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Gear Reviews

Samsung U32D970 4K Monitor | Review

By Anthony Thurston on May 26th 2015

As a content creator, your choice of monitor is an important one. If you skimp and go the cheap route, you can end up with a monitor that shows you inaccurate colors. That can have an adverse effect on your processing. So choosing the right display for you is an important decision.

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The big buzz word out there in the TV and Monitor space right now is 4K or 4 times the resolution of a standard 1080p display. As a photographer, this allows you to open your images much larger than you can on a 1080 display, allowing you do see more detail in your images without having to zoom to 100%.

Samsung’s U32D970 is a 32″ 4K IPS display (if you need a refresher on monitor technology check out this post) that features 10bit color, 99.5% AdobeRGB and full sRBG support. We recently gave two of these away in a contest and today, we are here to give you our thoughts on this monitor from a content creation perspective.

04-performance-5-stars

What can I really say about this monitor other than that in the month or so I had with it, I had absolutely zero issues with it. I tried all of the various display inputs, changed countless settings, and the Samsung U32D970 powered on like a champ.

Probably my only real complaint with the display is that it puts off quite a bit of heat. This is a fairly common occurrence among larger screens, but it is worth noting if you will have this in a room where cooling will be an issue.

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As far as how my performance increased while using the monitor, it was a great improvement. I liked the improvement in Lightroom specifically, where I was able to see images in nearly their full resolution, which made making adjustments so much easier than on my 1080 screen. This monitor also made video editing a breeze in Premiere. I am going to miss the screen resolution for sure.

09-features-5-stars

From a content creator’s perspective, this monitor has it all. The built-in base can rotate, swivel, rise and fall to your heart’s content, and the various inputs (1 HDMI, 2 Displayport, 1 DVI-D) assure that you can connect it to whatever device you wish.

The U32D970 comes pre-calibrated out of the box, and it looks great. I did calibrate the display with my X-Rite i1 Display Pro and was surprised that the difference between the before and after was very minimal. So much so that I would probably not even bothering calibrating the display again if I bought one. Kudos to Samsung on a great calibration job.

Another fun feature is the dual color feature, which allows you to use different color profiles on both sides of the display. This allows you to check your images against multiple color profiles (like one for your printer, webs, etc.).

Finally, depending on what display input you use, the display is capable of 4K and 30Hz(HDMI 1.2) or 60Hz (DisplayPort).

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13-design-4-stars

The design of the U32D970 is exactly what you are probably looking for in a business monitor. It is sleek and refined with a matte dark gray finish that really looks great. It may not look quite as cool as some of the gaming-oriented monitors out there, but as a business targeted monitor, this is about as nice as one can look.

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18-quality-4-stars

The build quality of the U32D970 is what you would expect from a monitor that costs over $1500. It is made from strong and sturdy plastics, and I had zero issues with the build quality of the unit overall. It does weigh quite a bit, similarly to a 32″ TV, so be ready to have some help when setting it up on your desk and getting it out of the box.

I have seen lots of monitors in my day, and the build quality of this unit was up there among the best I have used.

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22-value-3-stars

The U32D970 is not exactly the cheapest monitor out there. In fact, it is not even the cheapest 4K monitor you can get. But you do get some killer features and a superb build quality that helps earn the U32D970 some value points. The real question to ask yourself is if you NEED a 4K display. If the answer is yes, then the U32D970 is one of the best options for you right now.

If the answer is no, then a 2K (1440p) or 1080 HD screen is still a better and much cheaper way for you to go.

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32-overall-score-4-stars

Overall, my experience with the Samsung U32D970 has been a good one. As I sit here now, typing this up on my ‘old’ 27″ 1080 IPS display I feel like I am typing on a Gameboy or something. I had gotten used to the 32″ and 4K  resolution over the last month, and I am not sure I can go back to 1080, so a monitor upgrade is likely in my near future.

Sure, there are cheaper options out there for 4K, but none under $1,000 will give you quite the feature set of this Samsung monitor. None will have even close to the build quality of this unit. So if you are serious about 4K and you are serious about getting work done, then I highly recommend giving the Samsung U32D970 a shot.

You can currently get your hands on the Samsung U32D970 for $1599 over on B&H, but the best deal right now is over on Amazon where you can pick up this display for just $1299.

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Karlis Kalnins

    At which resolution did you use the display? And how did you handle the size of the fonts under OS X?

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  2. Jordan Foster

    Due to my very uninformed knowledge of monitors and monitor resolutions, I thought that 1080p was the pinnacle of video (I want emphasize uninformed). So is 4k the beez neez?

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  3. Brandon Silvera

    My retina display works just fine for me

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  4. Thomas Horton

    In looking around my house, I find that more and more of my stuff is made by Samsung and of good quality.

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  5. Karlis Kalnins

    How does it work with a Apple Mac Pro (2013)? Any experiences?

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    • Anthony Thurston

      I do not have a Mac Pro to test it on Karlis, but as long as you have the necessary display output connection(DVI-D, HDMI, or DisplayPort/Thunderbolt) the monitor will work great on any system.

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  6. Herm Tjioe

    Nevermind, it got changed during refresh, LOL.

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  7. Herm Tjioe

    Wouldn’t 4K be four times the resolution rather than twice ?

    I’ve always equate it as 2 times width and two times the height.

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