Friday, November 27, 2015

Hands-on review: Samsung 34" Curved Monitor SE790C

Samsung's SE790C has a curved screen for 'immersive' viewing
On going to the office to test this, I was told that my curved TV had arrived and was awaiting my unboxing. Little did they know, this was no mere TV but a screen designed to strike fear into the souls of mortal monitors.
From the plain brown box that arrived, you could be forgiven for thinking it was a fancy TV, one of those OLED ones that you can sit three metres from and not really notice the curve.
With a monitor, you’re up close and personal, and 34″ of curved goodness complements your eyes. So much so that if you have the monitor adjusted right, you’ll be unable to identify that there is a curve - it’s just that every point on the display is in focus and facing you.
If it wasn’t curved, the pixels on the edges would be pointing away from you, giving you a poorer picture. With the slight curve, you can fit in so much more.
For example, in Excel, at 100% zoom, I can view 64 rows and columns from A to AZ. And there’s no gap. If you wanted that kind of width on documents, you had to have two monitors with the document spanned over both.
4K monitors aim to offer this capability and fit more on the screen, yet this is at the sacrifice of size. I can easily read with this screen - after all, it is a very wide monitor.
Rather than a Ultra High definition monitor, with its sheer mass of pixels, this has lots of them in one direction – 3440 x 1440. Mmmm, pixel loveliness. And for me, yes I would love this screen in a 4K crispness, then it really would be the ultimate monitor, but my machine has to keep up with it.
The Surface Pro 3 will power this, yet trying to play Netflix through the browser does tend to puff it out (although on battery only).
I’ve used 4K monitors, nasty monitors, and nice monitors. My favourite was the Dell 3007WFP - a pair of these adorned my desk, and for video editing and desktop space, they were unrivalled. Yet the Samsung SE790C kills every other piece of competition out there.
There are no rivals (except maybe the iMac 5K), and as much as 4K monitors are nice, you either have to scale them right, or have the focusing abilities of a kestrel.
This monitor slays all other rivals - I can’t throw enough superlatives at it. Work wise, I use two 24″ monitors, and this monitor (well two) is on my Christmas list.
At about $1300, it’s not an impulse buy. Yet with HDMI, Mini DisplayPort and DisplayPort, you won’t have a problem connecting to this with any modern machine. So Samsung, contact Santa, and set up a wholesale agreement aye?

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