How I made the choice between a 4K monitor and an Ultrawide one

Sometimes it's easier that it would seem

Last updated on 12 September 2022. Created on 11 September 2022.

A couple of months ago I've decided that it's time to upgrade my WFH setup. Currently, I have a 16" MacBook Pro connected to a 22" Full HD screen + a desktop connected to the same screen.

When working on the laptop + extra screen combo, the experience is ok. When working solely on the desktop, it's hard. I struggle. So I've decided it's time to upgrade.

After some research, as I normally do, the conclusion was that I had two choices available:

  1. Go for a 27" 4K Screen.
  2. Go for a 34" UltraWide curved Screen.

Option number one is straightforward. Replace the current screen with the new one and done. Option number two meant switching solely to this screen even when working on the MBP.

I tried listening to the experience of others. I watched countless videos and so on. From different perspectives: a developer, a content consumer and a content creator. In this order.

I couldn't decide. So I moved forward to picking up a couple of models for each choice. Eventually I managed to do just that.

And I put a pause to this project. A couple of months passed and after another frustrating experience on the desktop, I recalled my solution. But I was still undecided.

So I went to a nearby store to check out my two options. I wasn't necessarily interested in the actual models I selected, but the format, the real estate, the physical appearance etc. Luckily for me, there was a section with my exact two options standing one above the other.

And I stared at them. And stared. I tried imagining working on them. Having them on the desk and so on.

I liked the simplicity of a 4K screen. And having more pixels real-estate. Although I know of some scaling issues I might encounter. I liked the somewhat minimalistic approach of the ultrawide curved screen. Since I would end up with just the screen, keyboard and mouse it felt cleaner. However, I know that my desk is not very wide (around 100-120 cm wide) and the depth is around 60? Maybe 70?

Safe to say that after staring for a while I was back to square one. No clue which was better. So I left.

In a fortunate turn of events, the same day, only hours later, I ended up in the proximity of the same store with my wife. And I had an idea. Let me ask for her advice. Maybe a new perspective will help.

I went straight in the same spot, at the same two screens I looked at earlier. After her asking some questions related to the physical appearance of the specific screens on display and understanding that they weren't the actual final models - that I was just interested in the format, in a matter of 30 seconds she made the choice easier.

Option number one made a much better choice because of how well it will integrate with the rest of the room and the furniture. Problem solved. Decision was made.

I was quite pleased with the result since it made my life a little easier. Now I can happily move on to my next dilemma. Which pair of headphones to choose from my final line-up. But that's a story for a different day.

In conclusion, dear reader, my advice for you is to stop lingering so much on making a choice. And whenever you feel stuck - ask for advice. It might very well present you with a new perspective, a new filter that you can add which will help narrow down your choices and making it that much easier to pick something up and move on.

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