Samsung U28D590D 28-Inch Ultra HD Monitor Review

The first generation of Ultra HD monitors landed definitively in the flagship product category. With prices north of $3000, those first three IGZO-based screens from Asus, Dell and Sharp were only likely to find their way into professional studios or the offices of corporate executives. You can find all three of them for less money today, but in most cases, they still cost as much as the rest of your components put together.

Asus changed the segment enormously when it unveiled the PB287Q back in May of 2014. Suddenly you could buy a 4K screen for only $600. The only downsides were that the panel was four inches smaller and it employed old-school TN technology. Despite that, it inspired other major manufacturers to craft their own versions. Today we’re looking at the fifth such display in our lab: Samsung’s U28D590D.

Brand & Model
Samsung U28D590D
Panel Type & Backlight
TN / W-LED, edge array
Screen Size & Aspect Ratio
28in / 16:9
Max Resolution & Refresh Rate
3840x2160 @ 60Hz
Native Color Depth & Gamut
10-bit (8-bit+FRC) / sRGB
Response Time (GTG)
1ms
Brightness
370cd/m2
Speakers
-
Video Inputs
1 x DisplayPort, 2 x HDMI
Audio
3.5mm headphone output
USB
-
Panel Dimensions
WxHxD w/base
26 x 19.1 x 6.7in
655 x 481 x 169mm
Panel Thickness
1.9in / 47mm
Bezel Width
.5in / 12mm
Weight
12.4lbs / 5.6kg
Warranty
Three years

Based on the same Innolux (formerly Chi Mei Optoelectronics) panel as its competitors, the U28D590D offers pretty much the same specs. Rated at 370cd/m2, it’s actually a tad brighter than the others, as demonstrated in our benchmarks. It runs at a full 60Hz over DisplayPort and is limited to 30Hz with an HDMI connection. Color depth is 10-bits, though this is achieved using frame rate conversion on an 8-bit signal. Users concerned about banding can rest assured that we saw no examples of that artifact during our time with the display.

Even though 10-bit color is a professional bit of credibility, this class of monitor is most likely to appeal to gamers looking for ultimate graphics quality. We’ve all seen the debates about how much graphics processing power is required to make this happen, so we won’t rehash that here. Suffice it to say that some players prefer higher pixel density over speed. It all depends on what titles you have in your library and just how fast your reflexes are.

If you need blistering frame rates and perhaps would like to eliminate screen-tearing artifacts, Ultra HD may not be the right choice. The limitations of both HDMI and DisplayPort mean that 60Hz is all you get for the time being. Of course you can get G-Sync and 4K in the Acer XB280HK. We’re working on getting a press sample now and expect to review it soon.

For non-GeForce users, however, a fast refresh rate is a must. And until we see wider implementation of DisplayPort 1.3 and HDMI 2.0, monitors like the U28D590D are the best available solution for enthusiasts eager to experience higher pixel density.

Even though the five 28-inch Ultra HD monitors we’ve reviewed are based on the same panel part, they are not equal in all areas of performance. The decision about which one to purchase will come down to what metric matters to you most. Let’s take a look.

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24 comments
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  • 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
    1572582 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.

    -Christian-
  • 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.
  • Tanquen
    1025177 said:
    1572582 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. -Christian-


    But if you can run the native res through DP at 60Hz, wouldn’t that negate the scalar and possible help with input lag?
    New displays, what are they thinking? Bezels bigger than a 50” TV, capacitive buttons that don’t work well, bad input lag and so on. Lame! :(
  • bloc97
    I always wanted a 4k monitor. If they can drop the prices to under 400$ with a respectable refresh rate, I'll buy immediately.
  • ShawnT007
    I own a U28D590D. I heard that the U28E590D is the model number for this monitor that will release in March 2015 that supports Freesync. I also heard that it is just a firmware upgrade, however i dont know if that is correct. Can anyone out there confirm if owners of the U28D590D will be able to add Freesync, whether if be a firmware update, or swapping out a component? I for one really want to get my U28D590D upgraded on launch day to support Freesync... (also made a thread on this)
  • dark_lord69
    I say use a TV as your monitor. (I currently use a 52" HDTV) They are often bigger and cheaper. Personally I'm fine with 1080p.. Why? because I used to use much lower resolutions in the past so I think 1080p still looks great. Plus, it's easier for my video card to get excellent frame rates at 1080 which means the newest games still run great without the need to spend more on a video card. Aside from resolutions I don't really care about color accuracy as long as it's fairly decent.

    The only other consideration is getting a monitor with a gaming style refresh rate (like 144Hz for example). I think the prices on those screens are more than I want to spend. I'd love to have one of those but I'll be getting the Oculus Rift when it comes out and it will provide what I'm looking for in terms of refresh rate, resolution and screen size (perceptual).
  • spp85
    First gen 4k monitors. Honestly Skip
  • codo
    not that it matters cause you wont hit even 60fps @ 4k anyway but I couldn't step down from 144hz now, even though I want that resolution. later on when a setup that can handle this at a frame rate beyond console levels is affordable maybe
  • Bondfc11
    I don't understand these OEMs - same panel, same specs, same price. It seems silly to me for them all the have essentially the SAME monitor out. Same panel and I bet if you crack each one they use the identical TCON (which more often then not is bundled from the panel OEM with the panel) and a standard 4K AD PCB, which can be had from many sources, but have pretty much all the same thing as all the others.
  • Grognak
    @mgilbert - Short answer, yes. There's a test on the web that compares the same animation, running at different FPS, and while it's not incredible, the difference is still noticeable - on a simple, crude, pixelated loop. Now, if you want to get into more details, here's how it works: while it's true that our eyes can't really tell the difference between different FRAMES at 50Hz and above, there are several factors that cause higher refresh rates to be preferable for most people. The first is simply because even if our eyes can't tell, our brain does. The world isn't rendered at 30, 60 or 120 frames, it's continuous and the higher we get, the more pleasant the experience feels. A lot of people, gamers and non-gamers alike, report that 120 or 144Hz monitors simply feel faster, smoother, and overall better, while admitting that there's no truly visible difference. The second is of course frame time variance, which becomes much less noticeable as the FPS rise. In fact, it's the reason 30 fps in games feels so choppy, while it's perfectly acceptable in movies and series - frames are rendered at the exact same intervals, and our brain isn't bothered by it too much.
  • ShawnT007
    Quote:
    not that it matters cause you wont hit even 60fps @ 4k anyway but I couldn't step down from 144hz now, even though I want that resolution. later on when a setup that can handle this at a frame rate beyond console levels is affordable maybe


    You get higher than 60fps max setting in most games with 290x in crossfire.
  • ShawnT007
    Quote:
    743455 said:
    not that it matters cause you wont hit even 60fps @ 4k anyway but I couldn't step down from 144hz now, even though I want that resolution. later on when a setup that can handle this at a frame rate beyond console levels is affordable maybe
    Regarding 144 Hz, there is something I've always wondered about. The human eye cannot detect individual frames at 60 Hz, much less 144 Hz. Can people really tell the difference, or is it that they are staring at an FPS display in the corner of the screen instead of the game itself? I'd love to hear some opinions on this.


    I have had 120hz and 4k and 4k is the way to go. The answer to your question, from my perspective is while gaming you can not tell the difference. here is an interesting test by NCIX https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWEpIwNDeCA
  • codo
    1572582 said:
    743455 said:
    not that it matters cause you wont hit even 60fps @ 4k anyway but I couldn't step down from 144hz now, even though I want that resolution. later on when a setup that can handle this at a frame rate beyond console levels is affordable maybe
    Regarding 144 Hz, there is something I've always wondered about. The human eye cannot detect individual frames at 60 Hz, much less 144 Hz. Can people really tell the difference, or is it that they are staring at an FPS display in the corner of the screen instead of the game itself? I'd love to hear some opinions on this.


    don't mind cheapskates, they are always out to negate anything they don't want to spend money on. seeing is believing, trust me. 60hz is painful to look at now. even the mouse cursor on the screen is pleasing to watch, smooth as it is, but it definitely shows through in gaming, big time.
  • Lumenix
    Quote:
    On my U28D590D, when I feed it a 1920 X 1080 signal, when gaming for example, contrast and gamma change dramatically. Blacks look gray, and the picture is washed out. I have my video set to scale all resolutions up to 3840 X 2160, so that's the only resolution the monitor ever sees. I don't know if this is a design issue, or just a faulty monitor. I wonder if anyone else has seen these shifts in contrast/gamma with resolution changes. If it weren't such a hassle, I'd have the monitor replaced under warranty, but the monitor is perfect otherwise, so I'm leaving well enough alone.


    I found this issue too, are you perhaps running NVidia graphics hardware? I am running a GTX 780 and playing Metro at 4K (barely) the color is great, but at 1080 is totally washed out. A workaround for this is to change from RGB color output to YCbCr 444 when you have to run games and such at 1080. There should be a setting for RGB full range (0-255) but it does not seem to work correctly for me. If anyone else has info it'd be appreciated!
  • Ghost walker
    When 4k monitors become the new norm and work out there kinks and provide a better gaming platform for gamers higher refresh rates of 144 hz and up and come down in price then I'll buy one
  • Ghost walker
    When 4k monitors become the new norm and work out there kinks and provide a better gaming platform for gamers higher refresh rates of 144 hz and up and come down in price then I'll buy one