Because it’s the new “big” thing in displays, Ultra HD isn’t cheap, carrying a bigger than normal price tag for TVs and monitors, but Sharp’s 32 inch 4K screen takes this to a whole new level.
Big, heavy, and expensive: those are the three words we’d say describe Sharp’s PN-K322B to the T when you first see it, and try to pick it up out of the box.
Weighing just under 16 kilograms, it’s no small monitor, featuring a 32 inch diagonal screen and connected to a massive base with a two armed hinge, making it more reminiscent of the all-in-one computers out there with the versatility of a big tablet that you can also use as a screen.
Aside for supporting touch, which is a big deal on a screen this big, there is a massive resolution to work with, running 3840×2160, which is four times bigger than the standard Full HD screens you see on most monitors, but there’s also a warning for this: you’ll need a decent computer with an equally decent video card to handle this.
In the GadgetGuy offices, not even the 2013-era iMac could take this task on, running the UHD resolution with a jittery mouse, which would be enough for most, but didn’t make us happy.
Our Windows PCs — a Microsoft Surface Pro 2, and several different up-to-date laptops and tablets we were reviewing — didn’t cut it either, and we quickly came to realise that outside of a PC desktop with a whiz-bang video card or that amazeballs Mac Pro we checked out months ago, this is not going to be a resolution most people will be able to take advantage of.
For everyone else, however, the sharp PN-K322B will display Full HD nice and big on a display made for a higher resolution, operating through either of the two HDMI ports or the one DisplayPort connection.
We need to talk about the base, too, because it’s really an important part of the Sharp PN-K322B’s design.
It’s not your regular stand, that’s for sure, but a well built hinge system with two arms built into it, both holding up the massive 32 inch 4K screen, and at the same time providing enough movement to stand up and lie at various angles depending on the activity you’re doing.
Most people will probably find the upright position most usable, and that’s the way we traditionally use a monitor, but the degree of control offered by this monitor does make it more useful than just your standard monitor.
In fact, at the lowest position, designers and those of the artistic persuasion and profession could find they have a big Ultra HD canvas to work on, thanks to the support for touch and the low angle at which it lets you draw and paint digitally on this.
But this sort of design and versatility doesn’t come with a cost most people will find likeable, and at $4400, you have to ask, is the Sharp $4K 4K screen really worth the price of admission?