Beyond the days of 1080p, today’s savvy computer users increasingly see themselves turning to 1440p and 4K screens to deliver what they want. Affecting a whole range of uses, the higher end of this equation can be too demanding to be useful in many applications, but this isn’t the case for everyone. Some users have found real advantages with 5K displays, with Apple, LG, and now Samsung looking to cater to this corner of the market.
Bigger isn’t Always Better
Before looking into the specifics of these higher-resolution monitors and their applications, it’s important to consider that these aren’t especially useful for most casual users. Consider computer users who spend their time browsing and playing online games like Slingo Bingo. This title and its cousins like Fire and Ice have been developed for a range of systems, from low-res mobiles to modern 4K screens. A higher resolution can make these games look slightly sharper, but the advantages over 4K are negligible, and that will be the case for most uses and media given the limits of human vision.
In terms of actual pixels, 5K offers a layout of 5120×2880 compared to 4K’s 3840×2160. For total pixel count, this works out to 14,745,600 and 8,294,400 respectively, with 5K offering more than five million more points of detail. The problem is that this exists at a place of diminishing returns, where most users struggle to detect a difference unless they’re up close. This is true in browsing, it’s true in light gaming like casino titles, and because there aren’t any 5K movies yet, it’s true in watching videos too.
Why Bother with 5K?
Though 5K isn’t a great investment for average users, it can be a fantastic choice for creative professionals like video and image editors. These are people who spend a significant amount of time on one frame, zooming in, inspecting the details, and making minute changes that add up to something profound.
For these users, working at 5K means being able to pick up more at a glance without requiring so much zooming in and scrolling to check close details. This resolution is further aided by 5K monitors like the new ViewFinity S9 offering a wide colour gamut and anti-screen glare to give as accurate a representation of a picture as possible. In simple terms, these monitors for creatives are more accurate and aid in efficiency, so they’re a strong fit in specific circumstances.
The Future of 5K
As display technology becomes cheaper, hardware manufacturers push the standard of what the average system can deliver. This runs into an issue, however, when looking at resolutions over 4K like the new Samsung 8K QLED Y21. At this point, display resolution reaches the edge of noticeability for most users, while also putting additional strain on the hardware which outputs visuals.
In the 2020s, the amount of detail which screen resolutions have reached illustrates a tipping point where going any further is largely unnecessary. While manufacturers will continue to offer new systems as explained at PCMag, their usefulness remains in doubt. For most users, this new possibility will remain not much more than a gimmick, even if it does become the new hyped thing.
I am James, a UK-based tech enthusiast and the creative mind behind Mighty Gadget, which I’ve proudly run since 2007. Passionate about all things technology, my expertise spans from computers and networking, to mobile, wearables, and smart home devices.
As a fitness fanatic who loves running and cycling, I also have a keen interest in fitness-related technology, and I take every opportunity to cover this niche on my blog. My diverse interests allow me to bring a unique perspective to tech blogging, merging lifestyle, fitness, and the latest tech trends.
In my academic pursuits, I earned a BSc in Information Systems Design from UCLAN, before advancing my learning with a Master’s Degree in Computing. This advanced study also included Cisco CCNA accreditation, further demonstrating my commitment to understanding and staying ahead of the technology curve.
I’m proud to share that Vuelio has consistently ranked Mighty Gadget as one of the top technology blogs in the UK. With my dedication to technology and drive to share my insights, I aim to continue providing my readers with engaging and informative content.