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Finding a decent 4k UHD 32" Monitor

by Jörg Baach last modified Oct 29, 2020 10:53 AM
About finding a new large monitor, and calibrating it.

I needed a new monitor - an old one gave up after 10 years of intensive use.

Criteria

After looking at some monitors I found out that my criteria are:

  • about 32" in size - when coding I like to see multiple files at the same time.
  • 4k UHD Resolution - using a mobile phones tought me how nice a high resolution is
  • IPS
  • even lighting and white point - my IDE displays the code on a white background, and I'd like to see the same background left and right
  • "normal" colors, e.g. not oversaturated colors. This means I'd like to tune the saturation of colors on the monitor (and not in the graphics driver, linux etc.)
  • ability to adjust brightness in all modes, even srgb.
  • no dead pixels.
What I don't need: highly accurate colors, bells and whistles.
In my naive understanding those are not outworldy requirements, but criteria that would describe what I would call a "normal" monitor.

Findings

  • BenQ PD3200U: either I had dead pixels or the left side had a tint of yellow, and the right side didn't. Fail.
  • Lenovo Thinkvision p32p-20 or t32p-20: oversaturated colors, and no way to tune that in the monitor. Why, or why? Fail
  • Eizo EV3285: everything is fine. Crisp image, nice colors out of the box, adjustable saturation, no pixel errors. On top of it the screen is nice/soft/comforting to the eyes which is hard to describe. It also has very little of the typical IPS "glitter". I really enjoy this screen now, and understand, why so many of my friends recommend Eizo screens.
As a sidenote: I use the Eizo screen on top of a white table with a black keyboard - which gives the impression of a slight dark shadow in the bottom of the screen. This can be fixed by removing the keyboard :-)

Calibrating with a SpyderX

I tried an i1display pro with the DisplayCal software, and it worked nicely out of the box. But I had to return it to friend who lent it to me. So I tried a SpyderX colorimeter. Things I learned:

  1. On windows the drivers of ArgyllCMS for DisplayCal and the native drivers of SpyderX are mutually exclusive.
  2. DisplayCal does a device calibration of the SpyderX at the beginning. That failed along the lines of "too much light". Turns out the problem with light is actual an issue with temperature. Now I use my hands to quickly warm up the device before doing the calibration.

Using it

Just a tiny sidenote, completely non-technical: my instinct was to sit further away from the new 32" then I did from my 24". Because the screen is so big. Now that I sit at my usual viewing distance everything is just perfect again!

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