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[Discuss] 4K monitors

On Fri, 10 Jan 2014 23:37:06 -0500, Tom Metro wrote:
> In this blog posting the author makes the case that 4K resolution is
> hardly needed for TVs, but makes for a great monitor for programmers:
> So will your next display be 4K? Have you upgraded already? Does it play
> well with Linux?

If I could find a decent 24" display that's 4K I'd go for it.  If I
could find a 16:10 (3840x2400) 17" panel that I could retrofit into my
laptop, I'd go for it.  If the price weren't outrageous.

> The author said that the ideal size for a computer monitor was 50" in
> his opinion. Do you feel that a screen that big actually gains you
> something? Beyond a certain size, when you are sitting only a few feet
> from the display, large portions of the display end up only being in
> your peripheral view.

50" is way too big when you're that close.  If you're 2' away from the
monitor, a 24" monitor subtends an angle of 60 degrees -- 30 degrees
off-axis in each direction -- which is reasonable.  A 50" monitor would
be something more than 90 degrees.

> While you can of course move your eyes to focus on other parts, you may
> find that the small pitch text you work with in your code editor that
> works great when it is front-and-center, now is too small when it is off
> in the far corners of the screen.
> There is always good use for more screen space, but given the above, the
> high resolution across the full 39" inches might be wasted. Even the
> cost premium of using one big screen instead of multiple screens may not
> be justified, if you are only doing detailed work on a small portion of
> the screen space. Though if the premium isn't much, it's hard to be the
> cool factor of a giant display.

Multiple screens have disadvantages, though:

1) The gap between the screens

2) A typical 2-monitor display increases horizontal resolution, but not

3) The dot pitch is the same as with a conventional display

If I had a screen with twice the resolution, I might not be able to use
the 6x10 fixed font that I currently use in emacs, but 7x12, 8x13, or
9x15 might be perfectly usable.  They would be smaller than 6x10 on my
existing 1920x1200 displays, but more detailed, making for better
readability.  In practice, I'd go for the smallest font I could halfway
comfortably read, and just hope that I don't lose the remaining
nearsightedness in my left eye too quickly (my eyes differ a fair bit,
so I use my left eye for near vision and my right eye for distance

Robert Krawitz                                     <rlk at>

MIT VI-3 1987 - Congrats MIT Engineers 5 straight men's hoops tourney
Tall Clubs International  -- or 1-888-IM-TALL-2
Member of the League for Programming Freedom  --
Project lead for Gutenprint   --

"Linux doesn't dictate how I work, I dictate how Linux works."
--Eric Crampton

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