Joel Zehring

I Used a 43-Inch 4K TV as a Computer Monitor So You Don't Have To

Using multiple 1080P monitors is great for productivity, but I got to a point where I wanted more... More screen real estate to see more code and more windows. So I started researching monitors and I quickly stumbled on a not-so-novel idea: why not just use a 43-inch 4K TV as a computer monitor?

43 inches is too big for me.

A 43-inch 4K TV is basically four 21-inch screens positioned in a two-by-two grid. To look at and use the upper and outer areas of this layout, I found myself squinting, turning my head, and craning my neck. I did it enough that I just ended up using Microsoft's excellent PowerToys for Windows to quickly size and position my windows low and in the center of the screen and basically ignored the top and sides of the screen.

Text was hard to read.

I modified TV settings for brightness and sharpness. I turned on "Game Mode", which greatly improved how smooth most text appeared on the extra-large screen. I increased the scale in Windows display settings. I tweaked Windows ClearType settings. After all my research and configuring, my eyes still felt tired and strained after a normal work day. Text on websites actually looked pretty good. But the default font in Microsoft apps, especially Outlook, frequently appeared rough and uneven, and I consistently had to squint and strain to peruse my inbox.

I'm hoping to try a slightly smaller 4K monitor to get the best of both worlds: a large-but-not-too-large screen with a lot of pixels for displaying more content.

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