I have a new monitor!
To be honest I didn’t have much consultation in regards to it’s selection. I happened to be away on a weeks holiday, at the time, (Cradle Mountain-Tasmania) when I simply received an email saying that one of the old DELL 24″ monitor used by our production designer was once again not turning on. They had taken my DELL 27″ U2717D which was only 18months old. We had selected that, when I had upgraded to a new custom built IC3D system. The email didn’t say much. Dell had on sale a monitor and there was an attached link. With a simple question, was I game to try!
Selecting the link, it turned out to be to a DELL UltraSharp 34″ Curved Monitor – U3415W. I have seen a few curved screens but haven’t really done much research into them. It was listed as UltraSharp and having used Dell UltraSharp over many years, that was good enough for me. A quick email back …… sure I’m game! Let’s give it a try.
You would have noticed when I said above “my DELL 27″ U2717D” it was singular. I haven’t used dual monitors for a few years. It was different in the days of 4;3 & 5:4 ratio monitors when it was the only way to get decent “real estate” by spanning across multiple monitors.
Once 16:9 became the accepted standard around 2010/11, along with 24″ monitors for me things started to change. Although I know the benefits of multiple displays and running different application on different screens I have a problem! The fact is I’m reasonably fussy! (One might say more than reasonable!) I do like to sit central and square on to my monitor(s). I also like my monitor(s) to sit straight on my desk! Using dual 24″ monitor normally means having them slightly angled so that you view the screen more directly. I also don’t like people to touch my screen but lets move on quickly from my idiosyncrasies! Which is why I particularly like the DELL 27″ U2717D. I found the screen size was good and it allowed me to float additional opened windows (email, Excel) over the main open application. Instead of having them opened on separate screens.
One of the first things I liked about the DELL UltraSharp 34″ Curved Monitor – U3415W is it gives all the benefits of dual screens without the negatives. The main fact is that there is no adjoining screen bezels directly in your eye-line especially if you are spanning SOLIDWORKS over both displays.
So lets first answer the question that everyone is thinking. Does a curve screen display lines as arcs? The answer to that is no! Lines display as they would on a conventional screen. Below are a couple of screenshots from DraftSight and SOLIDWORKS which shows that the display is as you would see on a standard monitor.
I have it running off a NVIDIA M2000 graphics card which required minimal adjustment to suit me. It is set to it’s native resolution of 3440 x 1440 with scaling left at 100%. Interesting my DELL 27″ U2717D at 1920 x 1080 I had to set the scaling at 125% and my HP Spectre which I’m writing this on is 1920 x 1080 and requires to have the scaling at 150% (recommended). Like most Dell monitors, I have had over the years, I tend to have to adjust the brightness up to around 78 and the contrast is set at the same 78.
A few bonuses come with the DELL UltraSharp 34″ Curved Monitor – U3415W . One is the built in speaker. It was nice to get the speakers off my desk. More interesting is the multiple inputs for computers. As well as the ability to toggle between two different computers, there is the ability to display both computers side by side with Picture By Picture. Or as a Picture In Picture (as shown below). This is set via the Monitors On Screen Display Settings. In the case of my HP Spectre it required to have the resolution changed to 3440 x 1440 for the Picture in Picture to display correctly.
This is handy function especially if used in conjunction with Multiplicity (KVM software) or similar. Multiplicity is a software solution for using a single keyboard and mouse for controlling multiple computers. The advantage of using a software solution is it allows for the dragging & dropping or copy & paste of file between the multiple computers
With it’s resolution and physical screen size, for me, makes the DELL UltraSharp 34″ Curved Monitor – U3415W a near perfect monitor to use for SOLIDWORKS (or insert name of any other CAD programs).