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Viewed in Person: Sharp PN-K321 - 4K Ultra HD LED Monitor

Stopping by the Apple Store today, I took the time to view a variety of my site’s HD and UltraHD images* on the Sharp 4K display attached to the new Mac Pro (images are in the subscriber publications).

The Sharp UltraHD 4K display offers an expansive, almost immersive viewing experience, meaning it’s not just large (31.5-inch diagonal) but that entire space contains so much detail that the visual impact is compelling beyond any traditional display.

UltraHD images fill the screen with a wondrous level of detail that otherwise can only be experienced on a MacBook Pro with Retina Display, except that the Sharp has 3840 X 2160 pixels instead of 2880 X 1800, so you can see the entire UltraHD image. I did not assess the size of type or user interface elements.

The Sharp display has a somewhat lower pixel density and so doesn’t quite have the lustrous deeply rich vibrancy of the Retina display—close but not quite the same level. Then again, maybe the too-bright Apple Store interfered with my perception.

It’s not so sharp of Sharp to offer a low-resolution image of its display on its product page (even the View Larger size!). It’s tiny and looks blurred on a Retina display. Huh?

* The publications include HD and UltraHD images for material added in the last 9 months or so, including examples and full aperture series. Subscribers also enjoy Retina-grade images in the diglloyd photography blog.

Better to wait

I’m going to wait on a 4K display because my needs involve true calibration (not faux calibration) and accurate color and grayscale over time. So I’ll be sticking with my NEC PA302W wide-gamut calibrated display for a good while more.

Moreover, there is no good pixel-doubled solution at 3840 X 2160 (I’m not too keen on 1920 X 1080 effective size and it’s not clear if this is properly supported as yet in any case).

The truly hassle-free solution is 5120 X 3200 or 5120 X 2880 which is 2X the current 30/27 inch displays. Those sizes allow for pixel doubling so that text and user interface is not too small, while retaining the working space of the current 30/27 inch displays for non-image usage.

Sharp 31.5-inch PN-K321 - 4K Ultra HD LED Monitor
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