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A Review of the Samsung 4K UHD-QHD UE590 28-Inch Screen U28E590D LED-Lit Monitor

by on June 26, 2015
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Manufacture
Overview

The prices of 4K monitors just keep going lower as quality specs become more common. This is definitely the case with the Samsung UE590 and for that reason, this anticipated monitor has a good chance of becoming a best seller in 2015’s roster of 4K PC displays, much like Samsung’s 2014 U28D590D.

While each brand and model of 4K display has its strength and weak points depending on specs and overall intent of design, the U28E590D does a very good job of balancing everything out in a way that makes it ideal for multiple uses. It’s highly affordable, offers great color and delivers a very nice greyscale while also delivering an excellent response time for the gaming crowd.

Once calibrated properly, the UE590 does an even better job of delivering the on-screen visuals and turns into quite a remarkable performer for its price. It can not only be used for gaming and causal home entertainment in 4K, it also makes a more than decent 4K office monitor.

The Good

Let’s start with the physical appearance of the U28E590D. Like almost all Samsung display products and even many of the company’s 4K monitors, it looks good. This is more than can be said for many 4K monitors on sale today, which sometimes look boxy enough to be outcasts from a first generation flat screen PC blowout sale. Featuring a fairly narrow bezel, lovely black/grey/silver color and an elegantly minimalist design, the U28E590D simply looks good, whether it’s place in your office or in the gaming den.

Next, there is the fact that this particular monitor comes with AMD FreeSync technology built into it. This is an absolutely crucial feature for anyone interested in 4K gaming that’s smooth and minimal on glitches. FreeSync is designed to match refresh rates between your PC’s GPU and the monitor itself, causing the two to synchronize smoothly and prevent artifacts or stutter, just as the name “FreeSync” suggests.

Furthermore, we need to mention the connectivity of the U28E590D as one of its definite better features. This monitor can offer you 4K graphics at 60Hz through both DisplayPort 1.2 (which is common to all 4K monitors) and through HDMI 2.0, which is only now arriving to the latest 4K PC displays. We can expect to see this latter connectivity feature become much more common in the months to come but for now, you can enjoy it with the relatively low pricing of the U28E590D.

The Samsung U28E590D is also an excellent performer in color gamut ranges. For its price, it delivers more than its fair share of excellent color rendering. In both the sRGB and AdobeRGB color gamut ranges.


Check Price of Samsung UE590 4k Monitor on Amazon:

4.0 - 414 Reviews

The Bad

As a TN monitor, the Samsung U28E590D offers an excellent grey-to-grey response time that more than enables 4K game responsiveness to the max. However, at the same time, its TN screen causes viewing angles to be much less than those of IPS 4K displays. Samsung has managed to work some technological magic in the U28E590D in order to minimize this problem inherent to TN technology but it still doesn’t create results that are comparable to those of IPS or the even more expensive IGZO panels.

However, TN is definitely part of the reason why the U28E590D is rather affordable.

Next, we should also mention that the real brightness of the U28E590D is not as perfect as it’s claimed to be. While Samsung claims an out of the box max luminance of 370cd/m2, the more realistic level you can expect is 300 cd/m2 or just below. Still not bad, but not spectacular either.

Finally, the U28E590D lacks USB ports despite its excellent inclusion of HDMI 2.0 to go with the DisplayPort 1.2. The USB absence isn’t a deal breaker but it’s unfortunate.

Final Thoughts

The Samsung U28E590D is definitely a 4K monitor worth taking a serious look at. If you’re a 4K PC gamer who wants a screen that performs very nicely and also offers exceptional PC gaming connectivity, this model is a great choice. IF you’re someone who wants a 4K monitor for office work or home use, the U28E590D is also an excellent affordable choice.

Specs

Weight: 11.61 lbs with stand, 10.31 lbs without stand
Dimensions: (WxHxD): 26.01" x 15.01" x 2.89" inches without stand/ 26.01" x 18.44" x 7.36" with stand
Screen size: 28 inches, measured diagonally
Contrast ratio: 1000:1
Colors: over 1 billion colors
Brightness: 370 cd/m2
Refresh Rate: 60Hz
Screen Lighting: LED
Response time: 1 ms grey-to-grey
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
OS Compatibility: Windows
Connectivity Ports: 2 HDMI 2.0, 1 DisplayPort 1.2, headphone jack

Highlights

The highlights of the U28E590D come as several key aspects of the monitor that make it into such a powerful PC display despite its relatively low price and position compared to much more expensive pro monitors.

First, there is the HDMI 2.0 connectivity the U28E590D comes with. This is a very new feature to 4K monitors and only in the last couple of months have models been emerging with HDMI’s newer version. Previously, it was the domain of 4K TVs and other ultra HD-ready media devices. With 2.0 included, the U28E590D offers its users twice the options when it comes to connectivity at 60Hz for a 60 frame refresh rate while using third party graphics and media devices. This includes media players, set-top boxes and gaming units. As third party 4K entertainment media devices emerge down the road, they will almost certainly connect via HDMI 2.0 and the U28E590D is ready for that.

Then we have FreeSync from AMD. This monitor/PC GPU frame rate synchronization technology is similar to Nvidia’s G-Sync and either one of the two is found in only a select number of 4K monitor models. Thus, the UE590 is among that smaller circle of 4K displays which are much more ideal than normal for 4K gaming specific use. What FreeSync does is use the monitor’s DisplayPort 1.2 connection to the AMD GPU in your PC to make sure that both monitor and graphics card process frame rendering during games and video at the same rate of speed, that they synchronize, basically, as the name of the technology clearly suggests. This causes a reduction in screen stutter and jumpy graphics. It creates a much smoother graphics experience overall.

On top of FreeSync and HDMI 2.0, the UE590 offers a lightning fast 1ms grey-to-grey response time for onscreen movements based on mouse and console controls. This is also ideal for gaming and much better than the average 4 to 9 ms response times of many IPS displays and even some TN displays. In this regard, TN screen technology like that of the U28E590D is definitely better than IPS even though the latter creates much better color saturation and better off-angle viewing quality.

Finally, we should also mention Samsung’s Picture enhancement and splitting technologies, which seem to come standard with the company’s 4K monitors. First, directly relevant to the above-mentioned TN display specs of the U28E590D, there is the MagicAngle technology that this PC display comes with. Samsung, knowing that TN screens suffer from color and contrast distortion at off angles, has added the MagicAngle feature to improve on that somewhat and while the end results still doesn’t match the quality of IPS display at wider angles, it does make things look better than is conventional for a TN 4K screen.

Furthermore, Samsung has also added Picture in Picture and Picture By Picture options to the U28E590D. These two allow you to take two different screen shots and put them side by side, each occupying half the screen or to take a smaller Full HD image and load it into a single quadrant of the screen. The first of these is useful for graphics comparison during design work and the second one is great as a means of watching one thing while being able to keep an eye on a completely different piece of display content.


Check Price of Samsung UE590 4k Monitor on Amazon:

4.0 - 414 Reviews

Visual Specs

In terms of visual specs, the Samsung U28E590D packs a solid package despite its fairly modest price and TN screen.

First of all, the monitor display surface uses a matte glare reducing screen design that makes using the U28E590D in brightly lit conditions a little bit less glare-prone than for glossy screen models. Matte may not look as pretty as glossy in screens but it’s a better design feature as far as practical quality goes.
The 4K ultra HD resolution of the U28E590D is your standard 3840 x 2160 pixels of 4K UHD instead of the more professionally oriented 4096 x 2160 pixels while color support on the UE590D is definitely superior. With 10-bit color and full sRGB spectrum coverage, the monitor provides a solid range of 1.07 billion colors and excellent saturation. It also offers a very decent Delta E color accuracy that errs from realism by a very small margin of less than 1.5. There are better color accuracy levels out there but this isn’t a bad level at all.

In terms of contrast and brightness, the U28E590D delivers a contrast ratio of 1000:1 according to Samsung but in actual practice this will likely range lower than that at between 700 and 900+ to 1, with some variation based on customer calibration of other settings.

The same goes for brightness. The formal brightness of the U28E590D is set at 370cd/m2 but in actual practice, most users can probably expect something closer to 300cd/m2. On the other hand, the U28E590D also offers a nice WLED flicker-free backlighting technology which reduces light-onscreen flicker of the kind that can make the eyes tired and it also comes with a Low Blue Light Setting for softer backlighting.

Connectivity

The connectivity package of the Samsung U28E590D is great and innovative without being spectacular. The real strong point of this monitor when it comes to connectivity lies in its HDMI 2.0 connection ports, of which there are two. On the other hand though, the U28E590D only features one DisplayPort 1.2 connection and no USB!. Most modern PC gaming is done completely via DisplayPort 1.2 connectivity and all of AMD’s GPUs (for which this monitor is optimized due to its FreeSync technology) rely mainly on DisplayPort to connect PC to screen at 60Hz. Thus, unfortunately, dual monitor connections via DP 1.2 at a full 60Hz for both U28E590D monitors aren’t possible here unless you go with Nvidia GPUs, whose connections include HDMI 2.0 for 60Hz gaming.

Pricing

One of the stronger features of the Samsung U28E590D is its retail price. Right now, just a little while after release, it’s priced very nicely for its feature list at $486.99 on the Samsung website and we can definitely expect this price to drop as the monitor hits Amazon.com and throughout the year.
Update Nov 26: Looks like a big price drop on Amazon to $369.99. We are not sure if this is temporary for black friday / cyber monday or permanent but its the perfect time to buy this at this amazing price!

Check Price of Samsung UE590 4k Monitor on Amazon:

4.0 - 414 Reviews


Not so Great

To summarize briefly: The UE590’s less than ideal aspects consist of: the inclusion of only one DisplayPort 1.2 connection, a lack of USB ports, a TN screen with some off-angle viewing issues and less than ideal brightness.

Positives

• Excellent refresh rate
• Great color reproduction
• Two HDMI 2.0 ports
• Includes AMD FreeSync
• good color accuracy
• handsome physical design
• excellent response time

Negatives

• No USB ports
• TN screen limits off-angle viewing

Editor Rating
 
Features
A-

 
Quality
A-

 
User Friendliness
A

 
Connectivity
A+

 
Price
B+

Total Score
A-

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User Rating
 
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Bottom Line
 

The Samsung U28E590D offers one of the best economically priced 4K gaming monitor packages on sale right now. This model is almost perfect for 4K gamers and especially good for AMD GPU using 4K PC gamers. Other uses, for office and home-based work also deliver excellent results on the U28E590D.

Check Price of Samsung UE590 4k Monitor on Amazon:

4.0 - 414 Reviews

 
27 comments
 
Leave a reply »

 
  • vdiv
    October 23, 2015 at 8:08 am

    It does not support HDCP 2.2 so it is not so good as a video monitor for watching protected 4K content. Also there are no built-in speakers though it does have the 3.5 mm analog audio output (and audio volume control) for headphones.

    Per the specs HDMI 1 input only supports maximum resolution of 3840 x 2160 @ 30 Hz so it is probably just HDMI version 1.4
    HDMI 2 input does support 3840 x 2160 @ 60 Hz hinting that it is indeed HDMI 2.0 compliant.

    http://www.samsung.com/us/support/owners/product/LU28E590DS/ZA

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      October 28, 2015 at 6:37 pm

      To our recollection, the UE590D does indeed come with HDMI 2.0 and supports 4K video at 60Hz. You are correct about the lack of HDCP 2.2 but this is still not a common feature in many 4K PC monitors.

      Reply

  • JasonM
    November 12, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    Great website, really helped narrow down the monitors I am looking to purchase.

    Any idea if this monitor will have some sort of sale anywhere during blackfriday or cybermonday?

    I have seen the U28D590D in person and loved the picture in picture except for the fact that there is only 1 display port so the other screen was running at low hz/fps which lagged. Is there any fix for this or suggestions?

    Lastly, I am wondering if this is a small or large upgrade to that monitor?

    Reply

  • psychoticmeow
    November 18, 2015 at 4:15 am

    There’s a problem with the HTML near “This is more than can be said for many 4K”. The link appears to have swallowed the following sentence or two.

    Reply

    • Richard
      Richard
      November 18, 2015 at 2:33 pm

      Thanks!

      Its been fixed. it was an ‘ instead of “

      Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      November 18, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      I just looked at that section and unless you’re referring to a different part of the review, the sentence is complete. We were referring to the aesthetics of the UE590D. It is a better looking 4K monitor than many others we’ve seen, more stylish, at least in our view 😉

      Reply

  • tom
    February 14, 2016 at 1:48 am

    what about connecting it to a nvidia gpu? will it take advantage of freesync or is it better to stick with ud590 model in that case?

    Reply

  • John Diver
    February 15, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    Excellent review thanks. Question, will this monitor only work with a AMD FreeSync compatible card? Or is the AMD freesync just an option? I have an nvidia card that will do 4K but want to be sure it will work with this monitor, not worried about gaming.

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      February 17, 2016 at 10:59 pm

      Hello John, To answer your question, yes the monitor should work with a Nvidia card but will not offer the synchronization that you’d get with an AMD FreeSync GPU. Instead, it will work at something like a fixed frame rate.

      Reply

  • William Richards
    March 2, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    I have this monitor currently and I was wondering whether there is really any difference between the faster and fastest response time setting? I think i read somewhere that the advertised 1ms response time was only if you set it to fastest. Response time with no lag is very important to me especially in games like star wars battlefront.

    Reply

  • Bob
    March 29, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    Please could you clarify the DP 1.2 refresh rate limitation for a dual monitor setup on an AMD card? If I have an AMD GFX card with 4 x DP1.2 ports, and I used two of these ports to run two of these samsung monitors would both monitors not get 60hz? And why not? Are the DP ports on the card sharing a bus or something?

    Reply

  • mike
    June 26, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    i bought this monitor last year..i had dp issue..with the picture by picture feature,i connected my pc using the 2 hdmi port on the monitor..then i set up surround on the nvidia control panel..4k at 60hz..

    Reply

  • German
    August 10, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    A deep and useful review for me.

    Reply

  • on a budget
    September 20, 2016 at 9:23 am

    I have an old Nvidia GTX 750 Ti, would it be able to run this monitor?

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      September 21, 2016 at 9:36 am

      Hey there, That I can’t say for sure since we haven’t reviewed the GTX 750 Ti. However I think it should work fine from what I recall of the GPUs specs and due to the fact that many 4K office PCs don’t use heavy duty GPUs but still handle 4K graphics fine for normal daily use. You won’t be able to play games in native 4K or possibly even 1440p resolution on this monitor with that card though. For those you’ll definitely have to upgrade to something like Radeon’s 390x, RX 480 Fury cards or NVIDIA’s GTX 970, 980 or 1070 and 1080 cards (this last for high performance 4K graphics)

      Reply

  • zoran
    October 29, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Can I also play ps4(pro) with this monitor?

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      October 29, 2016 at 2:35 pm

      Hello Zoran, since the UE28590D comes with HDMI 2.0 connectivity, I don’t see why not. However you won’t be able to get the HDR benefits of the console on this particular Samsung 4K monitor.

      Reply

    • Cameron Patterson
      November 12, 2016 at 4:14 pm

      I have this monitor and the ps pro. The article is wrong. There is only hdmi 1.4. I’m pretty upset right now because that was the sole reason I chose this over other options.

      Reply

  • John
    October 30, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    Well there be problems with my xbox one and the Hz or not?

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      October 31, 2016 at 8:29 pm

      Hello John, could you please be more specific? Based on my understanding of your question, no you shouldn’t have a problem with your Xbox One and the Hz refresh rate of the UE590. It refreshes at a comfortable 60Hz, which is good for most console gaming (unless you want really high frame rates)

      Reply

      • Cameron Patterson
        November 12, 2016 at 4:18 pm

        It’s only 2160p 30 on HDMI 1.4. This monitor does not have HDMI 2.0. Despite it stating it in the review. Please don’t let others make the expensive mistake I made.

        Reply

        • Stephen
          Stephen
          November 15, 2016 at 10:48 am

          No I believe you’re mistaken Cameron, the UE590D does indeed have one HDMI 2.0 port for [email protected] HDMI port 2.

          Reply

  • preferred user
    November 20, 2016 at 8:32 am

    2160p Samsung U28E590D is $249.00 at Amazon right now . I get my 4K eye candy from a 55″ 4K HDR Sony XBR TV in here as a TV and occasional second PC screen .

    I’m not a 4K gamer bot I send 2560p 4K to the TV from this PC .OTOH if I did not have the 4K TV in here HDMI 2.0a and HDCP 2.2 might be something to look for to play protected UHD content although therre are no 4K netflix or Amazon stream encodes for a web browser but a 4K extender ,game console and HDCP 2.2 monitor will work but maybe not this one .

    Reply

  • Law
    November 28, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    Just got this monitor. Was panicking at the fact that when I plugged it into HDMI 1 it was locked in at 30hz, which regardless of what anyone says is a very perceptible difference for me.

    But thanks to your awesome site and extremely well informed commentators, I just swapped it to HDMI 2 and voila, 60hz.

    This monitor is a massive leap up for me, especially as an editor and director working with 4k footage so often.

    Reply

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