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Once you begin using dual monitors for work, it's nearly impossible to go back to a single monitor. However, if your single monitor is a Samsung C49HG90 49 inch curved widescreen, then a single monitor may just be perfect.
I started using my laptop with an external display at the office a few years ago and then setup my home office with a laptop connected to a 24 inch Dell touchscreen monitor. My dual screen usage actually makes traveling with a laptop or Pixelbook a bit challenging and I sometimes connect my laptop to my hotel TV to improve my productivity.
Samsung started selling this C49HG90 49 inch QLED monitor last year with a focus on gaming and when I was asked if I wanted to review one I replied that I am not a PC gamer so was not a good candidate.
Samsung is focused this year on the productivity and multi-tasking uses of the monitor and even advertises the Samsung DeX functionality on the website. The Galaxy S9 Plus was recently released with the new DeX Pad coming soon so I figured I could test out laptops on one side and Samsung DeX on the other so a monitor arrived about six weeks ago on a full size wood pallet.
A semi-truck driver called me to ask where he could find my house and drop off a large wooden pallet. I was a bit caught off guard by the question, but eventually figured out what was being delivered to my house and was surprised by the size of the package. The monitor is 49 inches and slightly curvered, but it is still quite long. It is not that heavy at about 33 pounds, but is a bit awkward to handle due to the length.
The retail package includes plenty of cables, a desktop mounting stand, and a ring to mount the monitor on the wall. It took just a few minutes to connect the monitor to the desk stand and connect up a couple of HDMI cables.
The monitor is composed primarily of black plastic with a metal frame piece around the edge of the monitor. There are three buttons and a directional pad button on the bottom right that are used to access the display software and settings.
There is a blue LED that lights up around the ring that connects to the desktop stand and it just glows subtely while powered on. The bezels around the display are not as narrow as my Samsung TVs, but there are minimal for a monitor.
The desktop mounting stand is nice and wide so it provides a very stable platform for the monitor. The legs extend out quite a bit so it isn't practical to place anything in front of the monitor. You can move the stand up and down to adjust the height, right to left to adjust your viewing angle, and tilt it back and forth to get everything just right.
The display is very bright, has excellent contrast, and never shows any lag or other performance issues. The resolution is fine for many things, but check out my daily experiences below to see when it looks rather terrible.
To control the settings, input, and other features of the Samsung monitor you simply press in on the joystick found about a quarter in from the right side. A four way compass appears with source, menu, PBP, and power off options around the center return button. It is easy to move your finger slightly and make your selections.
Input obviously switches between the various input sources plugged into the monitor. The menu option takes you to the full menu where you will find game, picture, onscreen display, system, and information data and options. Most of these are pretty self-explanatory as you navigate using the slick direction button on the monitor.
PBP (picture by picture) option jumps right into this specific setting that is also accessible through the menu option. With PBP enabled, you can split the screen into two 27 inch wide monitors and have two different sources showing on the single monitor. This display setting lets you choose the input and enable this mode.
Above the software interface you will see a status bar for black equalizer, response time, refresh rate, FreeSync status, and low input lag status.
Windows users can download the Samsung Easy Setting Box utility that provides enhanced options for screen layout of the monitor. You can have full screen, split vertically or horizontally, three panes, four panes, or six panes. There is a button to adjust the grid and when selected you can drag the red box and see the change in resolution of each pane.
The software is easy to use and can be used to customize each connected monitor. You can apply it to all windows, auto-save, and auto-start the Easy Setting Box software to your preference.
The CHG90 49 inch monitor is currently available from Samsung, and other retailers, for a MSRP of $1,099.99. There are no other monitors this large, but there are smaller curved monitors.
Dell, Samsung, LG, and others make widescreen monitors up to 38 inches, but so far there really is no competition for the size of this Samsung monitor.
There are a couple of ways to use this monitor; single input with multiple pane options thanks to Easy Setting Box software and Windows 10 Snap or two source inputs with adjacent 27 inch monitor simulation. Let's take a closer look at my experiences with both options.
Single input: For typical users who have one computer and multiple monitors the single input option is the most likely to be used. In this case, I recommend downloading and testing out the free Samsung Easy Setting Box software to customize the number of panels where you can view data on the display. With this mode on, fonts just were not as crisp and clear as I want to see on my display. Things improved with the more panels added as the resolution of each panel was reduced with the font size decreasing too.
Multiple panes in Easy Setting Box should work fine for people who like to have four or six applications or data sources open at once. Someone like a day trader would love to see all of this information on a single display.
If you don't want to use Easy Setting Box, you can also simply drag apps to the sides and have them snapped into position thanks to Windows 10. I tried this with a browser on one side and a text editor on the other, but again the fonts are too blurry for me personally and I honestly did not like the single input and multiple pane experience.
The single input experience worked well when adjusting the screen size from wide to 27 inch or less. In these modes, the window appears at the center of the widescreen monitor, but fonts look great. Wide mode was excellent when watching movies though, but there is no speaker on the monitor and I wasn't really testing it out for movie viewing.
Multiple input sources: As a product reviewer who oftens tests out laptops, tablets, and various mobile gear it was interesting to have my office computer connected to one source and then other devices connected to the other source. I connected the Samsung DeX, Huawei Mate 10 Pro HDMI cable, Nintendo Switch, and Google Pixelbook as alternative sources to my primary Surface Pro 4. Others have setup the monitor with an Xbox or PlayStation as well.
In PBP mode, the experience on this 49 inch monitor was the same as you would expect from two 27 inch 16:9 monitors. Fonts were crisp and clear, performance was flawless, images and video looked great, and I thoroughly enjoyed this experience.
If you have two input sources and want one monitor to save yourself some space and power input then this Samsung monitor may be perfect for you. If you have one source and want to take advantage of the full widescreen aspect of the monitor then be prepared to compromise on font clarity unless you have four or six panes up and running.