INVEST IN REAL ESTATEThree Reasons Why Moving to 4K Makes Sense on Your Desktop
Conventional wisdom (and maybe your parents or grandparents) tells us to “invest in real estate.” While this is an adage about acquiring financial wealth, the same tenets hold true for pixel count on monitors. More pixels offer flexibility in numerous ways.
Recently the creative team here at Almo Pro AV installed NEC MultiSync 27-inch 4K monitors. It was important to us to establish a common viewing platform so that each designer could pick up someone else’s work and share assets being confident that we were seeing the work as originally intended. Packing full 4K UHD resolution and a robust, simple-to-use color calibration solution, I was very excited to get my hands on this display and put it to use.
The other members of the team have offered their impressions of the monitor already. You can read Jeff’s thoughts here, and Diana’s perspectives here.
Modern graphic design (and nearly every other industry in the free world), is computer-based, and at its core is a visual medium. As you are all well aware, visuals on a monitor are made up of pixels and more pixels simply equals better. Apple popularized this movement with the Retina Display. Starting on IOS devices, they quickly scaled their efforts up and brought them to their notebook line and subsequently to the desktop. Other manufacturers were quick to follow and the HiDPI boom was born.
Here are three reasons why moving to 4K desktop monitors just makes sense:
First, and maybe most obviously, you can place and view numerous windows next to each other for viewing and multi-tasking – perfect for the modern power user.
Second, when paired with a capable OS and graphics card, ‘retina display’ experiences are possible. This is where (granted this is a loose example, but go with me here… ) an object will be rendered at approximately the same size on screens of the same size but different resolutions, but the one rendered on the higher pixel count screen will appear sharper to the eye given the density.
Third, and most valuable to me as a designer, becomes apparent when working in the Adobe Creative Suite. With this 4K NEC monitor, I can see more of my work at 100% magnification than ever before. Just take a look at this side-by-side photo comparing the NEC to my old Apple Cinema display.
Both images are shown in Photoshop, on the same MacBook Pro at 100% magnification. As you can see, with the additional pixel space of the NEC display I’m able to see my work completely in context, without the need for excessive zooming in and out.
The same is true of Illustrator. I can view multiple layouts in InDesign at once, and I can now view true 4K video in Premier and After Effects.
The benefits of 4K (and higher!) resolution displays is clear in design, the same can be said for any user. Imagine the number of rows of a spreadsheet that can be displayed on this type of display! Even if that’s not attractive to a customer, the increased clarity of HiDPI monitors makes them a great option.
Have any of you seen the demand for 4K on the desktop yet?
Let us know your experiences in the comments.
Stay tuned for part 2 of this series where we’ll take a look at color calibration with NEC’s SpectraView II solution.