As of 2021, it is a good choice to get a 4K monitor. 4K monitors completely future-proof your tech. They give you the best working and viewing experience.
As you have found this article, I can safely assume that you are half-hearted on getting either a 27 or 32 4K monitor. However, there is no black and white distinction between the two.
It solely depends on your comfort level using each. And for you to decide that I am going to discuss in detail, every aspect of these two monitors. Let’s dive into the details and paint a realistic picture for you.
First, Find out What You Are Looking for
I’m probably going to sound like a broken record to some of you, but for others, here’s some background.
4K UHD monitors have the resolution 3840 X 2160. The aspect ratio of the monitors is 16:9 and they are available in 24”, 27-28”, and 32” versions.
The reason why we are not interested in 24” is because anything above 24” is far satisfactory for a 4K viewing experience.
So, it all comes down to 27” vs. 32” 4K monitors.
Basically, what you are looking for are pixels that don’t fade out on a larger screen. Clear 3D image quality and a large screen for viewing the 4K details.
But the size still has some pros and cons. Selecting the one with more pros than cons is our goal.
Look for These…
- pixels that don’t fade out on a larger screen.
- Clear 3D image quality
- large screen for viewing the 4K details COMFORTABLY.
Selecting the size with more pros than cons is our goal.
What Matters for Professionals?
Whether you are a graphic designer, a photographer, or a digital artist, it all comes down to how compatible the device is with your needs and how satisfied you are with the software applications.
Check out the pros and cons of 27” and 32” 4K monitors below:
For MAC OS
|Features||27-inch Monitors||32-inch Monitors|
|Size of the User Interface||The size of the user interface, (Icons, menu bar, opened tabs) is smaller. However, the ‘Scaling’ can be customized (switched to 1440p or 1080p scaling for example). This makes the appearance of the user interface larger or smaller. This may be comfortable to read.||The size of the user interface, (Icons, menu bar, opened tabs) is larger than the 27-inch model. The user interface reads like that on a like 3840 x 2160 screen.|
|Resolution||Depending on different brands, resolutions can be different:|
3840×2160 (2160p 4K UHD – Ultra High Definition) or 5120×2880 (5K/UHD + – Ultra High Definition Plus).
|Depending on different brands, resolutions can be different – 3840×2160 (2160p 4K UHD – Ultra High Definition)|
|Performance of Software (Adobe Photoshop)||The image quality is crisp. However, it has some zooming in and resolution inconsistencies||Sharp image equality. No inconsistencies in zooming and resolution.|
|Performance of Software (Adobe Illustrator)||The text quality is crisp. However, at 100% zoom, you cannot see the full picture.||Detailed and sharp text quality. Can show you the full picture even at 100% zoom.|
|Programming and Movies||27-inch 4Ks such as Dell U2720Q or Dell U2720QM have the best features, price, and pixel density for a higher resolution display. However, the downside is the pixel density of 163 PPI, which is a bit less for MacBook Pro. But it should not be much of a problem. Mentioned above are 4K USB-C displays with a hub built-in. They also have a brightness of 350 nits and cover maximum sRGB and DCI-P3 colorspaces.||A compatible monitor for Mac OS is rare to find. Especially the ones with USB-C/dual USB-C input that have no compatibility issue. 32-inch 4K monitors such as Dell UltraSharp U3219Q can be a good option for Mac OS. Curved screen monitors are not helpful for programming, however, users may prefer those for movie-watching.|
The bottom line is if you want a 4K monitor for MAC OS, get a 32-inch 4k monitor.
|Features||27-inch Monitors||32-inch Monitors|
|Size of the User Interface||The size of the user interface (Icons, menu bar, tabs) appears smaller, which can be scaled to look larger. Unfortunately, not all applications scale well.||The size of the user interface, (Icons, menu bar, tabs) appears smaller than even 27 inches due to the larger screen size. You can fit more tabs and work on many at a time, however, the readability is very difficult while doing that.|
|Resolution||Usual 4K resolution.|
3840×2160 (2160p 4K UHD – Ultra High Definition)
|Usual 4K resolution.|
3840×2160 (2160p 4K UHD – Ultra High Definition)
|Picture Quality||27” is the perfect size to view very sharp images or videos without the pixels being visible to the eyes of the viewers. It is very compatible when it comes to video or picture editing or illustration||Any size bigger than 27” can show you those annoying pixels.|
Moreover, beginners may find it difficult to work with different software as the user interface looks smaller. You may find yourself working in a medium tab while you have extra space all around your screen.
|Programming and Movies||For 27” dot pitch is too tight for 4K. Go for 1440p in case of 27” monitors in this case. The BenQ EW3270U monitor for example is a good choice. Philips 276E8VJSB here would be a cheaper one.||For programming, you’re looking for a monitor that has enough space for your tabs and does not give you eye strain. Moreover, you will need to deal with images and videos often alongside texts. LG UltraFine Display 32UL950 has great HDR support. It also has 98% of the DCI-P3 color space and brightness at 600 nits. The BenQ PD3200U is also a good one that comes with eye-care technology.|
To conclude, if you are using Windows, you should go for a 27” screen.
Now, What About the Gamers?
Surprisingly, 27” screens are actually better than 32” ones when it comes to gaming. Why? Head movement, that’s why.
27” monitors with 1080p are okay, but a 27” monitor with 1440p is better, the best for gaming. It can easily support the scales and provide the best results of virtual gaming.
Trust me, you would want to have the entire view of the screen all at once rather than scanning for your enemy all over the screen.
32” screens are simply too large. To view the whole screen, you need to sit at a considerable distance away from your monitor screen.
Well, can you maintain this distance when you are at the edge of your seat, yelling at your teammates while still scanning for enemies despite sitting far away because it’s all so confusing? (Bizzare!).
To save yourself from eyestrain, get a 27” monitor. Be in your own comfortable space and enjoy the 3D effects as clear and as defined as you’d get with 3D glasses (except nothing comes out of the screen at you, well, almost). Moreover, 32” monitors have lower refresh rate.
So, it is definitely better to go for the 27” 4K monitor as a gamer.
Which One Is Best For Video Editing? (Dual 27” Vs A 32” Monitors)
Before choosing a monitor for video editing, keep the following criteria in mind:
- An IPS type display (preferred over TN type) to remove variables (such as view-angle contrasts) and higher resolution.
- Colour accuracy. Your display should be centered rather than shifted towards more blue or more green colors. This is why the color editing of your pictures and videos will look good everywhere and will be close to what you want.
- Wide viewing angle
- Matte Display to get rid of reflection.
- 16:9 aspect ratio (non-curved monitors are better)
- A lot of color support and Brightness.
Now, let’s compare dual 27” 4K UHD monitor setup with 32” ones in terms of the above criteria.
Also Read: Do You Need A 4k Monitor To Edit 4k Video?
Dual 27” Setup:
Dual monitor setups are usually thought to increase productivity, screen real estate, and ease of managing window operation.
Each monitor will give you about 2560×1440 resolution with a 16:9 ratio each.
Honestly, this setup is better than 21:9 ultra-wide monitors. The dual setup gives you about a 120cm widescreen view. So it does take up a lot of space.
In terms of video editing, you will get 2560×1440 resolution from each monitor. The full 4K UHD experience may not be extracted from the pixels.
Dual monitors can have monitors with different specs for each, enabling you to do specific things with each of them. Although this is beneficial, yet for video editing, you can reap the benefits from one monitor just as easily.
The color range, contrast depends on the monitor, but most 27” monitors bottleneck the 4K UHD benefits.
32” monitors with matte finishing, wide-angle view are the best for video editing. Unlike dual setup, you don’t suffer from head twisting much. These have the most optimum eye-viewing distance and length.
To support that 4K UHD resolution, a minimum 30” display is necessary. Otherwise, a lot of the benefits get bottlenecked. Besides, the picture quality is sharper.
Moreover, while editing videos, your ‘editing timeline’ gets enough width on display. So it is much easier for the eyes to navigate. At the same time, you get a nice long display above the timeline with more clear resolution.
Some monitors like the ASUS ProArt range ones support up to 1000nits for brightness. Along with this, you can also easily use 32” monitors vertically for editing IGTV size pictures or videos.
Verdict: A single 32” setup is specifically better for video editing in 4K UHD.
Luckily, the 27” monitors are a bit less expensive than the 32” ones. This is usually the case except maybe a few. This makes getting more value for an affordable price. However, judging by your OS, the prices may differ.
However, if you can afford it, go for the 32” one if you just cannot choose the small guy over the big one. That is also going to be satisfied once you get used to it and find your way around the user interface.
The conclusion on the 27” vs 32” 4K monitor dilemma is simple and in two sentences:
If you use MAC OS, go for the 32” monitors.
If you use Windows, go for the 27” monitors.
Remember, you need to understand what your requirements are. If you require a monitor for both professional purposes and gaming needs, then judge the criteria that coincide with both areas from the above comparisons.
With that keeping in mind, look at your budget as well. It’s about making the best out of whatever you have. Look out for sales, you might be surprised what you get at a very affordable price. But also avoid any offer that sounds “too good”.
Moreover, before selecting any monitor from any of the commercially available brands, go through the product specification. Do your homework. Buying a monitor is a big decision. You will have to face repercussions for the next 6-7 years or more if you make a bad one.
So, choose wisely and enjoy your new 4K monitor!