The Lenovo ThinkVision P44w – a possible solution for 3D designers/engineers looking to maximise working space
Curved monitors have always been an interesting proposition to users in the engineering space.
The idea of a more immersive, wrap-around display already seems appealing – and when you combine it with an ultra-wide screen format, surely there’s some mileage here for the CAD-using community?
The ThinkVision P44w is a 43.4-inch curved display, running at a maximum 3,840 x 1,200 pixels resolution.
While that sounds huge, the reality is that, due to its ultra-wide, curved nature, you’re effectively replicating two 27” monitors side by side, a very common combination in the engineering space, but without the annoyance of a bezel getting in the way.
From the moment it’s delivered, it’s clear that the Lenovo ThinkVision P44w is a very well-considered and well-manufactured product.
Retrieving something of this size from its packaging is always going to be a dicey process, of course.
It may only weigh 6.95 kg, but this is awkward to do. However, from that point onwards, you’re guided through the assembly of the stand and attaching the monitor, making it almost effortless.
I managed it on my own but, as a result, can confirm that it’s definitely a job best handled by two people.
Setting up Lenovo ThinkVision
Once set up, you’ll need to connect the monitor, both to your power source and your workstation.
At the rear of the unit, you’ll find a wide range of inputs. While most customers will go for the single DisplayPort (1.4), there are also two HDMi 2.0 ports and a two USB-C ports (one running at DisplayPort 1.4 Alt Mode, the other at 1.2).
If you’re looking to take advantage of further connectivity to your workstation, there’s a USB hub built into the unit.
Connectivity is from the rear, along with a small unit that pops down below the bezel with two USB ports and an audio-out socket.
Set-up in Windows is pretty easy. Once you’ve got the drivers installed, Windows 10 picks up on the correct resolution and you’re good to go.
There are controls to switch between inputs from different machines, and you can even have it set up in window-in-window mode to maintain aspect ratios.
Whether the Lenovo ThinkVision p44w is the monitor for you very much depends on a number of factors.
In general, it’s a supremely well-built, well thought-out piece of hardware, as we’ve come to expect from Lenovo.
The display is crisp, colour is accurately represented (it needed little adjustment during calibration), the inputs are varied, and I love the drop-down USB and headphone socket.
As someone who likes a clean workspace, the reduction in cabling compared to two monitors is tremendous.
I also appreciated the ability to connect to two different machines, useful for those of us working across multiple workstations.
But don’t bother trying this with an Apple OSX device – the results are awful.
If you’re working with products that fit onto this type of screen or if you have a use for a wrap-around (for design visualisation in particular), then it’s brilliant.
In the interests of learning more, I’ve spoken to folks who use these ultra-wide monitors and they swear by them.
My current work-a-day rig is two trusty iiyama 27-inch displays. Would I swap those for this? I’m not 100% sure.
At the moment, I prefer the delineation that two monitors gives you, though I’m told this fades after a longer spell of use by folks who’ve spent serious time with ultra-wide displays.
They also tell me that the real hurdle is arranging windows properly. Once you’ve cracked that, they report, you don’t notice a difference.
Financially speaking, there is a premium on this type of device compared to the price of two 27-inch displays.
The list price is around the £1,500 mark, but these units can be found on the market for around two-thirds of that, making buying one equivalent to buying two decent 27-inch monitors.
At that point, it’s a question of whether you think the format suits you or not.
If it does, this is a fantastic device that’ll make your working environment that little bit more immersive and engaging (and, thankfully, tidier).
If you’re in the market for a single display unit to replace two monitors (which appears to be the most common set-up among our readers), then the Lenovo ThinkVision P44w is a great choice.
It’s not so huge as to give you neckache, which some of the larger models might, it’s well-built and has some truly useful features – which just about makes it ideal.
» ThinkVision P44w
» 43.4” display
» 3,840 x 1,200 pixels
» 144Hz refresh rate
» sRGB 99.5% colour gamut
» 100 x 100mm VESA mount
» HDMI 2.0 (x2), Display Port (1.4), USB-C (2x) & Audio Out
» 4-port USB hub
» Lift, tilt and swivel stand
» 6.95 kg weight
»1-year return to base warranty
» Price £1,549