Your 1440p monitor could secretly use a 4K display (but don't get excited)

When it comes to picking a monitor for your gaming rig, many people wind up choosing a 1440p one. That's true even with the increasing popularity of 4K displays, as 1440p monitors are typically less expensive and offer more features. On top of that, many higher-end graphics cards can handle 1440p without issue, while they might struggle with 4K. What if that 1440p monitor you bought actually uses a 4K display, though?

A new report from German site claims that some manufacturers opt to use 4K displays in their 27-inch 1440p monitors, downscaling from there so the resolution of these panels matches what it says on the box. The report doesn't name names, but it does say that this information comes straight from some "panel producers" themselves.

On the surface, it might seem like a bad idea to downscale 4K displays for use in 1440p monitors. Wouldn't that be more expensive than simply producing more 1440p displays? It turns out that isn't necessarily the case – the cost of producing 27-inch 4K displays is now close to and sometimes even below that of producing 27-inch 1440p displays, making this a viable solution for manufacturers when 1440p supply is low.

While it might be viable for manufacturers, doing this can have a negative effect for end-users. As the report points out, downscaling from 4K to 1440p can lead to a loss of sharpness since the resulting image won't be 1:1 pixel accurate. It won't be noticeable all the time, but users with downscaled 4K monitors might notice slight blurriness when reading text.

If you have a monitor like the one described here, you unfortunately won't be able to increase the resolution to its native 4K, as manufacturers lock resolution at 1440p using firmware. The good news is that this doesn't happen often, as it's usually a trick panel producers use when 1440p panels are in high demand and supply is low. Still, it might be disappointing to learn that your 1440p monitor is actually a 4K display in disguise. What do you think of this report? Head down to the comments section and let us know!