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Is a 4K Monitor Truly Worth It for Office Tasks? Let’s Find Out!

Is a 4K Monitor Truly Worth It for Office Tasks? Let’s Find Out!
What To Know
  • 4K monitors excel in tasks requiring high detail, such as photo and video editing.
  • For typical office tasks like emailing and browsing, 1080p is often sufficient and more cost-effective.
  • Using a 4K display for office work may require adjustments, like DPI scaling, to ensure readability.

Is a 4K monitor a must-have for office work?

In this article, we delve into the practicality of 4K monitors for everyday tasks and help you make an informed choice.

Is a 4K Monitor Worth It for Office Work?

Edit video on 4K monitorEdit video on 4K monitor

Yes, but it depends on what your office work entails. For general office work like sending emails, typing, or surfing, it is not worth spending extra money just to buy 4K. 

But does that mean you shouldn’t still buy one?

Let’s explore 4K monitors further to find out.

4K monitors are the next biggest leap after the 1080p (also known as HD). 4K monitors have four times as many pixels as 1080p monitors. However, that does not translate to four times the screen real estate.

The biggest benefit of 4K monitors is the accuracy in color and details, which makes it a great choice for photo editing and video editing as it allows you to see finer details. It is also a great choice when making large-sized documents and spreadsheets.

If getting a 4K monitor for a PC, it’s best to go with a bigger size. The sweet spot for most people seems to be between 22” and 32”; however, you can go as big as 40” depending on what your needs are. For instance, if working as a programmer, a big-size monitor will be ideal for all your coding work. 

The difference between these monitor screen sizes is the pixel density, which is measured in DPI (Dots Per Inch). A large screen size has a lower pixel density, and a smaller screen size has a higher pixel density.

The biggest downside of getting a 4K is that the onscreen buttons, texts, and images appear smaller, offering a lousy working experience. 

In Windows and Mac OS, you can increase the sizes through the DPI scaling feature. This auto-scales your content to 150%, making elements readable and comfortable to view. 

The only challenge that comes with this is that you won’t be able to fit four windows on the screen but two or three at the very most unless you are comfortable having a crammed-up screen space.

4K monitors also come with a built-in auto-sizing feature to make your work even easier. A good example of such a monitor is the Dell U3219Q .

The most important consideration to make when choosing a 4K monitor, aside from the technical aspects, is the desk space since these monitors take up a significant amount of space.

You will need to figure out whether your PC can drive a 4K monitor. You may want to consider a discrete GPU instead of an integrated one, particularly if you are planning for a multiple monitor setup or external displays.

What Is a 4K Monitor Good For?

While a 4K monitor can be used for everything, it is best for entertainment, content creation, and editing.

As an editor, it is worth investing your bucks in a 4K monitor because it allows you to see better and finer details when editing. You will also enjoy the large screen real estate to work on.

A 4K monitor is a suitable choice for content creators since video platforms like YouTube are all heading to 4K content. Therefore, it is a wise move to create 4K content.

Creating content on a 4K monitor allows you to have a realistic picture of what your audiences will be viewing. This gives you the capability to make adjustments before launching the content.

Ideal Sizes for 4K Monitors

a girl use a tv as a second monitor

4K monitors are available in a range of sizes, but the most popular are the 22”, 27”, and 32”. The best way to foretell what the experience will be with each size is to divide the screen into four.

For example, a 40” screen will conceive four 20” diagonal rectangles. Each of these rectangles resembles a 20” 1080p monitor and will appear that way when working.

A 27” 4K monitor will appear as four 13.5 diagonal rectangles or as 13.5 1080p monitors. Picture four compact notebooks on one screen. 

Given the two examples above, the ideal size for a 4K monitor is 27” and above. However, go for a size that you are comfortable working with. Even though we’ve found 27” to be the sweet spot, it may appear too big or too small for another user. 

Note that 22” should be the cap; anything below this is overkill. There is nothing you will gain regarding image quality, usability, or performance.

Are 4K Monitors Good for Your Eyes?

Yes, 4K monitors are good for the eyes because of their high resolution. High-resolution displays are less likely to cause eye fatigue because images and texts are clearer and sharper. Also, high-resolution displays have a high contrast ratio that delivers whites as vibrant whites and blacks as deeper blacks.

There is a caveat, though.

The display has to be correctly positioned and angled, and exposure to the display must also be limited. The brightness, too, should be controlled. However, these apply to any type of display, not only a 4K display. 

While 4K monitors are less likely to cause eye problems, long hours of exposure to these monitors cause eye fatigue and headaches, especially when using the monitor in a dark-lit room. This is because the iris has to open wider to let in light, thus causing eye strain, which then results in eye fatigue and, in extreme cases, headaches.

To continue enjoying the goodness of 4K monitors, you want to take the measures below:

  • Take regular breaks between working, at least 10 minutes every hour. Continuously staring at a monitor will cause your eyes’ ability to focus to decline.
  • Move your eyes up and down to exercise the muscles of your eyes.
  • Blink regularly to prevent your eyes from getting dry. Blinking moistens the eyes.
  • Ensure that there is a proper distance between you and the monitor. The distance is calculated as 1.5 to 2.5 times the diagonal measurement of your screen.

Which Monitor Resolution Is Best for Office Work?

A man using 4K monitor for photoshop

1080p or Full HD is still the best monitor for office work. Second to this is the 1440p monitor.

Even though a 4K display has a larger screen area and better image quality, the screen has tiny texts and images that make it not desirable to work with. 

You can scale the texts and images, but then that renders the large screen space somewhat unusable. In short, the four times screen space does not translate into actual four-screen spaces in one.

1080p monitors are a lot cheaper than 4K monitors. The price of a single 4K monitor can get you several 1080p monitors. 

If your sole reason for getting a 4K monitor is due to tight desk space, maybe you should consider other space-saving options, like a monitor that you can swivel into portrait mode. Just by rotating the monitor to a vertical portrait, you can save a couple of inches in space. For instance, a 22” monitor horizontally measures only 13” vertically.

Bear in mind, however, that the vertical monitors are best for basic office work like emailing, browsing, and Word documents. 

You can also opt for the VESA mount. This means doing away with the current monitor stand and replacing it with a custom mount. You can buy a single monitor VESA mount like this one  that can be tilted to different angles.

If you are looking for a monitor that you can game with or edit with, perhaps you can consider moving up the ladder a bit to 1440p instead of 4K. A 1440p monitor has 1.78 times more pixels than a 1080p, therefore, better picture quality.

We are not totally rejecting a 4K monitor for office work. They do have their place.

It does not make any financial sense to buy a 4K monitor when a 1080p and a 1440p do the job well.

It is not worth spending extra bucks if you are looking for a monitor for basic tasks.

A 4K monitor is, however, a viable choice if you also want to watch your TV shows or stream movies while working.


So, are 4K monitors a worthy investment for office work?

It depends on your usage. 

If your tasks involve watching or editing some videos and images or you are a graphic artist, then a 4K monitor is more beneficial. It will help you get your job done better and more efficiently. If you can afford it, get it!

However, it’s really not worth it for most folks who do basic computer tasks like emailing, browsing, and typing. The 1080p works perfectly well. 

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