When Samsung offered us the chance to review the UD970 we didn’t have to think about it for long. Getting ones hands on a 4k monitor to gawk at was something we wanted to try out since the very moment Samsung presented the model at IFA in Berlin this year.
The UD970 comes in a box .. a BIG box .. a box that is usually reserved for big things like snow plows, space shuttles and big tv’s. Granted , it would have been a bad idea to ship the 31.5 inch display in a paper bag .. So the big box was a good idea. The difference between the UD970 and a Snow plow is the fact that the former has a much higher resolution. Where classic TV screens of this size have to find their limit at a resolution of 1920 by 1080 (Full HD) the UD970 goes almost up to infinity .. But not beyond. A 4k resolution of 3840 by 2016 means that ‘theoretically’ the screen real estate of a 31 inch 4K display is about the same as a 62 inch TV screen .. on a theoretical full HD resolution. And it still fits on your desk (but it might not fit in your budget)
We thought that we would be confronted with a behemoth of a box where you need to puzzle apart 24 pieces of styrofoam , but the UD970 is nicely packaged and taking it out we noticed the very simple and elegant design . A stable base, slim neck and thin bezel mark the fact that this monitor not only shines in resolution, but also in design. When inspecting the ports we noticed that this monitor can also ROTATE ! Spontaneous hallucinations of ‘Triple screen portrait monitor setups’ flooded our mind .. But there would be limitations in our budget .. and the number of pixels both a graphics card and the human mind can handle … Without melting down in a puddle of high resolution 4k blubber.
“Hooking it up”
Speaking of puddles .. getting this baby to work was a little bit of a challenge. We hooked it up to the latest and greatest 15 inch Macbook pro (with its high end graphics card) to see just how OK , 4K was … We had some trouble. Hooking it up to the Tunderbold display port with an HDMI adapter ( the UD970 has HDMI, Display port and classic DVI ports) we were disappointed that the maximum resolution we got was a mere 1600 by 900 (according to our Mac). This made the screen look bad. Fuzzy images and obese fonts .. not something we liked. Things got better after we hooked the display straight to our HMDI port .. The result was like staring into oblivion .. ‘Double-HD’ on this 31 inch display is massive .. So massive its hard to comprehend .. there is SO MUCH ROOM on your screen. Opening up ANY document to full-screen will be a thing of the past. The amount of screen real estate will have you working with tiled windows all the time since you can place so many of them. You will need to “crane your neck” from time to time since you need to cover the full 31 inches of screen right in front of your nose.
“Not your average holiday catalogue”
The colours and crispness of the screen is very very good for a Samsung display. Where the Oled displays of their smartphones and tablets have over saturated colours and brightness (That make an obituary look like a summer holiday magazine) Samsung has “toned down” the “WHOOOW” factor to resemble something that is more toned towards reality. The matt display, high resolution, thin bezel and slick design give this screen the potential to match or even outclass Apple’s expensive cinema display line.
“Dinero mucho baby ? “
We haven’t received and official price yet but at the rumored 2000 dollars pricerange this screen is going to be outside the budget range of the average user. The high resolution does require a hefty graphics card (Even our Mac had some trouble) but what you get in return is pretty slick. We shipped the display back to Samsung with mixed feelings .. After getting used to it , i’m pretty sure I would miss the display if I had to miss it .. But I would also miss the car I had to sell in order to get the money to BUY the UD970 in the first place. This display is something for the high end users (or the ones without girlfriends who live in their parents basement). That way they can watch their own My Little Pony marathon on a massive display .. with crisp colors, sharp text, lots of ports and a slim base.
Now excuse us as we drudge back to our 14 inch CRT display with a maximum resolution of 640×480 and watch the world in 8-bit.
Link : The UD970