WQHD Monitors

Updated 22-Oct-2023

Note: 43" 4K monitors are likely taking over this WQHD space. Also beware the VA panels, they just don't perform as well as IPS.

Second Note: the problem of using a 4K TV for a monitor is in the viewing angles. Also Chroma subsampling is needed for decent support of text.

display dimensions of wqhd, qhd, fhd

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).

Update 12 Sep 2023, there is a 37.5" UWQHD+ 3840 x 1600 with 0.23 DPI and 450-600 nits of brightness Rapid IPS panel (1ms response) and 175Hz refresh. This specification is amazing, though the item is still quite expensive around 50,000 THB.

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.

As of 15 February 2021, similar prices (see this Titan Army 34" for 16,500 THB). However, there are some Samsung LS34J550WQEXXT 34" WQHD monitors for sale in Lazada for under 13,000 baht.

As of 12 September 2023 these are coming down to as low as 9,000 THB for 34" UWQHD online in Thailand.

Note that some monitors claim to be WQHD but are only QHD. Check the resolutions carefully.

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](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dot_pitch) of 0.265, there are two sizes in wide:

  • 29" 2560 x 1080 is an increase from 2.074Mpx to 2.765Mpx, with a 95.81ppi and the same dot pitch of 0.265 (though it would be odd to have two of these to repalce a pair of 1080p, viewing would be awkward, as the screens are two wide).
  • 38.9" 3440 x 1440 is an increase to 4.95Mpx, with a 95.87ppi and a dot pitch of 0.265 (these don't exist, but we are now seeing 34" and 35" of these resolutions.

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 (1-2ms) response time

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

Popular Dimensions

It is a question of one screen or two, resolution, and dimension:

One WQHD (3440 x 1440), 21:9 (cinema) aspect, popular at 34" but still over 10,000 baht

  • Replacing 2 @ 23" 1920 x 1080 it is still 25% more pixels though the dot pitch is 2.3 and not 2.65, so not physically 25% larger (taller and narrower, but bigger overall).

One QHD (2560 x 1440), these are popular at 24", 27" and 31"

  • Prices for the 24" and 27" starting around 4,000 baht, and for the 32" under 6,000 baht (Feb 2021). One monitor loses nearly 10% of the pixels over a two monitor setup while 2 monitors is a very nice 78% increase in pixels.
  • If the 24" monitors replace 23" monitors, then there is a much sharper dot pitch of 0.2075mm vs. 0.2652mm, while increasing slightly the viewing area. The one problem with higher resolution on a 24" monitor is that the dot pitch becomes too small for the standard display of text on screen. Not actually viable, and the 27" monitors come in at the same price.

Dot Pitch Similarity

For the same dot pitch of a 1080p 23" monitor:

  • QHD 2560x1440 = 30"
  • WQHD 3440x1440 = 39"

Resources on Color Gamut