so I grabbed my laptop and plugged it in. Same thing.
Of course my next thought was a dead display, but that seemed unlikely so I too a gamble and swapped out my HDMI cable (which still works fine with my old HD monitor) and suddenly I had video!
Video at 1920×1200 of course as that was all my old video card could handle. A quick trip to the local computer shop and I was the proud owner of a AMD R7 250 card with DisplayPort. I swapped the card, plugged in the cable suddenly had nothing on the display again!
It turns out the Dell doesn’t support auto detection of the input type and I had to manually change the setting. Not a big deal, but kind of a strange oversight.
After installing the new video card drivers I had a full 4k display up and running.
The monitor itself is a stylish affair, the main body is very dark grey with four physical buttons along the bottom right side. The base stand is light grey and support rotating the monitor from landscape to portrait mode.
I have to admit I REALLY like my old Samsung monitor’s 16×10 aspect ratio, 16:9 just seems to wide, but it does have some advantages when you have multiple documents or websites up at the same time. I think I’ll get use to it in time.
Of course, fitting 4 times the resolution of my old monitor in to something only ~20% bigger makes all those pixels a lot smaller. Windows does support 4k, but not very well. The scaling works ok, but not perfectly so I’ve set the scaling to 125% which seems to be the best compromise at the moment. Hopefully Windows 10 will have better support for 4k next year.
The color saturation is a little pale and I’m still playing with the settings. The default’s are terrible like most monitors and are designed to show off the display in a brightly lite store.
Overall I think it’s a little early for most people to adopt a 4k monitor, but I’ll stick with it for a while and the extra resolution is very nice 🙂