Samsung U28D590D 28-Inch Ultra HD Monitor Review

Why you can trust Tom's Hardware Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Samsung U28D590D: A Solid Choice

In any area of computer technology, the price of hardware is driven largely by supply and demand. Manufacturers tend to put the latest tech in flagship components first, and then follow up with more value-oriented choices. About two years ago, we started with just three Ultra HD monitors from Asus, Dell and Sharp that sold (and still sell) for very high prices. Today, thanks to economies of scale, we have more displays to choose from and a correspondingly lower price of admission.

If you want a 32-inch jumbo screen to anchor your high-end rig, you’ll still pay between $1500 and $2000. Obviously, shipping volumes for a monitor that expensive are going to be relatively low. That’s why five different companies have listened to enthusiasts and added these 28-inch TN screens to their line-ups.

We’ve demonstrated in today's story, and in four other reviews, that using the same panel part doesn’t guarantee the same performance. Each display brand has different strengths and weaknesses. Obviously, if speed is your most important metric, Asus and Planar are still the top choices for minimal motion blur and low input lag. If light output is key to your plans, Samsung edges out the competition with its particularly bright panel.

The U28D590D also runs ahead of the pack in grayscale and color gamut accuracy. If you’re in the market for a new display to edit photos or videos with, and you need the extra pixel density, Samsung is the leading choice. Out-of-the-box performance is average, though acceptable for business-oriented tasks. But once you apply an instrumented calibration, this display almost makes it into the professional category at about half the price.

We don’t want to wrap up our review without one more mention of Samsung’s unique MagicAngle feature. On the surface, it sounds gimmicky. But in practice it really does work to reduce the artifacts associated with off-angle viewing. Some power users are put off by the lack of IPS-based Ultra HD monitors. And we count ourselves among those who want to see that situation change. But Samsung is the only company making an effort to mitigate TN's most glaring weakness. If your techno-lust says “IPS” but your budget says “TN”, give the U28D590D a serious look.

We’re still fans of these inexpensive Ultra HD monitors. While some have resorted to putting cheap off-brand televisions on their desktops, we still think it’s worth spending a little more money to have a real computer monitor from a respected manufacturer. The IPS panels will come eventually. For now, though, the U28D590D represents an excellent choice if you want 4K today.

For its excellent color performance, well-designed MagicAngle feature and super value, we’re giving this Samsung our Tom’s Hardware Smart Buy award.

Christian Eberle
Contributing Editor

Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors. Christian began his obsession with tech when he built his first PC in 1991, a 286 running DOS 3.0 at a blazing 12MHz. In 2006, he undertook training from the Imaging Science Foundation in video calibration and testing and thus started a passion for precise imaging that persists to this day. He is also a professional musician with a degree from the New England Conservatory as a classical bassoonist which he used to good effect as a performer with the West Point Army Band from 1987 to 2013. He enjoys watching movies and listening to high-end audio in his custom-built home theater and can be seen riding trails near his home on a race-ready ICE VTX recumbent trike. Christian enjoys the endless summer in Florida where he lives with his wife and Chihuahua and plays with orchestras around the state.

  • NeoWilson
    No height or swivel adjustment - Are they dumb or what?
  • mgilbert
    Correction - I wound up with R=49, G=33, B=48. And this monitor is blindingly bright. I have brightness set at 40, contrast at 60, and sharpness at 52.
  • Charly2nd
    "If you want a 32-inch jumbo screen to anchor your high-end rig, you’ll still pay between $1500 and $2000."
    This is not true anymore. Benq and Acer bith sell 32inch IPS panels for under U$D1000. Also, Dell' has a 27 inch 4K IPS panel that sells for 700 dollars, but can be found regularly for U$D 500 during promotions. So, there are cheaper IPS options out there (I purchased one for U$D 524 - hasn't arrived yet), almost for the same price of these TN panels.
  • airborn824
    I have this monitor and i enjoy it, i got it for free. I Would buy the ASUS if it was my own money. Does anyone know if this is also getting Freesync support? I have 2x R9 290
  • Charly2nd
    My correction aside, I like the thoroughness of Christian's reviews. I come often to this site because of hardware reviews like these! Thanks!
  • Grognak
    Eh, TN on such a massive, 4K monitor is kinda counterintuituve. It's true that they're getting better when it comes to both viewing angles and colors, but that's still not quite IPS quality here. Also, the 98ms input lag is insane, most TVs don't go that high. I guess you can't be too demanding at that price.
  • Ilander
    The Amazon link to the PB287Q links to the incorrect product, mistakenly leading me to believe that it was 399.99 USD. That's a huge difference in price which really sets a person's opinion on value...please fix.
  • xj97
    I had this monitor at work and ended up pawning it off on someone else. The panel was pretty decent, but it did NOT play well with sleep states over displayport. The monitor wouldn't wake up... I'd have to pull the power plug to reset the darn thing.

    Other than that I loved it, but the sleep issue was just too annoying.
  • ceberle
    15156989 said:
    I have this monitor, and am wondering why you tested it on HDMI, which only yields a 30 Hz refresh rate. Would using the DisplayPort input change any of the numbers significantly, especially considering that there is no option to change the black level when on DP? Would using DP affect input lag?

    Also, I found the green level much too high out of the box, and my old HueyPro calibrator agreed. I wound up with R=49 G=43 B=48. And, using a couple of gamma test images, I found gamma to be way off. I used the QuickGamma utility to correct it. With these corrections, I have excellent image quality.

    When I test monitors with the Accupel signal generator it is indeed over HDMI but since the input resolution is 1920x1080, the tests are run at 60Hz. I have made comparisons of HDMI and DisplayPort with regards to response and input lag and found no difference in speed. Resolution also makes no difference since the panel scales any incoming signal to its native resolution.

  • qlum
    Looking at these screens I think my upgrade to 4k for my primary monitor is going to wait a while longer. Especially since my 4 screen setup would require a vesa mount.