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Dell unveils 43-inch 4K monitor that can split into four independent 1080p panels

Multi-monitor desktops are popular with both professional computer users and enthusiast gamers who want a more immersive widescreen experience, but setting up these systems can be somewhat difficult. It’s generally recommended that you use three of the same display to minimize issues related to mixing and matching different resolutions, as well as to avoid differences in color gamut and calibration from changing how work appears from one monitor to the other.

Dell’s newest P4317Q (also known as the Dell 43 Multi-Client Monitor) is designed to alleviate these problems. While the display can run as a single monitor at 3840×2160, its real strength is as a bezel-less option to display up to four separate desktops, each at 1080p.

Here’s how Dell describes the feature:

Designed in conjunction with financial services customers, the Dell 43 Multi-Client Monitor gives traders a large, crisp viewing experience on a 43-inch (108 cm) screen that delivers Ultra HD 4K2 or four separate Full HD resolution screens without the interruption of bezels, as well as a matte finish that reduces glare and strain on eyes…. Importantly, the P4317Q was designed to be energy efficient. By replacing four monitors with a single display, the Dell 43 Multi-Client Monitor provides a 30 percent energy consumption savings. The P4317Q also features dual 8W speakers.

The company also advertises that the P4317Q includes an RS232 port for remote management, though I’m uncertain why a monitor needs a serial port. Other ports include DisplayPort 1.2, miniDisplayPort, dual HDMI 1.4 ports, a legacy VGA 15-pin DSUB, and a four-port USB 3.0 hub. The P4317Q can also accept input from multiple sources simultaneously — if you had four separate systems you needed to control, you could run all four from the same monitor simultaneously provided that you have the appropriate video ports on each system. It’s not clear, however, if the Enhanced Dell Display Manager offers any type of KVM support or whether you’d need to provide that via separate peripherals (presumably you would).

It’s also not clear from the product literature whether the display can support multiple desktops at non-standard resolutions — for example, 3840×1080 or 1920×2160. This would divide the panel into two separate partitions either horizontally or vertically rather than four quadrants. The gamer in me can’t help wishing that Dell had a display that could match up to three monitors. The ability to game in 5760×1080 or 7680×1440 in one panel with no bezels to muck things up would be amazing — though the price tag on the panel would never be inexpensive.

The Dell P4317Q monitor is available beginning today for $1,349.99.

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