Question Which 27 "Dell monitor to choose - 2K or 4K (not for gaming, but for work and fun)


Nov 3, 2018

I can't decide to choose a 27 "monitor from Dell. I choose between these two models:
  1. P2720DC
  2. S2721QS
I will use the monitor on a ThinkPad E14 (Gen 2) laptop that supports usb-c charging / transfer / display.
When I compare both monitors, I see that the model "P" has 2K resolution, it is a professional Dell series, it has a usb-hub and supports usb-c, which is very convenient for my laptop.I will have everything connected with a single cable. model "S", so it is a Dell consumer line (poor quality and display?), but its biggest advantage is 4K resolution.
The monitor should be used for work at home (school), but I would also like to watch movies/YouTube sometimes. I won't play any games on it.
What do you think is better to choose? Is really 4K resolution at 27 "better than 2K? Is it worth when the monitor will have 4K resolution, but it doesn't have usb-hub and usb-c? What is your experience with this? What is more advantageous? If I had a computer, would it probably be better to take 4K? But if I have laptop then usb-c is priceless? How do you see it?

Thank you.
Jul 1, 2020
I can't answer your questions regarding USB-C etc. but as far as Ultra HD (aka 4K) goes — I wouldn't hesitate even for a second. To me it seems a bare minimum on a 27" screen (6–8K would be preferable). It's not really about edges and seeing individual pixels or not; shortage of pixels simply changes shape of letters and, as a result, space between them, which, in turn, hinders readability, memorizing and understanding. That's why proofreaders and copy editors tend to read text at least once in print — you simply see much more. It's probably about your brain compensating for irregularities.

You can do a simple test: print a page and put it near your display. It will look like a different font. If you don't owe a printer install, for example, IntelliJ and play with different font smoothing settings. You will see that without sub-pixel rendering even Ultra HD on a 27" screen is not enough. (To turn smoothing off completely even 6K could not be enough, I'm afraid).

By the way, some older and/or badly written software doesn't scale well even in Windows 10 although usually you can get near-perfect results by tinkering with scaling settings (you can find them through the context menu of an icon). But it's a price worth paying if you work with standard tools most of the time.
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