UHD is dead. Not really, but it would seem that displays bigger than UHD/4K will soon be coming to market. The ability of being able to stitch two regular sized outputs into the same panel is now being exploited even more as Dell has announced during its Modern Workforce livestream about the new ‘5K’ Ultrasharp 27-inch display.  The ‘5K’ name comes from the 5120 pixels horizontally, but this panel screams as being two lots of 2560x2880 in a tiled display.

5120x2880 at 27 inches comes out at 218 PPI for a total of 14.7 million pixels. At that number of pixels per inch, we are essentially looking at a larger 15.4-inch Retina MBP or double a WQHD ASUS Zenbook UX301, and seems right for users wanting to upgrade their 13 year old IBM T220 for something a bit more modern.

Displays Sorted by PPI
Product Size / in Resolution PPI Pixels
LG G3 5.5 2560x1440 534 3,686,400
Samsung Galaxy S5 5.1 1920x1080 432 2,073,600
HTC One Max 5.9 1920x1080 373 2,073,600
Apple iPhone 5S 4 640x1136 326 727,040
Apple iPad mini Retina 7.9 2048x1536 324 2,777,088
Google Nexus 4 4.7 1280x768 318 983,040
Google Nexus 10 10 2560x1600 300 4,096,000
Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro 13.3 3200x1800 276 5,760,000
ASUS Zenbook UX301A 13.3 2560x1440 221 3,686,400
Apple Retina MBP 15" 15.4 2880x1800 221 5,184,000
Dell Ultrasharp 27" 5K 27 5120x2880 218 14,745,600
Nokia Lumia 820 4.3 800x480 217 384,000
IBM T220/T221 22.2 3840x2400 204 9,216,000
Dell UP2414Q 24 3840x2160 184 8,294,400
Dell P2815Q 28 3840x2160 157 8,294,400
Samsung U28D590D 28 3840x2160 157 8,294,400
ASUS PQ321Q 31.5 3840x2160 140 8,294,400
Apple 11.6" MacBook Air 11.6 1366x768 135 1,049,088
LG 34UM95 34 3440x1440 110 4,953,600
Korean 27" WQHD 27 2560x1440 109 3,686,400
Sharp 8K Prototype 85 7680x4320 104 33,177,600

Dell has been pretty quiet on the specifications, such as HDMI or DisplayPort support, though PC Perspective is reporting 16W integrated speakers. If the display is using tiling to divide up the transport workload over two outputs, that puts the emphasis squarely on two DP 1.2 connections. There is no mention of frame rates as of yet, nor intended color goals.

Clearly this panel is aimed more at workflow than gaming.  This is almost double 4K resolution in terms of pixels, and 4K can already bring down the majority of graphics cards to their knees, but we would imagine that the content producer and prosumer would be the intended market. Word is that this monitor will hit the shelves by Christmas, with a $2500 price tag.

Source: Dell

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  • nathanddrews - Friday, September 5, 2014 - link

    Totally misread it. I thought this was a "5K" 21:9 monitor. :(

    Oh well, it's a step in the right direction. Keep pushing the resolution war, force GPU makers to up their game!
  • bnjohanson - Friday, September 5, 2014 - link

    I'd feel far more confident buying a Ferrari F1 off of ebay from a Seller named, "Nigerian Nemesis"...
  • naxeem - Friday, September 5, 2014 - link

  • CSMR - Friday, September 5, 2014 - link

    Stupid choices of resolution are really hurting the PC market these days. Almost no monitors come out with sensible high resolutions. It is either average or insane (with 4 times the pixel count) with nothing in between.

    27" at 1440p: good sharpness, good value, can be used with any modern system.
    27" at 1600p: great sharpness, good value, can be used with any modern system.
    27" at 2880p: great sharpness, poor value, requires a modern discrete graphics card even for normal non-gaming desktop use so incompatible with 95% of PCs.
  • weiran - Friday, September 5, 2014 - link

    At 27", in-between resolution don't really make much sense.

    You'd either have to do imperfect scaling which at this pixel size wouldn't look good, or you'd have to live with a less usable working area than your old 1440p 27" display.

    This is why that 28" Samsung 4K display is of no interest to me, either I have to run it at 4K and squint, run it at 2K which is basically 1080p, or run it in between with fuzzy text.
  • jeffkibuule - Friday, September 5, 2014 - link

    I think you are missing the point of these monitors, which is showing more *detailed* content, not showing more content. Better for photo and video editing while still having some UI.

    If you don't want to squint at text, just get a 39" 4K display, which will have a similar DPI as a 27" 1440p monitor
  • CSMR - Friday, September 5, 2014 - link

    Unless something is going wrong with your software, text should be rendering at the native resolution (actually effectively at more than the native resolution with subpixel rendering). A higher dpi increases readability, provided that you set the dpi appropriately in the OS (which may be done automatically).

    So at 27", 1440p should give sharp text, 1600p very sharp text, and 2880p extremely sharp text, but my point is there are rapidly diminishing returns, while there are large costs and inconveniences to extremely high resolution in the processing power needed.
  • SirPerro - Friday, September 5, 2014 - link

    This pixel count and size is PERFECT.

    HDPI perfect 2x2 scaling with perfect size of the UI elements. Not too small, not too big.

    Perfect 1440p gaming with no scaling at all (2x2 pixels per pixel)

    Perfect size for home and office.

    Windowed editing of 4K content pixel perfect!

    This size and density is a real winner, and we will see MANY monitors follow this path.
  • Friendly0Fire - Friday, September 5, 2014 - link

    Yeah, that's one thing people often ignore or strike up as crazy, but frankly downscaling without any form of interpolation is a big one. You get sharp features for things that benefit most (text, image editing, video editing, browsers, etc.) while still being able to game on the screen by just downscaling to quarter-resolution. Heck, I'm expecting game developers might soon throw in an automatic option for just this which renders the UI at full resolution and the game at quarter-resolution (which would be ideal).

    I'm just waiting for Windows to support high-dpi better, really.
  • CSMR - Saturday, September 6, 2014 - link

    Almost all linear resolutions are even numbers and so can mimic 1/2 the linear resolution without loss if needed. (For images; text is a very different matter because of subpixels.) So there is nothing special here.

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