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.