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WQHD Monitors

What appears to be a fantastic combination of features is the new WQHD monitors which are 3440x1440 at 110ppi. The diagonal size most popular is 34". This means software scaling is not required for display, and essentially it can provide about the same screen real estate as two 1920x1080 22" monitors (which have 100ppi). WQHD has 110ppi, and is nearly 5 million pixels (4,953,600) while two 1080p monitors are just over 4 million (4,147,200).

Standard WQHD Panel Specifications

Most of the WQHD appear to be 5ms response and from 60hz-165hz (max for IPS display). The display is 43:18 but advertised as 21:9, which is the display in cinemas. For screen real estate on a similar PPI, the WQHD (34") are about 20% taller and 60% wider. On a 1080p I can get 2.5 terminal screens at 80 characters. It may be possible to get 4 on a WQHD. In terms of browsers and websites, which take up more 1,000 pixels, three full browser windows will fit this display. Currently with a two monitor setup, one gets less than two full screens per monitor. Also, this adds the mentioned height (about 20%).

Realistically, the only improvements needed by me would be 90% or better coverage of sRGB color space, rather than the paltry 65% which I am getting with current screens. Ideally 90% or better coverage of the Adobe RGB would be even better, as that would cover the entire CYMK color gamut for printing.

In addition, getting 75hz and 1ms response rate would be great, but sticking with 60hz and 5ms would be adequate (provided there is a decent price break for the older technology). 8bit color depth is fine, though 10bit would be better, of course.

As of 10 April 2018, lowest price I've seen online for this kind of monitor is 17,000 THB (about $500 USD). That's not bad, a big improvement over a few years ago. However, it needs to get into the 10,000 THB range.

Text vs. Gaming Native Pixel Resolution

Since I work with text, native pixel resolution, and the distance between my eyes and the screen, are critical factors. In order to preserve the same visual field and resolution, the key is to maintain PPI. In this case, compared with a 1080p 23" screen with a PPI of 95.78 and a dot pitch of 0.265, there are two sizes in wide:

  • 29" 1080x2560 is an increase from 2.074Mpx to 2.765Mpx, with a 95.81ppi and the same dot pitch of 0.265
  • 38.9" 1440x3440 is an increase to 4.95Mpx, with a 95.87ppi and a dot pitch of 0.265 (these don't exist)

What we see with the popular 34" and 35" WQHD 1440x3440 is 110ppi. Also, there are now WQHD+ 3840x1600 monitors at about 37" to 38". For someone who prefers a slightly farther distance from eye to screen, these native pixel resolutions would make the text a bit small.

For this reason, I'm now leaning toward a 29" Full HD 2560x1080 which is 21:9. It would also be easier to drive with an embedded graphics card (say, for example, the 60hz Intel Graphics 620 in the i3 Kaby Lake NUC). As a not-very-serious gamer, this would be both an improvement, affordable, and not force hardware upgrades on the devices.

Prices on these go down to around 7,500-9,000 THB for something like an LG 29WKS600-W or LG 29UB55-B (which includes 75hz/300cd/m2 and speakers with an audio jack out). 6-bit/8-bit color, sRGB 99%, VESA 100mm mount, and freesync on an IPS panel. Nice bundle. Or at Goodspeed there is the LG 29" IPS 29UM69G-B for 10,290 THB as of 19-Aug-2018. Bird in the hand. Sweet price for Chiang Mai-available hardware. A moderate ChromeOS device, say Asus C101PA could drive this beast.

For saving around 7,000-10,000 THB (about half the price), what is left out includes:

  • Not a higher refresh rate
  • Only 33% more pixels from a 1080p
  • Lack of Adobe RGB support
  • No 10-bit color
  • No faster (1ms) response time

Still, a decent tradeoff especially for the use case (and price).

Resources on Color Gamut

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