Introduction

Looking for a cheap 4K monitor? The Samsung U28E590D is one of the most affordable 4K Ultra HD monitors you can get, but there are many things you should keep in mind before considering it.

Image Quality

First of all, the Samsung U28E590D monitor features a TN panel which in comparison to IPS and VA panels delivers an inferior image quality due to its narrow viewing angles and bad color reproduction.

So, don’t expect particularly rich and vivid colors.

The 4K resolution, however, will ensure that the image is sharp and crisp with maximum details and plenty of screen space.

For PC use, keep in mind that the monitor will require scaling due to its high pixel density, and some applications don’t scale all that well. We can’t really blame the Samsung U28E590D monitor for this as certain apps are simply poorly-optimized.

Besides support for 10-bit color depth via dithering (8-bit + FRC) and 4K resolution, the Samsung U28E590D display boasts a peak luminance of 370-nits which will ensure that the picture is bright even in well-lit rooms.

The viewing angles of 160° vertically and 170° horizontally will cause the picture to shift in color/contrast when looking at it from skewed angles, which is an expected drawback of TN panels.

Performance

One of the main things to keep in mind about the Samsung U28E590D is that it doesn’t support HDCP 2.2 meaning that you will not be able to watch HDCP2.2-protected content in 4K on Blu-rays and certain streaming services such as Amazon Video and Netflix.

The monitor does support HDCP 1.4 which means that the protected 4K content can be played, but at 1080p max. PC and console games as well as other apps will run at 4K without any issues though.

Moving on, while TN panels have the worst viewing angles and colors, they do have the fastest response time speed of only 1ms.

This will remove all ghosting, trailing, and motion blur of fast-moving objects in fast-paced games thus providing you with buttery-smooth motion clarity.

The image straight out of the box is a bit underwhelming, but after some quick calibration, it gets notably better.

Finally, the Samsung U28E590D input lag performance is very good and amounts to ~9ms.

Features

Although the Samsung U28E590D supports AMD FreeSync, it doesn’t work over HDMI, only over DisplayPort. So, if you have an Xbox One console, you won’t be able to utilize the monitor’s variable refresh rate.

On the other hand, if you have a FreeSync-compatible graphics card, you can synchronize the Samsung U28E590D refresh rate with the GPU’s frame rate and thus eliminae screen tearing and stuttering.

Update: On some monitors, FreeSync now also works with compatible NVIDIA G-SYNC graphics cards. However, we weren’t able to get VRR to work on the Samsung UE590 with NVIDIA cards.

Other features include Picture in Picture and Picture by Picture as well as Game Mode which increases visibility in dark parts of games by altering the gamma curvature.

The monitor is also flicker-free and has an Eye Saver mode which filters out the harmful blue-lights so you can work or play for hours without straining your eyes.

Design & Connectivity

samsung u28e590d amazon

The Samsung U28E590D has reasonably thick bezels while the T-shaped stand is quite sturdy and won’t cause the screen to wobble. Apart from -5/20 degree of tilt adjustment, there aren’t any other ergonomic abilities, though you can VESA mount the screen via the 75x75mm pattern.

Connectivity includes two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.2, and a headphones jack. The Samsung U28E590D FreeSync range is 40-60Hz/FPS over DisplayPort.

Price & Similar Monitors

The current price for the Samsung U28E590D is around $300 which is a bit steep considering its lack of features. It’s also available as a newer version, the Samsung U28E570D, but it doesn’t support HDCP 2.2 either.

For the same price, you should get the ASUS VP28UQG or the BenQ EL2870U if you want a 4K monitor with 1ms response time. These two models cost the same yet they offer HDCP 2.2 support and FreeSync over HDMI.

We also recommend checking out the LG 27UL500 and the Philips 276E8VJSB which feature an IPS panel with 178° viewing angles and a lot better color quality.

Conclusion

While the Samsung U28E590D was one of the cheapest 4K monitors available back in the day, there are simply much better alternatives out there for the same price nowadays.

Samsung U28E590D Specifications

Screen Size28-inch
Resolution3840×2160 (UHD)
Panel TypeTN
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate60Hz
Response Time1ms (GtG)
Adaptive SyncFreeSync (40Hz-60Hz)
PortsDisplayPort 1.2, 2x HDMI 2.0
Other PortsHeadphone Jack
Brightness370 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
VESAYes (75x75mm)

The Pros

  • Crisp and bright image quality
  • 1ms response time speed
  • AMD FreeSync

The Cons

  • No HDCP2.2 support
  • Tilt-only design
  • Narrow viewing angles
  • Inferior image quality to IPS and VA panels
  • FreeSync doesn’t work over HDMI
Samsung U28E590D
  • 8.5/10
    Design - 8.5/10
  • 8/10
    Display - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Performance - 7/10
  • 3/10
    Price/Value - 3/10
6.6/10

Summary

The Samsung U28E590D is the cheapest 4K monitor available making it an ideal display for those with a limited budget. However, it also lacks certain features which are available in slightly more expensive but significantly better alternatives.

Related Reads