Four times the res­o­lu­tion of a Full HD dis­play (but not four times the price)

Mac Format - - RATED | KIT - £450 Man­u­fac­turer Sam­sung, sam­sung.com/uk Screen size 28 inches Res­o­lu­tion 3840x2160 Re­sponse time 1ms De­cent per­for­mance Looks smart, good value Limited ad­di­tional fea­tures Fixed, wob­bly stand

We’re start­ing to see 4K dis­plays ap­pear with in­creas­ing fre­quency, and that’s a good thing. It’s good partly be­cause they make so much sense on a Mac – for years Macs have been ‘HiDPI-aware’, so the op­er­at­ing sys­tem and third­party de­vel­op­ers have had time to iron out at least most of the teething trou­bles – and partly be­cause un­like most new tech­nolo­gies, they’re not start­ing off ex­pen­sive.

Take this one, for ex­am­ple; it’s £450. That’s the sort of money you’d have been look­ing at for a Full HD dis­play only a few years ago, and yet here we are now talk­ing about a 28-inch panel that has more than eight mil­lion pix­els.

It looks smart too, with a sim­ple stand that gives the dis­play a pleas­ing, float­ing as­pect; the stand is plas­tic mas­querad­ing as metal, mind you, and the good ol’ pi­ano black bezel isn’t quite as pretty in real life as pic­tures might sug­gest. Worse, though, the stand isn’t ad­justable save for a small amount of tilt vari­ance. You can’t ad­just the height nor the ro­ta­tion – ei­ther of the whole unit or of the ori­en­ta­tion of the screen. The good news is that it’s fixed at a rea­son­able height er­gonom­i­cally, but that’s lit­tle com­pen­sa­tion. What’s more, while the stand is per­fectly sta­ble when you leave the dis­play alone, the slight­est knock and the whole panel wob­bles frus­trat­ingly.

You might also be frus­trated by the lack of ex­tra fea­tures on of­fer here. Two HDMI and one Dis­playPort in­puts should be enough for most (and there’s lit­tle point in hav­ing DVI far less VGA in­puts on a 4K dis­play – they can’t support the res­o­lu­tion), but it would have been nice to see Mini Dis­playPort even if Thun­der­bolt would have been pro­hib­i­tively ex­pen­sive. The Dis­playPort port sup­ports ver­sion 1.2 of the spec, so will hap­pily do 60Hz at full 4K (con­firmed in our test­ing), though the HDMI 1.4 ports are limited to 30Hz; not un­us­able, but this could be a pos­si­ble ir­ri­ta­tion.

More se­ri­ously, though, we’ve come to ex­pect USB hubs in dis­plays

It does, how­ever, have a ter­rific menu sys­tem, some­thing not to be sniffed at, and the im­age qual­ity is broadly good. The dis­play tech used, TN, means fast re­sponse times (which gamers tend to care about,

TN means fast re­sponse times (some­thing gamers tend to care about), but it also means poorer view­ing an­gles

th­ese days – a boon when Ap­ple res­o­lutely sticks to com­par­a­tively few USB ports es­pe­cially in its lap­tops – and it’s not un­com­mon to find a plethora of USB 3.0 and even high­pow­ered iPad-charg­ing-ca­pa­ble ports. The U28D590D has none. but it’s a dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing fac­tor that for most of us has been ob­vi­ated by ad­vances in panel tech), but it also means poorer view­ing an­gles than the IPS pan­els Ap­ple uses. Colours are broadly good – if a lit­tle in­sipid once prop­erly cal­i­brated – but the limited view­ing an­gles, es­pe­cially ver­ti­cally, mean colours shift slightly to­wards the bot­tom of the dis­play even if you’re right in front of it. This isn’t a huge con­cern un­less you’re do­ing cre­ative, colour-crit­i­cal work.

This is a per­fectly good dis­play, but we pre­fer the Iiyama B2888UHSU (see group test in MF278) at this price point; it’s not as pretty, but it has a USB hub and per­for­mance is com­pa­ra­ble. If you can stretch, Dell’s line of IPS 4K dis­plays are much bet­ter all round. Christo­pher Phin

A de­cent, good­look­ing dis­play, but there are bet­ter buys at this price point, and bet­ter dis­plays above it.

The U28D590D looks good, and it’s cheap, but its per­for­mance and flex­i­bil­ity is a lit­tle lack­lus­tre.

This lit­tle joy­stick on the back is how you nav­i­gate the on-screen menu sys­tem.

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