Random Thoughts by Fabien Penso

Monitor updates: 34UC97 LG vs P2715Q DELL

I’ve just acquired two new screens, one for work: The 34” LG 34UC97 and one for home: the 4k 27” DELL P2715Q. If you’re reading this, you’re probably interested by one of them. Here is my feedback after a few months of use on each. I kept both, for different purpose.

While reading forums about those, I’ve changed my mind and I’m glad I did. At first I was looking for a larger screen for my new office and my MacBook 13” retina, and I had already selected the DELL 4k. That laptop can drive it at 60Hz, and I thought retina would be a nice feature. But watching reviews I ended up watching this video and I changed my mind.

Retina is a nice feature, but it doesn’t change the way you work. It doesn’t improve productivity. I remember the day I switched from a 24” to a Dell 30” in 2008, and the wow effect when I put that new screen on my desk. At first I actually thought I got too big, but a few days later and I was converted. I remember gaining productivity, and a few researches tend to prove it (google for more).

Remembering about the wow effect in 2008, I changed my mind and got the 34” LG instead. I’m glad I did, the monitor is a beauty and the curved isn’t just fancy. It’s actually very useful as the monitor is very wide. I was wrong about the 30”, it’s not too big, it’s too small… But the 16/9 ratio isn’t as good as you’d think, you don’t really use the top and bottom as much, and after using the 34” 21/9 (about the height of a 27”) for a few days I can tell you it’s much better to get a wider screen. Some of my friends use 2x27” monitors, but the single monitor setup with this 34” is an improvement. No bazel…

Then I wanted to change my monitor at home, and I decided for the 4k DELL. I don’t have enough space on my home desk to take bigger than 30”, and I usually do a lot of photography work at home. I also thought it would be a nice way to compare 34” vs 4k. This DELL is like every DELL, it feels like a junk (plastic) and weights nothing. Compared to my WFP3008 which felt like a beast (but cost 1,600 euros in 2008). That new 4k cost me 700 euros… It feels great for coding (retina fonts), and amazing for photos. It’s like I’m discovering my own photo scans again.

Choose the 34” LG UC97 if:

  • Productivity matters to you and you’re always doing 10 things at a time
  • You’re doing front coding, that Chrome window with a debugger on the right
  • You have enough desk space, that 34” is wide

Choose the DELL 4k P2715Q if:

  • You’re a photographer
  • You’re a coder and you enjoy retina fonts
  • You don’t have enough space on your desk

But remember, once you’ve hit 4k displays it’s hard to go back as other monitors look blurry. Now I kind of wonder about 2x4k monitors…

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Thanks for reading.