A First Unhappy Foray Into a 4K/UHD Display for My PC

Posted on December 21, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Windows 10 with 70 Comments

A First Unhappy Foray Into a 4K/UHD Display for my PC

Happy with my experiences with 4K/UHD displays on Xbox One S and modern portable PCs, I started scouting around for a 4K/UHD desktop PC display. My first choice was a horrible, horrible mistake.

That choice? A Dell S2817QR, which is described as a 28-inch Ultra HD 4K LED Widescreen Monitor. (Here’s the Dell listing for what I assumed was the same display, but is in fact not the same display.) I purchased it because it was a special holiday sale, at what I took to be a good price, of $300. (It’s $400 right now at Amazon; I bought from Office Depot.)

Sadly, this display is not a good choice at any price.

I did read the reviews. I knew, for example, that the display would arrive with a dull color cast, and that I’d need to fix that using its built-in controls. For $300, I was OK with that.

What I missed, sadly, was that this display can only output at its native resolution of 3840 x 2160 at a refresh rate of 30 Hz. And not at 60 Hz, which is not just desirable but a required minimum. At 30 Hz, even something as basic as dragging a window results in a terrible and distracting choppy visual effect.

It’s not just that, though that one issue is enough. After fiddling with the display controls for far too long, I never did get it right, and it’s overly bright and … just off. My eyes kind of hurt just looking at it.

So I’m sending it back. And now I’m in the market, again, for a 27-28-inch 4K/UHD PC display. One that can output 4K/UHD resolutions at 60 Hz or higher. It’s not for gaming, but it might be in the future, so maybe 120 Hz is even more desirable. But I also don’t have $1000, and I’d like not to break the back. If that’s not possible, I guess I’ll just wait.

Any thoughts or advice? Preferably $400 or less, though I realize this is probably unrealistic.

Ah well.


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