[Linux-aus] 4K monitor sizes

Adam Nielsen a.nielsen at shikadi.net
Wed Jun 1 01:23:06 AEST 2022

> Has anyone had experience with a monitor larger than 40" on their desktop?  

Not larger than, but I have been using a 3840x2160 40" for a few years
now.  4K at 40" gives you the same DPI as with traditional LCD monitors,
so it's the perfect size from a usability standpoint as I don't need to
mess with the DPI settings to get text readable, or put up with
microscopic text when using a program that doesn't respect the system's
DPI value.

For size comparison, I also have a Dell 3008 (30" 2K), and a few 24"
1920x1200 and the size of each pixel is pretty much the same across the

I'm sitting about 40-60cm from the 40" LCD, and it takes up enough of
my vision that I have to turn my head to see one side to the other.  I
don't find this much of a problem though, because I usually have enough
windows on the screen that it's no different to turning my head from
one monitor to another as I switch between tasks.

Personally I think 40" is about the point where you probably want a
curved monitor though, because the edges of the screen are noticeably
further away from your eye than the middle (at the distance I sit from
it anyway).  It's kind of hard to explain but I think your eyes have to
constantly refocus very slightly as you glance around the screen, so I
feel that being curved so that every point on the screen is the same
distance away from the eye would lead to a slightly better experience.

If the 43" you mention isn't curved then I would probably suggest
thinking twice about it, unless you plan to be sitting more than ~70cm
away from it.

One nice thing about a larger screen is that you get a lot more
vertical space.  Having two monitors side by side gives you a lot of
width but not so much height.  Some people used to rotate their
widescreen monitors into portrait mode to get more vertical space (e.g.
to see a whole A4 document page without scrolling) but with a large
monitor you get that same vertical space even when it's in landscape.
For me, it's great for multiple tall terminal windows side by side, as
well as being able to see a large chunk of the source code I'm editing.
I also don't have to scroll nearly so much on web pages.

If I had to buy again, I would probably go for another 40" but
definitely curved if I could.  I found the 30" a little smaller than I
expected it would be, so I would only get another 30" or smaller if it
was really cheap (and even then more than one).  From the choices you've
listed, the 32" sounds like it would suit me the best.

If you like the USB-C charging functionality, you can get an adapter
that you plug both your laptop charger and monitor into (via a
DisplayPort cable) and it combines it into a single USB-C plug that
goes into your laptop.  That lets you convert pretty much any monitor
into a USB-C charging monitor.

> Another possibility is getting multiple monitors.  For a long time I have been 
> unconvinced of the benefits of multiple monitors

I have seven monitors on my desk so I am well and truly convinced of
the benefits of multiple monitors :)  I would have more if I could fit
them but it's surprisingly hard to find mounting solutions that let you
stack monitors vertically one above the other, and that take screens
larger than around 24".  I managed to find a monitor arm designed for
sit-stand use, and in "stand" position it gets two 24" screens
sitting above the 30", but the 40" is just a bit too tall, the sit-stand
arm won't go high enough to put anything above the 40".

(A lot of people ask what I need so many monitors for so I will preempt
that and say that I used to find myself constantly switching back and
forth between the same programs - e-mail, instant messaging, terminal
windows, etc. so I found it was easier to just have these programs
visible all the time, so I could just glance at them out the corner of
my eye to see if I needed to give them any attention, and it was much
less of an interruption to what I was actually working on.  I also have
live camera feeds so I can see e.g. who's walking up to knock on the
front door, which aren't so useful if they're covered up by another
window most of the time.)

> 2*27" gives me twice the pixels and 3/4 the area of a 32" monitor for about
> the same price.

2x 27" will give you less vertical space but more horizontal, so the
best option depends on what you will be working on.  Getting more
pixels in a smaller area means you're probably going to have to increase
the DPI however.  Many years ago when I last tried to change the DPI
there were always programs that didn't respect the settings and came up
with tiny text, so I've always tried to avoid having to change DPI
where possible.

Anyway, bit of a long explanation but hopefully you get something out
of it.


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