Engineers and designers want more pixels just as much as graphics artists and video production professionals need them. The Lenovo ThinkVision Pro2840M delivers 4K resolutions with a quality image and a good price. 

 

The Lenovo ThinkVision Pro2840M is an ultra-high-definition, 4K resolution professional display with excellent image quality and a sub-$800 price.

 

A professional ultra-high definition display should deliver on several key features: the resolution, image quality, and color range. The ThinkVision Pro2840m does that easily and adds a range of features to round out a product that is well-suited to the desktop of many engineering professionals.

 

Through all the years of working in computer graphics, I have been a fan of higher resolution displays. More pixels means more information. However, with the development of 4K resolutions there are limits. For example, a 4K display on a 15 inch mobile workstation is great for a video professional on the go, but does not deliver any real value for design and engineering work. In comparison, this 28 inch desktop display makes that extra information in your designs visible, clear, with great color and without reducing your application menus to illegible specks of text.

 

A 3840 by 2160 resolution and a beautiful image in an easy to use package
A 3840 by 2160 resolution and a beautiful image in an easy to use package

 

I also appreciate the 28 inch, 16:9 display ratio format for desktop engineering work. I find this to be a good size for most desktops as a single display system. And it is not so large as to be unsuitable for dual display configurations. When I received the Lenovo ThinkVision Pro2840m, I set it up and started working with it. Here is what I found.

 

 

Easy and Eco:

Lenovo takes extraordinary care with packaging. I find this to be true with all their professional products and the ThinkVision Pro2840m is no different. First, the packaging uses recycle-able materials. A smart packaging design uses normal cardboard, requires a minimum of foam supports, and the slip-cover protection for the display is a re-usable cloth bag. Second, the packaging design allows you to easily remove the monitor from the box. The IT department with multiple systems to deploy will appreciate this thoughtfulness on Lenovo's part. Even individuals and small companies can appreciate the ease with which they can unpack their display – safely and without damage.

 

Great image:

The displayed images are sharp and vibrant. This 4K monitor has a nice set of specifications, 3840x2160 resolution, 157 pixels per inch, a high contrast ratio, and a wide viewing angle. Lenovo provides the full set of technical and marketing specifications, so I will mention just a few selected points.

 

Menus remain legible even at a 4K resolution

 

The high resolution on a 16:9, 28 inch display does not reduce menus to an eye test. I loaded Autodesk Inventor not only to test the resolution, but to verify that the menus remain legible at a 4K resolution. This is common problem with smaller screen sizes but you should not have any issues with the Pro2840m's 28 inch display.

 

While video may not be a typical target application for engineering, I tested Adobe Premier Pro to check the menu text size as well as the functionality when working with 4K video as well as high resolution images As with Autodesk Inventor, the text size was perfectly legible. And this monitor is a dream for anyone working on 4K video or with high-resolution images. The latter is a much more likely scenario in engineering and design teams.

 

The glossy display is perfect for generating a high-quality, high-resolution image. Now, as with any glossy display, you will have issues with reflections if you do not have a properly lit environment for your work. You need to avoid having too much ambient light in your working environment. For it's part, the ThinkVision Pro2840m's swivel display base provides an excellent range of motion and allows you to position the display for your personal workspace.

 

While the ThinkVision Pro2840m has a high-quality display, you will need to consider your working environment and avoid distracting reflections such as the window reflection in this image.

 

The ThinkVision Pro2840m is a twisted-nematic display with LED back-lighting. It has a wide viewing angle in landscape mode, however the vertical viewing angle is slightly more limited. This is normally not an issue, but if you are working in portrait mode, your viewing angle will be smaller.

 

The maximum resolution is 3840x2160 and the refresh can run at 60 Hz if you are using DisplayPort 1.2. With an HDMI connection as I am using, the refresh is limited to 30 Hz. The display offers a 10 bit color display that helps it deliver vibrant colors, although with most engineering applications, this will hardly be an issue.

 

Functional:

The monitor has the traditional Lenovo swivel which is solid and moves smoothly. The base screws together firmly and easily and then attaches to the monitor with a single click. The range of motion and tilt are important for a glossy monitor like the ThinkVision Pro2840m so that you can position it for your working environment. Of course it also allows you to swivel the monitor a landscape position into portrait mode.

 

The base screws together firmly and tightly without the need for tools

 

The on-screen menu system is easy to use although you might search for the controls for a few minutes if you don't know to just touch the area to the left of the power button. One touch and the controls light up. Wait a moment, and they go dark again.

  

The controls for the on-screen menu are hidden just to the left of the power button  Just tap the front panel next to the power button and the on-screen menu controls appear

 

Once the controls are lit up, you can configure the input source and many other parameters. The options for input source connectors are DisplayPort, miniDisplayPort, HDMI, and MHL. If you haven't been looking for a new display in the last year, you might be wondering what an MHL connector is and what it does. Briefly, it is an HDMI-like connection for hand-held mobile devices such as your tablet or smart phone. MHL is hardly a required feature for an engineering desktop. On the other hand, if you know that the MHL connector is there and what it is for, you'll probably find it to be a handy feature from time to time.

 

The on-screen menu allows you to select many basic options such as brightness & contrast, as well as some more specialized configurations such as setting your red, green, and blue, values for display, or posing images from two sources side-by-side on the display.

 

The Lenovo ThinkVision Pro2840m also acts as a USB hub. There are two USB connectors which are available for a keyboard and a mouse. There are three additional USB 3.0 ports and a headphone jack on the left side. This monitor also comes with integrated speakers which produce acceptable sound for basic uses. The volume controls are tucked neatly on the right outside edge of the display.

 

The ThinkVision Pro2840m provides additional USB 3.0 ports on your desktop

 

I haven't talked a lot about the price, but when a monitor like this comes in at just under $800, that is a feature in itself. Not only is the price attractive for a 4K resolution display, that price makes it perfectly reasonable to consider a dual display configuration.

 

Summary:

When it comes to resolution, the bottom line is that more pixels means more information and the 16:9, 28 inch format of the Lenovo ThinkVision Pro2840m makes that 4K of pixel-information visible for you. The glossy display delivers an excellent image, and the design adds numerous features from adjustability, to a portrait mode to a USB hub to a smart phone connection.

 

The glossy display provides good image quality, however, you'll be wise to pay attention to the workspace lighting. The display stand has a good range of motion to aid the positioning of the display for your work – even portrait mode. With an attractive price, this high-resolution monitor won't break your budget, and some of you may even choose a dual display system.

 

The extra ports and controls are well placed and easy to use. It's nice to add descent sound to your workstation with the integrated speakers. They provide basic audio which is what you need for an engineering desktop.

 

Monitors like the the 4K ThinkVision Pro2840m deliver excellent value at this price-point. It's not hard to imagine one – or maybe two – of these on your desktop. 

 

 

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