22 August 2017

REVIEW: Dell UltraSharp 27" 4K Monitor

One to monitor.

We tend to get a little wrapped up in laptops these days. As we're constantly travelling around, and need to create content while on the go, laptops are the best tool to achieve that. However, even the fastest, most kickass laptop is limited in one significant department - screen size. To experience the joy of increasing the size of your work space without forking out for an entire desktop computer, get an external monitor, and we've been checking out an excellent one. We review the Dell UltraSharp 27" 4K Monitor.

This beefy slab of technology is, as the name suggests it might be, a 27" monitor with 4K resolution. It is almost entirely bezel-less, so although 27" is on the larger side of external screens, the device itself isn't gargantuan. It is also quite slim, so lifting it, and manoeuvring it on the adjustable base, is easy.

On that note, the Dell UltraSharp 27" 4K Monitor's stand allows the screen to pivot in any direction, and also raise up and down. Its the one part of the set up that is pretty chunky, but the weighted base is nice and flat, allowing you to place your connected laptop (if that is what you're connecting to) on it.

So, as we were hoping to use the one we were sent to connect several different models of laptops, the monitor's connectivity was of the up most importance. Thankfully Dell have nailed it with a decent array of connection options, as well as a few added extra conveniences we weren't expecting. Obviously, HDMI is right there, which will be the cable of choice for most people, but there is also a DP and mDP port, too. In fact, Dell bundle the Dell UltraSharp 27" 4K Monitor with a DP/mDP cable, in case you don't already own one.

But there is more. There are three USB ports on the monitor; one upstream, and two downstream. Because of that, and thanks to the included USB cable, you can use the monitor like a USB hub, meaning you only have to plug in one USB cable to your laptop to access the likes of a wireless mouse and keyboard - if you already have those accessories' dongles connected to the monitor. This makes going from laptop to desktop mode quicker, and also saves the USB ports on your laptop. Nice.

But, what about the quality of the screen? We surely can't ignore that 4K resolution. Depending on what type of device you have plugged in to it, you'll be blown away by the quality. We're fortunate to own and use a 4K laptop, so connecting it to the Dell UltraSharp 27" 4K Monitor just meant that ultra-high res screen went from 13 inches to 27 inches without blurring out. Hook up a laptop with a maximum resolution of less than 4K, and it won't look as impressive. This we tried with a 1080p machine, and although it was still completely usable, it was a complete waste.

Using Windows 10 you're able to play about with how an external screen is used, be it to simply mirror what is shown on your laptop (allowing you close the lid and use an external keyboard and mouse), or to act as a second screen, increasing the size of your workspace. More often than not we opted for the first type, especially when watching media (if you're used to watching Netflix on your phone, tablet, or smaller laptop, you'll shit your pants watching it on a 4K 27 incher).

However, we found that, for tasks such as video editing, the second screen option was great, especially when that huge monitor acted like a preview display. Whatever way you use it, if you're a die-hard laptop person, making the occasional change to a large screen is both refreshing and exciting. It makes being in the office to work that little bit more fun.

So, we really love the Dell UltraSharp 27" 4K Monitor, both for the quality of the display, and the useful functionality of the USB ports. The price really isn't too much of a ball-ache, either, and to be honest we weren't expecting this to weight in at any less than £1000, so that was another nice surprise. As we say, if you spend all day on laptop, treat yo'self once in a while to some full-screen 4K views.


Available from www.amazon.co.uk

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