Let's address the elephant in the room right off the bat, this monitor is absolutely massive. I have a fairly large desk and plenty of space at home to house this beast but it still seems large when viewing in the open. Though, it really comes down to how well it feels when working on it. To be blunt, it feels freaking amazing.
Samsung built quite the performance monster in this monitor that essentially eats up the usual two or three screen setup I am already used to. The Samsung CHG90 is technically a gaming monitor but has huge potential for those photographers and videographer that already use two or three monitors currently. One of the biggest surprises when I first got this thing out of the box was the simplicity. A single HDMI cable comes straight out the back and hooks into my MacBook Pro easily and I am straight to work on a setup that is somewhat familiar, though all in one screen. The difference in not dealing with a screen split or ratio split between my laptop and my external monitor is beyond annoying and this is a simple solution.
Weighing in at around 35 pounds with the stand it's not terribly heavy but plenty of weight to keep it put on your desk at home. The build of the base is metal and the screen itself has a matte finish I quite enjoy along with what seems to be an overall tougher plastic build for the housing. In the back you will find a simple stand that doubles as a cord organizer along with a ring for ambient light settings to what you might be playing or doing to save your eyes in dark settings.
My current setup at home is a 60 by 30-inch desk and I still have room on the left and right side for my laptop or paperwork. Since the monitor is curved, it doesn't take up as much room as the 49 inch as-advertised size but the depth will get you. It protrudes out just a bit too far for my liking and I found myself organizing my desk to the front center of the screen or to the back behind the monitors curve on either side.
Being a gaming monitor it has speed in mind. With 144 Hz refresh rate, 1-millisecond response time for less motion blur during fast-paced gaming sessions, HDR (high dynamic range), and AMD Radeon FreeSync 2 graphics technology inside, it's pretty stacked. Yes, the monitor is overkill but once in practice it becomes incredibly practical. Though the resolution is somewhat lacking with 1080x3840 px it's not terrible and there are plenty of settings to push contrast, sharpness, and color to better fit your needs.
Is It Practical Though?
Yes, in the simplest form. This thing is incredibly practical for editing photos or video work. Think about that timeline spread across this thing in Premiere. For someone that might use more than one monitor and would spend on the mid to high-end for dual monitors then this is somewhat similar. The price has dropped significantly since it launched late in 2017 and I have seen it in a couple places for $900. I really wish the resolution was just a bit higher or comparable to a 2.7K at the minimum but overall I really am impressed with the color and accuracies. There are a handful of settings for various types of working or gaming that are nice to simply jump to in difference situation.
Samsung did really put a lot of thought into this thing and I am beyond impressed with it in practice even if the size and desk space it takes up is a bit wild at first.
How About That Price?
When this screen was first announced right at $1,500 back in late 2017, I was very hesitant in what type of screen Samsung would deliver. Obviously when I tested it out at Adobe MAX I was blown away by how beautiful and fast it was but that is some serious coin for a monitor. Now that I am seeing it hover in the range of $900 I'm far more comfortable telling folks about grabbing it in favor of a two or three screen setup they might have currently. With my current setup at the office I paid $400 for two separate 25-inch monitors and for just a bit more than double that I get far more screen real estate. I still can't stress how amazing it is that I have a single HDMI cord coming from the back plugged directly into my computer and having a workflow that seamlessly works across a single large screen.
What I Liked
- Ease of use
- Price (dropped from $1,500 to around $900)
- Built-in speakers
- Ambient light backdrop
What I Didn't Like
- Overall depth could be slightly more practical for a thinner desk setup
- Resolution could be better with how popular 4K monitors are becoming
In the end, this monitor may not be for everyone but it is far more practical than you might think if you use more than a single monitor already. I have been working with dual monitors plus my MacBook screen for a few years now and found the transition to a single wide-angle screen like this similar to having all my screens smashed into my window. I'm primarily a designer and photographer by day so I took full advantage of the screen to partition the various applications like Illustrator and Photoshop. Videographers will have an absolute dream setup as you can extend the timeline of Premiere or Final Cut Pro across the full 49 inches to take full advantage of the space.
The biggest advantage was the speed of which I was able to complete more tasks without fiddling with jumping from screen to screen to find my cursor. The price is not that dissimilar to that of two or three decent monitors and it's dropping. The resolution could be increased for those looking to pixel peep on those images and video graphics but overall I thought the Samsung CHG90 was really well built and incredibly useful for what I do every day as a designer, art director, and photographer.